Who can resist a good band t-shirt? Apparently, not many. The age for consumers purchasing and wearing band t-shirts, specifically those with classic rock band logos, ranges from early teens to those in their late 60s. However, whether or not the people buying these shirts actually know the band on them is the big question.
The classic rock genre still seems to underpin the music scene to this day. Bands such as AC/DC, Aerosmith, Guns n’ Roses, The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, Pink Floyd, and The Who all fall under this foundational designation.
According to The Recording Industry Association of America, the total internet population (13 and older) has ranked classic rock number one in a survey of music preference. The increase in demand for band merchandise begs the question: Do consumers really know what they are wearing?
“I know enough about them to get by, but I don’t listen frequently or even very often,” said Allison Sportelli, a 19 year old who works in retail. She claims that she sees customers wearing band t-shirts all the time.
Growing up in a world dominated by rappers and pop stars, it is surprising to see how popular the classic rock genre has remained. The genre is particularly popular in the music merchandise industry.
According to Amazon’s Best Sellers List for Band T-Shirts and Music Fan Apparel, out of the top ten best-selling shirts, seven are classic rock band t-shirts. The shirts display logos from Aerosmith, Guns n’ Roses, AC/DC, Pink Floyd, Metallica, Led Zeppelin and The Rolling Stones.
Because of the large age gap between the bands being used on the t-shirts and the teenagers who are wearing them, the phenomena feels unusual.
“I would absolutely buy a band t-shirt in a store if I saw it and it looked nice. I have actually listened to some of the bands on the shirts that I have, but I don’t think it matters if people know who the bands are,” said a senior student at Fair Lawn High School.
Band t-shirts have been in higher demand more recently. Walk into any retail store similar to Hot Topic or Spencers, and one might notice the large amount of t-shirts being sold and advertised that have classic rock logos.
“Personally, I only own one band shirt but people come in all the time and ask if we sell band t-shirts specifically. I don’t really think it matters if people don’t know who the bands on their shirts are,” said a senior at Fair Lawn High School. The student also happens to work in retail.
On the other side of the conversation, some teens are well-rounded in the music scene and hold the opinion that consumers should know who the bands are on their t-shirts.
“Consumers should know what they are wearing. I listen to the music and I have the shirts. I can understand why people are drawn to the shirts because they have cool fonts for the letters, but they should know what they are buying,” said a senior at Fair Lawn High School.
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