Twenty One Pilots are an alternative rock band from Columbus, Ohio who only had about twenty one fans when Mackenzie Mitchell saw two boys sitting alone in a showroom full of pretty girls gossiping about fashion and the Kardashian’s. With butterflies in her stomach she got up the nerve to go ask Tyler Joseph and Josh Dun if she could feature their music on her Indie Rock Collection Volume 2 for Modern Material. Mackenzie had been working with dozens of artists in New York and LA but she wanted a local artist to represent her fashion brand before selling merchandise at Comfest. Tyler and Josh were also helping promote a collegiate fashion brand called Campus Couture that Mackenzie designed with her colleague Christine Durant when the idea to create an apparel line inspired by the music that defined her life. In September 2011 a small group of people wearing sports apparel surrounded Josh on the drums while Tyler was screaming suicidal lyrics from atop the piano. For a fashion brand that was supposed to promote the Team Spirit and camaraderie, it felt more like a scene from Smells Like Teen Spirit. Mackenzie thought, where were the cheerleaders in anarchy uniforms?

Christine’s son Jack Christian died by suicide in 2007 in Columbus after he was tormented by the jocks when he left for college. Live music and Modern Material was Mackenzie’s gesture of giving Christine something to look forward to every week. It was her way of turning the burden of being a shoulder to cry on into a bond with a mother who felt like she failed her son. Mackenzie also knew what it felt like to be a Reason Why somebody wanted to die after finding Columbus Police in her bedroom in 1999 looking for her roommate’s suicide letter.

As social media began to evolve, both Twenty One Pilots and Makenzie Mitchell’s careers received global attention. After winning Highball Halloween’s Costume Couture contest and showing her collection at New York Fashion Week, Mackenzie decided it was time to leave her corporate career with L Brands behind and move to Los Angeles. 

In 2015 she heard a song on the radio with a voice that sounded familiar. Twenty One Pilots were finally getting the exposure she worked so hard to give the artists featured on Modern Material. Now a resident in LA, Mackenzie was reminded of the early days promoting fashion brands with the band but super stars like Madonna were still only selling expensive crappy t-shirts. She contacted James Christian, Jack’s father, and told him her story. Perhaps he could help her get a business started.

Twenty One Pilots will have a retail store on Modern Material to sell the merchandise used in their music videos, wardrobes and tours. The retail shops are currently in development with our fashion buyers. Please contact us for pre-orders and drop ship opportunities.

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