5 Fashion Houses That (Almost Always) Refuse to Collaborate


Yohji Yamamoto for Hermes

We’re all familiar with fast fashion collaborations, their ubiquity, and the subsequent excitement mixed with exhaustion when faced with the breaking news of yet another designer diffusion line.  So, in light of that feeling, let’s take a look at the stalwart labels who refuse to partner up with a mass market retailer, or, for that matter, even let another designer in their doors.

Models sport Yohji Yamamoto’s Hermès bag, a single example of the French label’s collaborative side.

1. Hermès:  The house opened its doors once to Yohji Yamamoto, who created a simple bag for the Hermès fall 2008 collection, but that’s about it for any design outsourcing.  And the iconic French luxury leather goods label has certainly never offered a diffusion line.

2. Cartier:  Cartier executive Pierre Rainero has openly declared the company “sees no point in working with external designers.”  If the iconic jeweler is going to maintain its status as a true maison, why would it?  Instead, Cartier keeps the whole atelier, from design to creation, under one roof.

3.  Prada:  Speaking of just saying no, when it comes to a cheaper diffusion line, Miuccia Prada has likewise declared she’s “never even considered it.”  The designer is reluctant to create a fast fashion line on the basis that all it offers is “bad copies.”

Madonna models the one-off collection of sunglasses she designed with Dolce & Gabbana.

4.  Dolce & Gabbana: Forget collaborating with a fast fashion retailer, Dolce & Gabbana isn’t even offering an in-house secondary collection anymore.  The company just folded D&G into its eponymous main line.  And aside from a bizarre one-off foray into sunglasses with Madonna, the label keeps all their design in-house.

5.  Hedi Slimane:  Though the skinny jeans he’s credited with inventing may have become a staple of fast fashion, former Dior Homme designer Slimane once claimed “I don’t like the collusion between high fashion design and high street. You have to know where you stand.”  That said, he’s not opposed to creating a less expensive line — he would just do it, he told Style.com, “if it was aiming for an original design and a long-term commitment.”

It’s not fast fashion’s cheapness that’s inherently problematic to Slimane — instead, what he, along with Miuccia Prada, take issue with is creating a line that might boil down to being a worse copy of their current product.


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