Very little sells better than celebrity when it comes to fashion. But what’s proved to be the true winning collaborative time and time again is finding common ground.
From an international superstar like David Beckham coming together with high street retailer H&M, to legendary American basketball player Michael Jordan’s super successful collaboration with sportswear giant Nike (setting a precedent for many to follow), fashion’s most successful pairings over time have been all about togetherness.
Here are a few menswear collaborations that won the world over – despite their initial differences.
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Probably still one of the most successful collaborations of all time, Michael Jordan and Nike. The Air Jordan I was originally designed in 1984 – but available to buy in 1985 – and has since been re-designed and re-launched over 30 times. It was a first for the basketball industry, and a first for the fashion world. Michael Jordan, the legendary Chicago Bulls basketball player, endorsed the sportswear shoe back in the 80s and even though he is now retired, its success continues to grow. According to SportsOneSource, the total Jordan U.S retail shoe sales hit $3 billion in 2015.
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Back in February 2012, British football legend David Beckham dabbled in design for Swedish high street retailer H&M. Despite the two being from entirely different industries, they creatively combined to produce a Bodywear Collection. From trunks and boxers to briefs, the debut range came in 3 shades: black, grey and white. After being sold throughout 1,800 stores in the UK, its success was taken stateside. And they too loved Beckham’s take on pyjama bottoms, vests, long johns and t-shirts – all modelled by the footballer himself. And then the two came together again in 2015 for Modern Essentials Selected by David Beckham. The style icon – who modelled the campaign once more - picked his favourite pieces from the brand’s heritage inspired collection for spring.
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Back in the 90s, well-known actor Mark Wahlberg collaborated with Calvin Klein to produce one of the most successful advertising campaigns in the fashion world to date. Some may have considered it to be a risky move for someone trying to make their name known in the world of acting, but it paid off as the two worked well together. With the slogan ‘Marky Mark’ in 1992 – and paired with supermodel Kate Moss – the young actor modelled the brand’s now best-selling style with aplomb. And this paved the way for the brand’s most recent collaborator: Justin Bieber. The musician posed with model Lara Stone last year for a similar set up, and again success reigned.
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The technics-turntable trio came together with the sportswear brand Adidas in the late 80s. After releasing their song ‘My Adidas’ the trio encouraged fans to hold up their own pair of Adidas sneakers while they performed the song. Ultimately, this led to the first of it’s kind: a $1 million dollar endorsement deal between a sportswear brand and hip hop artists. Sales of the Superstar style hit close to half a million in the same year they were released. After taking their street look mainstream then came a Run-DMC line – consisting of leather tracksuits, jumpers and t-shirts - with sponsored tours.
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Long has the signature style of rappers equated to oversized clothing matched with multiple larger-than-life pieces of jewellery. But the tides are turning. Thanks to the likes of Kanye West, the world of hip-hop and R’n’B has changed its stereotypical silhouette. Two years in the making, the musician’s collaboration with French ready-to-wear brand A.P.C. was certainly a collusion of two very different worlds, with a great outcome. Within hours of the Kanye West x A.P.C capsule collection – from jeans and hoodies to t-shirts - hitting the Internet in 2013, the range sold out. And it happened all over again with their second offering in 2014. Now, what’s followed suit is a line-up of fellow rappers collaborating with various non-sportswear brands – from A$AP Rocky and Guess to Pharrell Williams and Chanel handbags.