RIPNDIP: How Flipping The Bird Made Them Famous
Written by Kaitlyn Bocox
High fashion brands seem to be giving way to streetwear. Brands like Supreme are growing in fame rapidly, but are they becoming too serious? That is where RIPNDIP comes into play—a brand making comedy into fashion.
RIPNDIP popped up in everyones social media feeds due to “Lord Nermal”. This furry friend loves to flip people off when he’s not hidden in the frocket of a shirt. RIPNDIP is a comedic streetwear brand promoting marijuana, hookah, and sex; selling lube, condoms, and lewd clothing. Displaying this Nermal smoking bud with his friends, situating him in-between a pair of women’s breasts, or having this nermal doing things that could be seen as controversial is what has made this brand so popular. Ryan O’Connor, the creator of the brand, thinks of the Nermal as the “streetwear Hello Kitty”. The brand believes that people take themselves too seriously, and should just slow down to have a laugh. Integrating comedy with clothing is smart because you don't see many brands doing that. Streetwear is usually just bright colors or cool designs, but rarely humor.
RIPNDIP markets toward teens. It seems the younger demographic is more inclined to buy the brand because they like the idea of fashion combined with playful, provocative ideas. Furthermore, the brand is also very affordable compared to other streetwear brands (like Off-White, for example). RIPNDIP has two flagship stores located in Tokyo and Los Angeles. In recent years, pop-ups have become a trendy way to showcase brands. The fast pace flow of a pop-up mixed with exclusive merchandising creates a unique experience for the buyer in a city that may not usually have that particular label. RIPNDIP took notice of the trend and has capitalized on it.
Even with this Nermal making everyone laugh, the company still has its downsides as well. When you buy a shirt you never really look at the tag unless you need to wash it, or need to see the size. Well, some women have looked at RIPNDIP tags finding a sexist line for how to wash the shirt. The tag reads, “If washing becomes completely necessary give to momma or gf then go skate”. Not cool man.
No matter what, RIPNDIP has become very successful with comedic streetwear. The success of this brand has come from the controversial and provocative aesthetic they achieve. Lord Nermal seems to continue to show up throughout the media causing trouble. Hopefully, we see more interesting work from this brand and the artistic streetwear they have made.