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True Religion Leans on Nostalgia with 2 Chainz Collection

Few existing denim brands are as synonymous with Y2K denim fashion as True Religion.

Known for its Super T and Big T stitched denim, back flap pockets and horseshoe pocket designs, these hallmarks propelled the brand to fame during an era when rises were low and style statements were bold. A celebrity fanbase spanning Jessica Simpson to 50 Cent helped elevate its status as well, as did its latest collaborator, 2 Chainz.

In 2011, the rapper released his seventh mixtape called T.R.U. REALigion. The album cover’s typography riffed on True Religion’s blue and red logo and it featured 2 Chainz dressed head-to-toe in the brand’s signature denim.

To mark the 10th anniversary of the mixtape, True Religion is releasing a limited-edition collection of T.R.U. REALigion branded denim jackets, hoodies, short-sleeve tees, long-sleeve tees, and accessories including hats and bandanas. The unisex pieces will retail for $20-$200.

As part of the collaboration, the brand is sponsoring 2 Chainz’ “The T.R.U. REALigion Ten Year Anniversary Tour,” which is billed a trip “down memory lane.” The U.S. tour will kick off in Chicago on Nov. 23.

True Religion x 2 Chainz T.R.U. REALigion capsule collection will be available on Nov. 17 on True Religion’s website, at each tour location and in select U.K. retailers, including Selfridges and the online retailer, Brother2Brother. Consumers can join the waitlist on True Religion’s website for early access to the collection online on Nov. 16.

The collaboration is True Religion’s second in nearly as many months. If the 2 Chainz tie-up is geared toward millennial consumers familiar with the mixtape, True Religion’s first collaboration served as a litmus test gauging the brand’s relevance with Gen Z.

True Religion marks the 10th anniversary of 2 Chainz's "T.R.U. REALigion" mixtape with a limited-edition collection and U.S. tour.
True Religion x 2 Chainz Courtesy

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In September, the brand dropped a line of early ’00s-inspired gear, spanning baggy denim cargo jeans and jean jackets, to hooded sweatshirts and beanies with cult streetwear label Supreme. The collection tapped into the demand for near-nostalgia fashion. “A partnership with Supreme is the ultimate testament to any brand’s cultural relevance,” said Michael Buckley, True Religion CEO.

True Religion is undergoing a rebrand after filing for bankruptcy in April 2020. During the bankruptcy, the company slashed both its store count and employee base, allowing it to reduce operating costs and lower debt. In October of that same year, it re-emerged as a profitable company with what Buckley calls a “healthy balance sheet.”

Buckley identified the brand’s current target audience as men and women ranging from ages 15 to 50 with an average household income of $65,000—an estimated 150-million-strong audience in the U.S. alone, he said. “Excellent brand recognition across generations is a testament to the iconic nature of True Religion,” the company stated.