Co-branded athleisure releases are so common that quantity has overridden quality, with brands churning out more than consumers even have the capacity to acknowledge.
But when collaborations are good, their ability to bring together fan bases and accentuate existing brand identities makes for an unbeatable strategy.
One trend on the global collab scene this week is how music artists are working with streetwear labels on collections, leveraging their creativity and fandom. Rappers Loyle Carner and Lil Yachty have released collections with British clothing brand Always Do What You Should Do and Nike, respectively. Plus, we’ve seen Jorja Smith x Clarks Originals, Soldier x Timberland, and KidSuper designing Rolling Stones’ latest merchandise — more on that below.
Also spotlighted in our streetwear special this week is Dr Martens’ link-up with Tremaine Emory’s Denim Tears, and Undercover’s first ever collaboration with The North Face.
Soukuu outdoor capsule collection, October 24
Promoted in a joint post by The North Face City and Undercover on Instagram, the collection has received 6,113 likes as of the time of writing. The North Face's official post on Instagram, where it has 5 million followers, has 3,851 likes.
- It’s becoming rarer to find brands that haven’t released collections with The North Face than those who have, yet this is Undercover’s first with the outerwear brand.
- By requiring customers to enter a raffle to enter stores, the brands fuel the hype and exclusivity around the collection.
- Since 1993, Jun Takashi's Japanese brand has combined punk influences and street culture to become a cult brand, bringing a fresh look to The North Face.
Knitwear and 500 units of two Union Black boots and two Union Black loafers, October 17
Denim Tears' Instagram post has 4,200+ likes, and Dr Martens' has 10,300.
- A collection that celebrates the history of the Afro-Caribbean diaspora, Dr Martens x Denim Tears proves how collaboration can accentuate brand identities and cultures.
- Dr Martens’ silhouettes are so globally recognizable that they have become a frequent blank slate for external creatives and brands.
- Despite the good intentions of this collaborative line, consumer feedback is split. Judging by social media, Dr Martens fans love it, but Denim Tears fans aren’t as certain.
Band merchandise capsule and music, October 20 in stores and October 23 online
KidSuper has 4,418 likes on the post about this collaboration. On TikTok, #kidsuper has 26 million views and and #rollingstones has 684.2 million.
- KidSuper has redesigned the cover of the Rolling Stones’ 24th studio album, Hackney Diamonds, and created ready-to-wear merchandise, leveraging the mainstream appeal of one of the most famous rock bands in history.
- The Rolling Stones is able to tap into younger, streetwear and luxury fashion-oriented consumer bases due to KidSuper’s existing fan reach, effectively promoting the new album.
- Feedback online seems wholly positive, with KidSuper’s design aesthetic matching the band’s vibrant vibe well.