Collaboration between fast fashion and celebrity designers are an increasingly common practice. The collaboration results in famous designers of luxury brands creating capsule collections and special products for fast fashion brands. Successful H&M’s collaborations with designers such as Karl Lagerfeld, Versace, Balmain and Moschino among others have kept pushing the boundaries of fast fashion for the last fifteen years. In this light, the case discusses Giambattista Valli and H&M’s collaboration. Giambattista Valli was born in Rome, founded his house in Paris in 2005 and embarked on Haute Couture for Paris Fashion Week in 2011. After his first collection, he was accepted as an official member of the ‘Chambre Syndicale’ de la Haute Couture. He was surrounded by a growing group of faithfulls from the aristocracy – the ‘Valli girls’. Giambattista was relatively discreet about his private life but was exuberant when it came to expressing his vision and professional inspirations. His collaboration with H&M was unveiled at the time of the amfAR Gala, held in Cannes. It was a runaway success. Specifically, the case goes on to analyze the H&M designer collaborations, with a particular focus on Giambattista Valli’s positioning of #ProjectLove. It explores the topics of: (a) democratization of the luxury business – the masstige phenomenon from both a managerial and psychological/behavioral perspective; (b) collaboration as a strategic lever for both the brands; (c) imminent risk and challenges of such a strategy; (d) the dilemma of creating consumers’ confusion with the associations of distant brands; (e) the pre-conditions such as advertisement and marketing campaigns needed for such collaborations to be successful; and (f) future of collab as a strategy in the fashion business in the post-COVID world.
SOM, A. (2020). Giambattista Valli x H&M: The Logic of Collaboration. ESSEC Business School.