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
“What he has done at Vuitton is really exceptional,” said @gameofthrones’ actress Gwendoline Christie on @mrkimjones’ final show for @louisvuitton. “He has rebooted luxury in terms of making it commercial, viable and contemporary. And most importantly artistic. He has never compromised his artistic vision for the sake of commodity.” (📷: @zefashioninsider)
After seeing a demand for men’s wear from its customers, British contemporary women’s wear label @ariesarise has added a men’s wear component and will launch a unisex collection with @mrporterlive. The 20-piece collection includes jackets, denim, logo T-shirts and more with deconstructed ‘90s vibes. Set to launch on January 18, you can shop the pieces on Aries’ website and on mrporter.com. #wwdfashion
“And so spending so much time with a character who thinks like that, inevitability you try and analyze yourself and go back and think about your own demons and dark chapters that you had in your life,” says @thedanielbruhl of his role in TNT’s “The Alienist.” The show, set in the Gilded Age of New York, also stars Dakota Fanning and Luke Evans. Head to WWD.com to read about how 39-year-old Brühl prepared for the role and why he thinks the show is so relevant to today #wwdeye ( 📷: @Eriktanner)
Now that Celine Dion’s collection has topped $10 million in sales, the pop superstar, fashion icon and newly-minted industry player is eyeing growth in Asia. Read the full report by @tiffanyap, link in bio. #wwdnews #celinedion
“My personal philosophy to beauty is paying attention to oneself. I love to be outdoors, lots of fresh air, trying to take care of yourself as best you can. I always notice that comes through,” says Felicity Jones, the global face of @shiseido-owned @cledepeaubeauteus, which launches today. Head to WWD.com to read more about the actress’ love for beauty and how she prepared for her new role in “The Basis of Sex,” playing the young Ruth Bader Ginsburg. #wwdbeauty (📷: @dandoperalski)
Among the familiar faces at @off____white’s show was a surprise figure: Japanese artist @takashipom, pictured here on Wednesday morning. Other show-goers included @jerrylorenzo, who spoke about his upcoming project: a @nike collaboration for back to school, with designs inspired by his childhood on the West Coast. Sitting in the front row were Future, Don Crawley, @miguel and more. See the rest of the photos on WWD.com #wwdeye (📷: Stephane Feugere)
According to @laurentsai, former “Terrace House: Aloha State” cast member, she didn’t know she was auditioning for the Japanese version of “Real World.” “I was telling a couple of my friends and someone’s like, ‘That sounds a lot like Terrace House.’ I was like, ’No it can’t be.’” Turns out, it was. But Tsai isn’t just a reality star — she’s an illustrator who has worked with Starbucks Japan and most recently, she’s dipping her toes into the fashion world. Head to WWD.com to read about her time on the show, modeling and her art. #wwdeye (📷: @danieldorsa)
More changes are coming to New York Fashion Week: Beginning with the spring 2019 collection, @alexanderwangny will move his New York show to June from September, adopting a biannual schedule with collections shown in June and December. Additionally, the @cfda is planning for an official summer/winter fashion season taking place as soon as June and December 2018. Read more about the upcoming changes on WWD.com. #wwdnews #wwdfashion (📷: @slovekinpics)