I’ve been a One Direction fan since the start of their career in 2010 and I have a confession: I’ve managed to somehow spend thousands of pounds on 1D merch.
Harry Styles recently charged £96 for a crew neck jumper on the front that simply just says ‘pleasing’ on the front – the name of his new skincare and nail varnish business.
Fans had the option to buy the jumper on pre-sale if they had previously ordered someone from the newly founded brand, but even then the website still crashed and people were struggling to buy one.
I was one of these people in the queue to get the jumper, I was just finishing my college lesson when they went on sale and immediately it was a mad rush to buy it.
There is a need to have it and to be one of those first fans wearing the jumper that has been spoken about so much on Twitter, it’s almost as if the hype is worth the money.
Personally, I must have spent thousands over the years on a range of One Direction (and their solo work) merchandise ranging from a Louis Tomlinson cardboard cut out to a Harry Styles watermelon-shaped water bottle inspired by his song Watermelon Sugar.
As the price of merchandise is so expensive, I used to ask for it along with concert tickets for my birthday or Christmas presents.
But now as I have a job, I buy it myself and because I have no bills or rent to pay, it allows me to just go and purchase the merchandise – sometimes without even thinking about it.
When it was One Direction’s 10-year anniversary, I even made a cake to celebrate (I also did this for their 11-year anniversary just to keep it going).
As I’m now 19 it’s not like I’m still seven, the age I became a fan, I think the reason I’m still this much of a fan is because I enjoy the music and the band as a whole and that’s why I still collect the merchandise – no matter the cost.
Whilst some artists have ‘cheaper’ merch, Billie Eillish’s merchandise would be considered a bit too pricey in my opinion – she charges around £120 for a hoodie and £190 for a pair of limited edition rhinestone jogging bottoms.
There are other options to buying the over-priced merchandise though, small businesses on Etsy make alternative versions of merchandise and within five minutes of a Google search you can find copies of almost every artists’ merch.
While some people prefer to buy the ‘unofficial’ merch because it is simply a cheaper option, others prefer to buy their merchandise to support the artist.
Erin Memmott, a Taylor Swift fan said: “I buy Taylor’s merch to support her career and art, especially during the pandemic as she’s released four albums.
“Particularly for Folklore and Evermore which were made entirely in isolation, she released them with no thought of profits – she just wanted to provide some escapism for her fans.
“I think it’s really cool to wear a shirt with your favourite lyrics on and know that you’re giving back to the artist who puts so much thought and care into their music.
“I also obviously love the designs and enjoy expanding my collection.”
And as many people including myself are willing to pay the expensive price of merchandise for their favourite artists, it seems like the price will keep going up.