The era of collaboration when fashion brands are no longer standing alone

The era of collaboration when fashion brands are no longer standing alone

What’s going on in the fashion world shows that: If a brand wants to innovate and become “cool”, go with another brand. It’s a proven effective tactic. Even brands that have a foothold in the “cool kid” Gen Z generation like Gucci or Balenciaga are already part of a parallel image that is expected to become popular in the high-fashion sector. But first, let’s take a look at where it all started and how it’s going.

The era of collaboration when fashion brands are no longer standing alone

Like in other creative fields, fashion is an industry with an “ego” as big as the Eiffel Tower of Paris. Controversies and derision about suspected plagiarism are always a hot topic and no one wants to be compared with anyone. Each brand, each designer has its own world with its own personal imprint that not everyone has. Letting two egos co-create on the same project seemed unthinkable, at least before the year 2000.

But what had to happen has come. In 2008, Louis Vuitton introduced a collection of handbags in collaboration with the avant-garde brand from Japan Comme des Garçons. It was a shocking project not only because it offered a whole new look at Louis Vuitton bags, but also because it was the first time that two major brands had such a radically different nature as to belong to two worlds. The other worlds come together. The imperfect, quirky Comme des Garçons but still lovely Harajuku brings a new beauty to the Louis Vuitton bag that people will remember forever. As revealed by Marc Jacobs, in this project, he only plays the role of exchanging emails and supporting Rei Kawakubo ‘s ideas . This shows that, even in the name of collaboration, co-creation is unthinkable right now.

When it comes to collaboration, we can’t help but mention H&M, a fast fashion brand that owns the longest list of collaborative projects with brands and designers. The first designer to collaborate with H&M was Karl Lagerfeld with a collection released in 2004 that can be considered a pioneer in the fashion industry. H&M is like a white canvas so that each project has its own color of guest designers, including Donatella Versace , Roberto Cavalli, Giambattista Valli, Viktor&Rolf, Balmain…

Doesn’t the concept of collaboration when both poets’ souls are in sync to create, doesn’t exist? In 2019, Dries Van Noten invited Christian Lacroix to design the Spring – Summer 2020 collection . On the side of eight pounds, half a pound, everyone has their own recognizable style, and then the result is so perfect that the fans can’t help but feel emotional. That’s when collaboration really takes off, when both complement and honor the other. Each designer’s personal imprint is clearly shown on the same design, blending naturally without conflict or fragmentation. Through this collaboration, we regain confidence in fashion creativity and a new level of collaborative projects.

The number of collaborative collections in recent times must be said to be as many as mushrooms after the rain. From popular brands, streetwear to high fashion. It seems that if you don’t collaborate with someone, you will become obsolete. If “collaboration” is a keyword that is gradually becoming saturated, then high fashion needs a more beautiful synonym to name its collaborations.

As the name suggests, Moncler’s Genius project invites multiple designers to collaborate each season instead of just one Creative Director. Each designer is free to create their own Moncler quilted shirt, and the result is Moncler quilted designs that are surprisingly variable. Pierpaolo Piccioli’s quilted evening gown, Craig Green’s tented suit, and Simone Rocha’s signature lolita outfits are all padded head-to-toe.

Another long-running project that is similar to Genius in essence, is to invite “chefs” to upgrade their recipes: Jean Paul Gaultier returns by inviting a designer to design a Haute Couture collection based on the Haute Couture collection. his classic fashion imprints. The opening firecracker is Chitose Abe of Sacai brand who just launched the collection at Haute Couture week in July. Gaultier has also announced the next name will be Glen Martens for next year’s collection. It can be said that the formula of Moncler and Jean Paul Gaultier is: <Brand name> + “through the eyes of” + <name of guest designer>.

Miuccia Prada and Raf Simons are a special case. If the long-time good duo Pierpaolo Piccioli and Maria Grazia Chiuri of Valentino went their separate ways, Miuccia Prada invited another designer to accompany her for a long time. In essence, it is a collaboration between two designers like Dries Van Noten and Christian Lacroix when both produce a collection. But perhaps the long-term contract with Raf Simons has made this handshake more beautiful with the name “co-creative”.

The most explosive combination this year must mention two “treasures” of the Kering family, Gucci and Balenciaga. Called “Aria”, Alessandro Michele brings a special surprise to Gucci’s 100th anniversary collection by “matching swords” with Balenciaga’s Demna Gvasalia . Monogram logos, Floral motifs, classic bags, accessories and clothes of the two brands mixed together are recognizable and also very… bold. With this project, Alessandro calls “hack” (which can be understood as two brands encroaching on each other) rather than “collaboration”.

At the end of Milan fashion week Spring – Summer 2022, Versace also suddenly revealed that it would be with Fendi to release a secret collection called “FENDACE”. Just like Gucci x Balenciaga, the signature imprints of the two brands such as monogram logos, baroque motifs, metallic dresses are blended together on the same design. But still not a collaboration, Donatella Versace calls it a “swap,” a reversal where Kim Jones designed for Versace and she designed for Fendi.

In a time when staying original is a challenge, combining brands is a brilliant idea as each can reinvent itself, creating a new form of creativity. It’s not just a combination of features or styles, it’s also an intersection of technology. Vibram design brand sneakers 5 fingers classic technology used as substrates smoothness Suicoke famous and avant-garde style of Midorikawa to produce exclusive shoe design has to fit comfortably strange.

The second benefit is none other than revenue and reputation. Most of the collaborative collections are selling well on both mainstream and black markets, and the biggest reason comes from the brand’s reputation. The miracle of Louis Vuitton x Supreme shows the level of spending of hypebeast players and the influence of each brand has brought huge sales for both sides. In addition, the collaboration also brings fame and affirms the position of younger brands in the project, such as Sacai after two collaboration contracts with Dior Men and Jean Paul Gaultier.

The bigger the sales, the more resounding the reputation is also the proof of a successful marketing campaign. If the marketing analysis is beneficial, the emerging and successful names are always the first choice. This may not be fair to young talent with a lot of potential, as miracles and success are less likely to have to compete with famous egos. Collaboration is a smart and ingenious way of fashion, but it can also easily become a trend that will recede after its climax, when all the hottest brands have collaborated with each other, operating on elements of “hype” and marketing gimmicks.

Certainly, this is just the beginning and there is still a long way to go for the model of standing brands to reach the top. From the writer’s point of view, I think that there will be no more impossible and classic handshake when two “treasures” of two giant rival corporations shake hands (which I am also very eager to know). how that happened). But nothing is impossible. Sometimes, collaborative projects will evolve into some other form that we cannot foresee.

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