Why are so many fashion houses collaborating with streetwear labels?

With the rise in popularity of streetwear brands, it is no surprise that fashion labels are getting in on the trend and trying to gain some street cred. 

When I hear the word “Gucci”, what comes to mind is the Italian fashion label, with its signature red and green stripes, “GG” print bags, and double G belts gilded in gold. I am assuming those images appear in most peoples heads when they hear “Gucci” dropped from someone’s lips, but as of now, “Gucci” is a word to describe a feeling. Urban Dictionary defines Gucci as a word synonymous with cool, chill, good, or awesome. For example, if someone asks you how you are feeling, “I’m gucci.” could be your reply.

Gucci has always marketed itself as a luxury brand for the elite, but now it has shown us a different side of how it can be worn: streetwear. Gucci is trying to persuade us that a cool $705 dollars should be spent pairing the infamous Gucci Logo Cotton T-Shirt with distressed denim, sneakers and your scuffed up skateboard.

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So why is it that designer brands such as Gucci and Louis Vuitton are getting in on streetwear?

They are trying to seem like they are accessible

Fashion houses are using streetwear as means to appear as if they are casual and not so out of reach to the general public. If they are able to sell their products to normal people who wouldn’t normally own Dionysus or Neverfull bags, then they are able to achieve pretty much anything marketing wise. If they are able to break free of their target market (rich women or designer things addicts) and sell to unlikely customers (teenage boys or Lil Pump fans) then their job is done and they have reached the nirvana of marketing ploys.

They want to go in a new direction

If you had been designing more or less the same things for the same market since the late 19th century, their is no doubt you would get bored. You will never see the same things walking down the runway at Gucci or Louis Vuitton, but the clothes on the stick thin models are created for more or less the same audience every time. Marketing towards a new generation or subculture allows Gucci and Louis Vuitton to exercise new ideas and rethink their brand.

They are checking out new designers

Major fashion labels are always looking for up and coming designers who will grow to become the next megabrands in fashion. By collaborating with popular streetwear labels, the fashion house gains popularity with the crowd following the streetwear brand, and the streetwear label gets experience in the big leagues and is shown the ropes of the fashion industry by a more experienced designer. Many brands begin as independent labels who design for skaters and eventually cross over into runway territory. A pertinent example of this I can think about is supreme. James Jebbia started Supreme in 1994 as a streetwear label but now has collabed with Louis Vuitton, had runway shows, and has even been featured in Vogue’s September issue this year.

Here are some things from the Supreme x Louis Vuitton collaboration:

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The last one is Louis Vuitton x Supreme x Adidas, as you can probably tell by the logos and signature adidas silhouette. The site I viewed them on describes the collaboration as Luxury Streetwear, which is the perfect name.

 

What do you think about high end brands collaborating with streetwear labels?

 

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