Fashion collaborations have been around forever. In the past decade we have seen every major Celebrity/Designer collaborate with the High Street to produce lower priced capsule collections. All of a sudden high fashion from some of our favourites designers (like Marni, Lanvin, and Karl Lagerfeld just to name a few) became affordable as well as accessible.
Back in 2004, Karl Lagerfeld for H&M caused a ‘camp outside in the cold’ kind of hype – this clearly was the beginning of a new phenomenon. H&M has been a great platform for many designers to extend their reach since too, on a global scale; Jimmy Choo, Comme des Garçons, Maison Martin Margiela, Isabella Marant and most recently Alexander Wang – have been major hits and massively popular on eBay too!
Earlier this week Victoria Beckham was quoted saying she may be bringing a version of her line to the masses; ‘I’d like to work on clothing pricing and I’d like to reach more people, and I would like to offer clothes to people who don’t want to pay designer prices,” she told New York magazine. “I would love to do something like [a H&M collaboration]. I want to reach out to that customer.”
Last week we saw the drop of another ‘Celebrity vs. High Street’ collaboration as Kendall + Kylie launched for Topshop. No doubt this 15 piece collection of California inspired separates (post Coachella) will be a huge success. The target demographic is the same as Topshop so what better brand to boast the collection.
Kate Moss was brought in by Topshop in 2007 to showcase a collection based on….well her! With Kate being a ‘style icon’ so many girls wanted to emulate her look and Topshop cashed in on this. Eyebrows were raised when it was announced Kate was joining, since when did a supermodel become a fashion Designer? Regardless, her great taste in clothes and the fact that the collections were based on her own wardrobe made this a smart move. The beauty of this was that was not a one hit wonder –type collaboration; Kate Moss was an actual department within Topshop’s London HQ with a Buying and Design team dedicated to making these styles come alive and went from strength to strength for several years. Topshop has partnered with a number of designers and brands including Mary Katrantzou, J.W. Anderson, Adidas Originals and Marques Almeida.
Clearly collaborations are no longer a trend. They’re just reality. For most fashion brands and mass retailers, collaborations take up a tiny part of the big-picture marketing strategy and it is the norm now to offer‘high-low’ collaboration. This gets a particular group of shoppers very, very excited.
This year we’ll be seeing Whistles collaborate with Frame fitness studio and the H&M X Balmain.