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Style: September 07, 2018

34 STYLE | fashion SO,

34 STYLE | fashion SO, WHY DO BRANDS DO IT? Simply put, it’s all about extending a brand’s reach to a potential new market and remaining relevant. When both parties are involved in the marketing, a net is cast over both of their target markets, rather than just the one. Take the Tommy Hilfiger and Gigi Hadid collaboration for example; by joining forces, Tommy Hilfiger, an older brand, can associate itself with a young, current influencer with access to millions of social media followers, a percentage of which are bound to become new Hilfiger customers – or at least that’s the goal. As you’re probably aware, it’s common for highend labels to collaborate with high street names, such as H&M. This is a great way for often unobtainable designer brands to present a limited-edition offering to a new target market, at a much lower price point. In this instance, both parties gain from the collaboration; the high-end designer is exposed to a new market that may, in future, invest in a fullprice piece, while the high street store is temporarily aligned with the prestigious collaborator. Tommy Hilfiger and Gigi Hadid co-created the Tommy Pier fashion festival. Dolce & Gabbana x Smeg DO COLLABORATIONS ADD OR DETRACT VALUE? When collaborations are done well, there’s no denying that they add value, but are they becoming so common they’re losing their worth? Some fashion industry experts believe collaborations have gone stale, and only detract value from a brand. Whilst such collections used to sell out in seconds, today consumers seem in no rush to splash their cash, possibly reassured that before long, they’ll be taunted with a new collaboration. The right collaboration can be highly effective for both parties, but given the massive number of collaborations that are springing up across a range of industries, it’s certainly becoming harder to excite inundated shoppers. We think the trick is timing. If a brand weaves collaboration into its DNA from the get-go, they’ll always appear more authentic. Whereas, if a struggling brand initiates collaboration as a last resort, it definitely comes across as such. Even the figures support the notion that only well thought out and authentic collaborations improve the status of the brands involved. So, no more designer cereal please. WHAT DOES IT MEAN FOR THE INDUSTRY? Collaboration suggests that brands require the help from others just to stay afloat. At first, collaborations seemed to ooze in authenticity, focusing on quality not quantity. But these days, if a brand is at a creative dead-end and in need of a little rejuvenation, it seems all too easy to reach out for joint venture, and that could be a huge worry for the industry. Despite some doubts surrounding their worth, the momentum certainly doesn’t appear to be slowing and it has us wondering, who on earth will collaborate with who next?

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