2021: YEAR OF COLLABS

DENIZ AKKAYA

Fashion collaborations are almost a cliché, with so many brands doing it to take part in the hype and excitement a collaboration can offer.

Collabs have served an important role in the consumer market. They can bring luxury designs at a lower price point, reinvent a brand’s image, and offer the traditionally “unattainable” fashion to the everyday person. Here are the collabs that defined 2021.

FENDI X VERSACE: FENDACE

In a milestone moment, Donatella Versace and Kim Jones teamed for a collaboration that fused both Versace and Fendi’s brand ethos. The designers did a full creative swap, with Jones creating a line for Versace and Versace creating a line for Fendi for the pre-fall 2022 season.

Jones’ collection featured all of Versace’s signatures, such as safety pins, the iconic Baroque print and sheared furs. Versace brought her signature sexiness to Fendi, presenting minidresses, ‘70s denim pantsuits and shimmery gowns.

GUCCI X BALENCIAGA: HACKER PROJECT

Gucci and Balenciaga embarked on one of the biggest collaborations in the high-fashion world with their Hacker Project, which debuted during the spring 2022 season.

The first iteration was the Gucci series where cross-branded Gucci merchandise featured the Balenciaga signature. The Balenciaga series was then released, which combined Gucci motifs and its signature colorway with Balenciaga’s structures and styling.

The Hacker Project was introduced to the public at 74 pop-up stores across the globe this fall in locations including London, Paris, Geneva, New York, Houston, Atlanta, Tokyo and Seoul.

JPG GOING COLLECTIVE

Jean-Paul Gaultier surprised all his many fans in May with a major announcement regarding his collections after a 6-year hiatus. The brand shared a reel entitled Future is Collective that lists the brand names with which Gaultier’s company will be working in the future: the selection is opened by sacai, and in fact, the creative director of the brand, Chitose Abe, was invited to direct one of the brand’s couture seasons; the other brands mentioned are Ottolinger, Palomo, Alan Crocetti, Pierre Hardy, Nicolas Lecourt Mansion, the accessories brand D’Heygere but also the singer Bambounou, the retailer SSENSE, the production company Bureau Betak, and the creative studio Bureau Future. 

SKIMS X FENDI

Kim Kardashian West embarked on her first major fashion collaboration for her Skims shapewear brand in November, teaming with Fendi and its artistic director of women’s collections, Kim Jones.

The collaboration blended both brands’ ethos for a line of shapewear, lingerie, dresses and other pieces in a color palette of neutral tones, pink and black. The collection was codesigned by the two figures and was inspired by a 1979 Fendi collection designed by the late Karl Lagerfeld.

YEEZY X GAP

Kanye West and Gap revealed the first item from their Yeezy Gap collaboration, a round jacket in a recycled nylon for $200 that came in blue, black and red, this June. West and his Yeezy fashion label struck a deal with Gap in June 2020 for a new clothing collection released under the Yeezy Gap name. The line’s strategy is to offer modern, elevated basics at accessible price points.