With Paris Fashion Week having started on Monday, fashion month is hitting its final stride. This week’s Collabs and Drops issue looks back at the Milan schedule’s most viral moment (other than Asap Rocky’s Gucci braids), Diesel’s Durex mountain.
We also dive into Mugler’s fast-fashion tie-up with H&M, another collab that is rocking the internet, but not in a good way.
Another hot topic of conversation online right now is Stüssy x Nike, which is trending on Poizon, China’s version of StockX online marketplace. Notably, the range doesn’t feature crazy price premiums, despite it being a sell-out collection.
Other highlights of the week include cult streetwear brand Corteiz giving away its coveted Nike Air Max 95s at a secret London event. To win a pair, fans were tasked with hitting a soccer goal post with a football. Meanwhile, Timberland’s 50th anniversary this year will see it launch co-branded releases with Edison Chen, Christopher Raeburn, Samuel Ross, Suzanne Oude Hengel, Nina Chanel Abney, and Humberto Leon.
Read on for our verdict on H&M x Mugler and Diesel x Durex, as well as Balmain’s second Puma release, and subscribe here to receive these updates straight to your inbox.
H&M x Mugler
Date: Spring 2023
Verdict: The internet’s reaction to H&M x Mugler last week was mixed, with some consumers expressing distaste toward the luxury label selling out to a fast-fashion retailer. One Twitter user dubbed the collab a Fashion Nova moment, while another said they wouldn’t buy Mugler from H&M.
The collab looks to be rather damaging to Mugler’s brand image, though this has not happened with other H&M crossovers in the past. H&M has a long history of collaborating with designers, starting back in 2004 with Karl Lagerfeld. Perhaps, if consumers overlook how this move makes Mugler look unsustainable, they will be able to appreciate how it enables consumers to shop the luxury brand at a more accessible price.
Balmain x Puma
Date; February 18
Verdict: Following collaborations with Pokémon and Barbie in 2022, Balmain and Puma’s second installation is a reminder of the French house’s Gen-Z-focused strategy.
The issue with pairing high-end brands with lower-end names, such as an accessible sportswear brand like Puma, is that the price point tends to put off fans of the latter.
For example, the Leather Varsity jacket is $5,395 (37,470 RMB), around 500 times the price of one of Puma’s regular designs. For that reason, consumers aren’t entirely optimistic about this collaboration. However, the move does help Balmain find a place in the sports/streetwear realm that’s thriving within luxury fashion. Though the crossover is unlikely to be a huge hit, it is an investment in Balmain’s street cred.
Diesel x Durex
Date: April 2023
Verdict: One of the most viral moments of Milan Fashion Week Fall 2023 had to be the 200,000 Durex condoms piled up as an installation on Diesel’s runway.
The contraceptive brand’s first-ever luxury fashion collab, it saw Diesel put “sex positivity” at the heart of its signature collection.
Fall 2023 show attendees could pocket as many condoms as they liked once the show ended. Positioning Durex as a fashion accessory makes it a cool name among young people, who are Diesel’s core demographic under the creative direction of Belgian designer Glenn Martens.
As the world’s most renowned condom brand, Durex has cultural capital to uphold and fashion collaborations are a great vehicle to maintain that.