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30th November 2022

The strange collaborations the fashion world didn’t need

Collaborations can be creative, political, or often both at the same time. But they are also a stamp of exclusivity for those who can afford them. We take a look at some of the weirdest collaborations that have been released recently, and consider if they really need to have happened
The strange collaborations the fashion world didn’t need
Photo: Mark Doliner @ Flickr

Over the past few months, some increasingly odd collaborations have begun to emerge from the fashion world. They seem forced, out of touch and, in most cases, unnecessary. Who even needs a high-heeled Croc? We take a look at some of the strangest examples.

Burberry X Minecraft

Minecraft green creeper face
Photo: Aiminfreddy9 @ Wikimedia Commons

The most recent strange collaboration (November 2022), was Burberry with Minecraft. Burberry bridged the virtual world with real life, with a clothing line like no other. With a price range from £280 to £2,090, customers can buy comfy-casual apparel decorated in designs of Minecraft’s pixelated blocks. Items include, but are not limited to, jumpers, jogging bottoms, trench coats, shirts and even a scarf. Burberry described the collaboration as “inspired by the narrative of our in-game adventure.”

But, who is this collaboration for?

Minecraft is a hugely popular game that’s accessible through gaming platforms. Released in 2009, its target demographic was mostly young boys aged between six to 13 years old. Although this has since expanded to encompass a larger age range, the game is still most popular with children.

On the other hand, Burberry is a luxury fashion brand with a target demographic of highly affluent women. Its glamorous appeal frankly does not suit the demographic of Minecraft. Most six to 13 year old’s are not decked out in Burberry. Their collaboration seems incredibly ill-matched.

Balenciaga X Crocs

In spring 2022 creative director for Balenciaga, Demna Gvasalia, graced the runway with Croc-Dutch core. Think Croc rainboots, slides, you name it. The most jaw-dropping was a pair of high-heeled Crocs clogs. Yep, they’re real (and £450)! Balenciaga redefines the meaning of haute couture. And yet, many thought this collaboration made sense.

Demna uses his designs to make social commentary. For him, collaborating with Crocs – positing an everyday and largely accessible shoe as a luxury- was an opportunity to make people think. On his end, the collaboration seems innovative. But, the pairing is particularly odd for Crocs. The brand prides itself on being functional over formal. The Balenciaga/Croc high-heels can in no way be described as functional.

Like the Minecraft collaboration, it is equally hard to decipher who these shoes are for. From Crocs’ end, this collaboration feels like fashion gentrification. Bulldozing fairly ordinary items with over-priced silliness.

Travis Scott X McDonald’s

Mcdonald's burger and fries
Photo: Polina Tankilevitch @ Pexels

All things considered, food collaborations are not too far-fetched. In fact, this collaboration is probably the least strange out of the pairings we have seen recently. Despite that, the circumstances surrounding the Travis Scott X McDonald’s collaboration are undoubtedly questionable. It’s important to keep in mind that this collaboration was released in 2020 during the pandemic.

With people scared to leave the safety of their homes, drive-thru takeout was a source of comfort. Given that drive-thru systems were naturally social-distancing friendly, fast-food chains triumphed over sit-down restaurants. But what has this got anything to do with fashion?

Travis Scott released a meal with the fast-food company – the ‘Travis Scott Meal’. As well as a line of merchandise which included crew neck T-shirts and hoodies, branded with the golden arches and the name of his record label, Cactus Jack. Interestingly, Morgan Flatley, McDonald’s US Head of Marketing said that Travis “will resonate and spark excitement with our youthful multicultural customers.” This implies that through fashion, more young and culturally diverse people will eat at McDonald’s.

But with all this in mind, would you wear the clothes from any of these collaborations? Why are these brands targeting two very distinctly different audiences, where either likely cannot afford the new price tag. Those who can afford the collabs seem far from interested.  Are they really necessary? We think not.

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