Does Elon Musk Want to Become a Merch King?
Musk and musician Grimes appeared together at the Met Gala in matching Tesla jewelry, and we’re wondering what else is in store.
Photo by Dia Dipasupil/WireImage
On Monday, we learned that Grimes (aka Claire Elise Boucher)—the otherworldly electronic musician who learned to play and sound engineer violin, drums, ukulele, keys, guitar to get just the right sound on her most recent album, Art Angels; who capped her high school career with a yearbook quote by Joseph Stalin on the gaiety of the Soviet Union; who once described herself as “possessed by George Costanza”—was dating Elon Musk, a tech billionaire who runs a car company and has used Ayn Rand as a pick-up line.
They appeared together at the Met Gala, Grimes in a silver corset, cascading black skirt, and lace-up platform boots; Musk in a mandarin collar shirt that made him look a bit like a youth minister from outer space. They also wore matching jewelry themed on Musk’s electric car company—he wore a Tesla logo pin, and Grimes wore a Tesla choker.
The pieces appear to be custom—Tesla’s web store offers t-shirts and hoodies, baseball caps, and tiny Model S cars for budding computer scientists and imagineers, but no no lapel pins or chokers. And if you search for Tesla jewelry on Etsy, the number one source for unlicensed goods that display the deep, almost filial association with a brand that characterizes Tesla’s customers, not much comes up other than a pair of cufflinks, tie clips, and a wooden pin depicting a Tesla in space. But Musk might be quietly building the foundations of a merch empire: he created a hat for The Boring Company, an infrastructure business established to bore tunnels for a high-speed hyperloop (“50,000 Hats Sold,” announces a McDonalds-esque ticker), and a...flamethrower. He recently announced on Twitter that starting he’s starting a candy company. (“I am super serious,” he clarified in a second tweet.) Overpriced industrial tools, ironic jewelry, and maybe, someday, avant garde Pop Rocks that never stop popping: Supreme, start your engines.