Musicians Are the New Muses for Designers

Alexander Wang and Santigold

A Fall 2011 Alexander Wang campaign featuring the musician Santigold, left.

Rather than turning to the standard actress/model fare, young designers seem to be having a moment collaborating with musicians.  Whether they’re partnering with them on design, using the bards as muses, or doing clever cross-promotion through highly styled music videos, music and fashion are going hand-in-hand more than ever:

  • Lady Gaga and Nicola Formichetti are at the forefront of the trend, with the latter moving up from being Gaga’s stylist to designing for Thierry Mugler (and including Gaga in his first runway show for the fashion house, of course).
  • An ad for Alexander Wang’s Fall 2011 collection is actually a video of musician Santigold, remixing her single “Go.”
  • Designer Prabal Gurung eschewed the runway for the debut of his first resort collection, instead showcasing the looks via a music video featuring the female rapper Rye Rye.
  • Target promoted their collaboration with Zac Posen last year through a music video featuring the looks, donned not by models but by the video’s musicians, the all-female band The Like.

Even third party sites are providing music-fashion collabs.  One of our favorite online retailers to launch this year is 1band 1brand, which offers email subscribers discounts from a new pair of emerging designers and bands each week.  We hope the trend continues — seeing designers’ collections actively featured in, say, a music video is a lot more engaging than merely checking them out as donned by an actress.