A sartorial retrospective of the musical persuasion
by Cessi Treñas, Art by Alexandra Lara
It’s no secret that music breaks borders—sometimes even those of the sartorial world. Some of the most memorable beauty campaigns and clothing collections have been the upshot of partnerships between musicians and fashion or cosmetic labels. Here, we look back on 10 of our favorite music and fashion collaborations:
Beauty junkies and No Doubt loyalists just about lost their heads at the October announcement of Urban Decay’s collaboration with songstress and fashion designer Gwen Stefani. The hype was perfectly understandable considering Gwen’s untouchable cool girl status. With a total of 15 surprisingly wearable shades, the covetable palette combines 3 of Gwen’s Urban Decay favorites and 12 brand new hues, each representative of an aspect of the multihyphenate’s life.
MAC VIVA GLAM
Make-up collaborations have come and gone, but one has yet to top the impact and following of MAC’s Viva Glam campaign. What was once launched as a single burgundy lipstick shade fronted by RuPaul in 1994 has evolved into an esteemed line-up of collaborations with Hollywood’s most prominent personalities. Featuring the likes of Rihanna, Lady Gaga, Miley Cyrus, and Ariana Grande, the Viva Glam collections have been nothing short of successful in keeping beauty aficionados on their toes.
OPI x NICKI MINAJ
Nicki Minaj’s collaboration with OPI is the quintessential throwback to the award-winning rapper’s cotton candy hair and garish pre-2014 look. With names like Pink Friday, Did It On ‘Em, and Metallic 4 Life paired to 6 show-stopping hues, the collaboration was OPI’s way of welcoming a kick-ass 2012.
FRED PERRY x AMY WINEHOUSE
A widely recognized icon of all things retro, the late Amy Winehouse worked with British retailer Fred Perry to design three successful collections. Successfully translating Amy’s distinct sense of style into an assemblage of garments, the collaboration’s debut collection presented a sporty-meets-preppy take on mod silhouettes, chunky waist-cinchers, and cleavage-baring necklines. The final addition to the trifecta, released months after the songstress’ passing, focused on nostalgic Americana, but continued to share Amy’s unique touch.
SOLANGE x PUMA
Solange Knowles had joined forces with Puma twice before, but neither of her earlier collections made waves of the same weight as her most recent campaign did. Entitled A Word to Women, the tonal line-up of suede sneakers celebrates women of all sizes and colors. The singer-songwriter’s creative direction and personal interviewing of the 14 women chosen for the campaign adds an extra layer of authenticity to the collaboration.
RITA ORA x ADIDAS
Within the past few years, Adidas has been delivering a never-ending slew of collaborative collections. Overshadowed by Pharrell’s ambitious Supershell offerings, Rita Ora’s designs for Adidas did not make as big a splash in Manila as it did in other countries. However, the collection deserved much more attention than it received, what with its diversity and wearability. Adidas kicked off the partnership by releasing the Black Pack–which featured dark sportif garments–followed by the Pastel, Colorblock, Roses, and Planetary Power packs. The musician teamed up with Adidas once more to launch a vivid Spring/Summer 2015 collection, which took influences from pop art and futuristic motifs.
M.I.A. x VERSUS VERSACE
With so many collaborations coming into fruition, it has become increasingly more difficult to come up with unique approaches to fashion. But in 2013, one partnership struck gold with a one-of-a-kind, almost tongue-in-cheek concept–one that shed a light on infamous counterfeits that most labels choose not to acknowledge. Singer-songwriter M.I.A.’s collaboration with Versus Versace was a print-heavy spectacle that drew inspiration from Versace imitations.
RIHANNA x RIVER ISLAND
If the collaboration’s three-peat is anything to go by, it’s safe to say Rihanna’s 2013 partnership with River Island was a high-standing success. Prior to her sartorial endeavor as Puma’s creative director, Rihanna launched three collections with a little help from her favorite designer, Adam Selman. Kicking off the collaboration with bright colors and feminine grunge at London Fashion Week, Rihanna followed up with street-chic tie-dye patterns and cropped pieces, tomboyish military prints and monochrome stripes, and a mix of glittering garments and boxy silhouettes. As expected of the singer, nothing less than Riri’s signature sex appeal was carried out through every installment.
KANYE WEST x ADIDAS FOR THE YEEZY BOOST 350
With the number of collaborations he has under his belt, Kanye West may very well be the king of fashion partnerships. Among his arsenal of apparel and footwear collections is one pair of shoes that draws attention for lack rather than excess. The Yeezy Boost 350s, which come with a cushioned sole and primeknit body, are comfortable, minimal and infinitely stylish.
JUSTIN TIMBERLAKE x TOM FORD
Image: Getty Images
Having successfully graduated from his noodle hair and denim-on-denim ensembles from his NSYNC heyday, Justin Timberlake was recognized for his sleek sense of style circa Suit & Tie era. This was all thanks to Tom Ford, whom Justin recruited as an exclusive designer for his 20/20 Experience World Tour. The partnership resulted in Ford creating over 600 individual pieces for Justin and his team.
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