As the last several months in lockdown have brought trials and tribulations to many fashion brands around the world, they have also brought an unexpected spark of creativity. Perhaps the silver lining to this time is that many designers have slowed down, reassessed their brand ethos, and are now responding with creative solutions. An industry that was once nonstop on a never-ending seasonal schedule is now being forced to slow down and further foster connections by creating new products and content that its communities genuinely want. While fashion collaborations have always been a vehicle for brands to expand and marry creative processes, partnerships now feel more meaningful. Synergistic partnerships among the industry are forming as a result of brands wanting to collaborate with those that share similar core values.
Together, fashion designers are creating collections that epitomize both brands’ unique DNA, ultimately provoking emotions of nostalgia and optimism for their consumers. Through these collaborations, brands are learning from each other by building new techniques, upcycling fabrics, and merging bold color palettes to develop their brand creatively. With that, the below collaborations are built on optimism and rooted in sustainability, offering a fresh new perspective for the industry.
Charles & Keith x Cecilie Bahnsen
Inspired by new codes of femininity, Cecilie Bahnsen exclusively in collaboration with Charles & Keith, the Singaporean shoe and accessory brand, has designed a capsule collection. The collaboration features four styles: three Mary Jane designs and a distinctive mule—classic shapes reinterpreted by Cecilie, each beautifully finished with her signature couture-like touch. Together, the two brands created a new universe of storytelling. “The storytelling is what makes the collaboration so interesting,” states Bahnsen.
“This collaboration was also about creating something unique and responsible [and having] a positive message through the collection. Therefore, it came as evidence to upcycle Cecilie’s beautiful fabrics to create a new whole one, a patchwork made bespoke, and the usage of a recycled satin material for the hand-drawn quilted embroidery styles.” —Charles & Keith
STAUD x New Balance
Popular L.A.-based brand Staud and the heritage activewear brand New Balance came together to create modern, fresh pieces that infused both Staud’s West Coast DNA and New Balance’s East Coast roots. The collection includes styles that are performance-ready, yet also on trend. The entire collection—from the apparel to the footwear—was inspired by optimism and nostalgia, expressed through strategic color-blocking and a feel-good color palette. “While still being chic and playful, we designed something you could wear in and out of the workout space, as each garment has built-in support and hidden pockets for keys, earpods, and cell phones,” explains Sarah Staudinger of Staud.
ERES x Bonpoint
In celebration of the bond between mothers and daughters, Parisian swimwear and lingerie fashion house Eres and French children’s fashion brand Bonpoint collaborated on a limited-edition collection of swimwear. Both brands share a common outlook on femininity. “It’s a project buoyed by the idea of shared values, a true sense of excellence—that of allure,” explains Anne-Valérie Hash, artistic director of Bonpoint. Designed in Peau Douce, the exceptional material specific to Eres is recognized for its softness, resistance, and shaping qualities. The swimsuits come in three colors inspired by the Mediterranean and the spirit of summer holidays.
“We share a common vision of femininity, but also of mother-daughter transmission, a complicity that revolves around clothing.” —Marie-Paule Michelli, Creative Director, Eres
“The inception of the collaboration between Eres and Bonpoint began months ago. As both houses share very similar core values, the partnership was evident. Both Bonpoint and Eres pride ourselves on quality, the use of color, the importance of family, and the desire to dream and inspire!” —Anne-Valérie Hash, Artistic Director, Bonpoint
Prabal Gurung x All Americans Cultural Movement
As a part of a special volunteer partnership, renowned NY designer Prabal Gurung designed a limited-edition t-shirt and hat with All Americans, a cross-cultural campaign seeking to unify Americans in support of marginalized communities most affected by COVID-19. “Equal by Definition, that is what the symbol represents. Equality and inclusivity based on the celebration of differences within all of us. A bold celebration of hope and the audacious impossible dreamers. The real definition of America and the American spirit.” —Prabal Gurung
All net proceeds go towards COVID-19 relief in our affected communities, including medical supplies, curbing racism and violence, and economic stimulus for small and medium-sized businesses.
Rhude x CLOT
L.A.-based brand Rhude and Clot have partnered to create a collection, “Double Happiness,” reflecting the two brands’ affinity for highlighting and taking inspiration from their own multicultural roots. Clot co-founders Edison Chen and Kevin Poon always draw inspiration from their own east-meets-west upbringing, and Rhude founder Rhuigi Villaseñor from his story of migrating from the Philippines to the US, which ultimately led to a collection that celebrates their unique upbringings as one.
“This collaboration is so special to me because of my love for China. Being born in southeast Asia, it’s important for me to be able to communicate with the people I feel so close to. With the amazing support from Clot as partners, we were able to create a collaboration that represents unity between cultures and ultimately spread love.” —Rhuigi Villaseñor, founder of Rhude
La DoubleJ x Acqua di Parma
In the midst of quarantine, Italian brands La DoubleJ and Acqua di Parma collaborated on Acqua di Parma’s first-ever steps in the fashion world as La DoubleJ designed an essential kit inspired by pure Italian summers. With both sharing a strong passion for the most authentic Italian craftsmanship, this collection captures the synergies between both brands, ultimately creating products that not only have a fresh new formula and aesthetic, but which also provoke deeper emotions to the Italian lifestyle.
