Posts tagged ‘fashion’

Taking collaboration in successful stride.

In building brand awareness and reaching a larger target market, collaborations have historically proved to be a successful tool and marketing strategy. One of the product categories to best utilize and execute collaborations has been footwear, particularly athletic shoes. Athletic shoes historically have been seen as a utilitarian object – used primarily for exercise, or daily casual wear. That is until they started marketing themselves as collectible pieces, similar to Carrie Bradshaw’s iconic Manolo Blahnik collection on Sex and the City.

Sneaker collecting became a mainstream trend when Nike and Michael Jordan introduced Air Jordans in 1985. Since then, most sneaker brands have experimented with various collaborations but there are three brands in particular that have been most successful in utilizing their collaboration to reach a completely new audience – Puma, Converse and Reebok.

Puma first partnered with the highly conceptual fashion designer and filmmaker Hussein Chalayan in 2008 by becoming a majority stakeholder of his business and appointing him as their Creative Director. Since then, they’ve launched Puma Black Label and have partnered with various other high profile fashion designers such as the late Alexander McQueen. The partnership with Hussein Chalayan is particularly successful in that he is able to blend his own conceptual and innovative design thinking with Puma’s sleek, minimalistic style and experiment in different materials and shapes that are non-traditional for athletic wear. This brings a more fashion-conscious and trend-oriented consumer to Puma and gives Chalayan a new ready-to-wear market to grow his own brand recognition.

image via

Converse has also been incredibly innovative in their collaboration partners, particularly with embracing the materiality of their shoes (they are canvas based unlike the leather or man-made materials of their competitors). They brilliantly partnered with textile and pattern experts Marimekko and Missoni. Finnish based design brand Marimekko is particularly famous for printing on rough textured fabric and bringing this very basic material into a high fashion context, which is exactly what they did for Converse. The collaboration between Converse and Marimekko combines both an iconic American brand with an iconic European brand, therefore expanding both to a global audience and it brings together high fashion, basic materials and functionality in a beautiful new product.

image via

Reebok just launched their collaboration with the Keith Haring Foundation, a project I was personally involved with. Reebok has been collaborated in the past with iconic artists like Jean-Michel Basquiat and Ryan McGinness and this collection is a natural expansion and a very strategic way for them to embrace the history of the company. Reebok’s brand awareness and popularity peaked in the 1980’s and by working with an iconic artist from that period they are able to build off their impact during that era while using contemporary manufacturing methods to create shoes that really push the boundaries of both art and sneakers by having removable pieces and 3D elements. These shoes are truly collector’s pieces that are must-haves for both the art community and sneaker collectors.

image via

Footwear companies have really figured out how to do collaborations successfully for both brands involved. Other product categories are starting to experiment with collaborations as a marketing tool and some are doing so more successfully than others. It will be interesting to see moving forward how this strategy affects long term brand building and awareness, and how it can help brands expand their global reach.


May 27, 2013 at 12:29 pm Leave a comment

What does an architect look like?

What do real architects look like?” rhetorically asks Bryant Turnage of the Washington DC-based architecture, design, and urban planning blog “Off the Mall” (love that name, by the way). Turnage continues with some answers: “Well, that’s an easy question. An architect wears all black clothing, usually a turtleneck, and eyeglasses with thick, black plastic frames.”

“Instant Architect” via Core77

“Or maybe an architect wears a sharp suit and handmade leather shoes, and dons a hard hat whenever called to the construction site to review thick rolls of blueprints.”

“architect and supervisor reviewing blueprints” from iStockphoto (and from page 1 of results when I googled “architect”)

“No, wait, an architect wears distressed designer jeans, carries a well-used messenger bag, and is rarely seen without iPod earbuds firmly in place.”

photograph of an architecture student from The Satorialist

Turnage goes on to encourage architecture professionals to find ways of publicly showing what real, non-stereotyped, non-urban chic architects really look like, and even made a Flickr pool for people to upload photos of themselves.

“What Do Real Architects Look Like?” was an especially timely article (published February 8, 2011) because Architect Barbie was revealed a mere five days later during New York’s Toy Fair 11 (February 13-16, 2011). While the history of how the doll came into existence is definitely empowering (check out Design Observer or GOOD for the scoop), there have been mixed reviews on the final product.

via Architizer

February 27’s daily design idea is my own reaction to the new Barbie: I’m thrilled to see the idea of female architects playing out on such a national stage (because women are definitely underrepresented in the profession), but my biggest problem is that the idea of “career” within the whole line of professional Barbies is so oversimplified. I believe that the non-linear career path will only continue to become more common, which makes answering the question of “what you can be” more complicated (and more interesting) than what Mattel presents it to be.

