BEHIND THE BRAND: RARE PANTHER
Rare Panther. It’s a powerful name, isn’t it? Everyone wants to be rare, and the panther has been a symbol of strength for many decades over. And Rare Panther is more than just a strong name … it’s a Bay Area brand that’s steadily climbing to the top of the streetwear game with clever designs, strong imagery, and a unique aesthetic.
Today, we’re diving into the history of Rare Panther. The origins, the cosigns, the collabs, and more. For a fresh new brand, they’ve certainly got a dense, interesting backstory, and it’s certainly one that deserves to be told. Let’s dive into Rare Panther’s rise from the Bay to the world.
Every brand has to start somewhere, and Rare Panther was founded in 2013 by two friends from the Bay Area, Slvstr and Wallo. Slvstr was already known for his graphic design and paintings (in 2015 he held his first solo show in New York that was attended by Pharrell Williams, Chase B and more), and he opted to use his signature shade of cyan (which he refers to as “Slvstr Blue”) heavily in the brand’s graphics. Their two signature logos, the panther and the bolt were made to represent empowerment, strength, and mobility.
For the brand’s first-ever release, they printed up 100 T-shirts … but the catch was that you couldn’t buy them. Wallo and Slvstr gave the tees out to their influential friends. The internet was abuzz with people asking what exactly Rare Panther was, and how they could go about getting their hands on it. The mystique and demand for the brand was high … and the avaliblility was nonexistent. If you weren’t G-Eazy, Tyler, The Creator, or another one of Wallo and Slvstr’s influential friends, you weren’t getting a shirt
When the clothes were actually made available, they sold out almost as fast as they were released, but Rare Panther didn’t rest on their lapels. The brand’s progression and growth is noticeable season after season (their S/S ’17 sneak peek and lookbook drops this upcoming Monday), and their last collection, Act 007 was one of their strongest yet.
There’s been no shortage of collabs and capsule collections either either. Last year’s collaboration with Carrots was one of the best efforts of the year by any brand, and they’ve also worked with the aforementioned G-Eazy, 21 Savage (a clever nod to the historic New York Panther 21), and more on capsule collections. They’ve mashed minds with retailers like 424 On Fairfax. They’ve made a trucker jacket with Levi’s and a pair of Wallabees with Clarks. It’s safe to say that their appeal crosses over into many different markets, and appeal to many different subcultures, something many brands try for years to achieve without success.
Rare Panther’s aim is to be a “lifestyle entity that empowers all people”. With their ever-growing aesthetic, unique image, and militant attitude, they’re doing just that, and have become one of our favorite brands on the market today. Stay tuned … they’re set to run things this summer.
What’s your favorite piece Rare Panther’s ever made? Did you already know about them, or is this your first time discovering their unique aesthetic? Hit us up and let us know on Twitter, check our Facebook page for updates, and, as always, be sure to follow us on Instagram for all the fire pictures you can handle.