Fendace. Adidas x Gucci. Fendi & Sarah Jessica Parker. It seems like every brand is collaborating in one way or another these days, whether with an influential celebrity, cool brand in another category, or even with a fellow fashion brand.
So why are collaborations so popular for fashion and beauty brands at the moment? To get the inside scoop, I reached out to Hilda Batayneh, the Founder and Executive Creative Director of Reunited Clothing. At Reunited Clothing, Hilda has facilitated influencer and celebrity partnerships with clothing brands, finding the perfect pairings of brand and influencer and leading the way for these collaborative partnerships to become such a major part of the industry. Hilda has worked on collaborations like Olivia Culpo x Marled, Rocky Barnes x Express, and Lauren Lane x Sonoma at Kohl’s, as well as celebrity brands like Royalty by Maluma for Macy’s.
Keep reading for her insights on why collaborations are such a big part of the fashion & beauty industry as well as how to ensure successful partnerships.
SARAH BOYD: What makes for a successful celebrity collaboration?
HILDA BATAYNEH: The most successful celebrity collaborations happen when the talent is truly invested in the project and engage in the process from start to finish. This includes also conceptualizing the campaign and using it as an opportunity to tell their story. It’s important for them to have a passion for fashion. This isn’t about a contract and deliverables. It is important that they are authentic and have a sense of ownership because their audience can sense the level of authenticity.
SB: What you look for when pairing influencers or celebrities with fashion brands?
HB: The most important thing is for the goals of the brand and the goals of the talent align. When the mission is the same, the journey has many synergies and a successful outcome. For example, if the brand’s goal is to acquire a new customer base we look for talent whose audience is composed of that specific demographic.
SB: What types of celebrities or influencers lead to the best-performing collections?
HB: The best-performing collections come from the talent who knows their audience and engage with them on a more intimate level. They truly not only know what they are looking for but also take into account their feedback and apply it to the collection. It is like their own unique focus group who constantly give feedback in real time that can then be used to influence decisions. It becomes a collaboration that fills a void in the market and therefore exists out of a need rather than a want.
SB: What about brands collaborating with other brands? For example, Taco Bell and CALPAK recently partnered on a limited-edition luggage collection. Why do you think these brand x brand collaborations have been popular lately?
HB: A Collaboration like this is sure to be clickbait. The unexpected partnership of a household fast food chain like Taco Bell, and a fairly new contemporary luggage brand like CALPAK will garner interest and engagement from virtually anyone just out of sheer curiosity alone. The consumer will click through to see what this partnership is all about, and by default the partnership has already garnered more engagement than more expected partnerships
It is oftentimes the most unexpected of partnerships that create the most buzz and the opportunity for both brands to mutually benefit each other. In this case, CALPAK the lesser known brand benefits from the name recognition of Taco Bell. While Taco Bell benefits from the innovation and elevation associated with a brand like CALPAK. The odd pairing is in a way simply genius.