From colourful Vans to custom-made merch: The best in alternative style this month

You wouldn’t necessarily know it from looking outside, but summer is almost here! Get your festival fits sorted now with these new collabs, awesome brands and upcycled band merch.

From colourful Vans to custom-made merch: The best in alternative style this month
Kitty Cowell

Welcome back to Kerrang!'s monthly style column, with me, Kitty Cowell, where I bring you all the latest releases, collabs and trends in alternative fashion. The sun is out (sort of), and as we prepare ourselves for the “nice tats” comments to start flooding in, I’ve got some awesome picks to help you approach shade-bathing season in style. And goths, don't forget the suncream – I’m for sure taking a personal parasol umbrella with me to Download this year.

If you're new to this column, I'm a nu-metal, emo and hardcore kid, and I style music videos and photoshoots for a bunch of your favourite artists – like K! Cover Story stars NOAHFINNCE, Enter Shikari and Scene Queen to name a few.

So whether you need a sick festival look, just want to cope with the hot weather while staying true to your emo self, or need to impress the hottie at the skate park – this column is your best friend.

Without further ado, let's take a look at what's happening in alt. fashion this month…


If you – like pretty much all K! readers – love a good pair of Vans Old Skools, you might like this new collab release.

Vans and pro skater Axel Cruysberghs have come together to present the Skate Old Skool Sport. A fun but hardwearing skate shoe, in a colourful (but still muted enough for your black wardrobe) iteration.

Inspired by his life away from skating – when not on a board he's either on his bike or hiking the mountains of Southern California – Axel’s Skate Old Skool Sport is a vulcanised shoe made with hairy suede and textile uppers. With a nod to ’90s hiking and outdoor colour palettes, hues of pine green with pops of pink and purple adorn the shoe. Don’t worry though, they have a black sole and mid-sole, with black sections on the heel and lace panel. The pine green upper is still dark enough to not be rejected by other emo kids either, and they make the perfect pairing for any pop-punk/hardcore fans’ fit. With a bold blast of pink, these are a fun addition to your black and white Old Skools and checkerboard slip-ons.

Maybe 2024 is the year you add in some colour to your wardrobe?

My Poor Purse

If you’re a merch fan but also love a summer dress, annnd want something custom, I’ve got the perfect brand for you! UK-based My Poor Purse make creative, bespoke dresses and skirts using your old tees and band merch.

Owner Jade also designs her own alternative, fun prints that are used as fabric for other items. The designs include aliens, smiley flowers, checkerboard, cherries, flaming hearts… Basically everything you've ever wanted to add to your alt. girl wardrobe.

Think cutesy Ganni-style designs but with a punk rock edge. Plus, it’s sustainable if you send her your old tee/tops to use – otherwise still conscious as she’s a small business. I recently sent her an old Green Day hoodie and she turned it into an awesome dress for me! Support the planet, declutter and get something that stands out from the crowd. What’s not to love?! Perfect for festival season.

Korn x adidas (again)

Part two of the long-awaited Korn x adidas collab hit us this month and sold out super-quick, but you can still get it on resell sites. Yes, I hate them too, but this is truly the best sneaker collaboration to ever happen and hopefully the gateway for many, many more alt. sneaker lock-ups. Korn fans will know how authentic this collaboration is with the band wearing adidas since they first broke in the ’90s – even naming a song after the brand. My favourite piece from this collection is the Brown Supermodified trainers. They just scream grungy nu-metal in the best way.

adidas also just made some one-off pairs for Guilt Trip, which are really dope, but not for sale. I think it’s an interesting and exciting move in the world of sneaker x alt. music crossovers, though. Maybe a Slipknot collab with adidas is next? Limp Bizkit have also worn adidas a lot, so maybe they will get an official collection? We wouldn’t want a counterfeit, that’s for sure… Dad jokes (and vibes) aside, I would love to see both of those collabs.

What/who do we think is next? Answers on a postcard¬

Dr. Martens x MadeMe

Dr. Martens have collaborated with NYC natives MadeMe on this sick new footwear collection. Using the chunky silhouette of the 1461 Quad shoe in black or silver, it features a steel toe exposed through a heart-shaped cut-out – tough but cute!

If you aren’t familiar, MadeMe are a women’s streetwear label that launched in 2007 by Erin Magee in New York. It has since become a staple streetwear brand with an inclusive community that occupies a still-revolutionary space in the male-dominated streetwear industry. Heavily inspired by ’90s sub-genres and the early 2000s rave scene, MadeMe is a counter-culture brand, making clothes for the weird girls and alt. theys.

Dr. Martens says that Magee's ’for girls, by girls’ ethos "continues to champion women against the backdrop of a scene where they are historically underrepresented", which makes a pretty solid comparison to the alternative music scene, bringing both groups together to create an authentic community of alt. girl fans. And as we've seen Dr. Martens boots on the feet of a long line of riot grrrl disruptors, this feels like a natural pairing for both brands.

P&Co x Download

Birmingham-based alt. apparel brand P&Co – who notoriously take inspiration from bike, tattoo and rock culture – are exclusively collaborating with Download Festival this year, and it’s really cool!

There will be 10 pieces in the capsule including a boilersuit (their iconic signature style), a bowling shirt, some baby tees and boxy tees, as well as a new acid wash six-panel cap and racerback graphic vests.

They've absolutely smashed the graphic design details, including barbed wire around the waist of the boilersuit with a panther back print, flaming dice illustrations on the pocket of the bowling shirt, and the various combinations of skulls and pythons on vests and tees. The acid wash works really well with the designs to give texture and add an aesthetic level to the collection.

And, of course, how would we forget Kerrang!'s own apparel! We recently launched a new collab with Sum 41, and have loads more tees, caps, jackets, hoodies and longsleeves!

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