From Purple Haze to Foxy Lady, Jimi Hendrix penned some of the most memorable lyrics in rock history. Now, they’re the inspiration for a new clothing line launching this week exclusively at upscale New York-based retailer Bloomingdale’s.
“You know the power of his lyrics and his words, there’s just something about being able to touch it and experience it and feel it and have it in a different form close to your body. It’s a new experience all in itself,” says Janie Hendrix, his sister and CEO of Experience Hendrix, the company that manages the late Seattle guitarist’s estate.
The menswear collection – which comes on the eve of what would have been Hendrix’ 70th birthday – features designs combining images of the guitarist along with lyrics from some of his most memorable songs. It includes graphic screen print T-shirts, dress shirts, scarves, hoodies, cuff links and jewelry.
The clothing line was designed by Lyric Culture, which has made similar collections with such artists as the Beatles, the Rolling Stones and Bob Dylan.
While some might cringe at the thought of Jimi in Bloomingdale’s, Janie Hendrix says Jimi was as much a fashion icon as anyone, and the line reflects his continued influence.
“I just think that it’s bringing it to a different audience. I don’t think it’s necessarily selling out,” she tells KIRO Radio’s Seattle Sounds. “Being able to bring a higher end clothing, it’s not necessarily about T-shirts and posters. Some people would like to wear something that represents Jimi but isn’t his face or pictures of him but something else that represents him.”
The clothing line is just the latest in an ever expanding range of items inspired by Hendrix. Janie Hendrix recently released a new coffee table book of some handwritten lyrics from Jimi never before seen. And last year Experience Hendrix licensed a collection of area rugs incorporating his painting.
“People loved those in their home because it gave them a part of something Jimi did but it gave them their own style,” Janie Hendrix says.