Two brands. One, the coolest of insta models are spotted wearing. The other is where your coffee table is probably from. That’s right, last week Virgil Abloh, OFF-WHITE’s chief executive, live streamed a sneak peak of the two brands collaboration. To be honest I am quite interested, I think OFF WHITE is an exciting brand, Abloh is a creative genius and Ikea… creates sturdy furniture I guess. My question is, why is this collaboration needed, because if I wanted designer furniture surely I’d go somewhere more prestigious than Ikea?
I get what Abloh is trying to do – create furniture that millennials (the age group that generally like his brand OFF-WHITE) can actually afford. With the designer promising the collection will retail at Ikea-like prices, it is quite exciting. But why? I like a rug as much as the next person, but in all honesty I couldn’t care less if it was normal Ikea collection, or a part of this collab.My problem probably stems from the fact that I’ve never been super into designer labels. If a top is nice I’ll buy it, regardless of whether it’s got a logo on it or not. I can see the hype, it just doesn’t affect me. That’s why these collaborations are getting stranger and stranger to me. I understand they’re beneficial for both brands, with collaborations creating a buzz about brands, getting the attention of new audiences and generating bigger figures. I just wonder how long will it be until we all catch on that just because a designer name is slapped on a rug, doesn’t make it any better than a regular rug.
It’s not just Virgil Abloh that has gone down the weird collab route (to be clear I have nothing but respect for the man, and slating him in any way pains me), other designers are just as guilty. I’m still baffled by the Tommy x Gigi collection. Gigi Hadid, a model with no previous fashion design experience, managed to bag not one, not two, not three but four collections with Tommy Hilfiger. Considering she’s one of the biggest IT girls right now, if that isn’t a PR ploy, I don’t know what is. Victoria Beckham for American store, Target, was another weird one. Why someone as high class as Posh Spice wanted her brand to be associated with supermarket chic confused me. It was pretty clear it was to make a quick buck, not because she thought it was the right image for her brand. Even one of my fave designers, Christopher Kane, recently did a collab with crocs which screams uncool without me even having to point it out.
Whilst, fair play to Virgil Abloh, I am secretly excited to decorate my flat in all OFF-WHITE-esque Ikea furniture (especially as it’ll be the closest I’ll come to being able to afford anything OFF-WHITE), the point I’m trying to make is that maybe brands should start collabing with other brands that actually fit their image. If I see one more mismatched collaboration I might begin to lose any hope for the fashion industry – it’s becoming increasingly clear that some brands are in it for the money alone, and are willing to risk their entire reputation it.
Until next time,
Images sourced from The Standard, Culture Whisper, Pinterest, Fashionista and Vogue