Dominating brand collaboration headlines for September so far: creative director Tremaine Emory has stepped down from his role at collab-leader Supreme after less than 19 months. The move followed widespread news coverage of systemic racism at the company, involving the handling of a collaboration with artist and filmmaker Arthur Jafa. One of Supreme’s Black employees reportedly said the Jafa project could not move forward due to imagery referencing slavery, and that Emory had been not consulted about the canceled tie-up.
The disregard for Emory’s seniority left the fashion designer feeling slighted and tokenized as a Black creative, reflecting deep-rooted issues in the industry.
Other news from the past week includes Kylie Jenner going viral as the unexpected face of Acne for Fall 2023, and Bape debuting its version of Mschf’s Big Red Boots, giving the art collective behind the viral silhouette a taste of its own medicine.
As seen in this week’s Collabs & Drops newsletter, here’s our verdict on recent global collaborations: Ashley Williams x Bluebella, Lancôme x The Louvre, and Vivienne Westwood x Eastpak. Subscribe here to receive these updates straight to your inbox every Tuesday.
Ashley Williams x Bluebella
Details: Lingerie and sleepwear collection, September 5
Social context: Bluebella’s two announcement posts on Instagram have 360 likes in total.
- The collaboration has sparked some online conversation in the lead up to British fashion designer Ashley Williams’ return to London Fashion Week.
- Following on from the Q4 2022 Ashish collection, British lingerie label Bluebella benefits from Williams’ creativity and reputation in the fashion industry.
- For Williams, the partnership is a great route to enter a new product category while gaining mainstream traction, particularly given her eponymous brand’s previous financial struggles.
Lancôme x The Louvre
Details: “Beauty Is A Living Art” collection, August 28
Social context: On TikTok #lancomexlouvre has 86,500 views. On Instagram, the first official post about this collaboration, posted by the Louvre and Lancôme, gained 64,000-plus likes. The post with the highest engagement on Instagram so far has 185,000 likes.
- By partnering with the Louvre, Lancôme champions its hometown of Paris and benefits from being associated with world-renowned, high-end culture.
- At the same time, the Louvre is able to create well-thought-out merchandise that celebrates French culture and maintains the museum’s relevance.
- The collection of limited-edition skincare and makeup products, inspired by nine sculptural masterpieces, accentuates both brand identities and demonstrates one way cultural institutions can gain an additional revenue stream.
Vivienne Westwood x Eastpak
Details: Seven-piece accessories collection, August 29
Social context: So far, Eastpak (176,000 followers) has 2,200-plus likes on its Instagram posts about the collaboration.
- Thanks to its trendy pearl earrings and hype on TikTok, Vivienne Westwood is a hit with Gen Z. This Eastpak collaboration taps into that demographic.
- Released during the back-to-school period, the collection sports a print that creative director Andreas Kronthaler designed for the British label’s Spring 2019 runway show.
- American lifestyle brand Eastpak has previously collaborated with the likes of Telfar, Pleasures, and A-Cold-Wall*, showing how co-branded collections can help boost a brand’s popularity among young, style-led consumers.