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Rock on: Archive 1887 rock T-shirts come with a music history lesson

January 6, 2011 |  2:30 pm

Bowie-doubleimage It's all well and good to buy a T-shirt emblazoned with an iconic image from the annals of rock 'n' roll — plenty of street-wear brands offer them.

But when you pick up a rock tee from luxe T-shirt brand Archive 1887, you're also buying a little history lesson. Each shirt comes with a code that, when entered, takes you to a streaming playlist of the artist's music, as well as historical background on the image, including who snapped it and where and when it was taken. 

And there's much to be learned. Archive 1887's catalog of images features some of music's greatest photos — culled from an archived database within Sony Music — of venerable artists, including David Bowie, Lou Reed, Bob Dylan, Iggy Pop, Janis Joplin, Johnny Cash, Sly Stone and Miles Davis. Legendary rock photographers represented in the collection include Mick Rock and Jim Marshall.

And the actual shirts, which are super-soft and thin, make the overall effect of the tees feel even more vintage — as opposed to screening a retro image onto a stiff, blatantly brand-new tee, which always looks so wrong.

Prices for the T-shirts range from $52 to $84.

--Emili Vesilind

Photo: An Archive 1887 David Bowie T-shirt. Credit: Archive 1887