A while back I was asked to weigh in on Stylesight’s “Next Big Question” for the January newsletter. You can read my answer below and you can read the full article on Stylesight.com.
“It seems like everyone in the business is collaborating with someone, but the projects that make sense are usually few and far between. Target and H&M are the most notable and consistent, and though the projects produce great designer clothing at affordable prices, I think these types of partnerships are getting a bit stale. Celebrities are also collaborating with many brands, such as Kanye West for Louis Vuitton, but I find the product uninspired.
I think consumers will start to get bored by these projects, and I think we’ll see more partnerships that are really true to the essence of collaborating – where a company taps a designer, from an entirely different field, to design a product they have never created before. For example, when Target or H&M invites leading fashion designers to design clothes, you know the end result: beautiful clothing. But, when you have an artist who has never designed a particular product add his personal touch to that product, the end result is usually genius.
My favorite example of a true collaboration is Frank Gehry’s jewelry collection for Tiffany & Co. Frank Gehry, the renowned architect, is a master at creating breathtaking structures. Though he never designed jewelry before, his ability to create 3-D sculptural pieces enabled him to lend his artistic eye to creating jewelry. I also enjoyed Vivienne Westwood’s recent collaboration with Cole & Son to create wallpaper, architect Zaha Hadid’s designs for Lacoste and Melissa Shoes and Sylvie Fleury’s “Stolen Kisses” wine glasses and champagne flutes for Dom Pérignon. These types of projects utilize the designers’ innate talents to create something they don’t normally produce.
As far as my ideal projects, I think Pantone should collaborate with a cosmetics and fragrance company, and I’d love to see what kind of furniture and home accessories Frank Gehry would create. Apple has really clean product design; it would be nice to see them apply their look to non-technology-related products.”
- Frank Gehry Designs 54th Annual Grammy Award Poster
- Simply Vera by Vera Wang for Kohl’s
- (capsule) NY: Orly Genger by Jaclyn Mayer
- If I Was A Rich Girl . . .
- Patricia Field for ASOS.com