Daniel Kramer - Fashion

Co-Brandings and how the coronavirus crisis has positively influenced them 

Sep 18, 2020

In this blog article I would like to introduce you to some very special collections of co-branding that were created this year. Numerous fashion brands have used this time as an opportunity and found an excellent solution to make the public want to shop again after the lockdown. Co-branding’s with changing designers are currently experiencing a climax. But also old cooperation’s are being re-launched. Actually a good move, as the cooperation’s already acquired many fans and will surely have the same effect a second time.  

In addition, the health crisis that began in the first quarter of 2020 has deeply shaken the fashion industry, but also questioned its way of thinking, producing and selling.  Driven by environmental and economic concerns, consumers are also rethinking the way they consume. Second-hand fashion, home-made goods, regional products and even basics are in vogue.  

I published a separate article about sustainability in the fashion industry, which you can also find here on my blog. If you are interested in this topic you can find some great examples of labels that are very active in this sector. But now back to the actual topic.  

I would now like to introduce you to some very successful collections, which I think are great examples for co-branding. Surely there are many more of them and I will definitely continue to have an eye on this market for you.  

Levi’s® x Golf Wang - Capsule Collection  

This eye-catching collection was launched in the middle of the corona crisis on May 20 - the "501 Day“- but this didn’t stop its success. The pieces of the collection were sold out in a short period of time. Golf Wang is the fashion brand of Tyler, the creator. And before questions arise: Tyler, the creator of the brand, is not a Transformers character but a rapper, singer, producer, director and fashion designer - exactly what you could describe as a prototype of an all-round talent. 

For this year's "501 Day" - on May 20, 1873, Levi Strauss invented the iconic jeans - the American jeans company together with Golf Wang developed a small, fine capsule collection, which contains exactly two products: A pair of jeans and a denim jacket. The inspiration for the "501 '93" jeans and trucker denim jacket came from the Golf Wang-runway show in 2016, when Tyler, the creator printed colorful dots on the classic blue denim fabric of a denim jacket. 

The Levi's white jacket as well as the white jeans were printed with colorful polka dots: "Tyler, the creator is the voice of a generation - its individuality, originality, creativity and style," as Jennifer Sey, marketing director of the jeans label, explains. "Both with his music and in life he breaks down boundaries. He is the perfect partner for “501 Day” - no one could better embody Levi's authenticity and originality". 

Levis and Golf Wang collection

Prada x adidas Originals - Prada Superstar  

The Italian luxury label Prada and the sports giant adidas are already entering their second round of cooperation’s this fall. It was not long ago that the two brands announced their first cooperation. At the end of 2019, the eternal classic of adidas Originals, the Superstar, was reworked by Prada. From the upper material to the insole, high-quality leather was used, the design was clean and all white. 

The new edition of the ongoing cooperation is now offered in three new color variations: monochrome black, white with black and chrome silver with white. 

Adidas and Prada co-branding collection

The idea behind the "Prada Superstar" was to offer buyers a mix of passion for the sport and craftsmanship. To achieve this goal, the streamlined silhouette of the adidas Original Superstar Sneaker, blessed by nature with a gender-neutral design first created in 1969, was translated into full grain leather. Its origin - "Made in Italy" - was heat-stamped on the side of the shoe - along with the double logos of Prada and adidas Originals that appear together on the tongue of each pair. The basic character of the Superstar thus remains unchanged. 

The new Prada Superstar is expected to be launched in Prada boutiques and adidas flagship stores as well as online at selected wholesalers from September 8th. The price is around 440€, there was no statement if the collection will be a limitation like the first drop.  

Jil Sander x Uniqlo - +J collection  

The German high fashion designer Jil Sander and the Japanese fashion retailer Uniqlo are working together again. Eleven years after the first collaboration, there is now a revival with a new collection. It is surprising news after the two decided to end their collaboration in 2011. Jil Sander and Uniqlo launched the +J collection in October 2009. The slightly more expensive line with partly formal clothing for men and women in the minimalist style characteristic of Jil Sander was very well received at the time. Nevertheless, the fashion company and the German designer Jil Sander discontinued their collaboration after three years. 

The new collection will be launched this fall, but an exact date is not known yet. It is inspired by an enlightened sense of restraint and consists of versatile, unique pieces for men and women, Uniqlo announced. The garments, made of various high-quality materials, are intended to make luxury and quality accessible to everyone. With the reintroduction of +J in the fall, Uniqlo aims to define a global, modern uniform with a focus on minimalism and comfort. "Fashion is experiencing a resurgence online, albeit with different rules", said Jil Sander in an interview on Uniqlo's website about the current fashion world characterized by online retailers, bloggers and Instagram. 

