There are few constants in the ever-changing world of fashion but in collaborations you can trust. From Jacquemus x Nike to Mowalola x New Balance, to Marni x Uniqlo, just when you thought that fashion had reached the apex of its creative marriages, a new couple blossoms.
When Miuccia Prada announced a longstanding partnership with Raf Simons, it appeared that the fashion universe had ascended to new heights. No longer were designers expected to distance themselves from their peers, and just look at the collaborations since: Ahluwalia x Ganni. Yeezy Gap Engineered by Balenciaga. Fendace. (On the subject of Fendace, Kim Jones has always had a grasp on this like nobody else with effortless associations from Supreme to Sacai and Stussy to ERL, in addition to melding his skilful artistry to various fashion houses such as Dunhill, Louis Vuitton, Dior, and Fendi.)
Jacquemus x Nike Collaboration
"tHE mOsT InTEReSTINg cOLLaBs In ThE pAST fEw yEArS...HAvE BeeN tHE OnES tHAT CiRcUMvENT OuR ExPECtATIoNS"
While the industry increasingly resembles a superhero saga crossover, collabs in fashion have always existed. For decades, designers have developed relationships with stylists, hairstylists and makeup artists, models and muses, with whom they frequently collaborate and offer the groundbreaking visual culture that has defined the industry.
Case in point: Gucci’s latest endeavour with singer-songwriter Harry Styles, following partnerships with Balenciaga, Adidas, and The North Face, makes utter sense. With Styles already traversing the globe with charming insouciant flair bedecked in 1970s-inspired garb, the alliance is defined as an “imaginative connection between Alessandro Michele and Harry Styles and gathers within a collection many elements that characterize the creative paths and peculiarities of the two artists, bringing them together in the synthesis of Gucci.” The tangibility of the partnership builds on years’ worth of creating unforgettable imagery, masterminding the pop culture currency of both parties, and keeping brand and boyband stalwarts well-fed with the latest sartorial drip.
Gucci 'Ha Ha Ha' Collection 2022
"fAShION Is BuILt On ThE ExCHANgE oF IdEAs"
Koibird X Tombolo Collection
This summer at KOIBIRD, New York-based Tombolo recently launched its first womenswear exclusive. Described as “inactivewear for leisurely escapes,” the unisex label founded by Mike Sard and Chris Galasso primarily riffs on summer wardrobe staples with a nostalgic feel. The capsule includes an organic terrycloth cabana shirt in pink, orange, and green accented with white trim and playful lilypad and frog motifs. At the same time, the accompanying matching trousers are dotted with floral detailing.
“We had both been fans of each other’s businesses from afar. Their USP is what they call ‘escape wear’ but they had been mainly focused on menswear. We loved their playful takes on the cabana top and approached them to collaborate on an exclusive design for KOIBIRD,” said Shereen Basma, Chief Operating Officer at KOIBIRD.
She added, “resort for us is a big part of our business and we are always on the lookout for brands that are doing something different and reimagining a category of clothing that had become a little stale.”
Fendi And Versace’s Fendace Runway
Kate Moss for John Galliano SS94
The most interesting collabs in the past few years, like Tombolo’s capsule with KOIBIRD, putting a spin on the resort category, have been the ones that circumvent our expectations: Belgian design legend Ann Demeulemeester joining forces with Serax on a tableware line inspired by the play of chiaroscuro; Jacquemus putting his youthful spin on Dutch e-bike manufacturer VanMoof’s iconic S3 model; and Off-White’s take on Rimowa luggage (a collab that saw the luggage brand witness 4x the Media Impact Value when they posted about it on social media, according to Launchmetrics).
What the proliferation of collabs reveals about the industry is something we’ve always known: fashion is built on the exchange of ideas, between tastemakers and industry shapers. The recent spate merely highlights something that has long been true, and despite the temporality of trends in fashion, one can hedge a bet that beyond summer capsules and winter wardrobes, many more partnerships will bloom this decade.
pAUl'S PIcKS Of ThE MoNtH
Vongole Cabana Shirt
For their first womenswear capsule, Tombolo’s cabana shirt with pasta embroidery and clam shell accents is the perfect summer pick
The less layers during summer the better. For a hint of formality, suitable for office dressing, lean towards flowing black trousers as temperatures rise.
Cult Gaia’s platform sandals with padded snakeskin embossed leather straps make for a striking yet utterly practical footwear choice for the months ahead.
Eco Soy Fuck It Candle
Nothing epitomises the mentality of summer than this candle—do as it says and make the most of the long days and late nights.