Top 20 Obama T’s

With its share of willing contributors and even more willing promoters, it is no wonder that streetwear has quickly become the desired channel for political activism. And why not? It is the perfect medium: encompassing all that is hip, vibrant, proximal and relevant. As the results of the recent US election continue to resound throughout the global community, designers continue to seek inspiration from Barack Hussein Obama, and capitalize on his image, just a little. Format is pleased to bring you a special Daily Bread feature on 20 idiosyncratic pieces, featuring or inspired by the inauguration of the 44th American president.

LUDWIG

Imagine if Anna Nicole Smith had decided to crown herself figurehead of that oil tycoon’s company after he died, instead of just trying to snatch up all his goods. Now imagine that in a GOP setting, on the world stage. This LUDWIG shirt commemorates the relieving denial of that bat-shit reactionary with a wicked rack, Mrs. Sarah Palin.
Cop it at Digital Gravel.

Hoodman

There is still room for understatement in streetwear; not everything needs to look like a pastel abortion or adult onesie. This softball-inspired hoodie by Hoodman features a modest “08” and Obama’s name across the back, with a little Chi City nod (where Obama spent much of his career) on the front. Pick one up here.

Another subtle banger from Hoodman. Here, we see the brand paying homage to two of the most cerebral personalities of our time: Barack Obama and Charles “Professor X” Xavier. Strange how many of the qualities of a fictitious telepath can now be found in the new leader of the Western world. Modest colours and well-placed graphics make this a shirt you can wear to the club or anywhere you please. Pick one up here.

DISRPT

Hey, come on guys. Just because we’ve ushered in a new epoch in democracy and perspective, doesn’t mean we have to get all crass. If making political statements with devil-may-care conviction is your thing though, this bold offering from DISRPT may be right up your alley. At least it’s more tasteful than this. Pick it up here, while supplies last.

Objectivity be damned, this shirt is truly amazing. Rumour is the boys at DISRPT had planned a two-drop run featuring John McCain in “The Mummy,” but decided it was hard to create a scarier visage than Brendan Fraser’s hairweave. Cop it at Digital Gravel

Filthy Dripped

Filthy Dripped has been shutting down the Obama-wear game. Here we have a piece with great contrast, and subtle-yet-hard-hitting articulation. Up-and-coming rappers, check this brand out.

And another, just for good measure.

Café Press

Just in time for the holidays, you can own a shirt that you will have maximum three weeks to wear contextually; eight years in a row, if all goes correctly. Seriously though, this is the look for the Christmas/Kwanzaa/Chanukah party-circuit.
Pick it up at Café Press.

Here we have a nod to “Schoolhouse Rock.” Check out the dope articulation on the font, and on cartoon Obama. Anyone with an interest in American politics prior to the era of the first GW administration will be all over this nostalgic little gem. It’s surprisingly affordable, too. Pick it up over at Café Press.

XY Couture

Undoubtedly one of the hottest Obama pieces to drop this year is XY Couture’s “Eight is Enough” tee, which features Barry’s face highlighted by photo-rich red, white and blue, with the slightly-cryptic saying beneath. Pick it up at http://xycouture.com

Obey

With Obey’s long history of incorporating figureheads into their designs, it was a no-brainer that the streetwear giant would bring the heat this election season. Here we have the 44th president of the United States featured on soft cotton, in a variety of colours, for men and women. Pick it up at Karmaloop.

Headhoods

We could bring you an entire feature on the idea factory that is Neighborhoodies.com, but we’ll relegate ourselves to talking about this particular hoodie from Headhoods, which features a comic-style screenprint of Obama’s face on the side of the hood. Exquisitely executed, the design is most effective when viewed in low light, with a slight buzz.
Pick it up at the Headhoods website.

Sean John

Leave it to rap’s Liberace, Sean Combs, to craft a pro-Obama shirt that still manages to channel his unrivaled egocentricity. That being said, the simple chocolate font on white background works really well.

50FIFTY

UK fashion upstart 50FIFTY has demonstrated the influence of the first black president, by introducing their own signature line of tees. Being a label devoted to cross-cultural influence, it makes sense to feature one of the 21st century’s most prolific paradigm shifters. The design is minimal and sleek, though it might be cheaper just to fly over there and pick one up. Order one Here.

Tom Sachs x Hello Kitty

Support comes in many forms. Take for instance, this tee designed by American contemporary artist Tom Sachs x Hello Kitty. Our pedestrian minds might not be able to grasp the relevance or hidden allusion in such juxtaposition, but fuck is it awesome.
Pick one up over at Hypebeast.com

Freshjive

Anyone fortunate enough to have seen the cult classic “The Thing with Two Heads” will get a hearty chuckle out of this offering from Freshjive x Seymour Chwast. Anyone fortunate enough to have seen that movie sober will also notice the absence of Roosevelt Grier’s wisecracking head. The proceeds of this shirt will be donated to the Barack Obama campaign. Get it for cheap at Turntable Lab Online.

Upper Playground

Here we have an exclusive collaboration between Upper Playground and the venerable Alex Pardee, a Cardboard City alumnus well known for his work with The Used, In Flames, and Twenty Twenty Skateboards. His art is dark, and vaguely reminiscent of old Image comics. Only 300 were printed, so act fast. Get it here.

With some designers dropping lines three to four times a year, it is incredibly difficult to create a timeless piece. This Upper Playground x Digital Gravel x Obama tee blends the nostalgia of Fleer trading cards with an on-point caricature, and just the right amount of all-American integrity. These colours won’t fade (metaphorically speaking).

Exact Science

Boy, does hip hop ever love Barack Obama. Here, we have a tidy little mosaic piece from Exact Science, which incorporates two of the four elements and clever use of shading/colour, while the 20.5” by 29” image guarantees maximum dap from real heads . Pick it up at The Giant Peach

fiftyseven-thirtythree

With all the allusions of sainthood that democratic supporters and the liberal media have been drawing, it was only a matter of time before a streetwear enthusiast came up with design like this: Barry, bathed in light; arms crossed defiantly. The text below is almost redundant; printed on environmentally-friendly ink, too. Pick one up here.

Apparently, streetwear has reached that ripe old age where it begins to cannibalize itself. Here, we see fiftyseven-thirtythree channeling Obey’s classic Andre the Giant print. Still, we’re not mad at it. The bold red, white, and black are just as effective, and the alliterative spin on the Obey logo works well. Cop it here.

Andrew Rennie

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9 comments

  1. crazy, they’re not the best obama tee’s! you should check undrcrwn, the hundreds and rocksmith! they rock. here you listed a lot that are really not anything special and i could have printed it myself in the garage.

  2. im feeling the filthy dripped one, i like the colors, i hate wearing red white and blue, are they avalable anywhere?

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