For a fashion brand, a partnership with a dancer or ballet company is perhaps the ultimate association. It can grant instant credibility among lovers of the arts, not to mention grace, beauty and stature from a cast of models who can seemingly make the clothes sing with one simple step.
It can be done through homage (who could forget Givenchy’s Haute Couture Spring 2011 tribute to dancer Kazuo Ohno?) or through costume design, like Christian Lacroix’s work for the American Ballet or Giles Deacon’s costumes for the English National Ballet.
In Australia, the affiliations with The Australian Ballet have been no less impressive. There were the early partnerships with Collette Dinnigan and Easton Pearson, to the more recent collaboration with Akira Isogawa, who designed the breathtaking costumes for last year’s Romeo & Juliet.
The latest dance and fashion initiative is the Swan Lake Limited Edition, a new Sambag capsule collection for The Australian Ballet. Speaking to Broadsheet, Sambag owner and creative director Sam Wagner says the brand’s involvement with the ballet community has been a natural extension.
“The Sambag brand is best known for its beloved ballet flats, which come in variation after variation each season, so the association with The Australian Ballet was a natural connection. When an opportunity arose to align the Sambag brand with The Australian Ballet, I knew it was the perfect fit.”
Harnessing the individual style of its six ambassadors (and their interpretation of the famous Swan Lake) the collection features six designs of Sambag ballet flats. The group includes actors Rachel Griffiths, Alyssa McClelland and Emma Lung; former principal artist with The Australian Ballet, Lynette Wills; celebrity trainer Amelia Burton; and online fashion editor Alison Parr.
The Swan Lake Limited Edition initiative will help raise funds for the Company’s Pointe Shoe Fund, for which Sambag has been the official sponsor for two years. Ten percent of profits will go towards the fund, which helps pay for some of the hundreds of pairs of pointe shoes the dancers use each week.
To launch the initiative, Sambag called upon famed photographer, Stephen Ward, who has delivered an atmospheric campaign featuring the ambassadors with their respective ballet shoe. With both companies celebrating milestone birthdays this year, it feels an apt union.
The Swan Lake Limited Edition collection is available through Sambag stores or via their website.