2022 has kicked off with many riveting collaboration announcements from some of the biggest brands in the industry, setting the tone for the fashion world this year. 2021 was the year of luxury collaborations and brought us Gucci and Balenciaga’s Hacking Project, Fendace, Dior and Sacai, and more. As fashion gets more experimental and diverse, impressing the public is becoming more of a challenge, which is evident in this year’s collaboration announcements by brands that are not typically associated with each other. Luxury brands that were once deemed too traditional to branch out into combat gaming and cartoons are now on the hunt for the next big collaboration that provides an element of newness.
adidas and Prada have started the year with yet another collaboration, further merging the luxury, streetwear, and sneaker industries. Both brands have previously worked with each other and have launched a few of Prada’s takes on adidas trainers.
This year’s collaboration, adidas for Prada Re-Nylon, presents accessories, bags, ready-to-wear, and the Prada x adidas Forum Hi and Low trainers. The trainers, which are in the spotlight, incorporate Prada branding on the tongue, and Prada’s signature nylon logo pouches on the laces. Both brands presented the collaboration as an eco-conscious collection, “celebrating timeless design and championing future consciousness through the adidas for Prada Re-Nylon collection”.
The French fashion house has teamed up with the renowned American doll brand, Barbie to present a (very) pink capsule collection. Remembering last year’s GCDS x Bratz and Balenciaga’s collaboration with the Simpsons, luxury houses’ interest in playful collaborations is only growing. Staying true to the brand’s signature designs such as the labyrinth print, while still going all out in every shade of pink, makes this collection truly immersive. The collection is very on-brand for this year’s themes as it is incorporating 3 NFTs that will be auctioned as collectibles.
The collection emphasises diversity and “rejects any arbitrary gender limitations,” says Balmain Creative Director, Olivier Rousteing, who opened up to the New York Times about his emotional attachment to the project. “As our campaign images make very clear, Barbie and Balmain are embarking upon a distinctly multicultural, inclusive and always joy-filled adventure.”
Gucci proved collaborations to be their specialty in 2021 and only has more to offer this year. From Gucci and Balenciaga’s Hacker Project to Gucci x the North Face FW21 last year, the brand left its audience eager for what’s to come. Moreover, Gucci did not limit itself to fashion, as the luxury fashion house dipped into the gaming world last year, releasing a capsule collection with 100 Thieves as well as releasing Xbox by Gucci.
Finally, the upcoming Superplastic x Gucci collaboration has been announced by both brands on social media. Superplastic is the “world’s top creator of animated celebs, vinyl toys and digital collectibles” which makes it a perfect match for Gucci’s latest spirited ventures.
The brands have not shared many details about what’s to come and what to expect for the February launch, but collectible figurines and an NFT are highly anticipated by Superplastic and Gucci fans.
Yeezy Gap is not news, but this year, Kanye West and Balenciaga’s recently appointed creative director, Demna Gvasalia, are collaborating with Gap to launch Yeezy Gap Engineered by Balenciaga. This collaboration ties in participants with a diverse range of experiences and talents.
In a comment to Vogue, West expressed his enthusiasm about the upcoming project, “it is a vision come true to work with Gap and Demna, the creative director of Balenciaga, to make incredible product available to everyone at all times.” Gvasalia also commented on making “utilitarian fashion for all”.
Gvasalia and West are familiar with each other’s work, as Gvasalia is the creative mind behind Kanye West’s Donda stage sets and merch, making West the bridge between Balenciaga and Gap for this exciting triple-collaboration.