Fast Fashion X High Fashion

ashion collaborations have become a trend. This is a great marketing strategy where both the fast fashion brands such as H&M, Target etc. and high fashion brands such as Rodarte, Phillip Lim meet to produce a limited piece collection. These collaboration launches creates a lot of buzz for both the brands. The history of these high fashion created for mass market can be traced back to 1983 when Halston collaborated with JC Penny. These collections are popularly called “Masstige” . Back in 1983, this kind of collaboration did not have favorable repercussions for Halstons. He definitely started the masstige movement, which has proved to be very successful for the past decade.



Strategies — Brand Collaboration

Diversify Audience: Brand collaborations are taken as a great opportunity for both the brands to increase their market share. A strategic partnership is done by fast fashion brand along with a luxury brand to increase the bandwidth and outreach of their brand. It is important that these partnerships help both brands to diversify and reach new markets.

Complementary Brands : Choosing brands that complement your brand value is deemed very important in a collaborative setting. By this we mean, if your chief demographic is young audience such as H&M you can partner with Alexander Wang cause that demographic would be excited to get hands on the athleisure garments. This might not be true for a different fast fashion brand. Therefore, it is essential for both the parties to complement each other in a collaboration.

Brand-Audience Awareness : Perception of big designers at fast fashion retail stores have seen a complete paradigm shift over the years. Today, it is seen as a matter of pride for the designers to be collaborating with a mass market brand. Besides the amount of money designers make in these collaborations this kind of set up leads to the brands reaching a populist status among the consumers. Therefore to be successfull in such collaborations a good brand-audience fit is essential. Advertising and social media awareness is a common way to create brand audience awareness before the launch.

Pricing: How the finances of these collaborations work are not very clear. For some of the big fashion houses a lump sum amount is paid, which can be upto seven figures. The operational aspect of these collaborations are lead by fast fashion houses. These transactions are lucrative for both parties.

Noted Fashion Collaborations

hillip Lim for Target collection launched in Fall of 2013. This collection sold out online in a day. We believe the success of this collection can be based on the great quality of products put by these two fashion houses. For us the showstopper of this collection was the cross body bag, which came close to the pashli satchel the designer is known for.



This collection launched in Nov 2014. The athleisure collection by the designer was a great hit. What made this collection an instant success was that the designer stayed true to his brand image and created a collection with branding of “WANG” very clearly on its items.


In 2007, Target made a relevant collaboration with Proenza Schouler. This collection featured all pieces below $50. After showcasing this collection at Target Proenza Schouler PS11 bag became a style staple among all fashionistas. After this collaboration, these two brands got into an inamicable situation where Proenza team accused Target of knocking off their PS1 satchel.


ovember 2004 is when Karl Lagerfeld collection hit the store at H&M. This sold out in minutes for obvious reasons. This collection defined high fashion meeting fast fashion. The collection consisted of menswear and womenswear as well. Karl was not too happy by this collaborations as the production was limited in number depleting the stock as soon as they hit the stores.



Jill Sander worked as the creative director of Uniqlo in 2009. This is when the first collection was brought out. Selective pieces from +J collection was relaunched in 2014 in webstores and certain brick and mortar stores. This is an example of a successful collaboration, which was relaunched due to the demand and success.



Peter Pilotto for Target was a much anticipated capsule collection, which hit the market in early 2014. What made this collection a good one was the wide spectrum of items it encompassed. The usage of prints were beautifully exhibited in this collection. This is the first time that Target sold their collection at Net-A-Porter as well.

Looking Ahead

2015 looks like a promising year for these collaborationd to flourish even further. Most of the retailers keep these collaborations as a big secret till about the release date. At this point we are looking forward to a few collections and they are — Lily Pulitzer for Target and Beyonce for Topshop. We will keep you updated with how the year shapes up for this trend. We would love to hear from you about what you think of these collaborations and what has been a hit or a miss for you. Comment below to let us know.