February 27, 2011 at 4:45 pm 3 comments

Stylin’, Union Square, NYC

Re-blogged from Brooklyn Theory.
Originally posted October 30, 2010.

Stylin’, Union Square, NYC

>> October 30’s daily design idea is which (co-)influencer came first, fashion or the built environment?

October 30, 2010 at 10:29 pm Leave a comment

A Alicia

Re-blogged from Modish.
Written by Jena Coray.
Originally posted October 19, 2010.
Copyright 2006-2010, Modish.


“Navy seems to be my new favorite color to wear all of the sudden. And I’m really liking these knitted necklaces from A Alicia in pretty navy color combinations. They look classic and modern at once, and the chunky feel is perfect for the chilly days up ahead!”

>> October 19’s daily design idea is never underestimate the impact of an unexpected material (or of great alliteration).

October 19, 2010 at 10:37 pm Leave a comment

Fashion Week’s biggest makeover.

via Architect Magazine (September 14, 2010):

“This is the first year that the New York Fashion Week is being held at Lincoln Center instead of Bryant Park, so it’s only natural that the cultural institution’s architects of the moment should be involved. Diller Scofidio + Renfro, whose Lincoln Center work includes the recent redesign of Alice Tully Hall, the renovation and expansion of The Juilliard School, the Hypar Roof Lawn, and the Lincoln Restaurant (which opens later this month), have created an installation that serves as the entrance to Fashion Week’s tent-covered runways.

“The 50-foot-high volume—fabric wrapped about a structural support system—seems to hang in midair, touching the ground at a single, small point. What makes it striking, especially on first glance, is the print on the fabric, which mirrors the color and texture of Lincoln Center’s ubiquitous travertine cladding, giving the volume the illusion of solidity even as it floats a few feet off the ground.”

photo by Iwan Baan for DS+R

September 14’s daily design idea is is the power of illusion equally intriguing in both the architecture and fashion worlds?

September 14, 2010 at 9:37 pm Leave a comment

Pencil users’ night out.

With the kick-off of New York’s Fashion Week comes an exciting event tonight – “Non Fashion People’s Fashion Night Out” – a direct and flattering parody of Fashion’s Night Out that gives non-fashion designers the chance to be wildly creative in the design of something one-of-a-kind and wearable.

Our favorite item from the catalog is the Silver Sharpener Ring by Monika Wyndham, who seems to design all sorts of amazing things all the time. From the catalog:

True: pencils become dull with use
False: pencil sharpeners are easy to find when you need them
Text “nonfashion18” to 767825 (portal) to buy

September 10’s daily design idea is what would you design if temporarily working in another creative industry?

September 10, 2010 at 12:18 pm Leave a comment

Hooked on Red Hook.

Until Jeremy Pickett personally introduced Daily Design Idea to “New York’s best kept secret neighborhood,” we were guilty of only knowing Red Hook because of the Real World cast from two years ago and IKEA. It was absolutely wonderful to finally see Red Hook for its charm, stunning views, and breezy island feel.

While we were primarily in the area to check out the high-quality (and highly-personal) Pickett Furniture, there’s a few other fun spots we’ve learned about along the way:

Press-friendly uhuru makes Red Hook its home, as do many artists and designers that show at the Brooklyn Collective. General Nitemare and Atlantis both deal in vintage furniture and provide upholstery services (and they each specialize in one of those, respectively). Bopkat Vintage is a great spot if you’re looking for Vintage clothing, while Erie Basin is the destination for vintage jewelry. The nearby Erie Basin Park is a stretch of public waterfront that “is both a tribute and a tombstone to the industrial past—and a surprisingly optimistic statement about Brooklyn’s future” writes Jeff Byles in The Architect’s Newspaper. And if all that design appreciation leaves you needing some sustenance, you can grab a sweet (and made that day) treat at Baked or a beer brewed locally by Sixpoint at one of the nearby bars.

June 19′s daily design idea is sometimes a new view is all you need to clear your head and get some inspiration.

This post is part of the Brooklyn Discovery Guide produced by Daily Design Idea. Email us to have your neighborhood featured next!

June 19, 2010 at 5:16 am 4 comments

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