“More than just a partnership, it has been a mutual exchange of energies, which has led, in a very natural way, to an innovative collection. Together with La DoubleJ, we wanted to offer to our global customers the definitive summer kit for a holiday in true Italian style.” —Laura Burdese, Chair & CEO of Acqua di Parma
“Acqua di Parma and La DoubleJ’s shared enthusiasm for—and insistence on—exceptionally high quality and fastidious attention to detail unites us! We are both forever preoccupied with using the most beautiful homegrown materials, whether it be our silks from Lake Como or Acqua di Parma’s citrus fruits from Italy. There is also a real synergy concerning our passion for bold color, joyful design, and the very best that Italy has to offer. Above all else, we both want to make really great-looking and luxurious products that delight our customers.” —JJ Martin, Founder of La DoubleJ
Thousand Fell x Naked Retail Group
Rather than creating an entire new product, sustainable sneaker brand Thousand Fell partnered with New York concept store Naked Retail Group to create a new digital marketplace for sustainable brands to come together for consumers. In response to the pandemic, the innovative retail group decided to take its latest store concept digital, enabling the discovery of both popular and emerging sustainable brands. The digital pop-up will include fashion, beauty, and lifestyle brands For Days, Von Holzhausen, Just Human, Fair Harbor, Simris, Act +Acre, Nakedcashmere, Siblings, Kinfield, and Navitas Organics, and will serve as a roadmap for how consumers can shop sustainably.
“Both brands and customers are working to navigate this challenging new climate, so we’re grateful to be a part of this incredible community. We create our sneakers to be footwear for the future, so it felt right to be a part of this innovative digital retail concept designed to deliver the modern shopping experience we find our customers are seeking,” shared Thousand Fell co-founder Chloe Songer.
“We felt compelled to partner with Naked to develop a sustainably minded shopping destination that could serve as a one-stop hub for customers,” added Thousand Fell co-founder Stuart Ahlum.
All participating brands will be officially partnering with One Tree Planted and running a “10 for You, 10 for the Planet” promotion, giving customers $10 off each purchase. To further each brand’s direct impact to environmental change, an additional $10 from each purchase will also be donated to One Tree Planted to help reforestation efforts and offset carbon footprints.
The Frankie Shop x Camille Charrière
Beloved brand The Frankie Shop and UK fashion podcaster and consultant Camille Charrière have teamed up to launch an exclusive edition of The Frankie Shop’s popular Eva Muscle Tee in a sunshine-yellow color to benefit the Red Cross while also brightening up the spirits of their shared community. “Despite these unprecedented measures to #stayhome, a lot of us have taken solace and pride in putting ourselves together every day, despite having nowhere to go or anyone to see. After several weeks in isolation to protect healthcare and frontline workers, and though this has been crucial to flatten the curve, collectively, we all have felt the need to do more. By bringing back the popular muscle tee in the sunniest of hues, we are hoping to inject some happiness and much-missed vitamin D into your life,” states Frankie Shop. “One hundred percent of the proceeds of this sunny tank will go to @britishredcross and @americanredcross (a charity super close to my heart, as it was founded by Saint Camille). However, it was important to us that this partnership was more about helping others than buying a new item of clothing. You can help by joining our sunshine chain: All you need to do is post a picture featuring the color yellow using #LetTheSunChainIn. For each picture posted, we shall donate one dollar extra to the Red Cross,” Camille shared on Instagram.
Superga x Theory
This spring, Superga and Theory joined forces to reinterpret Superga’s famed 2750 sneaker. This synergistic partnership formed naturally, as both brands are leaders in their respective markets and are renowned for their emphasis on quality and fit. The Superga x Theory sneaker is a versatile, unisex style that can be paired with anything from your now everyday loungewear or dressed up with a suit. Designed with the Theory and Superga customer in mind, it is seamlessly constructed with Superga’s natural cotton canvas and a natural rubber sole and is available in black and white.
Ba&sh x Reebok
Pas de Deux, meaning created as a duo, is the name of the exclusive capsule collection between renowned activewear brand Reebok and luxury womenswear brand Ba&sh. United in a mission to generate positive, creative energy, the two brands fuse sport with style in a collection that highlights the powerful movement of dance. Developed through a desire to tear down the wall of appearances, the collaboration takes a more relaxed approach to style. “Dance is one of the most natural ways to blend the worlds of style, creativity, and sports,” says Barbara Ebersberger, VP of product apparel at Reebok. “Pas de Deux embodies the ultimate expression of movement, grace, and self-expression, showcasing our two brands collaborating to the same beat.”
“To bring together our two core universes, namely, fashion and sport, dance felt like the natural medium for this collaboration. Our unique collection will launch worldwide around the theme of Pas de Deux, the ultimate expression of movement of a duo’s collaboration,” say Barbara Boccara and Sharon Krief, founders of Ba&sh.