The Current Trend: Designer Collaborations

Ever since the 2008 recession, the world of fashion has stepped off its high horse and made itself more accessible to the masses.  First came Anna Wintour’s brainchild, Fashion’s Night Out.  This event, originating in New York City’s Soho neighborhood, had retail stores open late and populated by celebrities to attract consumerism.  Soon, many major cities adopted this concept and rolled out the red carpet in some of the best shopping streets in the world.  I was lucky enough to attend FNO in Paris last fall and it certainly was a successful event.  I have a shirt from Zara to prove it.

To continue amping up the cash flow, high-end designers have also created less expensive lines.  My first memory of this is Vera Wang’s collaboration with Kohl’s.  From that point forward, it became common for a successful brand to launch with a major department store.  Target has had a large number of these, including the wildly popular Missoni and 3.1 Phillip Lim labels.

The most recent store to gear up with a well-known designer is H&M.  The Isabel Marant brand encapsules the ubiquitously cool French look (Marant invented the sneaker wedge.)  Usually priced in the thousands, her designs are available at an above-average price for H&M, but certainly at a bargain in terms of this designer.  With the grand opening of New Orleans’ first H&M on Decatur Street, I suggest snatching up these pieces for a fraction of the cost—while they last.  Happy shopping!