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Tommy Hilfiger, better known for his Americana style of clothing, has asked legendary Godfather of punk Marky Ramone to lend his creative genius to a collection he is calling the Marky Ramone Rock Scene Collection for 2009.

Although at first it may seem these two unlikely legends in their own field would have nothing in common, but Tommy has been a huge supporter of the music scene for years.

And Ramone knows that first hand. “I have known Tommy for I guess about 20 years. He was always into rock, punk, rolling stones, hip hop, and he along with some people wanted to put out a leather jacket and jean collection. They came to me about it and I said ‘well yeah, why not?’ I had some experience with that.”

With so many artists just slapping their name on some designer’s work to get royalties and another cheap form of advertisement, it’s great to see someone taking real pride in himself and insisting that anything bearing his name really represents him and what he stands for. Ramone took a hands-on approach with this collection, and in true Ramone’s fashion kept his hands in the cookie jar when dealing with the Hilfiger designers and his first fashion line.

“It went back and forth about three or four times, dealing with a leather jacket. I wanted to put the stud work on it so it wasn’t too over the top, just cool, not too much. On the jeans I wanted a little bit of stud work, but not to much either, and I wanted to make sure the quality of the leather on the coat, and the material, was good. I added the interior of the coat, I added the stud work, I wanted to make sure the coat had a soft leather too, because all through life, even through high school, they were always stiff and it took a long time to break them in. I wanted to be sure people who were interested in having one of my jackets could enjoy it right away.”

And this collection is made for anybody to enjoy, not just the white color weekend punker or the High School rebel. Ramone made this collection to be worn by anybody, including himself.

“Oh, yeah, I would wear it,” he told me. “I always wear leather jackets and jeans, I never stopped. That’s me, you know? I can’t see myself in a suit, you know what I mean? Only on certain occasions, but that’s what I always wore and I will continue to wear, and I designed it around what I would wear, what I would wear now.”

“I guess if I was, say it was 1976 at CBGB’s, if I could see the future at that time, that’s what I would be wearing. I went through the 50’s, I researched a lot of people- Marlin Brando, James Dean. I went through a lot of the biker movies, at the time in the mid 60’s late 60’s, I went through a lot of the stuff. What people were wearing in the 70’s, and then when punk came out, CBGB’s and then how the English kinda copied it but put their own slant on it, and basically out of the research this collection is really what the result was.”

Having an opportunity to fit kids with the clothes of the artist they admired, Marky Ramone, was something he really felt really proud and really passionate about.

“No, never in a million years would I ever think this would happen, but you know, it’s another aspect of the music business, fashion and music go together.” You can’t doubt it because when you look at Elvis Presley, the Beatles, the Ramones, every band really the ones that have the longevity, have a certain look. “

I think what is good about it is that kids that like fashion can afford it, or the older guy that wants to continue to have a certain kinda cool look when he’s off riding his bike. But when I was a kid growing up, there were bands that were buying two, three thousand dollar outfits. And what kid can afford that to look like those guys, you know what I mean? I grew up in a situation where I couldn’t afford anything, so I was just happy to have a leather jacket, to have a pair of jeans that I liked, and some sneakers. So I wanted to make sure this stuff was affordable.”

Ramone shows no signs of slowing down, and no signs of fading away. This collection is just one of the many projects that fill a day in the life of Marky Ramone, and hopefully we will see another collection soon.

The Marky Ramone Rock Scene Collection can be found at prices ranging from $40-$595 for both men’s and women’s in the United States beginning in January at the Hilfiger Denim store in New York as well as on tommy.com. The men’s rock paper tee will also be available for $29.50 in Macy’s as of February.

For more information, go to www.tommy.com, www.myspace.com/rockscenefashion,
and www.myspace.com/markyramone.
www.Dishmag.com / Issue 96 - September 1422
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