Hoist your lighters, tease your hair, and grab your best pair of acid-washed Levi’s – the Rhode Island Historical Society and Frog and Toad have teamed up to create classic rock t-shirts based on some of the most historic events in history. ‘state, and they’re extremely metallic.
The first pays homage to both the Gaspé Peninsula fire – when Rhode Islanders burned the hated British ship in 1772 – and Led Zeppelin. A great success, in our opinion.
For Sarah Carr, the company’s director of advancement and audience engagement, it was a perfect choice to launch the series.
“The Gaspee affair is a really important and pivotal event that all people in Rhode Island have strong feelings about or tend to remember,” she said. “But it doesn’t get as much attention as the Boston Tea Party. It was the right event to launch with.
This year marks the 200and anniversary of the historical society, created 50 years to the day after the Gaspésie fire. The shirts are just one way the band are celebrating their landmark year: a whole host of events are in the works, from an outdoor lawn party and Roaring 20s gala to special flavors ocean-based ice cream and a “Drink in the History”. » lecture series.
Artist Maret Bondorew (she is famous for designing “Knock It Off” t-shirts) designed the Gaspee shirts, which were printed in Frog and Toad’s studio. For Frog and Toad owner Asher Schofield, it was one of the most rewarding partnerships of his career.
“We’ve done a lot of collabs, but this might be one of my favorites,” he says. “It was a slow and deliberate process, but fun and fun. Everyone had such great ideas.
There was no breakdown in communication: the groups met for more than a year, mainly on Zoom, exchanging ideas and trying out different models. The Gaspee shirt debuted an 80-piece run on Friday and is nearly sold out, and the historic company’s Instagram post announcing the collaboration was the most popular ever.
Two other models will be rolled out this spring. We don’t know exactly what they are, but it’s said that the company’s executive director, C. Morgan Grefe, has long harbored a vision for a Doors cover band modeled after Thomas Dorr of the Dorr Rebellion. I’m just saying.
All proceeds from shirt sales benefit the Rhode Island Historical Society. And no need to go to California to get one: they’re available online and at Frog and Toad’s brick-and-mortar store on Providence’s Hope Street.
“It’s not very often you see someone walking down the street with a T-shirt that talks about a historic moment,” says Schofield. “Usually it’s either a sports team or a brand. It’s cool that in Rhode Island we have a base of people who see the value in carrying that passion.
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