Collaborations are the bedrock of streetwear, and as the category has swelled in popularity and inched its way into every corner of retail, brands, specifically luxury ones, have spent most of 2017 attempting to capitalize on the frenzy.Louis Vuitton’s partnership with Supreme caused the most noise — so much so that the product never made its way to New York City. Shortly after that, Burberry worked with Gosha Rubchinskiy on a capsule collection he previewed alongside his spring 2018 show in St. Petersburg, Russia.In the past, the streetwear consumer would have viewed these associations as selling out, but Brendon Babenzien, the founder of Noah and former creative director at Supreme, said today's shopper fully accepts and expects it.“They are open to it now more than ever,” said Babenzien. “I think we've gone further and further into this idea that ownership of stuff that's expensive or exclusive or whatever is the best thing in the world.”Babenzien expects these types of collaborations to continue, but in the second half of the year they will have to evolve. Here, WWD outlines the ways in which these partnerships are likely to morph:More non-apparel brands working with streetwear companiesDifferent players from different industries are figuring out ways to work with streetwear brands. Ikea has turned its attention to the market and unveiled collaborations with Chris Stamp of Stampd, whose line will be available in 2018, and Virgil Abloh of Off-White, whose collection will be released in 2019.“Ikea is a brand that’s known for creating home furnishing solutions and products for families with kids,” said Henrik Most Nielsen, the Swedish retailer's creative director. “It’s important that we broaden and invite in younger generations and communicate with them.”Even a television network is trying to harness the hype. HBO tapped streetwear brands including Carrots, Dee & Ricky and Alife to produce and release items tied to its hit series “Game of Thrones.” HBO will drop a different “Rep the Realm” capsule from a new brand throughout the season. Customers are instructed to leave #RepTheRealm in the comments section on the participating brand’s Instagram account for a chance to win the product as HBO uses the energy around streetwear to heighten engagement for the series.
"We identified streetwear culture as an art form we hadn't explored, so we teamed up with seven designers that are huge fans of the show and could take its themes of power, reign, rise and fall and express them in their unique ways through fashion," said Lucinda Martinez, senior vice president, HBO marketing. "We have seen an incredibly positive response to ‘Rep the Realm’ thus far. Fans have been enthusiastically participating in giveaways for these limited edition high-quality pieces."
More event-based merchandiseTour-related merchandise produced by companies including Bravado and The Thread Shop will also continue, but in order to maintain demand, these companies might opt to keep distribution more exclusive or event-based. In the past they released Justin Bieber's Purpose Tour merchandise in stores ranging from Barneys New York to Forever 21 and Bravado recently enlisted Heron Preston to create a capsule for Dave Chappelle's residency at Radio City Music Hall. The product was only available to buy at the venue. Know Wave worked with MoMA PS1 on a line of T-shirts to celebrate Warm Up Radio’s 20th season. This merchandise was also only available to purchase at MoMA PS1.More extensive partnershipsAs brands realize how important these partnerships are, they will start to offer more creative license to the designers and artists they work with. Kanye West, who left Nike in 2013 to work with Adidas, spent a lot of time criticizing Nike for being too restrictive and not allowing him to release styles he created. Three years later, Adidas and West unveiled plans for Adidas + Kanye West, “a Yeezy-branded entity creating footwear, apparel and accessories for all genders across street and sport."Nike might have learned its lesson and asked Abloh, West’s friend and former creative director, to reinterpret 10 of its signature sneaker silhouettes. They will celebrate the launch of this collection with Nike Off Campus at 23 Wall Street in Manhattan on Sept. 6. The space will not only sell product but serve as a cultural learning environment. There will be a series of workshops with leading contemporary designers that will be open to the public.More collaborationsCollaborations are driving the market and will remain important. They allow streetwear lines to scale without oversaturating the market with the same product, and they offer more established brands a platform to reach a younger consumer. But will customers get product fatigue or become so frustrated with the limited distribution that sometimes leaves them empty-handed?Mike Camargo, a sneaker influencer, doesn’t think so and previously told WWD that the excitement around these alliances will remain.“Yes, there are more kids complaining about it and they are more vocal, but for every kid that’s willing to be like, ‘I’m done dealing with this,’ there are five other kids who just turned 16 and say, ‘Yeah, I’m willing to deal with this,'” Camargo said. “This has been going on since I was a kid and it’s not going to stop.”More from WWD:Adidas and Kanye West Step Up CollaborationNas Partners With The Thread ShopStreetwear, Sneaker Sellers Fine-Tune Product Drops
EXCLUSIVE: @tomford is opening its first-ever beauty store. The boutique, which opens November 20 in London’s Covent Gardens, was designed with the over-the-top glam Ford is known for. Read the full story on WWD.com, link in bio. #wwdbeauty #wwdnews (📷: Simon Wagner) #TomFordBeauty
New York-based DJ @harleyvnewton threw a party to celebrate the holiday collection of her dress and pajama line @hvn at the Ladurée Beverly Hills. It Girls @katebosworth, @rashidajones and more joined in on the fun, which included cocktails, croque monsieur sandwiches and a photo booth. #wwdfashion (📷: Owen Kolasinski/BFA.com)
For the holidays, @Burberry partnered with 20-year-old artist @blondeymccoy on a series of three outdoor murals in downtown Manhattan. The murals are McCoy’s interpretation of a Christmas eve party, the idea of charity and the spirit of family. His third mural, pictured here, is the most personal. The image depicts McCoy’s grandparents and father in London’s Trafalgar Square in the Seventies. “My work often features lots of sentimental objects.” #wwdeye
For spring 2018, designers applied bold colors and cartoonish motifs on everything from sneakers and belts to key chains. See all the top men’s accessories trends on WWD.com. #wwdtrends (📷: George Chinsee; Prop Styling by @rnasti; Market Editor: @luiscampuzano)
The @dior-sponsored @guggenheim international gala pre-party has a history of drawing cool-girl musical acts to serenade the crowd –– and last night was no exception. @haimtheband performed songs both new and old, and lured a star-studded audience with the likes of Rebecca Hall, Kate Mara, Mamoudou Athie and more. #wwdeye (📷: @lexieblacklock)
In a partnership between the @metopera and the @englishnationalopera, “Marnie” was born. The opera, with costumes sponsored by @mrporterlive, is an adaptation of the 1961 thriller by Winston Graham. Arianne Phillips, who created the costumes, is no rookie: She’s styled Madonna for her tours and created costumes for a myriad of films in the past. Read WWD’s interview with Phillips, where she talks about her inspiration for the opera’s costumes on WWD.com #wwdfashion
@barneysnyc took a different approach to their holiday windows this year. Instead of Christmas decor, Barneys tapped @thehaasbrothers to tell a story of positivity, gratitude and inclusivity via heartwarming silliness and humor. “It’s about kids and it’s about coming together and being family and loving each other,” said Simon Haas. #wwdfashion (📷: @joshuascottphoto)
Beauty influencer @kandeejohnson makes her foray into hair care with a collaboration with @ogx_beauty — making it the first time that OGX has teamed up for a product creation. The collab includes shampoos and conditioners in three scents. At 39 and a mom, Johnson is a different profile than the emerging social media stars, but is considered one of the pioneers of the digital beauty influencer world. Read WWD’s interview with her on wwd.com, including the strangest beauty product she’s ever tried #wwdbeauty