Top designer collaborations have reached ‘fever pitch’ this season bringing attention to the fashion industry underdogs.
From floral Keds, to cutting-edge spring accessories, new designer collaborations have surfaced and become the hot topic of many fashion magazines and blogging sites. Blogs like Refinery29 have evoked many readers to sink in and devour these brand new trends and fashion movements.
“Whether you still line up for designer collabs or have had enough of the hype, it can be hard to resist the siren song of high-end flair at bargain-basement prices,” D.C. editor of Refinery29 Holly E. Thomas wrote.
These ‘bargain-basement priced’ fashion deals excite not only the designers and companies cooperating together to construct these pieces, but also the shoppers. According to Savoir Flair’s Grace Gordon, collaborations are what bring a thrill and excitement to the fashion industry as a work of art.
“Collaborations mean the coming together of two radically awesome sectors,” Gordon wrote. “We’re so excited that we’re talking it up now, because fashion is nothing without eager anticipation.”
Like Thomas and Gordon, many others agree that lower-end designers and fashion companies co produce with upper-end designers have created positive and beneficial economic profits for both of the designers in the midst of their collections. Keds’ recent collaboration with Kate Spade, creating new and lively sneakers, has made becoming a “fashion industry underdog” a recurring pattern and an example for how particularly unpopular—and sometimes even forgotten—companies and designers are beginning to receive greater recognition for their products and even offsetting an introduction to these products to a contrasting audience. According to Refinery29 author Samantha Yu, the buzz about this vibrant and fun spring sneaker collection is exhilarating and refreshing to the industry.
“Hearing that Keds is launching a new collaborative collection is so exciting, it’s almost like hearing that Tinseltown is a real-life shop in NYC,” Yu wrote.
These ‘Tinseltown collabs’ may be presented as a dream to those in the fashion industry, but these relatively new spring and summer collections create opportunities for companies, designers and even stylists to show off their skills and creativity. Celebrity stylist Kate Young, also known as Hollywood’s most powerful stylist by The Hollywood Reporter in 2012, decided to extend her fashion knowledge and create a line of clothing affordable for those purchasing items from lower-end designers and fashion companies. Target recently teamed up with Young to develop the line Kate Young for Target—making her style advice and vogue-like-attire available to the public and not just exclusively for celebrities. According to Young, taking her fashion apparitions off the red carpet and onto Target racks broadened her horizons as a stylist.
“[Being] a stylist, I work hand-in-hand with designers on the creation, styling and fitting of their collections,” Young told Harper’s Bazaar. “I’ve been exposed to the design process for many years. With Kate Young for Target, I’m thrilled to have the chance to create an entire collection based on my design aesthetic and vision.”
Through her experiences from working with multiple well-known celebrities, such as actresses Natalie Portman and Rachel Weisz, Young decided to take on a new image with her fashion-savvy mindset and trendy visions. Young is now beginning to receive additional attention from women other than Portman and Weisz and is helping the public to express their inner Hollywood star fashion sense and style by enhancing her skills.
“With this collection, I wanted to design standout pieces that allow women to experiment with fashion and create their own red carpet moments,” Young told Marie Claire.
According to Elle Magazine, a celebration was thrown to kick off the start to Young’s line with Target. Throughout the event, some juicy gossip was spilled from one of her ‘a-lister friends’, actress Maggie Gyllenhaal.
“I’ve just started working with [Young] as a stylist but I’ve already noticed her own personal style, which is really down to earth, smart, and sexy,” Gyllenhaal said. “[It] really comes through in the clothes that she chooses and also in the clothes she designs.”
Additionally, fashion companies, such as Urban Outfitters and Forever 21, have also become the talk on the streets in the fashion market this season, brewing up an array of opportunities to arrange collaborations not only for designers and stylists, but even performers. Recording artist Rihanna has created a new summer line with River Island for their Rihanna for River Island fans, launching on Saturday May 25, 2013. This summer collection brings renovations to the spring line and includes a load of brand new designs, which made its debut back in February at London Fashion Week.
