Hype Style/Beauty

Published on February 19th, 2020 | by Jerry Doby


Billabong LAB Releases ‘Master of Puppets’-Inspired Apparel Collection Featuring Iconic Album Artwork from Metallica

Billabong LAB announced the latest product delivery in the Billabong x Metallica 2019-2020 Collection of menswear. Titled ‘Master of Puppets’, this latest selection of apparel is inspired by what many critics consider the greatest metal album of all time. The drop includes cross-branded surf trunks, T-shirts, and corduroy jackets featuring Metallica’s powerful album artwork in a limited release.

Hitting retailers and online channels globally today, the fourth drop in the Billabong x Metallica collection is endorsed by Billabong athlete Jack Freestone. After winning ASP World Junior titles in 2010 and 2012, Freestone emerged as one of the fresh faces of surfing’s progression. Now a contender on the World Surf League Championship Tour, the 27-year-old is known for his effortless, explosive style that couldn’t be more appropriate set to an adrenaline-fueled Metallica track.

This premium design collaboration with Metallica comes through Billabong LAB, a platform that supports artists, musicians, designers and photographers. The five-part collection, released between October 2019 and March 2020, features a unique blend of boardsports-engineered apparel from Billabong and album artwork from Rock & Roll Hall of Fame inductees Metallica.

Available today, the fourth product drop takes inspiration from Metallica’s third album, ‘Master of Puppets’. Released in 1986, the eight-song recording cemented Metallica’s boundary-pushing sound and marked the band’s first ever platinum album. Genre-defining songs like the album opener, “Battery”, the fast charging “Damage, Inc.” and the epic title track became the soundtrack of skate sessions in backyard halfpipes the world over, and solidified the bond between Metallica and boardsports.

With Metallica’s Kirk Hammett and Robert Trujillo being avid surfers, the multi-Platinum album’s progressive edge and breakneck speeds find their natural counterparts in Billabong’s engineered garments that are built to endure the harshest ocean conditions.

“Master of Puppets inspired an entire generation of surfers when it was released,” said Evan Slater, VP of Global Marketing at Billabong. “Even better, this album feels just as relevant today as it did then and continues to be the ultimate soundtrack for anyone looking for that extra push.”

Looking at key pieces in the latest drop, the clear breakout is the ‘Master of Puppets’ boardshort. Crafted from 90 percent recycled polyester and 10 percent elastane, the surf trunk represents Billabong’s leadership in athlete-approved performance apparel, adorned by full-color album artwork in a 19-inch performance fit. The release also includes a throwback to classic 1980s’ long-sleeve ringer T-shirts: Made from 100-percent combed ring spun cotton, the shirt features three-quarter sleeves alongside Metallica’s logo and Billabong’s crested wave insignia as a chest print.

The ‘Master of Puppets’ album cover art created by Don Brautigam truly shines on the final piece of the drop: The 100-percent cotton corduroy jacket features the brooding imagery of a cemetery field of white crosses beneath puppet master hands in a blood-red sky as the back print. Executed in maroon color with contrasting black sleeves, the streetwear-ready jacket boasts a vintage wash as well as applique and embroidery details.

Several pieces from previous releases have already sold out due to high demand, including the AI Forever x Metallica short sleeve T-shirt in memory of surf champion Andy Irons, released as part of the December 2019 drop. See all special products from the first four drops of the collection on the Billabong LAB x Metallica Collection landing page.

“For myself, the exhilaration of Heavy Metal and the exhilaration of riding a wave are one and the same. The new collaboration reflects this incredible feeling,” said Metallica lead guitarist Kirk Hammett.

Pieces in the Billabong x Metallica 2019-2020 Collection feature artwork from Metallica’s most iconic albums – including original concept art by legendary artist Pushead – supplemented by premium design touches such as washes, pigment dyes, as well as applique and embroidery details. Key pieces include t-shirts and long sleeves crafted from 100% combed ring-spun cotton, boardshorts made from recycled plastics, hooded fleece, cotton corduroy jackets, and full graphic-print neoprene wetsuits.

“There’s a lot of rage in metal, but it’s a good rage,” said Metallica bassist and avid surfer Robert Trujillo about the collaboration with Billabong LAB. “It’s a great release, almost like surfing, out in the rhythm of the ocean.”

A video featuring members of Metallica and the Billabong surfing team sharing their take on the new collection can be seen below.

The fifth and final delivery in the Billabong x Metallica 2019-2020 Collection will hit e-commerce and international retail in March 2020. Stay tuned!

Each product release in the Billabong x Metallica 2019-2020 Collection is accompanied by digital content and events. Billabong LAB will send media alerts in preparation of each product drop.

For more information on Billabong, Billabong LAB, Metallica, and the upcoming collection, please visit www.billabong.com or Instagram at @Billabong.

About the Author

Editor-in-Chief of The Hype Magazine, and internationally published arts & entertainment journalist. Member of the U.S. Department of Arts and Culture as well as the United States Press Corps.

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