Luxury has always defined itself through its unparalleled craftsmanship, high prices and exclusivity. Though in recent years, non-luxury brands have disrupted the market. A new customer has been created; one who wears both Rick Owens bomber jackets and thrifted jeans simultaneously, including stand out and laid-back pieces.
The rise of streetwear and sneaker culture in mainstream fashion, thrifting becoming more popular and the functionality found in non-luxury items are all reasons that explain this shift within the fashion industry. According to Jing Daily, another big factor for this change comes from high-fashion’s biggest consumer market, China. In recent years, Chinese luxury-buyers have started to mix Western luxury items with garments from local Chinese labels, in order to create unique looks which embrace their culture and individuality.
With online retailers like Farfetch carrying brands such as Burberry and Gucci besides brands such as Carhartt or Dickies, high fashion brands are now competing in the same court as non-luxury brands. It’s also no secret that some of us just can’t or don’t want to spend thousands on an item, yet would love to buy into a luxury brand. So how do luxury houses cater to these kinds of consumers and adapt to this less uptight new world? Through collaborations of course, it’s the can’t beat them? Join them.’ approach.
We have rounded up 4 of our favourite collaborations between luxury and non-luxury brands that not only felt authentic but were instant hits and endorsed by celebrities, Hypebeasts and every fit-posting-Instagram user.
Gucci X The North Face
What happens when you mix an iconic outerwear brand with one of fashion’s top luxury brands? The urban hiker is born. And turns out, everyone wants to be an urban hiker. Since announcing their partnership last September, Gucci X The North Face has become one of the most anticipated collaborations. Released in December 2020, the gorpcore collection combines The North Face’s technical wear with the luxury designs of Gucci. From puffer jackets and hiking boots to sleeping bags and a tent, the 70s inspired capsule became the new style for hypebeasts and luxury-fashion wearers. The puffer jacket is reselling for US$9,447/£6,864 on Grailed. Check out our Grailed shopping guide for more rare hyped listings.
Dior X Nike Air Jordan 1
The rise of streetwear and sneaker culture has undoubtedly changed the fashion industry, and the Dior X Air Jordan 1 is a prime example of this shift. Released in July 2020 to the public, the High OG Grey shoe was the first collaboration between Dior and Nike and was priced at US$2,200/£1,800. Though priced as a luxury item, the shoe became an instant hit and sold out within seconds. Due to the fact that only 8,000 pairs were released to the public, and that this was an extremely hyped first collaboration, the Dior Air was dubbed the most expensive shoe ever. Its highest sales price peaked between US$13,730 (approx.)/£10,000 and US$27,470 (approx.)/£20,000.
Rick Owens X Champion
If Champion wasn’t already your go-to choice of hoodie, its collaboration with Rick Owens will surely win you over. Having already collaborated with brands such as Doc Martens and Converse, Rick Owens is maximizing on the potential offered by non-luxury brands. For SS21, Rick Owens and Champion released a capsule collection that included t-shirts, sweatpants, shorts and underwear. It also revisited Champion’s signature reverse-weave basic hoodie which featured an oversized Rick Owens-approved pentagram. These hyped pieces became the new every-day basics, adding a hint of goth to everyone’s fits.
Maison Margiela X Reebok
Maison Margiela and Reebok are frequent collaborators and have released three shoes since their first collaboration; revealed during Paris Fashion Week in January 2020. While their Tabi Instapump Fury Hi shoe retails for US$1,490/£1,125, their latest Illusion sneaker is priced at US$300/£220 (approx.), offering their products to a wide range of customers (not like it’s easy to get your hands on them). Their most famous sneaker though has to be the Split Toe Club C shoe which revisits Reebok’s classic leather sneaker, but as the name says, features Margiela’s signature split toe feature. Kim Kardashian was the first to tease the sneaker, further proving that non-luxury brands are finding their footing in the most elite of closets.