Beats by Dre is leaning into its crossover appeal with its third collaboration of the year. Following collaborations with Psychworld and the chef collective Ghetto Gastro, the Beats Studio3 Wireless headphones are now getting a remix that is as much street as it is streetwear.
A-Cold-Wall* has reimagined the noise-canceling headphones as a brutalist structure with a speckled grey finish intended to invoke concrete. On the interior is a cream synthetic leather, completing a clean makeover that stands out by channeling materials originally intended to blend in.
Samuel Ross, the founder of A-Cold-Wall*, has long looked to rough materials he grew up around as he’s brought brutalist sensibilities to his streetwear and luxury goods. Hardware has been a particular focus for the brand’s technical outerwear and baggage, but now that term becomes more literal by taking on headphones.
New techniques all round — A new printmaking technique was used to give A-Cold-Wall*’s headphones their two-tone patina of slate grey and washed chalk. Ross explained the significance of this decision in a press release, saying, “The semblance of both offer a textured hand-touch that reflects the sensation of the hand engaging with raw materials and manufactured materials — the sensory experience had to exist across physical touch alongside acoustic.”
That’s a mouthful, and we’d be remiss not to mention that Beats isn’t exactly known for the highest quality on either the audio or durability front. The brand’s headphones are more of a status symbol for status symbol’s sake, making them an accessory befitting of streetwear’s obsession with logos. And if your headphones must be Beats, you could do worse than the brutalism provided by one of fashion’s most exciting young designers.
A-Cold-Wall*’s website will get first stock for the $350 headphones beginning this Friday, October 15. Wider availability will then follow on October 18, with Apple’s website joined by retailers including Ssense, Saks Fifth Avenue, and Selfridges.