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Fashion and Luxury Collaborate: Why Luxury Brands are Partnering with Nike, Adidas

Brand collaborations happen all the time nowadays. Anything goes, whether it’s fashion, decor, food, or whatever else you can think of. It allows brands to move past their brand identity and extend their reach to other markets; just this past January, Balmain introduced a collab with Barbie that includes pink Balmain bags, tees, hoodies, and even Barbie NFTs. When it pertains to fashion, it’s not exclusive to streetwear or celebrity brands either. Luxury name brands like Louis Vuitton and Comme des Garçons have tapped into different audiences with the help of activewear brands. 

One of the largest sportswear brands worldwide is Adidas, which is open to partnering with plenty of brands. Shoppers can go down their list of collaborations with names like Beyoncé’s Ivy Park, Star Wars, and LEGO. The list will also feature foreign names like Prada and Fiorucci. Early June, they are working with Gucci. The Italian brand merges its flagship green/red stripes and patterns with Adidas’ trefoil logo, making a nostalgic collection for fashion connoisseurs–gaudy or otherwise–everywhere. 

This follows the late May collaboration with Balenciaga, another Kering collaboration for Adidas. They collectively unveiled their Spring 23 collection at the New York Stock Exchange, complete with latex-clad models covered with the bright colors associated with the German active brand. 

Just last month, Nike announced that they were partnering with French fashion brand Jacquemus for a minimalist women’s sportswear line. Being that Nike is the highest-grossing fashion brand in the world, plenty of brands are itching to work with them. They are also drawn to some of Nike’s iconic shoes and pieces that make their brand so iconic. 

“I have always been inspired by vintage ACG pieces and Nike campaigns from the ’90s. Having this imagery in mind, we designed women’s athletic wear with sensuous details and neutral colors, along with my own interpretation of the Humara, my favorite Nike shoe,” said Jacquemus.

Designer Simon Porte Jacquemus blends his simple but vibrant pieces with the Check’s legendary active aesthetic for tennis and hiking-inspired line. With the addition of Jacquemus, Nike adds another luxury brand to its ranks, enlisting the talents of Louis Vuitton, Balmain, Off-White, Dior, and Supreme. 

The collabs haven’t stayed within the realm of the two sports giants, either. New York luxury brand Aimé Leon Dore has been working with New Balance for the past three years. PUMA x AMI has some more affordable options for a luxury collaboration since their continued “family affair” in March 2022. 

With these brand crossovers becoming the norm, one would question what happens next? Luxury brands are always looking to expand their audience and activewear brands have a wide fanbase that will absolutely buy designer items at a higher price point. Maybe readers can expect unique forays into some peculiar items (Gucci tablecloths anyone?) like streetwear pioneer Supreme is known for–red nunchucks, a crowbar, a brick. At this point, fashion is expected to go the wild and wacky path. As we said, anything goes and expect the unexpected to come next.

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