It’s been just shy of a decade since Karl Lagerfeld lent his designs to retail clothier H&M for a limited-edition collection in 2004. This marked the first major collaboration between a high-end fashion designer and a mass retailer, and the birth of a new sort of fashion formula that has made “designer” clothing available to those who cannot afford to shop at the likes of Chanel – that is only if you are willing to line up outside of stores hours before product launches (H&M’s newest collaboration with Maison Martin Margiela launched November 15. The flagship store on Fifth Avenue in New York City began distributing colored bracelets at 7am to shoppers who had already began lining up – each color representing an allotted 15-minute shopping time slot.) And with an overwhelming demand that outweighs the supply items begin showing up at incredibly inflated prices on online auction sites like eBay once the limited selections sell out. This, it must be known, was not Mr. Lagerfeld’s intent – the system created in turn defeats the purpose of these so-called “cheap and chic” collections with a result of “snobbery created by anti-snobbery,” in Lagerfeld’s own words.
Regardless, retailers from Target to Topshop continue to partake in the collaboration game, and retailers and designers alike continue to see overwhelming success as a result, with enough consumers willing to play the game, too. Below, we’ve rounded up a few of the latest collaborations debuting in the coming months.
CFDA x Target + Neiman Marcus
It should come as no surprise that discount retailer Target is launching yet another collaborative effort after the success of the Missoni for Target collection that hit stores and online in September of last year (shutting down the site within hours, due to an overwhelming demand for the Missoni products). This year, Target has teamed up with Neiman Marcus and the CFDA for a major holiday collection celebrating the association's 50th anniversary that features items from 24 different designers including Brian Atwood, Diane von Furstenberg, Jason Wu, Marc Jacobs, Marchesa, Oscar de la Renta and Tory Burch among others. The collection will consist of over 50 items including apparel, homegoods, ornaments, wrapping paper and a designer bicycle with wire basket priced at $499.99. The merchandise will be available at Target and Neiman Marcus stores and online December 1.
Kate Spade x Keds
Keds, not new to the collaboration game either with previous notable partnerships with Madewell and Taylor Swift, is now pairing up with the designer women’s brand Kate Spade. In celebration of the company’s 20th anniversary, the collection will be composed of eight styles that evoke Spade's feminine aesthetic featuring stripes, polka dots, and a slightly pointed toe. The new shoes will hit stores February.
Rodarte x Starbucks
New to the fashion collaboration game is Starbucks, who is teaming up with fashion label Rodarte this holiday season (who is also one of the 24 CFDA labels to create products for Target this season). Designers Laura and Kate Mulleavy created limited edition coffee mugs, tote bags, gift cards and cup sleeves for the brand, featuring a pixelated green print. Samie Barr, Starbucks VP of brand management, hopes that Rodarte will put them, “on the map as a true inspirational gifting destination.” The new products started popping up at Starbucks November 13.