A Flowery Walk Through Tyler, The Creator Partnerships


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Where This Brand Partner Blooms

Often when people think about Tyler, The Creator the first thoughts that come to mind are his music or his brash behavior - both of which have had him banned in over 30 countries. What many people don't think of is the word entrepreneur - but they should!

Tyler, The Creator's net worth is estimated at $16 million and while it's easy to assume that he's rich because he's a music artist, he's actually got several different business ventures. In this blog, Hollywood Branded examines different brand partnerships Tyler, The Creator has participated in as well as the success of his own clothing brand.

Tyler Creator Blog Post

Who Dat Boy

Tyler Okonma (aka Tyler, The Creator) has a classic underdog story. He co-founded the now defunct rap group Odd Future, in 2007 and began releasing music on social media through MySpace and Tumblr. The group was originally intended to be a magazine and became a music group after a series of recording songs that became a mixtape. Odd Future is in fact the perfect representation of the early days of social media and what it could do for music artists. The group slowly disbanded as members like Frank Ocean, Tyler, The Creator and Earl Sweatshirt grew in different directions musically.


Tyler released his first solo mixtape at the age of 18 in 2009, which was met with polarizing reviews - many finding his music offensive with homophobic and misogynistic language. He would later clarify that all those songs are written mostly from the perspective of characters he conceived and the work shouldn't be interpreted so literally. Either way, as he grew and matured, so did his work. By the time he released his fourth record, Flower Boy in 2017 he started being taken seriously for producing work that was more nuanced, experimental and even vulnerable with a song that suggests he is queer.

Now at the top of his game, Tyler, The Creator is one of the most established names in hip hop, headlining major music festivals, selling out international tours and is Grammy-award winning artist. To watch his musical career progress has been truly fascinating and he has taught us all never to underestimate his talent or work ethic.

A Supreme Influencer Partner

Differing sources will cite different partnerships as the first form of influencer marketing, though it is widely agreed influencer marketing began in the early 2000s as blogging skyrocketed in popularity. It only made sense that as a new platform emerged as the cool space to engage in, brands would want to establish a presence. Regardless of when or how you mark the beginning of the practice, it didn't really take off on a massive scale until the 2010s. In fact, Tyler, The Creator and his group Odd Future are often revered as pioneers in the influencer space. With their overnight success, they really had a takeover of the internet between their popular music and videos, tv show on Cartoon Network and controversially verbose presence in social media.

Naturally they immediately became known as tastemakers and the brand they collectively took to immediately was Supreme. This was the perfect partnership in many ways. Supreme has always been a popular brand within the skater community but it's reach and appeal was very niche to the space. If you weren't  invested in that particular scene, you probably didn't have an interest in the brand or likely even know about it. As skating was a big part of Odd Future's interests, it made sense that they would have an investment in it and the brand invested in them in turn. In TV performances, music videos, magazine spreads, and basically everywhere you turned, Odd Future was there sporting Supreme apparel. Several members including Frank Ocean and Earl Sweatshirt even have Supreme lyric inclusions.


This partnership truly took Supreme's branding to the next level. With product lines selling immediately and prices rising along with their popularity. Specifically because of Tyler, The Creator and Odd Future's repeated endorsements, Supreme went from being a centerpiece in a niche market to becoming a sought after and expensive brand on a truly mainstream level. Seeing the true power of his celebrity endorsement, it only made sense that Tyler would launch his own brand.

Golf Wang

Launched in 2011, Tyler, The Creator's brand Golf Wang started off as a loose concept that grew along with his artistry. In its initial stages, Golf Wang was a second extension to Odd Future's merchandise. In all public appearances everything Tyler wore was either Golfwang or Supreme, maintaining an interesting allegiance to Supreme even while launching his own line. In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Golfwang's co-designer, Phil Toselli is quoted as describing the collaborative process in the following, "It’s funny to watch him, because he’s not trained in any way. He just has wild ideas that he taught himself to make into reality. He’s very rapid-fire, bouncing off walls... It just works."

