Collaborations between designers and companies are all the rage right now so it's no surprise indie label Heatherette has teamed up with Puma to introduce a new, limited edition handbag. The PUMA Lydia Bag - inspired by the designers' muse, Lydia Hearst, who launched the original French 77 Racket Bag in 2006 - is currently available at The PUMA Black Stores in New York City and will also be available in Tokyo beginning in May.
This latest pairing is only one of the many successes associated with this type of coupling - a movement that has certainly proven its longevity. In the past, the likes of Karl Lagerfeld, Missoni and Kate Spade have collaborated with both artists and labels to create a "special" item or line. Likewise, companies such as Coach, Puma and even General Motors have called upon designers and artists to team up on new accessories, products and brands.
Back in the late nineties, collaborations were viewed as a movement within the sports industry. Players would team up with companies like Nike and Reebok, create a shoe or line of active wear, which they'd then promote. The attention surrounding these pairings was positive and continued to catch the attention of retails giants who eventually started incorporating the same ideas into their own labels and lines.
Today, there are so many successful pairings it's hard to single out any as being the best-of-the-best. But there are definitely standouts, which to me suggest even greater things to come. Here are a few to check out…
A girl's gotta love her shoes.
Catherine Malandrino and French ballet shoe company Repetto: Kate Moss cites these flats as her favorite to wear with jeans and tees and I couldn't agree more. I adore their sophisticated Parisian style and fantastic metallic colors, which will make any casual outfit POP.
Marc Jacobs and Vans: Skater shoes are incredibly cute when worn with straight-leg jeans and hoodies. If that's not your thing than at least appreciate the ingenuity of having a crossword puzzle - one of Jacob's newest patterns - on your feet.
Y3 + Adidas: When it comes a comfy trainer, who doesn't love a little edge? The ongoing collaboration between Yohji Yamamoto and Adidas, which began in 2002, is sleek, neutral and minimal. A word of warning though: colors do not apply.
Stella McCartney and Adidas: This shoemaker knows how to capitalize on good relationships. Stella's beautiful aesthetic is further accentuated with her snazzy sports performance collection. From clothes and shoes to yoga mats and racket bags, there's something for everyone in bright cheerful colors.
These clothes aren't bad either.
H&M and Madonna: H & M pairs up with designers all the time, but the addition of hipster Madge to it's brood of talent is something worth mentioning. The star's tack suits make comfort cool and the prices aren't bad either.
Kate Moss and Topshop: She may not be a designer in the true sense of the world but she is the face of fashion. UK chain Topshop couldn't agree more. In May, Moss's new collection will debut with Studio 54-inspired bikinis, party dresses, tuxedo jackets and shorts. The collection will begin with 80 pieces and will be sold in Topshop franchises around the world.
Target and Proenza Schouler, Paul & Joe (my favorite), Luella Bartley, Tara Jarmon, Behnaz Sarafpour, and Libertine - who is rumored to be next on list. Target has proven its genius with the release of its designer collections. The prices, colors, patterns, cuts and overall sensibility are entirely personal and that's what's truly great. I think every girl will agree that these clothes are a fantastic way to experience the label without blowing through an entire months' rent. Now if only they'd do menswear.