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Musician Vincent Bennet on Turning Merch Into a Message

by Finn McKenty
music & audio

Vincent Bennet as depicted by artist Jordan Fields.

Vincent Bennet as depicted by artist Jordan Fields.

It’s no secret that making money off of music is hard, which is why you see more and more musicians starting clothing lines. It’s a great way to turn their public profile, social media reach, and industry relationships into cash — but it’s also an increasingly crowded space where it’s harder and harder to differentiate from competitors. In this Alt Press article, members of bands like Miss May I, The Word Alive, and Woe Is Me talk about the opportunities and challenges of running their clothing lines.

Vincent Bennet from The Acacia Strain talks about his brand Diamond Cut in this excerpt:

Why did you decide to launch the clothing line?
I started it with my friend Tyler Scheinost in 2005. He used to do merch and tour manage my band. It’s one of those things where you just want to tour with your friends, so you give your friends jobs when you can. We were just bored and came up with Diamond Cut. We did it mostly because we’re straightedge and we’re proud of being straightedge — as most straightedge kids are. We noticed there weren’t a lot of really good straightedge shirts. You don’t want to wear a shirt you don’t like, so we started to make shirts for ourselves. People started asking us where we got the shirts, and it just took off from there.

What are some challenges you have with Diamond Cut?
We try and do new designs every month or every couple months to keep people interested. Coming up with designs month after month after month is kind of taxing sometimes. Sometimes Tyler and me just have to sit down and brainstorm an entire year’s worth of designs so we don’t run out of stuff. Also, keeping a straightedge clothing company is hard because not everyone is straightedge forever. I can’t just sell shirts to everybody. I can only sell shirts to a small minority of people and that’s people who are straightedge. At the same time it’s kind of cool, because I know that people are buying these shirts because they mean something to them and not just because they think it looks cool.

Source: AltPress

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Finn McKenty

Finn is the producer of CreativeLive’s audio channel.

You can email him at finn [dot] mckenty [at] creativelive [dot] com

@finn_mckenty