Lifestyle

Fashion collaborations keep thing fresh, fun, and finger-lickin’ good

By Archana Heenpella

In the capricious world of fashion, collaborations are a strategic way of increasing the novelty of fashion items and their appeal to newer audiences.

While this isn’t, by any means, a ground-breaking approach, brands are now expanding their horizons when it comes to who they collaborate with.

This week, I took a look at some of the more interesting, eyebrow-raising collections that have been released in the recent past!

Moschino x My Little Pony

While one would never expect to find the pastel-shaded talking ponies of popular children’s show My Little Pony on a runway, this is exactly what Moschino did for its Spring/Summer 2018 show.

The collection featured oversized sweatshirts, tees, skirts, classic Moschino-style lingerie, and a range of bags and purses featuring the famous miniature ponies.

While knee-jerk reactions to the collaboration may be that of bemusement, Jeremy Scott nonetheless proved that garish runway fashion could prove tasteful, if executed with vision and style.

Forever 21 x Taco Bell

Fast food and one of the biggest names in affordable, everyday fashion. What could possibly go wrong?

Borrowing a leaf from its luxurious, high-fashion competitors, Forever 21 launched a collection together with fast food chain, Taco Bell, in 2017.

This was the first fashion collaboration for the multinational fast food franchise, although it certainly wasn’t the first time brands have turned to restaurant chains for inspiration.

The collection certainly looked good enough to eat, sporting bright prints of tacos and the Taco Bell logo across tracksuits, tees, bodysuits, and other apparel.

While big text across oversized clothing is now very much in vogue, Forever 21 is one brand that has always done this right.

Balenciaga x Crocs

High fashion has always placed a premium on exclusivity, keeping the mundane away from its revered runways. Balenciaga, however, has a reputation for not playing by the books.

While one would be loath to find the aesthetically-challenged Crocs on a Parisian ramp, this is exactly what Spanish luxury fashion house, Balenciaga, did at its Spring Ready-to-Wear show in 2017.

Making a bold decision, the brand made the almost universally abhorred shoes a signature feature of their collection.

The shoes released in bright hues of pink, yellow, green, and purple with an elevated platform wedge, embellished with Balenciaga’s logo and other funky pins and studs.

KFC x Nigo

Streetwear legend/icon/God, Nigo, collaborated with KFC in late 2018, proving, once more, that his eye for retro-inspired style still endures.

The original founder of streetwear brand A Bathing Ape (Bape), Nigo joined forces with KFC through his more recent venture, Human Made.

The collection featured styles and fonts drawn from KFC’s catalogue of artefacts and are a nostalgic throwback to the 50s, albeit with a modern and, dare I say, spicy, twist.

Together, the brand released a line of hoodies, shirts, caps, and a number of other items all based on the classic red and white theme the fast-food giant are renowned for.

Some pieces also featured the instantly recognisable face of Colonel Sanders. This, however, isn’t the first time KFC has collaborated with fashion retailers, having worked with designer Katy Eary, previously.

That being said, it’s the first time the internationally-acclaimed fried chicken connoisseur collaborated with a force of fashion as iconic as the Japanese artist, whose contribution to streetwear will go down in history.

Fun fact: Nigo was originally a part of the Teriyaki Boyz, who are known for their smash single (which was featured in Fast and the Furious), Tokyo Drift.

Axel Arigato x Samsung

A look at how tech influences fashion, Swedish designer Axel Arigato collaborated with smartphone giant Samsung for a collection that focused on the one fad that never goes out of style: Transparency.

Items from the collection included an oversized, unisex jacket and pants, toting minimalist Axel Arigato and Samsung branding.

Other streetwear staples included an almost fully-transparent pair of sneakers and a utility belt bag, none of which, however, came close to the stunning pièce de résistance – a stripped down Samsung Galaxy S9.

Vetements x DHL

Vetements has carved a reputation for itself within the fashion industry for being utterly non-conformist. Expecting anything less than that is only indicative of a naivety that has no place in the world of high fashion.

This is evident in many of their collaborations; their collection with DHL included. While the items may be more “employee uniform” than anything you would expect from a revered fashion brand, striking red and yellow tees – a nod to DHL’s logo and theme – are exactly what the brand produced.

With prices starting from $ 660 (a stunning Rs. 118,000), when they “dropped” a year ago, it’s clear that the tees appeal to a certain niche market, where “hypebeasts”, as they are known, shell big bucks on deceptively mundane items of clothing.