Wednesday, 13 October 2010

Collaborations Are The New Black… How many is too many? 13/9/10

We’ve noticed a significant rise in luxury brands collaborating with mass-market retailers. Valentino with Gap, Lanvin with H&M, Jimmy Choo with H&M, Stella McCartney with Target. The list goes on. We wonder how many it will take before the novelty wears off? How many, before its too many? Is the collaboration from a high-end designer with a more commercial retailer nearing the end of its popularity? It doesn’t seem so. While we understand there is a certain strategy behind collaboration involving brand awareness and covering ground not usually covered with the limited luxury or high-end marketing strategy. Still, the question begs to be asked. If a designer like Valentino can really make a fabulous ‘capsule collection’ for one fifteenth of the price, doesn’t it raise some questions about mark ups? We have been in the luxury industry for long enough to know that of course there is more to the extravagant price tags of luxury goods than a name. Exotic fabrics, embellishments, different production methods separate the crème from the crop. However, giving the public access to too much of something that is meant to be rare and exclusive, we can’t help but wonder if it cheapens the brand. Both in terms of exclusivity and perceptions of having ‘sold out.’ The oh-so-important existing customers may begin to get a little miffed. Thoughts anyone?

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Genevieve said...

I completely agree. Although it is a good idea the first few times, once everyone does it certain luxury brands will lose their prestige, their magic.

It also seems, in some ways, desperate if they are trying to collaborate with mass producers , to get their products out there for cheap, as if they have to cheapen their product to get people to buy it. I know this is not exactly the case, as these luxury brands are so successful, but it can sometimes give the impression of being a bit desperate, if it is done too often.

Why would you aspire to own something Valentino, when you can just go get a diluted Valentino piece from Gap? Or Stella McCartney from Target?

A very interesting post, as always.


MO said...

Yes, dilution of the real beauty is the concern. Thanks again for your comments, your blog looks good to, thanks for sending the link.

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Melinda O’Rourke is the founder and Director of MO Luxury, a dynamic, Sydney-based management firm specialising in luxury brands and services. Melinda and her associates at MO work with local and international brands across prestige retail, fashion, fine jewellery, timepieces and specialised services. Melinda is well-connected, well-read, and well-versed in the demands of the luxury market and its client base. Her advice is firmly based in objectivity and ultimately, accountability. Melinda offers constructive counsel and both strategic and creative thinking and is able to draw upon a strong network of specialised talent to compliment the MO Luxury team as needed. Melinda enjoys excellent industry relationships and is regularly quoted in the business and fashion media. Read more about MO Luxury,