One of the unexpected surprises at Paris Fashion Week were two officially-licensed collaborations with 167-year-old publication The New York Times. French upscale street-inspired label Études presented scarves, caps, and T-shirts emblazoned with the NYT logo during its Fall/Winter 2018 collection, and editor-favorite Japanese label sacai similarly featured the NYT's “Truth is hard” campaign in its latest collection.
“We reached out to The New York Times to do a collaboration because of the main inspiration for our upcoming Autumn Winter 2018-19 collection,” says Aurélien Arbet, designer of Études.
The collaboration comes at a time when media is under scrutiny, thanks to a heightened awareness of the term “fake news,” which is often used to describe reputable publications that haven't given U.S. president Donald Trump preferential coverage. It's also timely in the sense that other brands like ONLY NY recently dropped a collaboration with New York Magazine.
“We are in love with The New York Times logo and what it represents, it stands somewhere between past and present, two notions we like to explore within our multiple projects in fashion and publishing,” adds Arbet.
Linda Zebian, executive communications director at The New York Times, confirmed that sacai also approached the publication to license the campaign. Designer Chitose Abe was particularly inspired by personal truths, standing by one's values, and truth as an affirmation of identity this season.
“While I was designing my F/W '18 men's and pre-fall '18 women's collections, given the climate we live in at the moment, I thought this was a great chance to affirm this notion by what The New York Times declared so perfectly,” says Abe.“From the very beginning, it has always been very important for me to create something new while being true to my beliefs and identity.”
Ironically, the NYT already sells plenty of its own merch, including a $28 logo baseball cap and a $25 white T-shirt with its “Truth is hard” slogan on it. But perhaps these high-fashion co-signs will only help boost the brand's street-style credibility.
For more media-inspired merch, check out the ONLY NY x New York Magazine collab.