Collaboration is what happens when people companies work together to produce something. Amazing things can happen when people and organisations work together.
In fashion, particularly street fashion collaboration between brands and artists have been steadily on the rise since 2007 but really boomed in 2015 and are now a staple of the fashion industry.
The collaborations between brands and artists have birthed some of the biggest and most exciting projects of the past couple of years. Some of the most notable collaborations are Rihanna’s collaboration with Puma, which resulted in the Fenty x Puma range, Virgil Abloh’s collaboration with Nike and Kanye West’s collaboration with Adidas that marked the genesis of Yeezy.
The most recent collaboration to hit the shelves is the much anticipated collaboration between pop star, Miley Cyrus and skating and lifestyle apparel producers Converse.
Miley’s gender neutral collection consists of apparel and the iconic Chuck Taylor All Star reimagined by the singer. The range is quirky, youthful and adds some whimsy to the skater brand, with its glittery accents and playfulness.
The collaboration works because both parties benefit from the project. Converse gets to tap into Miley’s star power, which comes with her millions of followers and her celebrity friends.
Miley Cyrus benefits because she gets to create interest around her and her foundation and this collaboration could serve as a catalyst for collaborations with other brands in the future.
On the other end of the spectrum is global fast fashion retailer Zara, who is notorious for blatantly copying the works of artists. The retailer is in hot water once again for appropriating the designs of South African designer, Laduma Ngxokolo.
Zara’s latest collection of socks carried Maxhosa by Laduma’s distinct signature patterns. The socks resemble the geometric shapes from Maxhosa by Laduma’s 2014 Khanyisa cardigan that made its debut at Mercedes fashion week.
Many South African’s have taken to social media to express their anger and disappointment at the fashion conglomerate. Laduma has since taken legal action against the Zara and is suing them for copyright infringement.
In the case of copying only one party benefits – in this case it’s Zara. Artists put a lot of time and effort into the work that they create and it’s unfair when big brands like Zara abuse their power and steal their work.