With the year coming to an end, here is a look at the 14 most memorable fashion and beauty collaborations of the year 2021.
New ideas, trends, patterns, prints and much more make the fashion industry a vibrant and beaming arena. Channelling brand personalities and merging ideas by way of some of the biggest names in the fashion and beauty industries was a common theme throughout 2021.
While some legacy brands swept us off our feet when they teamed up with casual and sports labels, they presented the world with new perspectives and ideas like never done before, and they have been equally lauded by fashionistas.
Memorable Fashion and Beauty Collaborations 2021:
YEEZY x Adidas
One of the biggest fashion collaborations between the American rapper and an athletic brand was when Ye, earlier known as Kanye West, joined hands with Adidas for “creating footwear, apparel and accessories for all genders across street and sport.”
But this is not the first time that the two have teamed up for Adidas Originals. In February 2015, YEEZY SEASON 1 was launched, and the catalogue has been growing exponentially.
The latest 2021 summer/spring range of YEEZY shoes carries forward Ye’s aesthetic vision with the technical expertise of Adidas.
The “not-so-sneaker” silhouettes of the Spring/Summer 2021 collection come in various bright colours and seasonally appropriate foam comfort. Some items from the collaboration include the YEEZY Boost 350 V2 and YEEZY Boost 380. These shoes are light, breathy and give the classic Adidas touch to Ye’s vision.
Dior x Sacai
In their first collaboration in June 2021, the luxury fashion house joined hands with the Japanese high-fashion label for a 57-piece capsule Dior describes as a “creative conversation between two designers, two heritages and two cultures.”
The collection, which is mostly in a monochromatic black-and-white shade, includes ready-to-wears, bags, footwear and accessories, with Dior’s iconic floral designs and a logo featuring both brands.
Creative directors Kim Jones and Chitose Abe of Dior Men and Sacai, respectively, merge the Japanese brand’s trendy streetwear detailing with Dior Men’s tailoring expertise to present the saddlebags with drawstrings and pockets made in fabrics like leather and nylon.
Supreme x Tiffany & Co
Iconic jewellery house Tiffany & Co teamed up with the fashion-favourite streetwear brand Supreme for a range of luxury sterling silver charms titled “The Return to Tiffany”.
The items in the collaboration were reimagined versions of the 1960s originals by Tiffany and Co and comprise the heart tag pendant, oval tag pearl necklace, heart tag stud earrings, star bracelet, heart knife key ring and oval tag key ring.
Versace x Fendi
In one of the biggest fashion collaborations of 2021, Italian labels Versace and Fendi surprised many across the world with their “Fendance” collection, which seemed like an ode to 90’s fashion.
At the Milan Fashion Week, designers of the fashion labels glammed up their iconic models of past and present in glittery ensembles presenting 25 looks.
Celebrities, including Kate Moss, Amber Valletta, Karen Elson, Kristen McMenamy, Naomi Campbell, Gigi Hadid and Adut Akech, walked the ramp with panache flaunting the creations. While the attires of Versace by Fendi had Greek motifs, Fendi by Versace made a grungy fashion statement.
The iconic looks included Versace’s signature all-black safety-pinned look, which McMenamy opened the show with, while Campbell strutted down the runway in a pink and silver dress, with FF and V logos weaved into the fabric, at the end of the event.
Gucci x Balenciaga
Both Gucci and Balenciaga have legacy and brand value that needs no introduction. The year 2021 saw the labels come together for the ‘Hacker Project’ in November.
Signature Gucci items were strewn with bold Balenciaga motifs, and the clothes defied the hegemony of brand logos — the iconic double G was reimagined with bold double B logos.
The ‘Hacker Project’ is the brainchild of two sought-after fashion designers — Gucci’s creative director Alessandro Michele and Balenciaga’s creative director Demna Gvasalia. The “contaminated” products unveiled had Michele’s retro aesthetics meeting the edgy undertones of the Balenciaga boss.
The collection was dropped in 74 locations across the world, including several pop up stores, which surprised brand loyalists and shoppers alike. “Ideas from a hybrid universe,” as described by Gucci, saw artist Jack Greer’s customised tote bags with graffiti saying, “This is not a Gucci bag,” bearing the staple Gucci print and incorporating the double-B logo.
Even the accessories were in for a spin. Balenciaga’s hourglass bag bore Gucci emblems, while Gucci’s Jackie 1961 was dressed in Balenciaga stripes.
Balenciaga x Crocs
The high-end luxury brand is known for its collaborations, sending the worlds of fashion and social media into a frenzy. The collaboration with Crocs was no different.
Balenciaga, with the shoe brand, unveiled its collection at the Spring 2022 “Balenciaga Clones” show.
Giving the most “practical shoe” a high-street fashion twist is the masterstroke of the lineup. Can you imagine a high-heeled pair of crocs? There’s more.
Keeping the multi-holed style, back belt and foam clogs, Balenciaga’s Creative Director Demna Gvasalia takes them a notch higher and presents knee-high boots.
The Balenciaga x Crocs shoes are available in their signature green, grey and black shades, with typical Balenciaga stripes and branding.
The two entered a high-street fashion collaboration in 2018 as well, when they released a range of yellow shoes, which were sold out even before they could hit the shelves.
Fendi x Skims
Luxury shapewear owner Kim Kardashian collaborated with her namesake and Fendi’s artistic director Kim Jones in November 2021 for a range of SKIMS shapewear and undergarments, which has the appeal and touch of the esteemed fashion house.
The juicy couture took the fashion world by storm. Designed for women, the premium range consisted of tights, separators, onesies and much more. As soon as the products hit the stores, they were sold out. Reportedly, the heavy sale fetched a mammoth 1 million USD in under one minute.
