Roland lifestyle

How Roland Lifestyle is introducing a musical icon to future generations

For almost 50 years, Roland has been one of the music making community’s most enduring icons. Its legendary TR-808 drum machine is as revered today as it was when it was first released back in 1980, while decades’ worth of groundbreaking instruments, from synthesisers and digital pianos to electronic drums and guitar pedals, have seen Roland’s significance spill out of the studio and into wider popular culture. It is this multi-faceted appeal that led to the launch of the Roland Lifestyle brand in December 2020.

The result of a partnership with creative agency Shines Creative, Roland Lifestyle was conceived as a way of introducing Roland to new generations of fans via an array of clothing lines and other merchandise outside of its musical instrument catalogue. The range kicked off with two streetwear lines dubbed ‘EST. 1972’ marking the year of Roland’s arrival and ‘808 Classic’ in honour of its famous drum machine.

“Roland has achieved iconic status by creating instruments like the TR-808 that gave rise to entirely new music genres and ways of making music,” said Nathan Chandra, founder of Shines Creative. “Music has the power to give rise to very distinctive clothing styles and even entire cultural movements. With the release of these new streetwear collections, Roland has begun to build its own unique bridge between fashion, culture, and music for everyone that loves the brand.”

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Both of the Roland Lifestyle apparel collections are available as a limited release, comprising an exclusive set of hoodies, sweatshirts, t-shirts, sweatpants, and more. Future apparel collections are also in development.

According to Chandra, the brand also serves as a means to teach newcomers to the brand about its storied history. “We want to educate new consumers through a medium they relate to about Roland’s impact on the culture,” he stated in an interview with the Roland website. 

As well as helping introduce the Roland name to a new audience, the Roland Lifestyle brand has also proved popular with some of the music industry’s biggest names, with producers and artists such as Timbaland and Swizz Beatz among the clothing line’s earliest adopters. 

“Music and personal style often go hand-in-hand,” Roland creative director, Martyn Hopkins, commented: “For decades, musicians have used Roland instruments to create some truly memorable musical moments—not to mention some great nights out. We get lots of requests about whether there’s an official range of Roland merchandise, so it’s very exciting to be working with the team at Shines to give people just that—fresh designs, premium quality, exciting collaborations, with a few surprises mixed in. Stay tuned for more info.”

Meanwhile, LA-based streetwear brand PLEASURES also released an 808 capsule collection – comprising a hoodie, t-shirts and a cap – as part of a collaboration with Roland and Shines Creative in 2020 to mark the 40th anniversary of the 808 drum machine. The limited-run collection was designed to highlight the functionality and iconic look of the 808, with several styles selling out within 24 hours of release. 

Roland Lifestyle

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