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    Erewhon x Balenciaga trolls the fashion industry, plus more global collabs

    Hajime Sorayama and Stella McCartney have collaborated on a collection that will be released over two drops in December and January.
    Hajime Sorayama and Stella McCartney have collaborated on a collection that will be released over two drops in December and January. Photo: Stella McCartney
      Published   in Collaborations

    Running until tomorrow, Design Miami 2023 is an art and design fair that luxury fashion brands can only be part of with the assistance of external partners. And that’s the route Italian luxury house Fendi has taken – it worked with Bless Studio on an impressive installation and design project for the event.

    This week’s global brand collaboration column spotlights Design Miami’s tie-up, Stella McCartney’s venture into Hajime Sorayama’s sensual robotic realm, and the most-talked-about brand of the week (other than Chanel taking to the streets of Manchester), Balenciaga’s comic pairing with Erewhon Market.

    Read on for our verdict on these, and subscribe here to receive the Collabs & Drops newsletter straight to your inbox every Tuesday.

    Stella McCartney x Hajime Sorayama

    Japanese illustrator Hajime Sorayama has collaborated with Stella McCartney on a unisex colletion, with Iris Law in the campaign. Photo: Stella McCartney
    Japanese illustrator Hajime Sorayama has collaborated with Stella McCartney on a unisex colletion, with Iris Law in the campaign. Photo: Stella McCartney

    Details: Unisex clothing collection, December 6 and January 2024 via Stella McCartney

    Social context: On Stella McCartney's Instagram account, the posts about the collaboration have amassed 13,894-plus likes in total, while on Hajime Sorayama’s account, two posts relating to the project have over 19,900 likes.

    Verdict:

    • Though one of the artworld’s lesser-used IPs, Hajime Sorayama has a series of fashion-world collaborations under his belt, including with Dior and Mizuno. This is the first time he has teamed up with a British designer.
    • Seeing as Stella McCartney isn’t known for sexually-charged collections, Sorayama’s world of “sexy robots” make the two an unlikely pairing. However, the creativity and fanbase that come from incorporating Sorayama’s IP make it work for McCartney’s eponymous label.
    • As the designer is a collector of Sorayama’s work, the collaboration is partly personal, especially as Stella McCartney considers the artist a friend. Whether or not it is a well-timed pairing – it comes at the same time as a Pornhub x Sorayama collaboration was announced – will be revealed in due course.

    Erewhon x Balenciaga

    Jing Daily

    Details: Organic juice and merchandise capsule, December 4

    Social context: On TikTok, #balenciagala has 33,100 views, videos with the phrase “Balenciaga Erewhon Collection” have accumulated 1.4 million views, and "Balenciaga Kim Erewhon” has 647,700 views. Erewhon hasn’t posted to social media about the collaboration.

    Verdict:

    • Showcased with the Hollywood sign as a backdrop, the LA-based Fall 2024 Balenciaga show starring Cardi B on December 2 was an ode to American popular culture and celebrity — this Erewhon line released soon after the show is driving conversation around the collection.
    • One of the most expensive grocery stores collaborating with a brand that is forever going viral for crazy pricing feels like a tongue-in-cheek poke at rich people's culture, crafting that introspective irony that Balenciaga is well known for.
    • The prices of the hoodie, T-shirt, apron, baseball cap, and tote bag range from $425 to $1,150, and the collection includes a juice that was served to guests at the show in LA, made up of "apple, lemon, ginger, cinnamon, maple (all organic), and charcoal — which gives it its color and adds to its detoxifying benefits," said the brand.

    Bless x Fendi

    Running since 1995, Bless reinterprets Fendi signatures for Art Basel Miami. Photo: Fendi
    Running since 1995, Bless reinterprets Fendi signatures for Art Basel Miami. Photo: Fendi

    Details: Installation and multiple products for Design Miami 2023

    Social context: The three related posts on Instagram have 7,548 likes altogether so far.

    Verdict:

    • A transdisciplinary studio founded by Desiree Heiss and Ines Kaag, Bless collaborated with Fendi for Design Miami 2023, with both benefiting from the creative opportunity.
    • Creating a range of products, from clothes to furniture and everyday objects, Bless releases collections twice a year as a wildly artistic lifestyle brand that’s already recognized by the fashion industry. For example, Margiela's Fall/Winter 1997-98 collection starred Bless’ N°00 Furwigs.
    • Fendi signatures such as the Peekaboo bag and suitcase were made over by the design studio, promoting the treasured house pieces to the attendees of Design Miami in a great marketing move.
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