5 fashion collaborations showing that all bets are off
We have seen many brand collaborations in the world of fashion and pop culture, but some have caught our interest more than others. These 5 collabs are symbols for this current ”all bets are off-era”.
5 May 2021

Chimi x Kalles Kaviar

A collaboration between the Swedish eyewear brand Chimi and the Swedish food product Kalles Kaviar was recently announced. The product that was released is a pair of luxury sunglasses inspired by the design of the classic blue Kalles Kaviar tube. The limited-edition Chimi design is a homage to the iconic product of Swedish food culture and comes in the colours ”Karl blue” and ”Karl red”. In conjunction with the release of the glasses one million examples of Kalles Kaviar where Kalle wears the new glasses were released in stores in Sweden.

This collab might seem a bit odd and you may wonder what these two have to do with each other. But just like art collaborations are made to create a reaction, this will become collector’s items for the people who understand and appreciate both the design and humour in them. Collabs like this also have the power to create art out of something mundane like Kalles Kaviar. This move will most likely be followed by other Scandinavian brands doing something similar to create their own hype.

Gucci x Balenciaga

Have the two competitors become a team? Even though Gucci’s Head-of-design Alessandro Michele says the new Aria collection isn’t officially a collab, the brands are clearly working together. The collection shows a mix of classic codes and logos from both houses, something that’s very obvious on the co-branded blazers. The classic Balenciaga silhouettes as well as some Gucci pearls like Tom Ford’s sexiness are distinct in the collaboration. They are seen alongside other news, like the bleeding heart handbag.

The collaboration seems like a power play by the two fashion houses and they sure have created a hype, but only time will tell if they will live up to it.

Balenciaga x Rammstein

This spring Balenciaga is teaming up with metal band Rammstein releasing a capsule collection along with a playlist. The collection looks a lot like traditional band merch with dark washed-out colours and a print of the band members in the front. Balenciaga’s creative director Demna Gvasalia is a well known Rammstein fan and has collaborated with the brand before under the brand Vetements. The limited-edition collection contains pieces like T-shirts, hoodies, caps and coats which will be collector’s items for diehard fans.

Balenciaga reached out to some of Rammstein’s most dedicated fans to model the collection in their own home together with their collection of Rammstein merch and posters. The playlist is available on apple music and has been put together by Rammstein. With this collab, Balenciaga reaches a new target group and it gives the brand a new fan base.

Travis Scott x McDonald’s

Some collaborations seem a bit more strange or unexpected than others, like the one between rapper and singer Travis Scott and fast-food giant McDonalds. The rapper’s favourite meal was put on the menu under his name at McDonald’s, the meal was called Cactus Jack. The name comes from the rappers record company and is used for other collaborations and products as well such as Scotts sneakers for Nike.

The collab between McDonald’s and Travis Scott is a great example of brands creating hype rather than an actual new product. It creates a great deal of attention for both parties, as a successful collaboration should.

Supreme x Colgate

That’s right, toothpaste and luxury fashion. The streetwear brand Supreme is known to do lot’s of collaborations with exceptional results. But when they partnered up with Colgate in 2020 I’d say a lot of people were surprised. As part of Supremes Fall/Winter collection 2020, they made several collabs but this one surely was the most unexpected. The product that launched was a Colgate toothpaste tube where Supreme’s logo was now covering Colgate’s classic red part of the tube. Like always with Supreme, the collaboration created a great deal of hype especially among collectors of course. You can still buy the toothpaste on eBay for around $15.

Supreme has built their brand identity on collaborations but what similarities does Colgate have with other parts that has teamed up with Supreme? The answer is that creating hype can be done in many ways and Supreme sure has mastered the art of collaboration.

Collaborations can give meaning to ordinary consumption like Kalles kaviar, toothpaste or a McDonalds meal, even if the product is the same a new name or packaging enriches the experience for the buyer. It gives the product something more than just the original function. Collabs need to be understood for what they are, a way for companies to experiment with the world of art and create hype and brand identity. Collaborations should definitely be taken seriously since this is a huge business.