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Two for one – 2021 the year for collaborations

Fashion reinforces its take on buy one, get one free

From the Hackers Project between Gucci X Balenciaga to the Fendi X Skims and Gucci X North Face these luxury collaborations have been highly popular in 2021.

Designer brands that collaborate enable a platform for creativity, and over the past few years this has been the most successful way to work because let’s face it two minds are better than one. Collaborations help a brand enlarge its customer base as well giving it the opportunity to explore different styles without betraying core values and loyal fans.

Shift London picks top 3 collaborations of 2021

Image courtesy of Neve Morgan

Forget the X, after Gucci’s success collaborating with North Face, Alessandro Michele decided to work alongside Balenciaga. The ‘Hackers Project’ consists of the merging of prints from Gucci and Balenciaga, with signature designs from each house-blended to create a ready-to-wear range for the Fall/Winter 2021 season.

In regard to footwear, Michele has given the Triple S sneakers a Gucci makeover with Balenciaga print and as for handbags, the same applied – incorporating the Gucci print into the Balenciaga Hourglass bag. Gucci sales assistant Beshoy at the pop-up shop in Shoreditch told _shift, “The hourglass bag has definitely been the most popular as it sold out in minutes.”

This was a good example of brands combining classic silhouettes and collaborating with the other brand. This collaboration was well thought out, as it had excellent runway pieces and something for the more ordinary consumer.

_shift spoke to social media influencer Bella Stovey who attended the launch party of the Hackers Project. She told _shift “It felt very exclusive! I had a sales assistant with me the whole time taking me around each item in detail. It was very much under wraps – we couldn’t take photos of anything and had to ask to try anything on although they were keen for us to do so! To brighten up the spirits there were waiters providing Champagne & the atmosphere was a mix between a bar vibe and the best private shopping experience!”

_shift London’s favourite piece was the puffer jacket. We loved the shape and think it represented the perfect blend between the two brands. The colour and monogram was more classic like Gucci, but the fit, shape and silhouette echoed Balenciagas street style vibe. We also loved the Ville bag as it gives off vintage and timeless vibes. Great price point too, retailing at £1,940.

Fendi X Skims

Yes, that’s right, Kim K decided to collab with Fendi making it the brand’s first-ever shapewear collaboration. The unlikely pair came together and broke the internet reportedly making one million dollars in one minute.

According to Skims Instagram, _shift found that the idea for the collaboration came when the Fendi team were patiently waiting on the Skims drop launching and Kim Jones thought it would be a great idea to do something together.

The limited-edition collection features sculpting silhouettes with rich fabric and a variety of colours and a special hybrid logo that is the Fendi brand signature logo. The shoot was all about a bright and busy atmosphere, including inclusivity and diversity – it provided new creativity and inspiration content.

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A post shared by SKIMS (@skims)

_shift spoke to Instagram influencer Kyra Skinner: “I think it’s an amazing idea! It draws interest from two brands into one and also most of it is limited edition, so the pieces hold their value and are more desirable. I love Fendi and Skims before they collaborated and I would purchase their products regardless however I was ecstatic when this launched. Especially after COVID, collaborating is so important in all aspects and it has given some brands a new lease of life. It also draws audiences to brands they might not have looked into before!”

_shifts favourite piece from this collection was the bodysuit, from the long sleeves to the halter neck, both features make the piece so easy to style. We think that black and purple are the coolest and would be a statement piece in everyone’s wardrobe.

You can now pre-order these items on the Fendi website.

North Face X Gucci

The North Face and Gucci collaboration celebrates the spirit of hiking across Iceland. Both brands have come together to set the scene with a backdrop of volcanic black sands, rolling green hills and glaciers.

The ready-to-wear collection launched at the end of 2021, embracing discovery through a mixture of bold colours and logos, also exploring geometric patterns with over 130 pieces for males and females.

_shift spoke to LA based model Georgia Dickson about these collections. “2021 was definitely a huge success for brands collaborating – personally I think that it is a good idea because it creates a lot of hype, which drives the value of the products and increases the demand for them. Especially with the Hackers project, these two mega brands partnering create major popularity.”

_shifts favourite pieces from the collection were the blue puffer jacket, titled Look 227. The jacket would be a statement piece for many years and the men’s hiking boots feature the Gucci silhouette and North Face print trimmed with orange leather.

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A post shared by Gucci Official (@gucci)

Overall, we at _shift think it is fair to say that 2021 has been the best year yet for collaborations, we wonder if 2022 will be the same.

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