Yoko Ono’s Menswear Line Is a Brilliant PR Stunt

Yoko Ono: abstract artist, obtuse celebrity, Beatles wife, woman who claims to have “so much love because the whole world hated me”. She’s not really known for subtlety, is she?

Neither is the eccentric fashion/retail brand Opening Ceremony, which recently debuted a line of menswear designed by none other than Ms. Ono herself. Is it every bit as weird as you’d imagine? Oh yeah. The two might just be a perfect pair!

The line, creatively titled “Yoko Ono’s Fashions for Men 1969-2012”, consists of a bunch of…let’s say eccentric coats, shirts, kneepads, open-toe thigh high boots (for men, mind you) and the “lightbulb bra” pictured at left. We can’t claim to be fashion experts, but we wonder: What are the handprints all about, other than Ono’s unceasing desire to grab crotches? We don’t even know what to say about the “butt hoodie“…

This is all more than a little ridiculous, and Ono’s explanation doesn’t really clear things up.

She claims to have begun designing these pieces in 1969 for her still-living husband John Lennon, because she “felt it was a pity if we could not make clothes emphasizing his very sexy bod”. She says she wants to turn the tables on an industry known for over-sexualizing women by doing the same to men. Here’s Opening Ceremony founder Humberto Leon’s description of his favorite piece:

“There’s one that’s a plexi-necklace you wear with two bells attached and it’s placed where your breasts might be,” he said. “And inscribed underneath it says, ‘Ring for your mommy.’ ”

Wow. A New York Times profile implies that this exercise in freaky self-indulgence is part of Ono’s latest “renaissance”, but she’s already had quite a few of those, hasn’t she?

We have a couple of questions about a stunt that is really a brilliant PR campaign in disguise: Will any reasonable men actually buy and wear these clothes? No. Will thousands of people make fun of the line and use it as one more reason to keep hating Ms. Ono? Of course. Most importantly, will the campaign earn a lot of media attention for Opening Ceremony? It already has.

Crafty bastards.

@PatrickCoffee patrick.coffee@adweek.com Patrick Coffee is a senior editor for Adweek.