I love collaborations. I’m not sure why. Whether it’s Louis Vuitton, H&M or IKEA coupling up with a new designer, I am there. I’ve chased down press releases online, waited for collections to drop (calendar event created) and happily lined up both on- and offline to purchase.
I’ll admit it: The hype gets to me. I am not too proud of it. But for me, it’s more about the two worlds colliding: designers/marketing teams taking chances and doing something different. Usually, this encourages me to do something different. To think about a jacket I wouldn’t normally buy if I hadn’t been encouraged. And if I buy it, usually these risky, more expressional items end up being my favourite purchases. I guess it’s that feeling I like.
I see collaborations between brands as a genius way of keeping your brand relevant, honouring your hero product or service, whilst refreshing your ways. It is a great way of reaching new audiences, creating PR content, reinventing your brand and using another brand’s qualities to become even stronger yourself. It really emphasises the idea (which I love) about being stronger together, thinking of competition in a constructive and giving way.
In February, Louis Vuitton and Supreme teamed up to create a cool streetwear line in a luxurious manor. They, of course, redid the LV monogram classics such as the leather bags, scarves, belts and trunks, in black and the bright red signature Supreme with both logos displayed. But they also did new items such a baseball bats, caps and skateboards, which is much more in Supreme’s expertise.
It was nice to see how the two brands could use each other’s environments to compliment one another in expressions and style. It was also nice to see Louis Vuitton producing products that wouldn’t necessarily sell big or fit into their environment, but them taking on the “challenge” anyway for the sake of the concept. I am not sure how big the challenge was for the fashion house – Producing streetwear that holds non-traditional beliefs of luxury – but is indeed very exclusive and sought after in 2017. That is very in-line with the brand values of Louis Vuitton, isn’t it? One could say, a postmodern take on luxury.
Even though I will probably never be able to afford something from the LV + Supreme collection, I enjoy seeing it come to life. For me, it’s a bit like going to a contemporary museum that is doing a themed exhibition.
A curator has had the chance to combine and direct a collection of art into one piece. It is his or her conceptualisation of a theme, which in the art becomes smaller building blocks. If we as visitors can accept the elements of the theme, then we can go on the journey and explore how the different elements merge into one, superior story.
I appreciate some elements more than others, and I also appreciate how some elements compliment the theme better than others. It’s a collaboration between the elements but also the greater theme, all curated by the curator.
Louis Vuitton and Supreme curated a collection that combined their brands and their stories. I think they did well.
If your brand can team up with a peer or even a competitor, what can your two worlds bring together? Can you create something unique and can you target a new audience? I am sure. You just need to get creative and make sure that you’re not limited by thoughts, budgets and business boundaries. Maybe you don’t need to set a whole production into the world, maybe you don’t even produce, but your brands can come together and create a campaign, social media content or just a story.
I think there is loads to do and lots to explore.
I wonder why McDonalds and IKEA haven’t produced a fast-food tableware set; why Kleenex and RMIT haven’t had design students do a napkin line, and finally; why MYKI aren’t doing top-up cards with Melbourne’s design studios (open invitation – contact details below).
Images courtesy of Supreme, Louis Vuitton, Cola, HM and IKEA