Sunday, July 22, 2012

Upcoming designer collaborations

It's a beautiful thing when brands and designers decide to collaborate together, whether it be by designing a single item for a store, or a complete collection. It's probably the "whole is greater than the sum of its parts" synergistic idea, but I believe that when two creative, talented groups join forces, the result is going to be doubly amazing. See: Target's GO collection which paired the store with several high-end designers for capsule clothing releases, and also MAC's limited edition collections with clothing brands, artists, designers, musicians, socialites, etcetera.

Without further ado, here are some upcoming collaborations:

*Karl Lagerfeld and Shu Uemura - The Chanel designer paired with the asian beauty brand (which recently disintegrated all of its boutiques and counters in the United States, but can still be purchased online) to create a capsule collection of makeup. Harper's Bazaar offered up the recently released video which shows Lagerfelds rendering of the cheeky, cartoonish "Mon Shu girl". An interesting fact is that Lagerfeld claims to have used Shu Uemura cosmetics for the last decade when he sketched his designs, as he claimed that the makeup produces the most beautiful colors. Beauty High published a first look of the collection's packaging which shows the Mon Shu girl...with red eyes. Hmmm.

*Sephora and Disney - Beauty chain Sephora already has a few exclusive collections that it houses in-store, such as the Tarina Tarantino, Hello Kitty, Kat Von D, Tokidoki and Charlotte Ronson makeup lines. And in October, Sephora and Disney will send out a cosmetics collection centered around Cinderella, which will include fragrance, eye makeup, lip gloss and nail polish  to be followed a few months later by two other, as of yet unannounced, Princess collections. InStyle recently published a photo of a few of the items in the Cinderella line.

*Milly and Sperry - This pairing was one of those, "Why didn't we think of this sooner?" ideas. Both companies are known for producing items in classic silhouettes and simple styles with prints ranging from demure to fantastical ((For example: Sperry Exhibit A (classic style) and Sperry Exhibit B (fantastical style)). Both Sperry and Milly sell the collaborative collection on their respective websites, though Milly's site seems to offer a few more styles than does Sperry's.

(photos c/o

*MAC and Archie Comics - MAC always pairs up with established names to create limited-time only, interestingly named and uniquely packaged makeup...and the collaborations show no signs of slowing down. There are usually at least three or four in a given year, each only being on shelves for a short few weeks before a new collection rolls out. My personal favorite past MAC collabs were the Barbie Loves MAC, as shown by, and the MAC for Manish Arora, as shown by Musings of a Muse. Musings of a Muse also gives a short "about" section regarding the release of MAC and Archie Comics.

*JC Penney and Marchesa - Yeah, this seems to be a sensitive subject considering that JC Penney's recent marketing strategy and brand placement overhaul has hit a snag, what with seriously low first quarter profits and with the president Michael Francis peacing out from his position. There isn't much information available regarding this upcoming pairing, and I'll admit that the teaming up of these two brands makes me scratch my head. Target's GO collection, for instance, relies on higher-priced (but not costume or couture) brands pairing with the cheap-but-chic store, and it works out. But JC Penney -known for its overpriced, cheaply made clothes - pairing with Marchesa, the brand responsible for outfitting celebrities in the dreamiest gowns cut from the loveliest fabrics on the red carpet...seems like a stretch. I can't picture what a product of this collaboration will look like, but I'm definitely interested to sneak a peek if and when it hits stores.

*J Brand and Christopher Kane - Considering that this will be the third time that the nature-motif loving runway designer and the upscale denim brand have paired up to design a collection, it's safe to say that the duo works well together. She Finds released images of a few items that will be available for purchase from the latest collection, with most pieces erring on the neon side of the color spectrum.

*H&M and Maison Martin Margiela - H&M is the inexpensive, freestanding, clothing-only boutique answer to Target. So it makes sense that the chain is partnering with high-end designer labels on some of its collections. The pieces created by the  Maison Martin Margiela label skew toward the dark and deconstructed, with gratuitous doses of minimalism (oxymoron?) added in for flavor. And though no photos or promotional images have been released as of yet, delved into the details of the partnership here. I do hope that this collection is more subdued - and thus, wearable - than the H&M and Versace collaboration, as that collection looked like an explosion of tropical plant prints that would be better suited on "not-worn-in-an-ironic-way" Hawaiian shirts sported by senior citizen tourists. But hey, that's just my two cents.

*Nordstrom and Miss Wu AND Topshop - Nordstrom isn't pulling any punches in its pursuit of bringing not only new brands, but also well-known, established brands to its legions of customers. Nordstrom will play host to an in-store Topshop "shop" as well as a lower-priced Jason Wu collection called "Miss Wu". With the addition of several beauty labels (Jouer, Kevyn Aucoin Beauty and Vincent Longo), Nordstrom's recent update has definitely hit the mark. I can say that I personally am excited about Kevyn Aucoin, Vincent Longo and the Topshop offerings, as I am already a loyal customer to all of those brands.

 (Looks from the Miss Wu line)

J.Crew and New Balance - The American-made shoe brand has paired with the All-American outfitter for yet another limited-edition version of the classic 998 sneaker. Kicks on Fire shows the details on two sneakers offered; one with a suede navy upper and gray, white and red accents, while the other has a gray upper with blue, white and orange accents.

Target and Odin - Target is pairing up with boutique Odin to create a collection for the store's Shops at Target. Odin is a small menswear shop that houses well-curated pieces from select designers such as 3.1 Phillip Lim, Thom Browne and Shipley & Halmos. Shops at Target are collections within the store where well-known stores, hotels, restaurants, spas, etcetera, in the nation collaborate with the mass retailer to create clothing that encompasses each individual  brand's unique aesthetic. For instance, in stores now is clothing for The Webster (a Miami boutique), Privet House (a Connecticut odds-and-ends shop), Cos Bar (an Aspen-based beauty shop), Polka Dog Bakery (a Boston canine treats store) and The Candy Store (a San Francisco sweets shop).

(Odin c/o

 (Odin c/o

I'm pretty excited about everything I see, but I'd love to know what your favorite collection is. Are you partial to the Target collaboration or the smaller partnerships? Can't wait to get your hands on all of the new Nordstrom offerings? Comment and let me know!

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