9 Jan 2008, 10:51pm
Art & Photography Design

1 comment

Not Another T-Shirt: The Xerxes Alliance Combines Clothing and Storytelling

No disrespect to all the hustlers, but every kid with a computer is starting his own T-shirt line these days, throwing some “ancient Persian” motifs or Persian words on those horrible American Apparel shirts that run really small in the first place and then have the audacity shrink to nothing the first time you wash them. Nearly every other booth at 2007′s Mehregan was hawking t-shirts, most of them fairly boring ones, so I’m hoping this trend is on its way out.

Though I’m vehemently opposed to/annoyed by message shirts, including Iranian ones, I appreciate the appeal of wearable art. But because the arty t-shirt category is so saturated, much of it is actually more visual noise to me anyway. Thankfully for the t-shirt designers, I don’t really know anyone else that doesn’t go crazy for these things.

That said, I’m not categorically against t-shirt art, especially when it’s done well. So I am really intrigued by the new project of illustrator and graphic designer Pendar Yousefi, aka Legofish, whose Xerxes Alliance treats the clothing as part of an epic saga: each design generated is accompanied and inspired by related Persian myths, which Yousefi and his business partner are collaborating on re-writing in a short but lofty style reminiscent of American comics. I do wish the stories were a little bit longer, but I think it’s a genre thing. And what’s innovative is that the site is equal parts e-commerce and e-book-in-progress, something I don’t remember seeing anywhere else.


Yousefi is a big proponent of Persian culture: he also spearheaded the Project 300 campaign that encouraged pro-Iranian art to counterbalance the bad karma coming from the movie 300, and a Google-bomb campaign to recognize the Persian Gulf’s name.

The next installment of the Xerxes Alliance, Chapter 3, goes live in February 2008.

[Image: Shahin Edalati/Xerxes Alliance]

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[...] an epic saga: each design generated is accompanied and inspired by related Persian myths.Read more here and watch his designss here. Share [...]


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