Fashion labels generally take every measure possible to distinguish themselves from other labels, they launch iconic campaigns, try to sign brand ambassadors with enormous influence, organize eccentric fashion shows, etc. — being unique has been a norm in the fashion industry with each fashion brand trying to assert their own identity. To this extent, brands have been successful in establishing their unique selling points — red bottoms by Loubiton, the crocodile for Lacoste, and the Burberry tartan, to name a few.
Sources: Telegraph & Brand Channel
While the aforementioned has been a dominant trend for a long time now, times are changing. We seem to be moving into an era of brand collaborations. Brand collaborations refer to the process of two brands entering a partnership to collectively work on designing and launching a clothing collection which consists of aspects of the identities of both brands. Famous collaborations include Supreme x Louis Vittion, Nike x Off-White and BAPE x Adidas, where the ‘x’ between the names of the brands symbolize ‘partnership.’ The result of these partnerships being unique spins to garments they usually make, such as the popular shark design of BAPE being printed on Adidas Shoes.
Source: Plugged News
The goal behind entering such partnerships is three-fold. The first and foremost reason for brand collaborations being that such partnership brings more business — its free marketing, especially since clothes made in collusion are dubbed as limited edition collectibles. Secondly, the most common are those between high-end labels such as Moschino and affordable brands such as H&M allows consumers to own clothes that combine the aesthetics of two brands, usually for the price of one, and mix and match styles from luxury and premium brands. Thirdly, Brands, in turn, can keep momentum, primarily through fashion off-seasons.
These are short term collaborations have gone a long way to helping revive and sustain several some failing fashion labels and popularize some of the newer indie brands. The trend of collaborations is especially essential to the growth of many new community-driven programs. With that being said, however, there are many downsides to such collaborations as well. These collaborations have the damaging effect of diluting brand identities and at times offer little more than generic logo-stamped designs at exorbitant prices.
Overall though, the good may outweigh the bad since collaborations can prove to be useful business models. Partnerships can help in blending an otherwise fatigued industry, giving big and small designers the chance to tell their stories uniquely.