REINVENTING The Traditional Business Model
Marie Claire Malaysia|May 2020
Innovative partnerships might be the solution brands need to stay relevant
Ai Lim

Fashion’s never-ending quest for newness and relevance is a feature we are all familiar with. This pressing journey within the industry is further heightened in a modern, fast-paced world, where the need to stay current and engaging is more omnipotent than ever. The roots of these changes stem from the rapid growth of online shopping and social media, which in turn, have also brought about an immediate change in fashion consumerism.

In a bid to keep up with the demand, boost their brand presence and sales, brands extend their reach by way of extensive social media marketing with enticing digital content – feeding into this vicious loop of existential dependency. This prevailing attitude towards the consumer’s newly acquired habit is a sign of the times, no doubt, thanks in part to sky-rocketing advancements in technology. So how do brands keep up with this demanding pursuit of newness without losing their brand identity and ethos?

Collaborations might just be the answer to this conundrum. After all, maintaining public and industry interest in the brand is key to survival. In fact, collaborations are not at all uncommon within the industry. From Louis Vuitton’s extensive range of one-off exclusive collections featuring industry supers such as Karl Lagerfeld, Christian Louboutin and world renowned artist Yayoi Kusama, to Dior’s intricate collection of Dior Lady Art collaborations with female artists from all over the world, collaborations have cemented their distinctive place within the industry as a flowering branch that is ripe and ready for the picking.

The Benefits of Collaboration

The lucrative effects of collaborations are not just confined to the upper echelons of fashion but have also trickled their way to the humble labels on the high street. These effects and benefits are most evident with Swedish high street retailer, H&M, leading the pack. Their clever designer collaborations with distinguished designers such as Jimmy Choo, Balmain, Giambattista Valli and Erdem to name a few, have successfully generated positive brand perception and media impressions (Sherman L, 2015 BOF). And they show no signs of stopping. The latest addition to their roster of designers for 2020 include Colombian designer Johanna Ortiz and celebrated Indian designer Sabyasachi Mukherjee.

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