The Lists

The Best of the Spring 2018 Designer Collaborations

If designer fashion collaborations are any guide, the fate of the world may not be as dire as current headlines indicate. Listening to the constant drumbeat of conflict and trash-talking on the global stage, one might assume that building camaraderie across disparate cultures is a tragically lost art. But take hope, dear reader. Just this month, all kinds of mash-ups and collaborations are happening in the worlds of fashion, music and art. If cultures can collide and create such fantastic outcomes in these spheres, perhaps the diplomats and world leaders can learn a thing or two. Consider these unlikely pairings and cool connections in just the first few months of 2018:

Burberry x Gosha: For spring 2018, Gosha Rubchinskiy created a limited-edition capsule in collaboration with Burberry – its now available online and in 16 selected stores worldwide (it can only be found at retail in the US on Rodeo Drive and in New York at the SoHo store). Says Burberry: “Inspired by youth culture and the legacy of British football in Russia, the capsule is a remix of the past and present, featuring our iconic Vintage check.” Say we: the Two Tone Trench Coat ($2,395) — seriously? That is just dope.

Brooks Brothers x Wynton Marsalis: the longtime partnership between the artist and the menswear brand has resulted this month in a limited-edition Brooks Brothers tie celebrating Jazz at Lincoln Center’s 30th anniversary. We adore Wynton, and now our posse can sport the same snazzy tie that he and the members of the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra wear onstage. It features the organization’s 30th anniversary colorway and a discreet “Jazz” logo – $79.50.

JW Anderson x Converse: the collaboration is described as “a collection of footwear representing a daring interpretation of the contrasts between iconic Converse silhouettes and JW Anderson’s provoking design aesthetic. Together, the two brands provide a juxtaposition of masculinity and femininity, creating a unique tension between style and culture.” All true. The  Glitter_Gutter collection features some of the best party shoes we’ve ever seen: sparkly, vividly colored, coolly styled, and totally comfortable. More like this, please! $140 per pair.

Parisian label Each x Other loves art so much that poet and artist Robert Montgomery is a kind of in-house artist-in-residence. For spring, cool-girl designers Jenny Mannerheim and Ilan Delouis are featuring long jackets, feminine blouses, camouflage parkas, and athletic hoodies, all emblazoned with lines from one of Montgomery’s poems.

Louis Vuitton x VolkswagenThis month, in combination with the menswear fashion shows, LV is hitting the road in a restored Volkswagen van to showcase its men’s 2018 spring-summer collection. Inspired by tropical islands, the line includes Hawaiian shirts, scuba-and surf-inspired silhouettes, and performance fabrics. There’s also a gorgeous “Monogram Pacific” duffel bag that sports a vivid deep ocean blue color block. Decorated with that same beachy spirit, the Volkswagen van will pop up in Miami’s Design District (now-January 22); LA’s Rodeo Drive (January 26-February 5) and Hawaii’s Ala Moana (February 15-22). The VW will be filled with apparel and accessories, and you can buy the goods right off the truck. In addition, the brand’s space on Madison Avenue will be transformed into a pop-up of the collection from January 19-March 15. Bumper stickers will be distributed at each location so shoppers can show off where they made their purchases. The show-stopping item? Surfboards with the LV logo and the tropical colors of the collection.

Gucci x Dapper Dan: A major dust-up over an alleged appropriation of a legendary hip-hop designer’s work has led to an unlikely and extremely cool friendship and collaboration between Alessandro Michele, Gucci and Dapper Dan. The result? The debut of a bespoke atelier in Dapper Dan’s native Harlem. The store is officially open now, becoming the first outpost of a major European luxury brand in Harlem. Coming next month from Gucci? The full details on a collaboration with several Major League Baseball historic clubs. Yo, Yankees! We can’t wait.

Off-White c/o Jimmy Choo: this collaboration debuted during Off-White’s Paris show last fall, with the footwear shown on the runway designed by Jimmy Choo in collaboration with Off-White’s Virgil Abloh. The collection has been available for pre-order on Jimmy Choo’s website since then; the official launch is scheduled for February 21st.

Also coming soon: Balenciaga x Crocs. The Spanish fashion house debuted a collaboration with Crocs as part of its Spring 2018 collection at Paris Fashion Week. Crocs, known as the ugliest of all ugly shoes, would appear to be an odd choice for the luxury Spanish designer. But Balenciaga designer Demna Gvasalia told Vogue that he chose to work with Crocs because “it’s a very innovative shoe. It’s light, it’s a one-piece foam mould, and to me these kind of techniques and working with these kind of materials is very Balenciaga.” The collab has resulted in a platform version of the slip-on sandal, complete with kitschy pins attached to the perforated upper. Shoe of the summer? You decide.

In the beauty aisle, look for the MAC Cosmetics partnership with Puma Sport Style coming later this year. The teaser sent out by the two brands nearly broke the Internet. Watch this space for further updates.

So what does all of this mean? Well, we think that if downtown club kid Alexander Wang can team up with Upper East Side doyenne Judith Lieber (the pair recently created a limited-edition Swarovski-encrusted clutch in the shape of a rolled-up wad of cash that debuted at the designer’s Spring 2018 show – $4,995), then who can say that peace in our time is impossible? It may just take some creativity. And some courage. And a liberal dash of cool.

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