A Look Inside Bravado, The Company Behind Kanye West And Justin Bieber’s Insanely Popular Merch

by MR Magazine Staff

Founded in 1997 by brothers Keith and Barry Drinkwater (now founder and CEO of Global Merchandising Services), Bravado has produced concert souvenirs for many of the top music acts of the past and present, including The Rolling Stones, Guns N’ Roses, The Beatles, Michael Jackson, Eminem, Lady Gaga, Kanye West, Justin Bieber, Travis Scott, and Selena Gomez. (Despite being acquired by Universal Music Group in 2007, Bravado isn’t restricted to artists signed to the label.) “We want to be the national partner for any artist who wants to expand their brand,” says Vlasic, who was appointed CEO this past March. Vlasic previously led Sony Music’s merchandising division and signed merch agreements with A$AP Rocky, Bob Dylan, The Strokes, and Johnny Cash. Inside Bravado’s showroom are some of the items it’s made for these megastars: box sets, shot glasses, sneakers, skateboard decks, mugs, collector’s edition Monopoly board games, water bottles, and of course, T-shirts, hoodies, jackets, and hats—all emblazoned with logos, album art, and the artists’ faces. But in the last few years, memorabilia has gone from mere “merch” to a full-blown fashion trend. “It went from a one dimensional product of the black heavyweight T-shirt sold at concerts to a lifestyle product,” says Vlasic. Read more at Complex.