The last couple of years have seen a glut of t-shirts that carry (unlicensed) movie references. At first it was exciting - the Last Exit designs were pretty great - but eventually it became overwhelming and, more often than not, catered to the lowest common denominator. All of the references became pretty obvious and boring. We needed a savior.
It turns out that saviour is Steven Soderbergh. Is there anything he can't do? He's launched a web store that is full of cool stuff (he's making his own headphones in conjunction with the folks who built the RED Camera, for instance), but it's the t-shirts he's selling that really get me excited. They're shirts with very subtle, very classy references to great movies like Network, Citizen Kane, The French Connection and Psycho. But don't expect to see a Bates Motel shirt - you'll find a Sam Loomis Hardware shirt. Don't expect anything as gauche as a UBS network logo - you'll get Sybil the Soothsayer. And I hope you know your drug car license plates, because that's what you're getting for The French Connection.
The shirts are pricy, but they're aimed at grown ups, not people who want a Calvin & Hobbes/The Big Lebowski mash-up. And you're just the sort of grown up willing to pay a premium price for your well-made movie shirts, right? You better be, because that's what we tell our advertisers.