Marc Ecko is going back to his roots for his latest design initiative.
The streetwear designer is making his highly anticipated return to his namesake company, Ecko Unltd., to mark the brand’s 30th anniversary with a limited-edition collection, titled “Ecko Unltd. x Dear1993.art.”
The 13-piece collection offers hoodies and T-shirts featuring Ecko and the brand’s signature design codes, such as its popular rhino motif and graffiti graphics. Only 93 units of each style will be available for sale, and each piece will be signed and numbered. Prices range from $60 to $285.
“I try to frame it as more of leveraging the history of 1993 and the year that I started where so many dynamic things started within what was a renaissance in American culture and specifically, hip-hop culture,” Ecko said of his design process. “When I started going through my black book and going through all my archives, I felt the presence of the community I was a part of in all those objects and ephemera and art and video footage. I don’t know that this is about leveraging the brand as much as it is a love letter to 1993.”
Ecko looked to many of his archival designs and sketches for the collection, such as an illustration he made for Sony Epic Records that he never produced. The collection also pays homage to Ecko’s first designs for the brand, which were six T-shirts designed with spray paint.
The designer, who sold his stake in the brand to Iconix Brand Group in 2009, described Ecko Unltd.’s 30th anniversary as “bittersweet” with “pangs of nostalgia, joy and pride.”
“Art and design have been very personal for me and they’re sort of therapeutic, so this was a little bit like, ‘Get out of your shell and feel confident,’” he said. “A lot of the art that I’ve done over the last decade has really just been a vocation. I’ve had no need to commercialize it. There’s been no function of commercializing it and so I wanted [this collection] to be earnest and personal, but I also didn’t want to overthink it. So, it really was just an act of improvisation.”
In addition to Ecko’s collection, the brand is releasing its “Archival Edition” collection, which takes inspiration from the brand’s most popular pieces.
The “Ecko Unltd. x Dear1993.art.” collection is available on the brand’s website, and will be offered at a VIP pop-up in Los Angeles.