It’s official, designer collaborations with high street stores are officially in vogue! H&M recently experienced mass-hysteria from fans with collections by Versace and Marni and Designers at Debenhams with collections by Brit favourites Matthew Williamson and Henry Holland have been celebrating success for a number of years. So is this a sign of times changing and could this mean that designer really is more accessible than ever before?
I remember a couple of years ago purchasing a Christopher Kane for Topshop dress. Only slightly more expensive than a typical dress from Topshop, it made me feel a million dollars when I wore it. And I think I partly felt that simply because of the label in it. Designer collaborations with high street stores are so successful because people want to wear something and feel special. And this is the whole philosophy of the designer garment essentially.
British fashion designer Olivia Rubin, who graduated from the highly esteemed Central St Martin’s has collaborated with a number of high street names from ASOS (where she started) to Very and now most recently Dorothy Perkins. Giles Deacon had his Gold range for New Look and even Stella McCartney had an unlikely collaboration with Adidas.
But it’s not only the more established designers who are bringing more to the high street. Topshop’s NEWGEN scheme launched in 2001 aims to nurture up and coming designers through sponsorship for catwalk, exhibitions and presentations. Members of the NEWGEN alumni including Peter Pilotto and Mary Katrantzou recently designed t-shirts to be sold by Topshop during LFW 2012.
And not forgetting Rory Longdon, winner of the 2011 George Gold award at Graduate Fashion Week who celebrated the launch of his capsule Christmas knitwear range at ASDA stores nationwide.
Graduate Fashion Week 2012 promises to add even more promising up and coming designers into the mix!