Why Designer Collaborations Are So Important For Shoppers Today

14/08/2014 16:40 | Updated 20 May 2015

Sara McCorquodale

I remember the first designer collaboration I ever fell in love with. I was seven-years-old and the line was on sale in my local department store MacKays, created in collaboration with Kylie Minogue.

Now in truth, it may have been just a bunch of clothes designed in the likeness of the popstar's style - being a massive 'Hand Of Your Heart' fan and busy learning how to spell, I never checked the legitimacy of the "Kylie Collection".

Meadham Kirchoff for Topshop

But in my small town, where clothes shops were few, that section of MacKays was just the best thing I'd ever seen. I'll never forget the day my mum bought me an entire outfit from Kylie - it looked so good, my sister threw a tantrum.

That was my first experience of falling in love with a designer retailer collaboration, but certainly not the last. I queued for H&M Jimmy Choos, tried desperately to get something - anything! - from Christopher Kane's collection for Topshop and my gym gear? Stella McCartney for Adidas.

There's just something pretty wonderful about being able to afford a designer you've seen cause a riot at fashion week - about owning a piece they've designed without completely maxing your credit card.

The proximity to high fashion designer collaborations has given us shoppers who can't go Net-A-Porter every time is nothing short of extraordinary. And the public reaction to these collections says it all - the only shopping events and launches on par with Isabel Marant for H&M last year in terms of excitement and build-up were the releases of the Playstation 4 and XBox One. Designer collaborations are diarised, talked about, hash tagged and a definite part of British shopping culture today.

This is why, as well as being the official media partner of the NatWest UK Fashion & Textile Awards, the MyDaily UKFT Designer Collaboration Award seeks to reward those collections. For giving us that proximity to high end, for making shopping an event and for producing clothes so beautiful, the sight of you wearing them is enough to make your best friend throw a tantrum. For all of that, we want to thank the best collaborations of the past year.


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