On 25 October, the news of the fashion collaboration was confirmed on Instagram by Kardashian. Photos from the shoots of the limited-edition capsule collection of loungewear and undergarments featured Kardashian in tights and a matching bralette, with the custom Fendi x SKIMS logo, and F-heeled shoes by Jones.
Kardashian and Jones have collaborated in 2018 as well when Kim, her mother Kris Jenner and her daughter North West appeared in a Fendi campaign to mark the brand’s 10th anniversary.
Batsheva x Laura Ashley
Victorian prints, floral motifs and an aesthetic English influence of British textile company Laura Ashley found a rather fun and modern makeover with American fashion designer Batsheva Hay. Reminiscing her childhood memories of wearing a classic Laura Ashley dress gave Batsheva, a lawyer-turned designer, the idea and motivation to enter a collaboration in November.
With a modern twist to the charms of vintage motifs, the result was a 15-piece collection of clothing for women and children, along with a line of oven mitts and aprons.
Speaking of Laura Ashley, Vogue reports Batsheva saying, “She was interested in punk. She liked to shoot her dresses with beaten-up old boots and things like that.”
Shaking up the old-world charm and incorporating classic floral prints, Batsheva launched a range of clothes that were easy flowing, modern as well as classic. It comes as quite a surprise that this is the first time the two came together.
Louis Vuitton x NBA
Louis Vuitton (LV) and the National Basketball Association (NBA) stepped into the second year of their three-year collaboration, and the new collection launched in May was as grand as the previous one. Though NBA has been in partnerships with other notable fashion labels like Canada Goose and Lakme Fashion Week, this is truly one of its kind for the sheer huge scale and the names involved.
LV launched a range of fashionable clothes and vividly graphic bags and trunks that are in tune with the life of an NBA player — luxury items for travel, the game and outfits for press conferences.
Casual and relaxed ensembles, such as blousons and pairs of trousers, seamlessly weave in LV’s floral prints to make up the travel outfits. The LV logo has been transformed to feature the bold NBA font and colours. For formal press conferences, there are cuts and leather jackets designed by artistic director Virgil Abloh that have influences from the 90’s era.
The second year of the lineup is a slight deviation from the debut year, which was all about bold patterns and vivid graphics. The mastery of LV’s trunk-making also assumed centre-stage as a stunning Louis Vuitton trophy suitcase caught attention in many championships.
Miu Miu x New Balance
Miu Miu’s partnership with sneaker giant New Balance came as a surprise collaboration, unveiling their range of high-street sneakers at the Paris Fashion Week.
The refreshed version of New Balance sneakers with the Miu Miu’s style gives the range a look that is completely in line with the Italian brand’s Spring/Summer 2022 collection.
The simple and chunky 574 silhouette of New Balance, with suede and rubber finish, gets a unique touch with frayed stitches and tan gum sole.
The Prada-owned brand stays true to the simple and sportier style of New Balance, with its label appearing on the shoes’ tongue, while the easily recognisable ‘N’ sits on the sides.
The shoes first appeared on the runway in October.
Marina Raphael x Swarovski
This is one collaboration which we are completely digging. As the sixth-generation member of the Swarovski family, luxury handbag designer Marina Raphael’s collaboration with the heritage crystal brand was long due.
Closely working with the crystal house’s creative designer Giovanna Engelbert, Marina Raphael created a capsule collection of three handbags encrusted with premium crystals.
Unveiled in November, they are far from being traditional bags. For instance, the emerald Lucent clutch bag, which resembles a finely cut crystal that refracts light at every turn, or the Somnia, featuring 88 crystal ringlets held seamlessly together to create a mini tote.
Aveda x 3.1 Phillip Lim
Keeping in mind sustainability, the collaboration between beauty brands Aveda and 3.1 Phillip Lim is aimed at all things environmentally friendly.
The luxury cosmetics brand and the global fashion label launched a collection of gift items, hair accessories and designer packaging products for the holiday season.
The products are cruelty-free and are made with a 100 per cent organic ingredients. According to the official website of 3.1 Phillip Lim, they “used materials like 100% organic cotton for the hair towel, 100% recycled plastic for the scrunchies and 95% recycled materials for the comb.”
The hair and skincare products are vegan and are made with renewable energy resources.
Coach x Champion
Two of the most notable names — Coach and Champion — occupy an undeniably irreplaceable place in the American fashion market.
The sportswear brand coming together with the luxury label Coach in February was again a collaboration that surprised one and all. Unveiling some upstreet fashion, the collaboration has launched a line of leather jackets, bags, sweatshirts, hoodies and joggers, among other products.
To capture the social media gaze, Coach also launched a number of video challenges on Tik Tok, which they called “How To Coach A Champion”. With supermodel Paloma Elsesser and Tik Tok stars Wisdom Kaye, Maha Gondal and Jeffrey Tung getting on board to showcase the collection, the collaboration saw quite a big reach and hype.
Urban Decay x Marvel Studios Eternals Collection
If you think the 2021 Marvel movie The Eternals created a hullabaloo, then hold that thought. The film gave fans of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) and makeup brand Urban Decay more reasons to rejoice.
MCU joined forces with the luxury label for a range of makeup and style products that were in tune with the film.
The lineup included eyeshadow palettes, eye pencils, highlighter powders, lipsticks and heavy metal glitter gels inspired by the Marvel superheroes.
While the lipsticks, rich in cocoa butter, jojoba and avocado oils, come in bright shades of berry red “Agility,” pink nude “Ancient,” champagne “Brilliance” and sparkling purple “Knowledge,” the metallic eye pencils and afterglow highlighters will instantly glam up your look for any occasion.
[Hero image credit: @versace/ Instagram]
This story first appeared on Lifestyle Asia Hong Kong