Analyst Insight by Michael Lieblich, Contributing Analyst, Euromonitor International
Since H&M, the fast fashion retailer, launched its first designer
collaboration with Karl Lagerfeld in 2004, followed later by Jimmy Choo (2009)
and Versace (2011) to name but a few, the publicity surrounding collaborations
in the luxury goods industry has rapidly increased. When Louis Vuitton started
an artistic collaboration with graffiti artist Stephen Sprouse in 2001 there
was a lot less publicity and media hype than with today’s current collaboration
with Yayoi Kusama. But what are the benefits of collaborations between high
street brands, luxury brands and the world of art?
Collaborating with Missoni
Most recently, Havaianas, the Brazilian brand famous for its wide range
of flip-flops, launched a special footwear range designed in collaboration with
Missoni, under the Missoni Loves Havaianas label. The range is available at a
large number of Havaianas stockists, along with directly owned Havaianas and
Missoni stores. To an extent, this detracts from the luxury element, where
limited availability is the key to creating demand and an aura of exclusivity.
However, the collaboration still brings a number of benefits for both parties.
From Missoni’s perspective, on the one hand this allows customers to buy into
its range at a much lower price point, which works in a similar way to
H&M’s collaborations with luxury designers. Following the initial
“affordable” purchase, consumers are likely to trade up and purchase other
Missoni products. On the other hand, the collaboration has furnished Havaianas
with a way of drawing in new luxury goods buyers who would not have previously
bought into the Havaianas brand, also helping to expand its consumer base.