In today’s internet-driven world, we see trends come and go faster than those short-lived knee-high converse or wedged sneakers. With my own eye for fashion and family members in the industry, I follow a variety of brands for both their classic lines and special editions. Watching these brands, you notice how they are constantly strategizing new ways to grow their customer base while keeping existing customers engaged and coming back for more.
Brands have achieved this through offering limited editions, releasing new products on a scheduled basis, conducting giveaways or loyalty programs and more. Today I want to focus on the appeal of brand collaborations, the joining together of two brand identities, which is most often signified by way of the “x” that connects them visually.
In just the past few years, we have seen collaborations range from failure to major success; collaborations so experimental that they were memorable even if they weren’t a financial success; collaborations so notably short-lived that they never make it past most peoples’ wish lists; and also the few collaborations that were mesmerizing enough to make the fashion world’s “best of” lists. As said by renowned fashion designer Yves Saint Laurent, “Fashions fade, style is eternal.”
This strategy in itself isn’t that innovative, seeing that fashion designers have been collaborating with each other for years (even those traditionally seen as competitors). The innovation comes with the design and the unorthodox or unexpected new partnerships that we’ve been seeing more recently. As of late, the public has seen a lot of something I’m dubbing the “something old, something new” trend.
Researching this trend, here are some of the most noteworthy collaborations currently being sold:
Street Fighter 2 x Naked & Famous Selvedge Denim
“We are denim nerds who are also video game nerds”, says owner and designer of Naked & Famous Denim, Brandon Svarc. “Working closely with Capcom to create these exciting jeans is literally a nostalgic dream come true for our team.” These collaborations entice customers to follow through with purchasing especially if the design appeals to denim heads with a nostalgic video game streak.
Balenciaga x Crocs
Collaborations also allow the opportunity for risky experimentations that spur conversations that bring attention to both partners. As some say, “there’s no such thing as bad publicity.” Take Balenciaga’s team up with Crocs. Sure, Crocs symbolize the antithesis of fashion but the juxtaposition here does nothing if not get people talking.
Here are a few other examples that bring together consumers, decades, nostalgia and modernization through brand collaborations and marketing:
Miley Cyrus x Converse – Platformed Glitter Converse
Jen Atkins x Chloe + Isabel – Scrunchies
Mel x Forever 21 – Jelly Shoes
Collaborations can be a key component for any brand’s strategy—it isn’t relegated to the fashion industry alone. Do you have any memorably unique or favorite brand collaborations that aren’t from the fashion world? Let us know in the comments!