2020 was a year for the books. But still, many brands have shown great willingness to do things differently and attract consumers through creative partnerships. Here’s a list of the best artist collaborations with brands in 2020.
Throughout the year, many brands had to get creative with how to display their products or services — and if there is something that is proved to work, is unexpected collaborations. The partnering between two labels that may appear to share no common interest, is often the one that sparks the most conversations. Today, we take a glimpse at the best artist collaborations with brands in 2020.
We start with a collaboration that is still widely discussed and seen — the partnership between Gucci and The North Face.
According to the brands, the collaboration was brought forth due to both labels common interest in similar values and their history. Celebrating the spirit of exploration, the products of the exclusive collection are only available in select areas of the world and to certain people.
The partnership takes you back to the 1970s, and places you directly into the wild world of The North Face. Even though the collaboration is significantly innovative, it perfectly fits Gucci’s trajectory of taking its consumers back to the past. Evident not only in the recent collections, but also in its 90s inspired holiday campaign.
Ben Gorham is the founder of the modern fragrance house, Byredo, best known for their sophisticated scents and aesthetic appearance. However, in 2020, Ben became not only known as the founder of his own candle brand but also of the OSYNLIG collection.
The OSYNLIG collection was the second fashionable collaboration between a well-known creative and IKEA. The first one being the partnership between IKEA and Virgil Abloh.
The word “osynlig” is Swedish for “invisible” and really defines the characteristics of the collaboration. The collection featured a total of 13 candles, encompassing the variety of scents ranging from floral, to woodsy, to anything fresh.
Additional to partnering with Ben Gorham, IKEA teamed up with students from London’s Royal College of Art to understand how a scent can help transform a space.
Another distinctive and totally unexpected collaboration of last year, was Louis Vuitton x NBA. The merging of the two powerhouses symbolises a celebration in the cultural contribution of basketball with its diverse characteristics and ideals of unity.
The Creative Director for mens attire, Virgil Abloh, divided the collaboration into three categories — travel, game arrival, and press conference. The reason behind this division was to differentiate between the stereotypical basketball player’s wardrobe.
The high-class electric automotive brand Polestar steered things up in 2020. To introduce the new Polestar 1 in Germany, the brand took part in an exciting collaboration with Cherrydeck. Not only did the brand collaborate with one photographer, but with 5 photographers from Düsseldorf, Hamburg, Berlin, Cologne, and Munich.
The partnership with the five creators resulted in customised and location-specific content that allowed for a strong go-to-market strategy.
The collaboration was an outstanding example of how a brand can incorporate different cultural perspectives and insights to their brand and product.
In 2020, Mercedes-Benz and Virgil Abloh joined forces to bring a unique project to life. Here, the vision of the Artistic Director at Louis Vuitton and Co-Founder of Off-White merged with that of Gorden Wagener, the Chief Creative Director at Mercedes-Benz.
The creative duo rebuilt the famous G-class in the project known as “Project Geländewagen.” The result, a playful touch to an iconic car.
By joining hands with People’s Daily, Pepsi was able to introduce and celebrate the new generation of heroes. With the Coronavirus pandemic having taken the world by storm in 2020, Pepsi felt it was time to pay tribute to those on the frontlines — medical staff, volunteers, delivery personal, and many more.
The unique collaboration known as the “Everyday Heroes” campaign, presents an extremely unique and commemorative newspaper-like design on the cans. The combination of the red and blue colour palette, mixed with the real quotes from People’s Daily reporting makes the collaboration standout.
The more random the collaboration, the more people will talk about it? Well, that was more or less the case with the partnership between Cactus Jack (Travis Scott) and McDonalds.
For a limited time in 2020, McDonalds and Travis Scott collaborated to bring the artist’s favourite meal to the stores. Namely, an order that included a burger with cheese, bacon, and lettuce, fries with BBQ sauce, and a Sprite.
However, the month-long partnership went beyond a simple menu. Travis Scott and McDonalds also supported a charitable organisation and launched a custom apparel collection.
The partnership that may have seemed random, ended up proving itself unique. It was the first time since 1992 that the name of a celebrity was featured on the McDonalds menu, with the last being Michael Jackson.
The cold and flu medicine company partnered with Steven Alan and Christina Viviani of the fashion label, The Great Eros, to launch their very first clothing line, “Sickwear.” Though the collaboration was a shock for many, it couldn’t have been more meaningful — with the flu season fast approaching.
The limited collection consisted of lightweight unisex sweatshirts, tank tops, loungewear sets, and jumpsuits. And it featured antimicrobial and temperature-regulating fabrics in calming colours. The intent behind the unusual details being to understand the fundaments that make people feel better when they are sick — from colour psychology to warmth and comfort.
One of the pieces that gained the most attention was the “Feelgood Hoodie”, which features a removable eye-mask and an aromatherapy sleeve, where you can insert calming crystals and oils.
With numerous lockdowns and stay-at-home orders having been placed into action in 2020, the recovering of our ecosystems was undoubtedly recognisable. In order to increase the awareness and celebrate the wildlife even further, Lacoste collaborated with National Geographic and designed an exclusive collection.
The unusual collaboration resulted in the presentation of clothing that explores the colours and patterns of animals that need to be better protected. Whilst the collaboration belongs to our list of the best creative collaborations of the year, the partnership of Lacoste with National Geographic is also one of the most unusual.
KFC is no stranger to collaborations — from Crocs to sneakers, we have seen it all. But this time, KFC is shaking things up a little bit more. In September 2020, KFC collaborated with the design label Karl Lagerfeld to integrate their iconic bucket into the fashion world and celebrate the 80th anniversary of the fast-food chain.
The designers of the collaboration were inspired by Karl Lagerfeld’s own bag design and signature black and white colour scheme. The limited edition bucket bag, references to the first KFC store and the original chicken bucket through the three stripes at the top.
This collaboration belongs to not only one of the best creative collaborations, but also one of the most surprising.
If there is anything that we have learnt in 2020, is that there is nothing more important than being their for one another. So, why should it be any different when it comes to creative collaborations?
Bumps on the road do not always have to be understood with a negative connotation. Get inspired by the unexpected and start planning your next creative collaboration. Need creatives who can help you place your creativity into action? Start exploring creative talent in your area, here.