Collaborations between high fashion labels and high street brands are becoming more and more common with more designers jumping on the bandwagon to cater to a larger target audience. For the most part, this exercise in providing high fashion designs at affordable high street prices allows the masses (those who love fashion but can't afford to shell out top dollar for RTW pieces) to buy and own a piece of the luxury brand. But for many fashion houses, a collaboration with high street retailers also means that their labels are now known by the majority.
This is especially good for rising designers such as Joseph Altuzarra and Prabal Gurung (both of whom collaborated with American retail giant Target for a capsule collection) to get more people to know their name. In turn, this raises their profile and they can groom or try to entice future buyers to their (very high-priced) main line collections.
Topshop, for instance, have always been supportive of emerging designers and, through their Collaboration capsule collections, have introduced cutting edge designers to the young adults who shop at the high street store. These labels include Mary Katrantzou, JW Anderson and London-based label Marques Almeida, who is known for their interesting use of denim in every collection.
2015 will see two new collaborations between high fashion designers and high street retailers. These two capsule collections, like the many before them, will most likely be covetable lines of ready-to-wear pieces, which will see snaking lines outside the flagship stores on the day of their launch.
To the uninitiated, Christophe Lemaire is the celebrated designer behind some of the most successful ready-to-wear collections for the house of Hermes. Lemaire, who was the artistic director for womenswear for the French label, left Hermes late last year after a four-year tenure. Fashion site Business of Fashion reported that prior to his 2010 appointment at Hermes, Lemaire was creative director of Lacoste, a role he took up in 2001. “When Pierre-Alexis Dumas called me, I was surprised, astonished, at the same time, it seemed so obvious – the spirit of the brand – and we understood each other right away. We both had the idea of treating a piece of clothing as an object, but linked to functionality and realism,” he said shortly after his appointment.
The Frenchman left Hermes to focus on his building his own brand.
But before that, Lemaire will be launching a collaboration collection that has gotten the fashion world abuzz with excitement. Come Fall 2015, he will release a special collection with Japanese retail giant Uniqlo that is filled with cozy and chic knitwear.
The Uniqlo collaboration is a rare opportunity to get a piece of Lemaire's chic, timeless sensibility at an accessible price point — the collection tops out at about USD $200 with knits, jackets and outerwear as the most expensive categories. Lemaire's prices usually range between USD $400 and USD $700
On the tie-up with a mass market retailer, Lemaire told Vogue.com: "Lemaire is not a luxury brand. We try to do qualitative garments that will last. In this sense, that is also what Uniqlo is doing. Uniqlo challenges our conscientiousness as designers because we know we will dress many different people across the world, and therefore we have to be very attentive to proportions and style. It has to fit everybody's lifestyle and morphology without compromising the style. This is a very interesting exercise."
If there is ever one brand collaboration that's been getting alot of buzz and excitement, it is that of Balmain and H&M. Helmed by wunderkid designer Olivier Rousteing, the Parisian brand is known for its bicker chic/rocker vibes that feature heavily on its leather jackets, cropped military blazers, thigh-high boots and sexy, slinky draped dresses.
At the moment, the world has seen some designs from the new collection, which will be launched in November. The dresses were spotted on the red carpet of the recent Billboard Music Awards, and worn by models Kendall Jenner and Jourdan Dunn.
While there aren't any sneak peeks of the other designs that will be part of the collection, fans of Balmain can expect pieces that feature strong shoulders with matching pants. Of course, there will also be structured minidresses that are embellished with ornate details as well as military-cut blazers and jackets. There will probably be a few pieces that will replicate the heavy use of shiny fabrics in the main Balmain line.
Whatever the pieces may be, you better be sure to take the day off and get in line on the day of its launch. Trust us, the snaking line to get your hands on the collection will be insane. INSANE!
SHOP AT THE FIFTH COLLECTION
If you can't wait for the collections to be launched later this year, we've got something you can get now.
One of the most popular H&M-designer collaborations, the Lanvin x H&M collection feature iconic Lanvin pieces at affordable prices. This toga dress was a must-have from the collection with its gathered details at the sleeve and elasticated waistband. It also features an exposed zipper side.
Toga dress by Lanvin x H&M, SGD 80