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For the most part, designer collaborations are well-received, highly anticipated and notoriously difficult to get your hands on before they sell out. The amount of designer collaborations has skyrocketed in recent years, and with the help of celeb fans, it's not hard to imagine why these pieces are such hot commodities. For a brief overview of notable collaborations, from their controversial incarnation in the '80s until now, here are some of the best fashion partnerships of all time.
Disco-era designer Halston can be credited with the very first mass-market collaboration, joining forces with department store giant JCPenney in the ‘80s to create the controversial, cheaper Halston III line. The collab was the first of its kind and was poorly received by other upper-tier department stores, like Bergdorf Goodman, which stopped carrying the more-expensive Halston Limited line in fear that the JCPenney mark had cheapened its overall appeal.
The Issac Mizrahi partnership was notable for two reasons: It was the first and longest-running Target designer collaboration (lasting from 2002-2008, when Mizrahi eventually jumped ship for Liz Claiborne) and it introduced the designer to mainstream America. The extremely lucrative partnership reinvigorated the designer's own career, with the line eventually including accessories, bedding, housewares and even pet products.
In 2003, the renowned Japanese artist debuted his pop-art-adorned Louis Vuitton collection, resulting in a collab with major cultural impact. The multicolored, monogrammed pieces almost instantly became a Hollywood staple for celebs like Jessica Simpson, Paris Hilton and other major stars of the time. The lengthy partnership also included a museum stint at MOCA in 2007, but the historic partnership eventually ended its run in June 2015.
Katy Perry's go-to designer (and recent Met Gala date) is known for his kitschy designs and his partnership with Adidas is no exception. The longstanding union, still strong today, includes the designer's infamous winged sneakers, playful, printed track suits and other eye-catching designs.
Along with Target, H&M is another mass-market brand that hopped on the designer collaboration bandwagon in the early 2000s. Lagerfeld's collection was the first pairing for the Swedish store, and the collection unsurprisingly sold out in seconds, setting the tone for the plethora of high-end H&M collaborations to come.
Christopher Kane was a relatively unknown designer, at least among the masses, until he introduced his first capsule collection with Topshop in 2006. His sheer dresses and alligator-embellished pieces were widely in demand, and he went on to produce two more collections for the brand—the last of which was in 2009.
The well-known British artist partnered with Levi's and the Andy Warhol Foundation to bring to life a kaleidoscope-inspired collection of denim wear, which debuted at the Levi's Berlin flagship store in 2008. The paint-splattered jeans, jackets and other utilitarian items were popularly sold at trendy LA boutiques like Barneys New York, Fred Segal and American Rag.
Kanye West's sneaker collaboration with Louis Vuitton was one of many but was just as lavish as you'd expect. Flashy pink soles, tassel embellishments and gold shoelace rings were all a part of the package. Although Kanye famously fell out with the brand and went on to create Yeezy sneakers in partnership with Adidas, the collaboration itself yielded a mean range of collectibles. (In case you were wondering, Kanye's most recent Adidas Yeezy Boost collection is out now.)
The Lanvin x H&M collection was actually much more high-fashion and arguably less wearable than any of H&M's other collab ventures. Taffeta cocktail dresses and overly-bejeweled embellishments wore well for the fashion set but were a bit trickier for the general public to find a place for. Regardless, the artistic collection was highly acclaimed.
The Missoni collection spanned more than just ready-to-wear fashions. The brand's iconic chevron-printed pattern adorned everything from bicycles, blankets and other homewares within the sold-out collection. The partnership was so successful, in fact, that the retailer's site crashed on the launch date and the brand accidentally over-sold inventory that they didn't have.
Following the CFDA's successful partnership with GAP, next up was a J.Crew union designed by Prabal Gurung. The collection of silky blouses, suits and tuxedo pants (all with an emphasis on bows, which were Gurung's signature) was in keeping with the designer's runway motifs, but at an affordable price.
The fashion crowd was particularly excited for this Jason Wu collection because it elaborated on the designer's affinity for girly details like pleating, bows, florals and stripes that were so prevalent in his runway collections. The best part? Everything in the collection was under $60.
French designer Isabel Marant hit it big in the U.S. with celebs like Rosie Huntington-Whiteley and Alessandra Ambrosio sporting her pink jeans and wedged sneakers, so a collaboration of this size came as little surprise to fashion insiders. The H&M collection featured an assortment of peasant tops, embellished pants and fringed booties that perfectly echoed the designer's Parisian, bohemian sensibility.
With the support of Jenna Lyons, President and Creative Director of J. Crew at the time, the brand debuted a small-scale collaboration with Public House, a Manhattan-based label that won the 2013 CFDA Menswear Designer of the Year award. Since this opportune J. Crew partnership, the nonchalant menswear brand has vastly expanded into a household name for both men and women.
Off the heels of collaborations with with Narciso Rodriguez, Catherine Malandrino and Derek Lam, Kohl's debuted another affordable designer collaboration with Som. The difference between Kohl's collaborations (which began in 2012) was that each designer's collection was inspired by a particular locale. Som's ultra-wearable collection was St. Barts-inspired and ideal for weddings, garden parties and other fancy-casual events.
It's only fitting that the "Happy" singer's collection would evoke the same cheery aesthetic as his music. With bright, colorful sneakers, tees and jackets, Pharrell Williams debuted his "Supercolor" collection in April 2015. The 50-color range includes an assortment of rainbow-colored sneakers that have been seen on the likes of sneaker lovers Gwen Stefani and Gigi Hadid.
Vivienne Westwood's exclusive collaboration with Opening Ceremony is entitled "World's End" and it features a series of unisex items, a reoccurring theme with a vast majority Opening Ceremony's partnerships. Pricey? Yes, but the punk-inspired collection speaks to the designer's roots in the industry.
With supermodels Gigi Hadid and Kendall Jenner backing the brand, it's no surprise that the collection sold out in seconds (mobs and all) at the line's launch last week. In fact, the collaboration is the high-street store's most successful one to date. If were lucky enough to snag something from the line but you're stumped on how to style the hard-to-wear pieces, click here.