Beats has teamed up with A COLD WALL* (ACW*) once again to release a new colourway of their iconic headphones, this time in ‘Concrete’. Featuring a utilitarian slate-and-chalk colour palette with a grid pattern, a black stripe runs down each side of the headphone, and the ACW* logo is printed across the sides.
Samuel Ross, founder of ACW*, has enjoyed previous collaborations with brands from Dr.Martens to Supreme-Skittles, and this latest venture proves audio is next on his list of sensory experience. In these collaborations and his own designs, Ross is known for favouring neutral textures in his designs, in part due to the environment he grew up in: using browns, greys and creams that take on another life through material innovation and elevated design.
Far from the candy-coloured days of the early 2010s, when you could barely find a music video not featuring some kind of Beats product, these same influences and toned down colourways are brought into this collaboration with Beats. Mostly, these are in the form of compressed stone and industrial architecture being key points of inspiration for the design.
Speaking about this, Ross commented that “I wanted to produce a product language suitable for everyday use. Precision and specificity became unspoken rules throughout the process, from product to packaging… the sensory experience had to exist across physical touch alongside acoustic”.
In the accompanying campaign, artist Lil Durk explores his evolving relationship with his hometown of Chicago. Here, Ross prompts questions about the impact that our environments have on us, as well as music’s ability to expand our perspective beyond where we live. Watch the campaign below.