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  • Writer's picturePamela Tucker

FASHION COLLABORATIONS - A FEW SPECIAL ONES!


Fashion brands collaborating with other fashion brands and fashion brands collaborating with retail brands are developments I enjoy following. It gives me the opportunity to ferret out why and how these collaborations came about and then when publicly available, reading up on how the launches went. These collaborations might happen for several reasons, such as:

  • Seeking new shoppers who could become long term customers. In a number of cases, shoppers might be a customer for only one of the brands involved. With the two brands now working together with the products, shoppers could become loyal to the other brand now involved with the new products.

  • Generating publicity as the coming together of these brands to create and sell these products are typically seen as "thinking outside the box."

  • Creating buzz and excitement to shop for these newly created products.

At times the products quickly sell out. This scarcity could generate hype and might build website and store store traffic during the time of collaboration. Note though anecdotal evidence suggests the increase in store traffic does not hold up after the items are sold. Additionally, there have been situations of scarcity being driven by shoppers scooping up the products and selling them for steep price increases on resale platforms. This, in turn at times generated negative publicity for the brands.


Two collaborations that quickly come to mind because of significant media attention include a fashion brand and a retail brand and two fashion brands. In 2015 Lilly Pulitzer, known for women's "Palm Beach" bold resort wear, accessories and home goods and Target collaborated on a limited edition collection of about 250 items. The popularity of this launch reportedly, though unconfirmed, crashed Target's website and sold out online and in the stores within hours.


Target, which started collaborations in 1999 with a Michael Graves Design Collection, set-up a pop-up shop in New York City for this Lilly Pulitzer collaboration. Target's other collaborations with fashion brands included Nili Lotan and Love Shack Fancy. These are two brands I would not have imagined to be seen selling in Target. Yet they do meet the rough criteria of these brands being introduced to a wider audience.


The luxury fashion brand Balenciaga and Crocs, the ubiquitous footwear company which states on its website sold 850 million shoes worldwide since inception in 2002 have collaborated several times. The second shoe collaboration, in 2021 generated lots of social media attention and opinions! The shoe style, within the brand Balenciaga x Crocs is the Madame 80mm Mule. It is a stiletto Croc, with a heel over three inches. Not only did the style get attention, but one of the colors it came in also generated conversation. The shades is a bright green, known as grass green. The shoes came in black, white, pink and green. Today, some are selling for a premium on resale platforms.


Several interesting fashion brands and fashion retail collaborations caught my eye in Summer 2023 and Fall 2023, for both keeping me on my toes to figure out what went into the idea and strategy for the collaboration as well as the products offered for sale are noted below. Three of these collaborations relate to lingerie and closely related garments.

  • SIMKHAI X WOLFORD

  • HANKY PANKY X PRABAL GURUNG

  • Fleur X Marilyn

A Fall 2023 collaboration includes the manufacturer and high-end retailer, Wolford, founded in 1950 in Austria. It operates over 200 boutiques throughout the world and also sells in stores such as Bergdorf Goodman, Bloomingdale's and Harrods. While widely known for selling hosiery in the United States, on its website, Wolford refers to itself as "the market leader in high-quality skinwear." Wolford sells lingerie clothing (tops, dresses) and leggings in beautiful designs and fabrications.


Wolford's collaboration is with the fashion brand SIMKHAI. SIMKHAI was started by Jonathan Simkhai in 2010. The collaboration is called SIMKHAI x Wolford Fall 2023 Collection. Wolford's website states:"Immerse yourself in the SIMKHAI x Wolford Fall 2023 Collection - a daring synthesis of Wolford's unrivaled craftsmanship and SIMKHAI's contemporary edge."

On the left is one of the items, a long sleeve contoured ribs top and is priced at $480. The items on both the Wolford and SIMKHAI websites look to be a nice "fit" -- a nice collaboration as I could see each company producing a somewhat similar item on its own, such as part of the top being sheer. The corroboration looks well thought out and combines the best of both brands.


Hanky Panky, established in 1977 and according to its website, created the thong in 1986 (and reports 45.6 million thongs sold globally) and Prabal Gurung, established in 2009 known for glamour and luxury clothing introduced HANKY PANKY X PRABAL GURUNG in Fall 2023.

The Hanky Panky website describes the new product line as "2 ICONIC BRANDS. 1 SINGULAR VISION." It also states:"These pieces were crafted with specially-designed hardware and embroidered details uniquely created for this collection." I can see these unique design features add a special touch and illustrate the care that went into this collaboration.


After viewing the approximate 30 items on the Hanky Panky website the conclusions are this is a terrific well thought out corroboration and the pieces are lovely! One of the items, a cut out bodysuit is shown above right. In addition to pieces in neutral colors such as black and gold there are beautiful mesh and embroidered pieces in purple and fuchsia. As a side note, years ago, through my membership with the New Museum in New York City I had the opportunity to join a group and visit with Prabal Gurung in his New York City studio. I enjoyed learning about his creative process.

Fleur du Mal, founded in 2012 is a luxury brand, designing and selling lingerie, ready-to-wear and swim. The items are sold though retailers such as Bloomingdale's and online stores such as matchesfashions and Revolve..In addition to an inviting website, Fleur du Mal operates two stores, one located in New York City and one in West Hollywood. Its website describes the company:"Its products are delicate and sophisticated, using luxury fabrics like French Leavers lace and bespoke embroideries crafted by world-class artisans. ... They can be cheeky, too, featuring whimsical prints and provocative silhouettes; the true embodiment of a “naughty flower.”


Named Fleur X Marilyn, the collaboration is with Fleur

du Mal, the Marilyn Monroe Estate and photographer Bert Stern’s Estate. It launched in June 2023 on what would have been Marilyn Monroe’s 97th birthday. According to news reports, the collection, which is for one season only, is sold through Fleur du Mal and by retailers such as Saks Fifth Avenue.


The pink dress shown above is one of the standouts in the collaboration. The shade of this dress has a cute and appropriate name. It is called: "Some like it Hot Pink." The description of this dress on the Fleur du Mal website sounds luxurious and lovely: "Features a luxe silk charmeuse body and chiffon cups with sequin embellished detailing"


When describing collaborations, one of my own fashion collaborations is shown in the top photo. When I was working in Hong Kong I had clothes designed and made by Sam's Tailor. In this outfit, I picked out the fabric for the jacket at a fabric seller and Roshan at Sam's Tailor took care of the rest of the fabric selections and design. One of a number of my beautiful fashion collaborations with Sam's Tailor!


What are some of your recent favorite fashion collaborations?





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