Island at London Fashion Week, to say I was pretty darn amped would be an understatement,” Glamour’s online style editor Nikki Ogunnaike wrote. “Whether it [was] chic and edgy or all around ‘cray-cray’, I [couldn't] wait to see what she put out.” “When [Glamour’s fashion news editor] Amy [Wicks] broke the news that Rihanna would be showing her fashion collection with River
Like some stylists and other fashion companies, River Island came up with a way to promote their new collab collection to their fans and even encourage new shoppers to test out their fresh summer looks. The store posted a contest on their website called “Rihanna for River Island: Wear Spring to Win Summer”. The contest requires the public who are participating to show off how they carry out the spring collection by following @river_island on Instagram and uploading a photo of themselves wearing an article from the collection with the hashtag #rihannaforiverisland. Five lucky winners were chosen on Friday March 22, 2013 to receive an exclusive piece from the new Rihanna for River Island summer collection. What better way to influence new fans than with free giveaways of a brand new collection?
According to Grazia Daily UK, after Rihanna’s debut at London Fashion Week for her collection with River Island, she feels that by giving her line a ‘laid back’ feel, it opens more doors of opportunity to stretch her visions on new designs.
“Everyone can wear this line. It’s not costume, it’s not too sexy. It’s very easy and laid back,” Rihanna told Grazia Daily UK. “I designed every piece in the collection so I could wear it and I think my fans trust my style so they’ll have fun with it.”
From stylists and recording artists promoting their new collections and fashion lines, to lower-end companies collaborating with higher-end companies to create diversity in the fashion market, designer collaborations have become an even bigger fab this season than ever before. The spotlight is no longer only on the “Jimmy Choo’s” and the “Prada’s” of the fashion industry. With collaborations like Kate Spade and Keds, the underdog crowd is starting to rise to the riches and outset trends and new styles to pull new buyers to feed into the new ‘top dogs’ of the industry—and maybe influence other designers to take larger risks, like young London designer Georgia Hardinge who has recently stepped into the shoes of Rihanna by joining the River Island Spring/Summer 2013 Collaboration bandwagon.
“It’s amazing to me that I’ve got a range in River Island. It’s been so well done, I’m really happy with the collection and with the lovely fabrics they’ve brought to it,” Hardinge told Grazia Daily UK.
Along with new inspired designers connecting with large fashion companies like River Island, models like Lily Aldridge have created clothing lines to add a little spice to their careers and guide them into a whole new direction. Popsugar has listed Aldridge’s collaboration with Velvet by Graham & Spencer one of the top new designer collections “must-haves” this season. According to Vogue the collection takes a spin of the Victoria Secret model’s “mix of boho rock-and-roll glamour” and a “laid back luxe” to reel in a younger crowd and audience.
“It was a very natural collaboration. I’ve been working for Velvet for 10 years so when they asked me to do this it was an easy yes,” Aldridge told Vogue. “As a model you have such an amazing glimpse into fashion and what the designers are creating and how it fits. I wanted to create a line that was cool and easy to wear. You can wear every piece of my collection for day or night.”
By starting this line with Velvet, Aldridge tells Vogue that it has been an inspiration to continue in the fashion design market.
“I would love to keep designing. I love fashion and to create a line like this makes me very proud—I wasn’t sure how to start it, but I’m so happy that my first venture was with Velvet,” Aldridge said.
By looking at the ratings for collections like Lily Aldridge for Velvet by Graham & Spencer and other new spring and summer collections expected to debut this season, it can exhibit the importance designer collaborations have on the fashion industry; not just the upper-hand stars get their names in the headlines. From lower-end and “occasionally forgotten” companies, well-known recording artists and celebrity stylist, and runway models, new 2013 collaborations have taken the ‘fashion market underdog’ title to an entirely different level. So, why not update your closet with these hot, new trends—including others. Check out these new collabs hitting the streets this spring and summer before it’s too late!