"Nevertheless, I believe we need a more critical online discourse to distinguish between eye-catching looks and designs that actually enhance the look of real people. Clothing should be durable and should be able to be loved. It should serve the wearer and give him or her the energy and self-confidence that is so much needed in our global reality", was another powerful statement by Sander. 

Birkenstock x Stüssy 

The Streetwear label Stüssy is one of my favorites and has already implemented some very successful co-branding collection’s. And so, unimpressed by the coronavirus crisis, Stüssy, who started out as a surf brand, is still on the road to success this year, undaunted from one fashion cooperation to the next. The concept seems to work out - the designer cooperation’s literally go through the roof. The sportswear collection that was launched in July with sports giant Nike was completely sold out after just a few hours. Stüssy has released two "Nike Air Zoom Kukini" models and various garments.  

In the summer, the US lifestyle label has now taken off with the German brand Birkenstock. The result of the creative collaboration: two unique Boston clog models. Okay, in this case it's not a sneaker, but I can't deny that summer is Birkenstock time for many of you - and so the news of the legendary German shoe label about the latest cooperation came at the right time. And when star rapper Kanye West is wearing one of the unique clog models from the collection, which has only been available for four days, the US lifestyle label may have had a brilliant idea.  

Usually made from the company's own skin-friendly and durable synthetic material Birko-Flor, Birkenstock and Stüssy have come up with something very special for their joint collection. The upper material of the new models of the Boston Clog in the colors "Bone" and "Anthracite" are made of embossed suede in cord look. In addition to the typical strap with a color-matched buckle with which the shoe can be adjusted, the co-branding of both labels can be seen. Further features of the legendary Birkenstock model can be found in the form of the anatomically shaped footbed made of cork and the suede lined interior. The EVA outsole and an integrated latex foam cushion also increase wearing comfort.  

Birkenstock and Stuessy collection

While Birkenstock's sandals are very well established in the global shoe market, the Boston Clog in particular is considered as one of those models that can be easily mixed with different styles. The combination of the open heel and a closed toe area makes it a classic combination talent - even for colder days. The model fits with T-shirt and shorts as well as with a jacket and long pants, as Birkenstock fan, designer and rapper Kanye West proves on his Instagram profile. 

The "Stüssy x Birkenstock" Boston clogs are available in the colors "Bone" and "Anthracite", cost about 185€ and have been available since the end of August.  

Our Legacy x Stüssy  

But that's not all: Street style meets classic deadstock fabrics from the 1990s - this cooperation should not only be interesting for nostalgics. The new Our Legacy x Stüssy collection made of recycled materials undoubtedly attracts all eyes and should therefore be mentioned here as well. The latest SS20 collection of Our Legacy was entitled "Joyous Reunion" - which was less about sex and gender, but rather about crossing borders and the separation between tradition and progress. Thus, the Swedish label once again managed to land a coup. The streetwear label Stüssy also presented a remarkable spring/summer collection this year despite the difficult conditions. So, there is no doubt that the new designer cooperation directly promises the next success. The Our Legacy x Stüssy collection evokes the association of a jazz musician spending his day off at the beach. Since its inception in 2005, Our Legacy has been captivating with its subtle details and minimalist forms. The contemporary Swedish label creates "classic garments from your grandfather's wardrobe" and uses only ethically responsible fabrics.  

The joint collection is split up, especially since half of the collection was produced separately by each of the two brands. In terms of their style, the two pieces are very different. For the collection, Our Legacy used Stüssy Deadstock fabrics from the 1990s to create airy shirts and suits - checkered, striped and with a colorful pattern. In return, Stüssy did the same with Deadstock materials from the Swedish label, creating casual beach essentials such as the four different models of water shorts or plaid bucket hats. In contrast to the classic part of the collection, Stüssy has turned to street style in line with the brand: casual hoodies, long sleeves and shirts with a striking logo print - all in black, white and cream.  The drop of the current Our Legacy x Stüssy collaboration took place in three different cities in late August. Stockholm was the first one, followed by London and Los Angeles. Apart from that, the pieces could be ordered online via the websites of both labels. Fans of the collection had to be fast here, to get one of the desired items.  

Not only fashion brands are signing co-branding cooperation’s. Today, it’s very common that musicians from different genres create music together or even fashion designers become car designers. With the “Project Geländewagen”, a multi-talent, designer, DJ, and much more: Virgil Abloh partnered with Mercedes-Benz to give the famous G-Class a new touch.  

All-in-all I am huge fan of co-branding collections. It gives the designs a new flavor and combines “the best of two worlds”. My honest opinion: Brands, keep them coming! 

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