Fashion has long used music as a source of inspiration for its changing trends. From the drug-induced UK rave culture of the 1980s – where fashion was as important as the music and quickly spilled over from the clubs to the catwalks – to subcultures that are dictated solely by the music they are aligned with. Their relationship is inescapably intertwined. Now, instead of waiting for these trends to bubble up from the street to the designers, the designers are reaching out directly to the source: the musicians. We compiled a list of our eight favorite fashion and music collaborations, covering original music soundtracks composed for catwalk shows to collaboratively designed capsule collections.
Dior Homme x Justice
Back in 2009, Justice reigned supreme after the release of their debut LP, Cross. For Dior Homme’s Spring/Summer 2009 catwalk show, creative director Kris Van Assche roped them in to produce an exclusive soundtrack to accompany the catwalk show. And that’s not all Van Assche borrowed, referencing the French electronic duo’s distinctive style of fitted leather jackets and skinny jeans, with pops of color and metallic fabrics as a nod to the bold graphic designs of Justice’s music videos.
The Parisian label Kitsuné was founded in 2002 as the epitome of a fashion and music crossover. Combining a fashion house with a music label allowed them to create a hybrid brand that directly addressed two entwined industries, while using each one to create more buzz around the other. For their 10th anniversary show at Pitti Uomo, they enlisted some of their recently signed acts to perform their upcoming material, all the while wearing clothes from the Maison Kitsune Spring/Summer 2013 collection. Showcasing both their music and fashion talents simultaneously means they can use one platform to market both sides of their business to the same audience.
Saint Laurent Paris x Daft Punk
Ahead of the release of their much-anticipated fourth studio album, Hedi Slimane recruited Daft Punk to produce their take on the American blues musician David “Junior” Kimbrough’s music for his inaugural collection for Saint Laurent Paris. But the collaboration didn’t end there. Shortly after, Daft Punk starred in their very own exclusive Saint Laurent Paris editorial, repping the brand in black, glittery jackets designed by Slimane himself.
Rick Owens x Zebra Katz
Rick Owens and Zebra Katz’s partnership began with the former using his “Ima Read” track for his Fall/Winter 2012 catwalk show – the collection that featured the infamous S&M ripped ski masks – which was the perfect accompaniment to the brutalist vibe of the collection. Since then, Rick Owens has called on Katz again, using the track “How Do You Feel” for his Spring/Summer 2013 show. The partnership didn’t stop there, however, as the short video by Dazed and Confused details the extent of their collaboration.
The modest A.P.C. KANYE collection consisted of jeans, T-shirts and hoodies – staple items essential to any wardrobe. Yeezy already dipped his toe into the fashion industry with two consecutive womenswear catwalk collections back in 2012, but sadly they were panned by critics. He struck up a friendship with Jean Touitou, the founder of contemporary French brand A.P.C., after seeking advice regarding his approach to fashion, and after two years of hanging out they decided to come together for an exclusive collection of their favorite basics.
Alexander Wang x Diplo
Alexander Wang‘s previous campaigns have included promotional videos featuring some of the brightest new stars in music. Azealia Banks and Die Antwoord, for instance, have both provided the soundtrack and visual accompaniment to his past collections. More recently, Wang requested the assistance of Diplo for his Fall/Winter 2012 collection campaign, which consisted of a series of campaign images and video featuring A$AP Rocky.
Vivienne Westwood x Sex Pistols
It may be the least official collaboration on our list, but nevertheless the relationship between Vivienne Westwood and the Sex Pistols was pivotal in laying the foundations for the subculture we now know as punk. Westwood started out making clothes which she sold in Malcolm McLaren’s boutique, SEX, and he just so happened to be managing the upcoming band the Sex Pistols. It was a natural progression for Westwood and McLaren to help style and dress the Sex Pistols, contributing to the band’s overall look, spawning the punk style which carried on throughout the ’70s.
Tom Ford x Justin Timberlake
Justin Timberlake‘s current style is a far cry from the double-denim of his ‘N Sync days, sporting a more refined look for which we can largely thank Tom Ford. Timberlake enlisted Ford’s help as creative director for his third studio album, The 20/20 Experience. The pair have been working on a series of bespoke tailoring including eveningwear, shoes and accessories, some of which JT can be seen wearing on the cover of and in the video for “Suit & Tie.” It’s a well-balanced collaboration where both parties reap the benefits, with exceptional coverage for Tom Ford and a polished style for Timberlake that appropriately mirrors the progression of his music.