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    2023’s top viral collabs

    From Fendi x Heytea garnering millions of organic posts on Weibo, to Chanel’s Formula 1 tee breaking TikTok — these are the most viral collabs of 2023.
    Jing Daily
      Published   in Fashion

    On the fashion side of the internet, 2023 will be known as the year Pharrell Williams became creative director of Louis Vuitton Men’s, Mschf’s Astroy Boy big red boots made an entrance, and Kylie Jenner accessorized with a taxidermy lion’s head to a Schiaparelli couture show.

    Along with other meme-able moments like Balenciaga’s towel skirt or Yume Yume x Avavav's "Finger Flop" sandals, the internet’s been crazy for brand collaborations this year. Some great, some not so well received, here are our top 10 most viral co-branded releases of 2023.

    1. Tiffany x Nike

    The “Nike x Tiffany & Co. Air Force 1 1837” split opinions in 2023. Photo: Tiffany x Nike
    The “Nike x Tiffany & Co. Air Force 1 1837” split opinions in 2023. Photo: Tiffany x Nike

    In Q1 of 2023, Tiffany x Nike collaboration stormed social media, with the #NikeXTiffany hashtag amassing 6.25 million reads on Weibo, and 34.7 million views on TikTok.

    This fusion of Tiffany's elegance and Nike's athleticism undeniably transcended traditional boundaries, creating a shock-factor that was lacking in both industries. The collection featured a Nike Air Force 1 Low sneaker blending Nike's technology with Tiffany's iconic blue hue, which drove a widespread variety of feedback.

    From hats to backpacks, the extensive collection was the topic of conversation almost all year for being considered “lazy” yet completely unexpected. Though the design was not completely a hit, but also savvy social media marketing was savvy, making this and it was definitely a cultural phenomenon that reflects where luxury and sportswear are at right now.

    2. H&M x Mugler

    Taking Mugler's signature bodycon glamor to H&M price points, this was the loudest high-low crossover of 2023. Photo: H&M
    Taking Mugler's signature bodycon glamor to H&M price points, this was the loudest high-low crossover of 2023. Photo: H&M

    The H&M x Mugler collaboration was another trending hit of 2023 back in March, particularly on TikTok where the hashtag #HMMugler boasts an impressive 45.9 million views.

    Not only gaining high online traction, the collection also showcased a high street renaissance, drawing hundreds of eager shoppers to queue outside stores around the world, like, notably, the H&M flagship London store on Regent Street. The fervor surrounding the collaboration is evident as some determined shoppers even camped overnight.

    Among the most coveted items, the Mugler H&M Corset-Waist Hooded Jacket is currently fetching a 65% price premium on StockX, while the Mugler H&M Mesh-Paneled Bodysuit is listed at an impressive 166% premium — figures that reflect how demand certainly exceeded the supply of this high-low crossover.

    3. Corteiz x Nike

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    A lesson in how to market to Gen Zers, the Corteiz x Nike collaboration sent shockwaves through global popular culture in March 2023, gaining immense viral traction, and even triggering chaotic riots during its tour of Paris, New York, and London to promote the sneaker silhouette.

    Founded by the British-Nigerian entrepreneur Clint419, the brand faced a lawsuit from Nike in 2021 due to the striking resemblance of its name to the iconic Nike Cortez model. Yet, despite those legal challenges, the sportswear giant could not turn down association with one of the most hyped streetwear brands of the moment, with the two coming together on an official Air Max 95 in three colorways in 2023 of "Gutta Green," "Aegon Storm," and "Pink Beam,”

    On TikTok, the collaboration garnered significant attention, amassing 28.9 million views. Each sneaker has since commanded over 100% price premiums on resale platforms like StockX, emphasizing the major demand and marketing success of Corteiz x Nike.

    4. Louis Vuitton x Yayoi Kusama

    One of Louis Vuitton x Yayoi Kusama's many global, majorly Instagrammable pop-ups, in Tokyo. Photo: Louis Vuitton
    One of Louis Vuitton x Yayoi Kusama's many global, majorly Instagrammable pop-ups, in Tokyo. Photo: Louis Vuitton

    Announced in January, Louis Vuitton x Yayoi Kusama made a blockbuster comeback for 2023, featuring an expansive collection with over 450 individual items.

    Generating immense social media buzz, particularly on TikTok, where the hashtag #louisvuittonyayoikusama amassed an impressive 11.7 million views, this collaboration had the marketing campaign of the year.

    Consumers were entertained with giant sculptures of Kusama towering over French buildings, Kusama robots tirelessly creating paint daubs inside Louis Vuitton windows, and slick videos seamlessly integrating Kusama into the Tokyo skyline.

    It has been a collaboration that has extended beyond fashion, incorporating NFTs, branded cafes in retail spaces, and the release of a book. However, not all reactions have been positive, as some Instagram commenters, including those on Harrod's post, expressed weariness over a perceived lack of creativity and complained about the repetitive nature of the designs. Despite the mixed reception, the Louis Vuitton x Yayoi Kusama collaboration undeniably left a significant imprint on the intersection of high fashion, art, and social media.

    5. Jacquemus x Nike JF1 sneaker

    The Jacquemus x Nike J Force 1 is a continuation of Jacquemus' patnership with the sportswear giant. Photo: Jacquemus
    The Jacquemus x Nike J Force 1 is a continuation of Jacquemus' patnership with the sportswear giant. Photo: Jacquemus

    Returning for summer 2023, Jacquemus x Nike created a buzz on TikTok, with their Nike Jacquemus JF1 and Jacquemus x Nike JF1 videos amassing 19.3 million and 29.5 million views, respectively, on TikTok. Following the success of their previous Air Humara release, the duo returned, infusing a playful French flair into the classic Air Force 1 silhouette.

