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The best brand collabs of 2017, so far

Collabs are the bread and butter of modern fashion

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Streetwear and high fashion are so closely intertwined now that it can be hard to distinguish where one begins and the other ends. With the explosive rise of brands like Vetements heralding the end of any clear distinction between high and regular fashion with their (arguably) ingenious collaborations with everyone from Juicy Couture, to DHL, and Levis. In this new era of fashion, ripe with ambiguity and irony, collaborations reign supreme. Big name brands, department stores, athleisure labels, and much venerated design houses are all desperate to get in on the action and secure that elusive sold-out collaboration. We’re not even half way through 2017, but there have already been a pretty excellent selection of brand collaborations and there are many more still in the works. They’re not going anywhere soon, so we take a look back at what we’ve seen so far.


01. Fenty x Puma

Arguably one of the most in demand collabs of 2017, Fenty x Puma proves that everything Rihanna touches really does turn to gold, or diamonds in the sky, or some other precious element. What started off as a sell out shoe collaboration with Puma has evolved into several full blown fashion collections, with RiRi now the creative director of Puma. The Fenty x Puma Spring collection was described by Rihanna as “Marie Antoinette at the gym,” and there’s surely no better description for a collection that embodies fashion’s obsession with flamboyant, luxurious, off-the-wall streetwear.

02. Nautica x Urban Outfitters

Originally launched in 2016, the Nautica x Urban Outfitters capsule collection featured a limited edition range of 90s sailing inspired styles worn by Lil Boat himself. For the second instalment of their collaboration, released in March this year, Lil Yachty was again tapped to star in the campaign, although this time with his entire sailing team in tow. Decked out in yellow, orange, and blue, the graphic long sleeve tops and windbreakers have contributed to a resurgence in popularity for Nautica. Clearly their affiliation with Lil Yachty is set to continue, with the brand naming him their Creative Director earlier this year and their designs featuring in every second photo on Lil Yachty’s Instagram. Despite this, the controversial rapper is hesitant to be labelled as a fashion designer stating, “I’m not really a designer. It’s not like that, I just have a style. I like colours, I like baggy clothes and I like skinny clothes.”

03. Supreme x Louis Vuitton

Despite becoming a pretty exclusive label in a lot of ways, Supreme isn’t afraid of spreading itself far and wide when it comes to collabs. From skate deck collaborations with artist Jeff Koons, a range of hammers with Hardcore hammers, to a Supreme branded Braun calculator, the brand will certainly try anything. We’re at the point now where Supreme is able to do anything they damn well please, and their collaboration this year with Louis Vuitton proves just that.

Despite being a skatewear brand, this collab was certainly not made with your average skater in mind, considering a Supreme x Louis Vuitton trunk will set you back a cool $68, 500, while a denim cap will retail at $470. While this collab has already hit the runways and been disseminated all over the web, you won’t be able to purchase it until July 17th. In terms of purchasing the goods IRL, it’s looking unlikely that you’ll be able to get your hands on them anytime soon due to the Supreme x Louis Vuitton pop up store proposal being denied by the City of New York following outrage from residents that a 1000 person strong pop up store was potentially being held on their quiet street.

04. adidas Originals x Alexander Wang

Adidas has a long history of being adopted by celebrities, fashionistas, sports stars, and hip-hop stars alike. Alexander Wang is a high end designer who has long had an affinity for the three stripes, apparently pairing Adidas shell toes with his school uniform back in the ’90s. Evidently, Wang’s design prowess combined with the timeless appeal of Adidas made for the perfect collaboration. Drop 3 of the collab was released in April and featured unisex terry sweaters, shirts covered in stripe motifs and adidas originals’ logos, and of course, basketball style sneakers. If you’re after some revamped, streamlined Adidas goodness, the range is available to purchase at select Alexander Wang stockists worldwide and Adidas Originals web stores. 


05. Vetements x every brand you can think of

Cult label Vetements is now known for redefining the way we think about fashion collaborations. Their Spring 2017 collection famously featured collaborations with no less then 18 brands like: Carhartt, Juicy Couture, Comme Des Garcons, Manolo Blahnik, and Levis. The label turned the whole idea of what constitutes a brand collaboration right on its head.

Not entirely happy with the appropriations that were being produced in their factory, they chose to directly approach the companies they wished to collaborate with and provide them with the Vetements versions of their iconic designs. These brands then oversaw the production of the Vetements collection, before handing the final product over to the label to distribute and send down the runway.

The brands Vetements chooses to collaborate with are often fairly left of field, and the label’s aesthetic is built around reworking traditional pieces, distorting their silhouette, fit, and structure in jarring yet aesthetically pleasing ways. Continuing on with their legacy of collaborations, a Vetements x Reebok collab debuted earlier this year during their Fall Winter show, and the retro-dad style sneaker proved divisive yet alluring in that way that only Vetements seems to be able to pull off.

06. A$AP Rocky x Guess

A$AP Rocky is the inimitable high fashion connoisseur of hip-hop and with collaborations with big-hitters like JW Anderson already under his belt, it was only a matter of time before he collaborated with another brand. Rocky and Guess Originals first joined forces back in 2016, and the rapper’s fond memories of wearing Guess in the ’90s has heavily influenced each collection he has released with the brand since, with him regularly pulling inspiration from their design archives. Earlier this month their third collaborative collection for summer 2017 was released, titled “Ice Cream & Cotton Candy” and featuring pastels, stripes, logo tees, denim jackets and flares. The collection has a modernized vintage feel and unlike the previous collections which were predominantly unisex, this new collection features several pieces designed exclusively for women. Based on the ongoing popularity of both Rocky and ’90s style designs, we foresee this collaboration lasting for some time.

07. Comme des Garcons x Nike VaporMax

First debuted during Comme des Garcons Paris Spring 17 runway show, the Nike VaporMax for Comme des Garcons has without a doubt been one of the most anticipated brand collaborations of 2017. The streamlined sneaker perfectly combines Rei Kawakubo’s distinctive design sensibilities with Nike’s innovative Air technology, and apparently the futuristic sole both feels and looks somewhat like walking on actual air. After months of speculation as to when they would finally be released to the public, select pairs were made available in March this year at the Comme des Garcons Boutique at 520 W 22nd Street and at Dover Street Market on 160 Lexington Ave in NYC, although your best chance at copping a pair now would be via eBay.

08. The Calabasas x Adidas Yeezy Powerhouse

Kanye West is well versed in the world of designer collaborations and is probably the most in demand brand collaborator alive. Adidas and him have been collaborating for some time, producing the infamous Yeezy Boost sneaker together amongst other designs and earlier this year, Kanye debuted the Calabasas x Yeezy Powerhouse sneaker, along with a collection of Calabasas themed trackpants, crewneck sweatshirts, socks and caps, the entire collection selling out in a hot minute. The collection featured lots of burgundy pieces and a streamlined modern vintage aesthetic, but its real crowning jewel was the minimalist, ’80s inspired Powerhouse sneaker. A second drop of the much sought after Powerhouse sneaker will apparently be going live on the Adidas website on Sunday June 4, so if you’re hankering after a pair hop on the Adidas app ‘Confirmed’ to reserve yourself a pair from Wednesday 31 May.