Golf Wang also became known as a further extension of Tyler, The Creator's infamously controversial personality. In the Summer of 2015 he launched a line of tee shirts including a rainbow Nazi symbol. The line immediately caused a stir and Tyler was happy to address the fact that pairing these two paradoxical symbols was an anti-racist, anti-homophobic commentary. Naturally the inclusion of these symbols drew reactions of discomfort, but the bigger surprise was the message behind their pairing. As Tyler had previously taken heat for homophobic language in his music, it came as surprise that he had deliberately chosen to ironically reappropriate these images in support of the acceptance of the LGBTQ community.  

While Golf Wang may appear as just a gimmick for an artist that thrives on shock value, it's important not to underestimate the value of the empire Tyler has built for himself over the years. As he said himself in the song 'WHOA', “like I ain't make A quarter million off of socks, 'Cause it's the G-O-L-F-dub-A-N-G." And while this line is certainly a brag, it's not a lie. Every year Golf Wang launches new product lines and they often sell out. With a devoted fanbase, Tyler knows as well as any other entrepreneur how to take advantage of a highly engaged fanbase.

Partnerships That Make Your Earth Quake

In 2015, Tyler once tweeted "Levi's, I have so many ideas" and at that time in his career he was still known as an internet troll with an attitude. Yet as he grew and matured into the artist he is now, brands not only began to take the rapper more seriously, they started lining up to work with him. Five years later, Tyler's ambition to partner with the brand was realized. Partnering with his brand Golf Wang, Levi's released a jacket and pants suit in solid white with bright colored polka dots. Looking through his style and aesthetic throughout his career, you can see Tyler has always been drawn to brightly colored, vibrant designs and they are often even childlike.

Levi's has always been known for an edgy approach in its branding so it really wasn't a big surprise to anyone that they would eventually seek out a partnership with Tyler. Surely brands with more elegant sensibilities wouldn't be quite as eager to launch a line in collaboration with the rapper known for hits like "Yonkers," right?  Wrong. In fact just a year before, the French golf apparel line, Lacoste (a brand our own agency has worked with several times before) released an entire line designed by Tyler and his team. Lacoste described the collection as “somewhere in-between the classy, laid-back tennis lifestyle and street-level subcultures” and aiming to redefine “conventional notions of elegance and casual style." You really couldn't find a better partner for this goal than Tyler because his evolving image has been blurring the lines between those extremes for years now. To quote a line from his song 'Pilot,' "I'm in first class but it feels like coach."

Tyler's also been getting his kicks with shoe brands for a very long time. For years Tyler was often seen wearing Vans most prominently along with his Supreme looks and had several branded lines released between Vans and Odd Future. Again, Vans has always lined their branding up as youthful skater shoes making Tyler an ideal partner. However that ended abruptly and was announced in the song "I Aint Got Time!" when he he raps "Conversations with Converse finalized, cause Vans f----ed up." Shortly after, a new shoe line was launched with Converse coinciding perfectly with the release of his most popular album yet, Flower Boy.

Tyler, The Creator has also partnered with food brands as well! In September of 2020 it was announced that Tyler would have his own ice cream flavor released for a limited time with the brand, Jenni's. As the chain is popular in Los Angeles with locations in Venice and Los Feliz, it was no surprise that the hip artisanal ice cream brand would want to form a partnership with Tyler. Earlier this year, he also composed a two minute track that was used in a Coca-Cola commercial. 

To think of where Tyler started as the young punk who was offensive and off-putting to being the hot star that's not only brand-friendly but even composing the latest adaptation of How The Grinch Stole Christmas. Ten years ago it would have been fair to assume that Tyler's harsh style would make him a quick fad that would fade overnight but his work has stood the test of time. He is constantly reinventing himself as an artist and defined by his limitless creativity. Ultimately you can't ask for a better brand partner than that so it makes sense that he is now one of the most sought after figures in hip hop for brand partnerships!

Want More?

Want to learn how an agency can help get your brand into the hands and artwork of a celebrity that appeals to your target audience? Check out these other posts we've written on securing celebrity endorsements and product placement...

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