With Kenzo and H&M's new collaboration launching a few months ago, there's been a lot of talk about high end brands and designers partnering with high street shops and department stores.

 

But will this combination carry on working in the future? Is it even a good idea for an established brand to be linked to the likes of TopShop, Target and H&M?

 

The answers are maybe and it depends.

 

This unlikely partnership started way into the 90s and after some trial and errors, developed into the successful Karl Lagerfeld + H&M collection from 2004.

 

Although the designer wasn't happy with the results (he was upset that H&M released a small number of items to the public) it was the kick start of a series of collaborations between the Swedish brand and famous names (Isabel Marant, Lanvin, Alexander Wang among others) all of them received with similar success.

 

These days, no one gets surprised when we hear that the main high street retailer is partnering with so and so high end brand, it has become part of our culture.

 

Would I recommend this kind of business to other designers?

 

I'm not sure.

 

The thing with this type of collaborations is that you have to be clear about what you expect to gain from them. If all you want is to cash in some big bucks and then lay back and enjoy, then by all means, say yes to that H&M proposal.

 

If you are looking for some ''free'' publicity, then again go for it.

 

However, if you are getting into this because you would like your designs to be available for the masses, if you would like for the general public to have a taste of what your creations look like and feel like and perhaps with it seek new potential costumers, then be careful.

 

I think Lagerfeld was right about being upset with H&M's way of handling things. Usually all the pieces from these collections sell out with in a couple of days, sometimes hours, and the company doesn't produce new ones for sale.

 

What is the point then?

 

Probably only privileged people can have access to your regular designs, so I'm assuming you are doing this because you want others to have a piece you've come up with, even if the quality isn't the same, it's still part of you or your brand. When sold en masse, this is ok, because everyone understands that the quality has been decreased but still enjoy wearing your idea, but if these lower quality items are made in small quantities, then they automatically become rarities. Rarities that go on Ebay for hundreds of pounds. Pieces that would be a mirror of your brand all of a sudden, but without the original quality.

 

 

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