StockX reported in August that search results also spiked for collaborations such as the BAPE x Coach bucket hat, Cactus Plant Flea Market x Marc Jacobs Tattoo tote and the sought after Gucci x The North Face tee.
Some coveted items are proving to be a worthy investment over trading shares on the stock exchange. Sellers of rare brand collabs are making an average 60 per cent premium on hard-to-find products.
Major brand collaborations aren’t always between luxury fashion brands, elusive artists and uber-famous musicians and athletes, either. Many popular collaborations have been between fast fashion retailers, well known artists and high end fashion brands — essentially creating a limited edition diffusion line. By emphasising product scarcity these brand collaborations for the masses ensure it is accessible enough, while still driving consumers to race to acquire goods.
One of the most popular brand collaborations on StockX has been the KAWS x Uniqlo tees in 2019. The American artist and designer Brian Donnelly, known as KAWS is famous for a cast of figurative characters. These toys are like trading cards to hypebeasts. The KAWS brand is deeply embedded in popular culture and with it brings serious street cred. A typical investor in the KAWS x Uniqlo collaboration has seen 82 per cent return on their portfolio over the past two years.
It’s hard to believe that products from brands collaborating and sold on secondary marketplaces can inspire such a significant hike in value. And prompts you to wonder what makes a fashion collaboration so successful?
Fashion x Art since the 1930’s
One of the first true collaborations between fashion and art dates back to the 1930s in Italy. Fashion designer Elsa Schiaparelli and surrealist artist Salvadore Dali worked together, combining their creative genius to produce Shiaperelli’s most iconic garments of that era: the Organza Dress With Painted Lobster, the Tears Dress and the Shoe Hat.
The success of this collaboration comes down to the artistic alignment between the duo. Schiaperelli and Dali both developed a recognisable surrealist aesthetic in their respective fields. And the result of working together birthed a new genre of creative expression to reach new audiences through different mediums.
Since then, we’ve seen many highly desirable collaborations and also some poor executions. The key is in curating authentic partnerships between brands and artists, which go deeper than a fleeting marketing campaign to drive sales.
You can’t buy brand equity
Products from unique brand collaborations have the potential to increase in value over the years. Similar to rare antiques, art and cars. The intangible brand equity that attaches itself to these products stands the test of time and popular culture.
‘Supreme and Louis Vuitton popularised street-wear designer partnerships, and today nearly a quarter of all apparel and accessory products on StockX are the result of a brand collaboration. By partnering with the likes of Jordan, Nike, BAPE, and Supreme, OG designers like Dior and Comme des Garcons are moving to the centre of the hype space,’ according to StockX.
There’s satisfaction in finding rare brand collaboration items and the possibility of making money ignites the hunt. And with most prized possessions there comes a time when a reputable marketplace is needed to safely buy and sell products that can also verify their authenticity.
StockX: the modern day Sotheby’s
Sotheby’s is the world’s largest broker of fine art, jewellery, and collectibles. Some of the most valuable pieces have passed through the prestigious auction houses. Their highly trained team of experts on hand to assess and certify items, instilling confidence in buyers and sellers.
Counterfeit products creep into almost every facet of fashion, art, and collectibles, and rigorous assessment of rare items is crucial. While there’s considerable difference between Sotheby’s and StockX, they both place high importance on verifying authentic items.
StockX brings the auction to people, providing an accessible platform to buy and sell unique streetwear products. Whether it’s a KAWS x Uniqlo tee or a pair of Dior x Jordan 1 high top sneakers worth upwards of US$12,000, knowing whether it’s genuine still counts for a lot in this market.
To millions of hypebeasts, StockX is the modern day Sotheby’s – a global community who see more than just a tangible product. These items shed street credibility, which only matters to those in the know.
Unique brand collaborations in streetwear are taken seriously. Just as Off White with IKEA and Louis Vuitton with Supreme found a platform to create something special and extremely hype-worthy, the StockX marketplace allows the full value of these partnerships to be realised over and over again.