Or perhaps that should be Snoop Lion designing king of the jungle onesies for London Zoo. Collaboration announcements in the fashion industry are as common as Kim Kardashian appearances in 2012.
Or perhaps that should be Snoop Lion designing king of the jungle onesies for London Zoo. Collaboration announcements in the fashion industry are as common as Kim Kardashian appearances in 2012. Like it or lump it though, we’re a world sucked into the concept.
Take Lanvin who shacked up with H&M last year. I guarantee most of you have heard about that, at some point you must of licked your pointy finger, flicked a magazine page and boom, protruding from between paragraph and press release image was Alber Elbaz’s face, a title something on the lines of ‘Who’s Next? H&M Collaborate with Lanvin’. If you tend to avoid editorials with a 60g/m paper thickness at the risk of contracting idiotism disease, a Facebook status or trending topic on Twitter should have, in a modern manner, kept you necessarily up to date.
If you’re the sort of person that feeds your internal fashion database by repeatedly logging on to Drapers, I have every faith that you were one of the ones queuing outside the Regent Street store come 23rd November 2010 in vain home of grabbing yourself a woman’s bow tie. If you heard about the collaboration via Grazia, I’m confident you bought a ruffle dress. If you attended either and you’re in some kind of paid work, I’d put money on the fact that you then engaged in similar acts of obsession four days later, as Valentino launched with Gap.
Yes, we are equally shocked that two years have flung by since then but this cheeky act of co-joining is nothing new. In 2005, cast your minds back, the Swedish retailer hooked up with industry icon Karl Lagerfeld and Olympic designer sensation Stella McCartney. Who remembers Madonna repeating the act in 2007?
The merging partnerships then took a bit of a break, dropping into hibernation and giving the music industry a chance to get down with the dirty; there aren’t many singles to be downloaded these days that haven’t got the two famous letters F&T embedded in the title. David Guetta now mirrors the same industry position as H&M; if you’ve not rubbed shoulders with him during your career, have you had a career at all? Minaj, Timbaland, Flo and Will.I.Am, among the other fourteen that make up the ‘A-team of collaborators’ (quote Guetta’s website), may agree. But as the singing sensationalising calms back down and Maroon 5 ft Wiz Khalifa slips into the Hit 40’s tenth place (oh wait, hasn’t Florence just made her debut number one position with her Calvin Harris remixed Spectrum?) I turn back to fashion. Who’s excited for the soon approaching Anna Dello Russo H&M collaboration?
If you’re not, I’m tempted to question your interest in fashion. Even the larger than life collaborator-haters have an inkling of interest towards this one, she’s a woman who wears crow wings across her back for god’s sake, tell me there’s not an ounce of your curiosity magnetised in her direction. (The line launches October 4th, if you’re new to this fashion lark.)
Having recently emerged ourselves into what we wish was summer, my collaboration fashion radar, if there was such a thing, has ping-pinged off the scale. Following on from Dello Russo, I hear that Martin Margiela is following on in the Editor at Large’s heavily embellished stiletto heel footsteps. Correct me if I’m wrong but tabi boots clomping behind those just feels wrong. Screw that, tabi boots clomping into any high street store, Comme aside, feels totally and utterly absurd.
And that’s when my nosey interest in fashion collaborations began to transform. Gone are the innocent days of seeing what was happening so I could blog about it, I am now being presented with such a wealth of collaboration intelligence that I can’t seem to comprehend what is happening around me. Why, really, why, has Maison linked up with H&M? I’m turning pages of my white bound ’20 Exhibition’ book from the showcase at Somerset House two years back and I honestly can’t grasp the latest industry information that has materialized.
Are we really meant to believe the claims that JW Anderson and Richard Nicoll have made as they link with Topshop, that these designs are hitting the mass market because they want nothing more than to give high street shoppers the chance to buy their creations? I just can’t believe it. If these icons were dreaming of making it as high street designers, why did they not leave the London College of Fashion and Central St.Martin’s and head straight to the retailers’ doors? At least, common sense would tell me that they would do that in order to reach their ultimate goal of becoming acclaimed designers with luxury labels under their belt. Not now, once they’ve made it.
Or is this retailer-designer love affair all about money? At least Rihanna launching a line with River Island I can begin to get my head around.