Is this the dream brief? Studio Nari designs Montero merch for Lil Nas X and Coach

The East London creative studio delivers type and creative direction on a soft, dreamy selection of Montero tour merch – and we want it all.

10 November 2022


If there was a lesson to be learnt from the most recent project from Studio Nari, it’s that you never know who’s going to come across your work – particularly if you’re collaborating with Coach. Having been working with the fashion house for the past year (“on a larger project that will be launching soon,” Nari founder Caterina Bianchini reveals), the studio had built up a huge catalogue of work for the fashion brand, including type and illustration. It was then that Lil Nas X’s creative director saw some of the studio’s sketches. “That was the beginning of the relationship, we were then asked to begin creating bespoke type for the tour merch,” Caterina tells It’s Nice That.

This commission has resulted in the sumptuous visuals spotted across Lil Nas X’s new Montero tour merch. A soft, near-psychedelic butterfly is at the heart of the work, uniting the words Coach and Montero with bleeding characters resembling wings. The butterfly, Caterina explains, was crucial in distilling the Lil Nas X style. Here standing as a symbol of freedom, transformation, hope and beauty, the symbol “felt very fitting”, Caterina continues. “We wanted the type to feel fluid, bold (the inclusion of keylines helped with this) and accessible (the soft nature and bleed on the characters linked to this).”


Studio Nari: Lil Nas X / Coach, Montero (Copyright © Studio Nari, 2022)

Meanwhile, the colour palette serves to represent the Coach perspective. “It links to a lot of the new season collections, however we also wanted to ensure it felt empowering and uplifting,” the founder adds. Avoiding anything overly saturated, Nari instead opts for a “dreamy” and “approachable” effect overall.

And what about the collaboration itself? Caterina describes the process as “very loose”; “they wanted us to be very free with it”. This, was also Caterina’s favourite part of the work – being able to be “free and expressive”. She adds: “The work we produced wasn’t overly managed which I think was a very beautiful process as it linked to the nature of Lil Nas X and his beliefs, so it felt like very authentic work.” Ultimately, Nari wanted to create something that felt true to the artist’s work: “Lil Nas X is known for having a very innovative approach to music and a pioneer in gay culture as well as becoming an icon for his expression. We wanted to create something that represented that spirit.”

The final range of merch is currently only available in the US, though Caterina leaves us with a hopeful addendum: it is coming to the UK soon.

GalleryStudio Nari: Lil Nas X / Coach, Montero (Copyright © Studio Nari, 2022)

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Studio Nari: Lil Nas X / Coach, Montero (Copyright © Studio Nari, 2022)

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About the Author

Liz Gorny

Liz (she/they) joined It’s Nice That as news writer in December 2021. In January 2023, they became associate editor, predominantly working on partnership projects and contributing long-form pieces to It’s Nice That. Contact them about potential partnerships or story leads.

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