While collaborations within fashion are sometimes born out of smart business decisions meant to boost sales and expand customer bases, the resulting products are true testaments to the power of joint creative forces. Ever since the iconic Supreme x Louis Vuitton collection, which debuted at Paris Fashion Week in 2017, it’s nearly impossible to keep up with all of the exclusive pairings.

Ralph Lauren

Not all collaborations get the same attention as Supreme x Louis Vuitton. One reason is because that specific collaboration is arguably one of the first of its kind. While the concept of collaboration within fashion is not new — Elsa Schiaparelli and Salvador Dali’s partnership resulted in one of her most iconic garments, the lobster dress, back in 1937 — they were mainly between designers and other visual artists.

Bringing streetwear to the luxury mainstage at that capacity was revolutionary and unheard of. The timing of the collection caught streetwear at exactly the right moment —right before it exploded and surpassed the usual cycle of trends and instead, started shaping itself into a force on its own. Almost every label has tried to incorporate streetwear in some form, and for some brands, it’s at the center of their DNA. Ultimately, this collection was ahead of its time and thus became the blueprint for almost every other major collaboration to come. 

Palace x Polo Ralph Lauren

This unexpected duo between London skate imprint and all-American brand cemented the endless possibilities of collaboration. The collection —which resulted in 41 menswear items from tops, pants, outwear and accessories — was inspired by Polo pieces that Palace founder Lev Tanju and co-owner Gareth Skewis wore growing up. “It’s the only brand that you can wear to a board meeting, a funeral and go to the football in — and all in the same day,” said Skewis.

Nike x A-Cold-Wall*

A-Cold-Wall* teamed up with sportswear powerhouse Nike for a four-piece capsule collection. Samuel Ross, the creative director of A-Cold-Wall*, brought his design language: high-concept narratives executed through modern aesthetics to traditional Nike silhouettes. The collection includes one pair of trainers (sneakers) in various colorways, and three garments. The sneakers are reworkings of Nike’s Vomero 5 and the garments have the same technical aspect exclusive to Nike.

Posed with the question “How does an object change with use or over time?” Ross designed the sneakers using polyurethane to accelerate the aging process. Each part of the shoe has degrees of the coating so various parts will age at a different pace with a different outcome. “I want to encourage users to put the shoe through wears,” Ross explained to Vouge. “It’s really a reaction to re-sale and hype: for me there should be a dialogue between you and the piece that you purchase, and I’m into the idea of speeding up the layer of humanity you find in a product. There’s the idea of a life cycle contained within the shoe.”

Matthew M. Williams, Yoon, KAWS x Dior Homme

Artistic director Kim Jones’ debut for Dior Men included three expertly executed partnerships. Yoon of AMBUSH and 1017 ALYX 9SM’s Matthew M. Williams were brought on for the collection, namely handling the jewelry and hardware details for accessories. Globally-renowned artist KAWS reimagined the house’s signature bee and Dior logo. The collection included branded track jackets, sweaters and T-shirts — each embroidered with KAWS’ revamped bee or a chest patch inspired by name-tag stickers.