The most popular fashion collabs of all time
From Louis Vuitton x Supreme, Gucci x Balenciaga to Fendi x Versace.
Fashion history changed once again as Fendi and Versace launched the #Fendace collection last week. Designers Kim Jones and Silvia Venturini Fendi of Fendi and Donatella Versace of Versace together launched 50 designs in this collection, including 25 designs by Fendi for Versace and 25 designs by Versace for Fendi. The event attracts top models and celebrities such as Naomi Campbell, Kate Moss (with her daughter Lila), Dua Lipa, Gigi Hadid, Emily Ratajkowski, Vittoria Ceretti… The event is part of the Milan Fashion Week Spring Summer 2022 and marks the first time that two long-standing and famous Italian fashion houses have collaborated on the same collection.
This is the latest collaboration collection in a series of coordinated events in recent years of the fashion industry. Collaboration collections, or collabs, of high-end fashion brands are no longer a brand new or crazy idea. From collaborating with famous celebrities to design limited-edition collections, to ‘hacking labs’ between top fashion houses, it seems the fashion industry will not stop here.
Let’s take a look at why fashion brands are so fond of “collabs”, and take a look at the most popular collab collections!
Why and how?
There are three main reasons that top fashion brands are so in love with the idea of “getting in bed” together.
First, a collaboration collection is a creative challenge for designers. Every fashion house has its own identity. When two brands join hands to cooperate, it affects the brand’s DNA, from designs to branding, and not simply attaching each other’s logos to clothes. It’s a creative challenge that most designers would love to have a chance to prove themselves with.
Second, collaboration collections are a great way for brands to enhance the user experience, a very important element in high fashion. Collaboration collections do not only stop at a show on the runway but it is often turned into a massive PR event for the brands to promote their images. Customers and fans alike are satisfied with the thrill of new experience, and brands are assured that the collection will be mentioned a million times on Twitter, Instagram, or the press.
Finally, working together is also a way for brands to expand their customer base and bring in profits. In addition to the fact that customers are more than willing to pay for these limited edition designs, they will also be more interested in the brand in general, which leads to future purchases.
So a collaboration collection is a win-win for brands. However, this is also not an easy idea to implement, especially with a market as demanding as high fashion. Brands still face the possibility that the collection doesn’t deliver the desired effect, which can damage the brand’s image.
In addition, with increasing competition, the collab collection is no longer as thrilling as it used to be. So brands have to invest more in quality and experience. There are many issues that brands will need to solve when embarking on a collaboration project: With whom? How to coordinate? How to stand out?
The most popular collabs to date
- Louis Vuitton x Supreme: This is still considered one of fashion’s most successful collaborations when a high-end and long-standing brand like Louis Vuitton joined the streetwear brand Supreme. The collection represented Louis Vuitton’s new direction towards a younger market, as well as affirming the influence of streetwear on high fashion. The products in this collection are still sought after by hypebeasts all over the world.
- Vetements x Juicy Couture: Demma Gvaslia always has such a strong sense to make everything so relevant and profitable. The combination of a high-end streetwear brand Vetements with Juicy Couture, whose designs defined the Y2K generation, made fashion fans extremely excited. The collection also set the stage for retro trends of the 90s-2000s’ comeback to fashion.
- Moncler Genius: This is not a collection but a whole project by Moncler with many brands and designers worldwide, from Simone Rocha, Valentino to new names like Alyx, Hyke, and Dingyun Zhang. This year, Moncler Genius simultaneously launched 11 collab collections in 5 cities of Milan, New York, Tokyo, Shanghai, and Seoul. In particular, the Seoul collection in collaboration with the highly-regarded Gentle Monster eyewear brand was well received with some exciting tech-wear designs.
- Dior x Nike: On the Fall Winter 2020 runway, Dior Homme’s designer Kim Jones collaborated with Nike and launched the Air Jordan Dior sneakers (which fans later dubbed “Diordan”). Only 8000 pairs of the Air Jordan Dior sneakers are produced worldwide and its resale price can reach up to 10,000 USD.
- Gucci x Balenciaga: For a collection that celebrates Gucci’s 100th anniversary, Michele Alessandro had something special in mind. He launched the Gucci Aria collection with designs from Balenciaga. He called this a “hacking lab” between Gucci and Balenciaga, as the two brands went into each other’s archives and came up with some really interesting designs that sent social media into an instant frenzy.
- Fendi x Versace: As the latest collab collection in the world of high-fashion, Fendi x Versace certainly won’t stop here. The event was hailed by Vogue as “hallucinating” as attendees went from surprise to surprise, both in terms of design and experience. This is a great way for Fendi and Versace to elevate the brands and signal a spectacular comeback after more than a year without a physical show due to the pandemic.
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