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Retail Trends

Get creative with current retail trends.

You never really know what’s in-store!

While the Threadless marketplace is a rich and vibrant collection of amazing art and designs from our worldwide artist community, it’s just one of many channels through which artists can make money with their art. For years, Threadless has facilitated retail opportunities for independent artists through the Earn More program, forging fruitful connections with retailers like Hot Topic, Urban Outfitters, Spencers, Target, and many more.

This ongoing Design Challenge calls for you to create designs inspired by retail trends our third-party partners are currently exploring. Top designs from this challenge could potentially be pitched to our partners and later featured in your favorite stores and online catalogs. Keep in mind, retail trends are constantly evolving, so expect the themes of this challenge to change every three months or so. We’re currently looking for designs that capture the following themes (see below for design inspiration for each)…

  • Cats
  • Y’allternative
  • Skullcore/Metalcore
  • Throwback Graffiti


Until the next update, design submissions that follow these specific trends will be up for consideration by a wide number of retailers with whom Threadless works with. Keep in mind that you can also sell these designs in your Artist Shop right away!

How can participating in this challenge help grow your brand? While you may sell dozens of shirts from your own Artist Shop or in the Threadless marketplace, retailers often order considerably more units per design—sometimes hundreds of a particular design! That, of course, translates to more earnings for you. Nothing is guaranteed due to the nature of retail trends, but the potential here is huge for artists.

Important Note: While the Threadless marketplace operates on a very quick turnaround when it comes to featuring designs and paying out artists for their sold designs, the retail journey is significantly different. It takes time for partners to determine which designs to manufacture, and then to distribute and sell those designs in stores across the United States. Though it’s a longer process, the payoff from retail success is well worth the wait. It’s a marathon, not a sprint!

Design Inspiration:

Featured artists:
BLOOD CAP by manuvila
HEARTLESS by Gamma-Ray
MEOWDY by poorlycatdraw
THE HELL I WON'T! by WGshop
BAND SHIRTS by alfbocreative
POP SKULLTURE: SATANIC (NOIR) by robsheridan
DISOBEY by Popcornpunk
TECHNICAT GLITCH by kooky love

Challenge Details

  • Earn up to $20 per unit on products of your design sold on Threadless.com, your Artist Shop, and other retail opportunities! Read more...

  • $250 Threadless gift code

  • If you're opted into Earn More and your design is sold at our third party retail partners, you'll earn an additional royalty on each unit sold Read More...

Submit a design

Submission kit

An Artist Shop is required to submit. If you do not have one, one will be created for you automatically when you click the "Submit A Design" button.

Score Designs From This Challenge

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Love it
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More Designs From This Challenge