Collaborations are nothing new (remember 2007 when all we cared about was Kate Moss and Topshop bringing heroin chic to the masses?), but at the moment you can’t swing your tote in a high street store without taking out a dozen pieces designed by a couturier or celebrity.
As the hotly anticipated Alexander Wang x H&M line drops into stores, we look at some things you should consider before launching your Honey Boo Boo sneaker line.
- Agree not to damage each other’s brands. Back in 2004 Karl Lagerfeld collaborated with H&M. When the collection was released, he turned on the Swedish giant, stating he would never work with them again because he had designed a range for “slender or slim” customers, and H&M made sizes for normal people. Nice one, Karl.
- Intellectual property. Be clear on who owns the designs.
- Payment. Will the designer be paid a flat fee for providing the designs, or an ongoing royalty?
- Termination. How can you pull the pin if it’s a flop? In one of fashion’s biggest WTF moments, Ungaro engaged Lindsay Lohan to design a few seasons' worth of lines. The first show was the laughing stock of Paris Fashion Week 2009 and Ungaro quickly ended the relationship.
- Define the market. Will the range be sold in one or two specific markets, or worldwide?
- Competition and exclusivity. Will the designer be prevented from creating a range for a competitor for a certain period?
- Promotion. What obligations will the designer have to promote the range? Jessica Simpson partnered with The Tarrant Group to produce a low-priced collection, including Princy jeans. Despite agreeing to promote the range, Jess refused to wear the jeans at public events, and ultimately admitted she much preferred True Religion. Tarrant sued for $100 million.