Shoyoroll’s gone and done something peculiar.
The gi company, known for its use of scarcity and exclusivity to generate hype and conversation around its ever changing product line, has teamed up with Terry Richardson. Richardson isn’t likely well known inside the world of jiu jitsu (he may or may not train, though has been rumored to have photographed Marcelo Garcia’s school in NY), but in the outside world, he’s a photographer known for his work with A-list celebrities, fashion icons and political figures.
The name of Terry Richardson doesn’t come up without mention of the word “creep”. The director of Mylie Cyrus’ recent “Wrecking Ball” video, has been accused of questionable and sometimes less-than-legal behavior with the models he photographs, to the extent that it’s rumored some agencies don’t send girls under 18 to work with him. Richardson himself has been quoted as saying
‘Oh, I have lots of stuff I am working out through my work…I mean, I don’t think I’m a sex addict…I do have issues, tons of them. Like, this current show could be about my midlife crisis. Or it could be something to do with the fact that since I gave up drinking and taking drugs, I have to get high on sex and being an exhibitionist. Or maybe it’s the psychological thing that I was a shy kid, and now I’m this powerful guy with his boner, dominating all these girls. In a way, that’s the very stuff I’m trying to work out in the work.’
The collaboration with Richardson on their #27 model is an odd one at best. It’s left some people in the community not only critiquing the use of flannel lining on a gi, but also the choice to connect with such a controversial figure. That, is where the biggest question lies. Richardson is a big name, and will definitely generate hype (Shoyoroll’s lifeblood), but considering BJJ’s recent (and seemingly unending) battle to deal with, and distance itself from sex criminals (not to mention the general issue of mat-creeps) there certainly had to have been better choices than Richardson for this batch (a BJJ champion?), or even justification for skipping the partnership altogether.