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If you've noticed Minor Threat t-shirts for sale at Urban Outfitters for $28 and wondered what this world was coming to (or just assumed it was another case of bootlegging), frontman Ian MacKaye is here to tell you that the shirts are legit. Yes, Minor Threat, the iconic punk band that was once so anti-consumerism and anti-people-wearing-t-shirts-as-a-lazy-way-to-signify-having-an-identity that it and its record label Dischord wouldn't even make their own t-shirts, has now licensed its name to an apparel company that oversees a variety of merchandise partnerships, including with Urban Outfitters.
MacKaye says the band undertook the decision because dealing with all the unauthorized Minor Threat apparel (like that Forever 21 shirt) was "a complete waste of time." Bootleggers would "get in your face... or they deny it." Licensing the band name to a company with expertise in those matters means chasing down counterfeiters is now someone else's problem. "It's fucking absurd the amount of bootlegs are out there," MacKaye says, and "my time is better spent doing other things."
"Do I think it's absurd? Yes, I certainly do," says MacKaye of the new shirts. "Motherfuckers pay $28, that's what they wanna pay for their shirts."
MacKaye stressed that Dischord is still not in the t-shirt making game — at least not directly. But as absurd as he thinks the shirts are, he's not against people wearing his band's overpriced Urban Outfitters t-shirts if they want. "It's not a political thing for me. I just don't give a fuck about T-shirts."
It's not clear from the Washington City Paper's piece how much money the band is making from its new licensing deal.
— Jenna Sauers
· Ian MacKaye Says Urban Outfitters' Minor Threat T-Shirts Are Legitimate [Washington City Paper]
· Forever 21 Rips Off Minor Threat, Of All Things [Racked LA]