Mike D from the Beastie Boys is at it again, and this time he’s back with… leather bags?
The legendary Beasties rapper/drummer teamed up with L.A accessories designer Clare Vivier to create the brand’s very first men’s capsule collection — Mike D. x Clare V. — designed and inspired by all the things he likes to wear but felt he was missing in his wardrobe. The collection includes items “meant to be kept,” like a slim, minimalist card wallet constructed of earth-toned leathers (“I don’t like the George Costanza-style wallet”) and a Tomas Tote “studio bag” in saturated royal blues and blacks.
Mike D (real name: Michael Diamond), who says being in a band has helped make him “innately aesthetically oriented,” went to Vivier with the idea for a “studio bag” he could use for everything — from overnights to surf trips to heading into the studio — all of which was brought on by working with dance duo Cassius, who wore old and elegant French bags, making his knapsack far inferior.
“Basically [creating this collection] was a very selfish exercise, if you want to get down to it,” Diamond told Billboard in an exclusive interview. “I was showing up at the studio all the time with no bag, being like, ‘I don’t want to have a backpack. I’ve had backpacks my whole life and I’m a grown man now. I should have something better.’”
Vivier, meanwhile, said the collaboration was easy, thanks to the pair’s similar, calm temperament and simplistic-yet-luxurious sense of style. “The difference between this collection was, of course, that it’s men’s instead of women’s,” Vivier told Billboard exclusively. “But there are more similarities than not, because I would carry everything we’ve made in this collection.”
While the pieces in Mike D. x Clare V. might seem far from the neon, graffiti, in-your-face attitude that made the Beastie Boys famous, Diamond assures us this collection won’t be his last. “I think another collection would be a great excuse to get more crazy with the colors,” he said. “Maybe a little shock of neon in there? Like volt green for you people? I’m joking, but I definitely think expanding out from what we’ve done would make sense. I’m in need of a man apron. A very manly apron.”