The power of fashion collaborations can’t be underestimated. From the 1997 Stüssy and G-Shock collab to Uniqlo’s recent partnership with street artist KAWS, seeking out like-minded (and sometimes unlikely) partners to develop one-off products or ranges has been keeping labels relevant for years.
Aside from recognition and publicity, collaborations also give designers a reason to break the fashion calendar, with non-seasonal releases dotted throughout the year.
And alongside the famous, high-profile pairings, you’ll find a growing marketplace of collaborations between more established labels and younger, emerging designers.
Here are our picks of the best new partnerships to shop.
Mara & Mine and Albus Lumen
Mara & Mine’s handmade suede slippers acquired cult status after they were spotted on Cara Delevingne in 2013.
Now the Aussie footwear designers behind the label, Jasmine Stefanovic and Tamie Ingham, have teamed up with Marina Afonina, founder of Australian label Albus Lumen, on a limited-edition range of flats and suede ballet slippers featuring on-trend square toes. The colours – berry pinks, rich reds and deep blues – are inspired by Peru.
The collection will be available online and in-store in Sydney from the end of November.
Masseria Moroseta and Alex and Trahanas
Sydney’s Alexandra Heard and Heleena Trahanas founded fashion-and-lifestyle label Alex and Trahanas in November 2017. Their designs include cleverly-cut linen dresses and separates, and Venetian slippers, which sit alongside a range of Apulian ceramics.
After shooting their summer 2018/2019 campaign at Masseria Moroseta – a white-stone farmhouse in Italy’s Apulia region – the pair decided to collaborate with the Italian hotel to create an exclusive range of linen separates.
The collection has been inspired by the “slow life” of the region, with clean lines drawing on the architecture of the idyllic farmhouse and pool set upon hectares of ancient olive groves, surrounded by the Adriatic sea. The oversized La Piscina longer-line dress is designed for summer days by the pool, while the shorter Giorgia dress is named after the head chef at the hotel, Giorgia Goggi. Each one is available in white, navy, and white with navy and aqua stripes.
The special linen collection is available exclusively at Masseria Moroseta in Italy, and online at Alex and Trahanas.
Neuw Denim and Holly Ryan
Australian label Neuw Denim has joined forces with artist and jewellery designer Holly Ryan on a new denim capsule. The four-piece limited-edition range (which includes a pair of jeans, denim dress, denim jacket and yellow tee) has been hand-stitched, hand-brushed, and hand-grinded to produce a distressed aesthetic (without using harsh chemicals). Ryan has designed signature, graphic buttons (made from recycled materials), imprinted with her iconic “Picasso” face. Each button has been hand-sewn onto each garment by the Neuw team.
Both labels share a mutual respect for the environment and are dedicated to sustainable practices. This year Neuw launched a responsible and sustainable production initiative, which means all water used in the manufacturing process is renewed, reused, and recycled. And Holly Ryan has an in-house repair service and the option to return pre-loved pieces in exchange for a store credit or a redesign, so nothing goes to waste.
The capsule will be available in small drops in select David Jones stores from September.
Saint Laurent and Havaianas
Luxury French fashion house Saint Laurent recently announced an unlikely partnership with Brazilian flip-flop label Havaianas. It’s a rare event when Saint Laurent collaborates with a non-Kering brand (the luxury group that owns the label, as well as Gucci, Balenciaga, Alexander McQueen and Bottega Veneta). The result is a monochrome, zebra-print thong loosely inspired by the city of LA.
The on-trend shoe is available in men’s and women’s sizing and is sold in Saint Laurent boutiques in LA and Paris, as well as online.
Gorman and Mangkaja
Colourful Melbourne fashion label Gorman has teamed up with Mangkaja Art Resource Agency Centre, a fine art gallery, speciality store and studio space for Indigenous artists, on a limited-edition clothing range.
High-waisted linen trousers, an anorak, a sleeveless dress and a V-neck tank, among other garments in the range, feature artworks by five senior Mangkaja artists: Ngarralja Tommy May, Sonia Kurarra, Daisy Japulija, Nada Tigila Rawlins and Lisa Uhl. Vibrant colours and bold patterns feature throughout.
Gorman will also donate funds from the sale of the collection to support youth development and youth programs through Mangkaja for the community of Fitzroy Valley, WA.
Mangkaja x Gorman is available in all Gorman stores around Australia and online.
This article first appeared on Broadsheet on August 14, 2019. Some details may have changed since publication.