The X Factor: 2021 Fashion Collaborations

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Gucci x The North Face

The first major collab of 2021 is with mega brands Gucci and The North Face. The collection is not comprised of only bags and accessories, but offers ready-to-wear (including padded coats, shirts, skirts, and dresses), luggage, shoes, tents and sleeping bags. The brands are jointly and separately committed to sustainability. The luggage in the collection contains Econyl, a nylon fabric made from regenerated materials, and the packaging was designed to reduce environmental impact.

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Louis Vuitton x Maison Tamboite Paris

Over the past decade, bicycling has reemerged as the go-to mode of transportation. Democratic in that it is accessible to people of most geographic, age, and economic ranges, there is still a way to separate yourself from the rest of the pack. Enter Louis Vuitton and the 107 year old bicycle manufacturer, Maison Tamboite.

Maison Tamboite is renowned for making bicycles the old-fashioned way—handmade, made to order, and comprised of steel, wood, and leather. The Vuitton version adds the element of luxury, not just with their monogram flower motif and LV logo incorporated into the design, but also with the addition of LED lighting, a tracker, under the seat shock absorbers, and airless tires. There are two models and four color options to select from, and you can even personalize it with your initials engraved on a leather patch above the rear wheel.

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Loewe x My Neighbor Totoro

Japanese animation is currently all the rage, and viewers are rediscovering anime movies and series from decades ago. Countering all the chaos currently plaguing the world, Loewe designer Jonathan Anderson teamed with Studio Ghibli and created a capsule collection dedicated to the cult 1988 animated film, “My Neighbour Totoro.” The film is about two young, school-age sisters and the playful creatures they encounter in their home and nearby forest.

The collection is a based on images derived from the film. Some of the images are transformed into allover prints on apparel such as shirts, jumpers, and jackets, and some images are recreated as hand-painted motifs applied to wallets, pouches, and bags. Loewe designer Jonathan Anderson stated, “The message is one of dreamy serenity and hands-on creativity—of being at one with nature and with one’s own inner child—which is especially important right now and, I think, always will be.”

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Amina Muaddi x A$AP Rocky

Known for her flashy heels, footwear designer Amina Muaddi has teamed up with another fashion flasher, rapper A$AP Rocky, for her latest release of statement heels and mules. This is not Muaddi’s first time at the rodeo; she has collaborated with Rihanna for Fenty and Alexander Vauthier for his footwear line.

Now she has worked with A$AP Rocky’s creative agency AWGE for her latest offering. The sandals and mules are available in four styles with 10 variations, with her signature pyramid heel taking center stage with a crystal butterfly attached at the toe. There is a gladiator-style, lace-up boot with crystal-encrusted straps and the Flacko Sandal pays homage to AWGE with an ankle strap adorned by the AWGE logo.

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Dior x Stussy

They’re at it again. Dior commissioned famed streetwear designer Shawn Stussy to create a menswear capsule collection for fall 2020, the brand has asked him to do a slight spinoff for the Chinese New Year, celebrating the year of the ox.

The capsule collection carries over some of the design elements from the fall collection, primarily Stussy’s graffiti font, but focuses on red and blue color highlights and adds oxen appliques on almost every item, ranging from jackets to the iconic Dior saddle bag to their logo-maniacal high top sneakers. For those who prefer a more subtle appreciation of designer brands, there are also tee shirts, pins, and jackets where only the Dior logos are apparent.

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Coach x Champion

In 2017, athletic apparel brand Champion saw a resurgence. Once again, what was old was back in style, and a new generation of fashionistas flocked to the stores to snatch up anything with the Champion logo. Fast forward to 2021, and the brand is still going full steam ahead, but this now with a collaborative partner found in Coach.

The connection between the two is not obvious at first, but it makes sense. Champion is a 100+ year old athletic apparel company, and Coach’s first bag was inspired by a baseball glove. Now the two have linked to bring forth Coach x Champion, a limited-edition collection that marries Coach’s craftsmanship with Champion’s athletic appeal. The collection includes leather jogger pants, bags, sweaters and shearling jackets with a reworked logo that combines Coach’s signature storypatch with Champion’s C-logo jock tag.

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Converse x Telfar

Telfar Clemens. We’ve mentioned him on our Fashion Reverie before. He’s the Liberian-American designer from Queens, New York who’s the creator of the “Bushwick Birkin,” the popular and much-sought after Telfar Shopping Bag. In 2017, Clemens won the CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund in 2017, and also collaborated with White Castle to create uniforms for 400 franchises as well as a retail capsule collection. In early 2020, he announced an upcoming collab with Gap (which was ultimately postponed due to COVID-19), and later in the year announced an upcoming collaboration with Ugg that is slated to launch in the fall of 2021.

That said, for spring 2021, we get the Converse x Telfar collection, a two-part athleticwear capsule that includes tee shirts, hoodies, sweatpants, and sneakers. The first part, named the “pre-collaboration collection” includes 2 pairs of Telfar-adorned classic Chuck Taylors, retro-inspired tee shirts, and a track suit. The main line is set to be released later in the spring.

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Lee x H&M and Simone Rochas x H&M

H&M has become known for their celeb and designer mashups. From Beyonce and Madonna to Karl Lagerfeld and Balmain, these collabs have been on every budget fashionistas calendar for over a decade. In 2021, we get not one, but two collections to look forward to.

The first is Lee x H&M. This is an ambitious collaboration centered on sustainability that looked at every stage of denim production which resulted in H&M’s first 100% recycled cotton jeans and a new cotton-free denim made from renewable man-made fibers. The women’s collection has wide and loose jeans have a 90s throwback feel, and denim corsets add a feminine edge. The men’s relaxed fit five pocket jeans are cut from 100% recycled cotton, while relaxed carpenter jeans are made with water-saving dyes. There are denim accessories, such as bucket hats and tote bags, to round out the more sustainable collection.

The second H&M collaboration of 2021 is with Simone Rocha. This is the first time the designer will release clothing for men and children, as she is widely popular for her romantic, embellished womenswear. This collection will align with Rocha’s brand aesthetic by incorporating florals, pinks and reds, beading, tartan and bespoke fabrications for the whole family.

—Carl Ayers

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