    Designed by Simon Porte Jacquemus, the Jacquemus x Nike JFI launched on June 13th through Nike, with a price tag of $170. This collaboration continues to blend high fashion and sportswear, with a beautiful campaign that was met with high praise from consumers. If it was to be judged upon price premiums, it was not as much of a hit, but there was conversation undeniably driven throughout the year surrounding this.

    6. Chanel x Formula 1

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    Nothing short of a viral sensation, the Chanel x Formula 1 t-shirt garnered a staggering 52.4 billion views in the videos that it featured in on TikTok.

    Despite a hefty price tag of $4,450 (31,700 RMB), the internet was captivated around the world. The collaboration gained widespread attention during the Monaco Grand Prix on May 28, with Key Opinion Leaders (KOLs) and influencers like Madeleine White showcasing the Chanel Formula 1 tee on Instagram and TikTok.

    Though the t-shirt was definitely not accessible to the masses, its online buzz was meteoric. The success of the collaboration underscores the power of social media marketing and the value of increasing brand relevance, even if direct sales are not the primary goal. Notably, this Formula 1 tee has managed to elevate Chanel's appeal beyond its '90s nostalgia, offering a valuable lesson in staying culturally relevant in the digital age.

    7. Martine Rose x Nike

    For Spring 2024, the Martine Rose x Nike Shox MR4. Photo: Martine Rose
    For Spring 2024, the Martine Rose x Nike Shox MR4. Photo: Martine Rose

    The Martine Rose x Nike collaboration for 2023 continued to be one of the most hyped of the year, yet again. Music artist Kendrick Lamar notably donned the Nike Shox MR4 mules from the collection at the Grammys, before they were officially released.

    Debuted during Martine Rose's Pitti Uomo 103 Guest Designer runway show in January and then released in July, the collaboration has gained immense traction on social media, particularly on TikTok, where Martine Rose x Nike has amassed 35.3 million views.

    This surge in popularity is a testament to the collection's unique design and Kendrick Lamar's high-profile endorsement, solidifying its status as a noteworthy collaboration in the realm of fashion and sportswear.

    8. Sandy Liang x baggu

    Sandy Liang x Baggu was a New York City love affair. Photo: Sandy Liang
    Sandy Liang x Baggu was a New York City love affair. Photo: Sandy Liang

    Thanks to both names being TikTok trending favorites, Sandy Liang x Baggu collaboration in 2023 quickly gained viral popularity. Championing affordability and style, it sparked a frenzy at release, leading to rapid sellouts and items appearing on resale sites at double the retail price.

    Despite slight initial backlash due to underestimated demand, the collaboration extended sales, allowing pre-orders until August 17 to address consumer frustration. Naturally, it flourished on social media platforms like Xiaohongshu and TikTok, with #sandyliang reaching 3.1 million views and #bagguxsandyliang amassing 4.8 million views on TikTok.

    Despite challenges, Sandy Liang and Baggu leveraged their fanbases for one of 2023's most talked-about collaborations. The August release, including the coveted Cloud Bag (originally retailing at $58 (416.28 RMB), sold out rapidly, with resale prices exceeding $200 (1435.44 RMB) on eBay, emphasizing the demand.

    9. Adidas x Wales Bonner

    Grace Wales Bonner's take on Adidas Sambas continues to hold cult positioning in streetwear for 2023. Photo: Adidas Originals
    Grace Wales Bonner's take on Adidas Sambas continues to hold cult positioning in streetwear for 2023. Photo: Adidas Originals

    Continuing to reign as one of the most major high-fashion sportswear crossovers for another year, #WalesBonnerAdidas takes a leap into the fashion-forward era with its Autumn/Winter 2023 collection, spurring a whopping 2.2 million views on TikTok. 

    The longstanding collaboration, spanning over three years and eight colorways, has become a mainstay for instantly selling out its unusual take on the Adidas Samba silhouette.

    In 2023, the Pony Leopard brown style was the crown jewel in this particular collection launched in November, commanding an 87 percent price premium on resale site StockX, surpassing the previous drop's best-selling metallic style.

    Wales Bonner x Adidas proves it's not just a collaboration; it's a trendsetting force, revitalizing a classic sneaker with each bold design drop.

    10. Fendi x Heytea

    Fendi x Heytea proved the power that collaboration has in internet marketing. Photo: Weibo
    Fendi x Heytea proved the power that collaboration has in internet marketing. Photo: Weibo

    Finally, in a remarkable move that captivated Chinese consumers, Fendi made a splash on Chinese social media with its unexpected collaboration with popular beverage brand Heytea in 2023.

    The partnership, unveiled in conjunction with the opening of Fendi's "Hand in Hand" exhibition in Beijing, was trending immediately on its debut on May 17. Dominating Weibo and Xiaohongshu, it demonstrated the luxury house’s playful strategy in China, and well, it worked.

    Images of customers holding limited edition cups filled with the co-branded passion fruit and mango drink flooded social media platforms. The dedicated hashtag #喜茶fendi联名# on Weibo alone has garnered an impressive 32.6 million reads, accompanied by 8,662 organic posts.

    This collaboration not only underscores the successful fusion of high fashion and beverage culture but also demonstrates the viral power of strategic partnerships in the dynamic Chinese market.

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