Even though collaboration has never been so frequent, this week proved that a level of shock factor is still possible. From the rumors of Tiffany & Co. launching a Nike Air Force 1 Low this coming spring, to images surfacing of a Supreme Tamagotchi, to the recent Adidas tie-up with nostalgic Japanese card game Yu-Gi-Oh, collaborations are still driven by a need for attention across social media.
Men’s fashion month has also been eventful. Japanese designer Junya Watanabe eponymous label’s collab extravaganza featured the likes of Palace, The North Face and New Balance. Meanwhile, Paul Smith and Mulberry combined their backgrounds of immaculate sophistication for an upcoming capsule.
Below, we delve into those, and more. To receive these brand collaboration updates straight to your inbox, be sure to subscribe to the Jing Collabs & Drops newsletter here.
Junya Watanabe x Palace Skateboards
Date: Fall 2023
Trend: Luxury Fashion x Skate Brand
Verdict: Making a strong case for collaboration, Junya Watanabe showcased The North Face, Levi’s, Carhartt, New Balance, and Palace co-branded pieces in his Fall 2023 collection. Our standout had to be the GORE-TEX and Palace winter nylon puffer jacket. Both Junya Watanabe and Palace share an audience of streetwear enthusiasts, making it a great pairing. Yet, placing brand logos in such a collab-heavy collection urges consumers to realize how familiar they are, and just how much collaboration can both accentuate and recontextualize an existing brand image.
Kidsuper x Stuart Weitzman
Date: February 22
Trend: Streetwear Brand x Luxury Footwear
Verdict: KidSuper has been a hot name of late, thanks to the founder Colm Dillane co-designing the Louis Vuitton Fall 2023 collection. As a result, more eyes are definitely on the art-heavy Brooklyn-based label. Reveling in the limelight, KidSuper invited supermodel titan Tyra Banks to host a comedy show to present the Fall 2023 collection, which featured a collaboration with luxury footwear brand Stuart Weitzman (SW). As this follows on from a line with Disney, SW is clearly steering its focus to the younger generations. The luxury group that owns SW said that it plans to focus on customer-centric strategies in an interview this month. Generating more youth-focused collaborations, such as this streetwear tie-up, is an evolution from the sophisticated SW brand identity toward a more experimentally casual era.
Paul Smith x Mulberry
Date: Fall 2023
Trend: Luxury Brand²
Verdict: Despite both brands having been in the game for over 50 years, the pairing wasn’t expected. Both brands are performing well right now: Paul Smith reported a 38 percent year-on-year increase in sales to $66.7 million for the year ended June 30, 2022. Mulberry, on the other hand, saw revenue jump 32 percent in 2022 for the group as a whole. Collaboration has become a core way for storied brands to maintain relevance, bringing creative innovation to both their design and brand image. As the two names share an ethos dedicated to craft and inherently clean-cut aesthetics, there are inherent overlaps in their consumer bases.