CDG Does Mickey

Or, perhaps, the world’s most famous mouse can’t resist the charms of CDG?

As avant-garde as Comme des Garçons is, the brand is not opposed to collaborating with highly commercial names such as Disney. Their CDG sub-brand has just announced a pairing with Mickey Mouse for a capsule that is skate-inspired (read: loose silhouettes). This is not their first association with Disney, nor is this the first time they have teamed up with cartoons. Under the Japan-only Edited line, we remember, they have worked with Marvel Comics on T-shirts featuring the Silver Surfer (and possibly Spiderman) in late 2000. On the marketing communication front, there was the work of Katsuhiro Otomo (manga fans would know him to be behind Akira) in 2013. But tapping the world of comics—or manga—is very different from dalliances with Disney. One would entice hypebeasts, the other would not.

Still, the Disney association has not impacted Comme des Garçons’s generally left-field leaning, yet. If they have survived, gasp, Frozen (in 2014) via the popular Play, Mickey is not going to mar the image of the just-as-commercial CDG line. And even less so, now that Rei Kawakubo has introduced Mickey’s mate Mini for her tribute dress, created in honour of Alber Elbaz a few days ago. Never mind that for many fans, the joining of forces between a (still) largely indie brand with a global entertainment corporation is rather disappointing. Perhaps, some cartoons are best left to Uniqlo.

To dumbfound fans even further, the collection of white/grey/black pieces have none of the usual topsy-turvy mash-up when it comes to graphics. There is the deconstructed face of Mickey and the rotate-right placement, and (for the hoodie) a tight crop of Mickey’s foot on a skateboard, but are those enough to appease fans and followers who are exposed to more? To be certain, CDG is an entry-level line. It does not need to be too outré, as as long as the three-letter logotype is placed conspicuously somewhere on the garment (this time, in the rear), in it full-sized, bold-faced, look-here glory.

CDG X Mickey Mouse is available at DSMS. Photo: CDG/Disney

DSM Gives Back

A fashion retailer that cares is a fashion retailer that wins


DSM IG announcement Jul 2020

Dover Street Market has announced an initiative that applies to the country/city where it has a physical store. Buy a T-shirt from the “Fearless” collection, and “100% of its proceeds go to charities supporting healthcare workers in each of the six DSM regions”. Here, what you pay for will instead go to Beyond Social Services, described on their website as “a charity dedicated to helping children and youths from less privileged backgrounds break away from the poverty cycle”. Enjoying fashion and serving a good cause feel right (and good?) now.

Fearless involves some of the biggest names in luxury fashion, as well as streetwear, twenty eight of them that DSM considers as “friends”. And the store is well-supported. To look out for are Raf Simons, Sacai, Undercover, and Valentino, and, for streetwear junkies, Awake NY, Bianca Chandon, Clot, just to name three. The objective is as simple as it is charitable: “…to create a simple collection of T-shirts that help to spread positive energy through the wider DSM global community and out into the world,” according to DSM.

DSM tees Jul 2020

Fearless comes hot on the heels of the Social Justice Charity Capsule, conceived by the sub-brand CDG to support the Black Lives Matter movement. What were first designed as uniforms for staff to wear to welcome shoppers back to the store after lockdown have become available for sale, presumably due to the intense interest from customers. The positive messages on the garments along the lines of “Believe in a better tomorrow” sync with the present global sentiment that calls for massive social change.

Prices of the T-shirts are not yet available as we hit the publish button. It is hard to make a guess as DSM does carry tees of a rather wide price range. We suspect they will retail for SGD100 upwards. This may not be considered outrageous since many are from trending brands. We are certain Doublet’s design of a heart shape, composed of Post-It notes with handwritten messages on them will be first to be snapped up. The Fearless Initiative launches tomorrow at DSMS, as well as online. Shop and do some good.

Photos: (main and products) DSM. Collage: Just So

Two Of A Kind: Helping Hanes

CDG, the new sub-brand by Comme des Garçons, is like the streetwear giant Supreme: heavy on logos. It also shares something in common with the latter: Hanes tagless T-shirts


Hanes, Supreme Vs CDG

Is there a need for Comme des Garçons to sell co-branded Hanes T-shirts? Apparently so. Must they follow Supreme’s foot steps? Who isn’t? Is this affirmation that Comme des Garçons is going mass? Who knows? Supreme’s James Jebbia is not, according to the man himself, a designer. Comme des Garçons’s Rei Kawakubo is. So, what gives?

Comme des Garçons launched a new line, CDG, worldwide last week. An accompanying website that is also the latter’s e-shop opened for business this past Wednesday. CDG is not coy about its initials as the brand’s main selling point, literally littering its white homepage with the three black letters—animation that is reportedly conceived by design head Rei Kawakubo. Among the hoodies, blousons, and bags available at launch, the logo distinguishes the items more than design does.

This is, of course, not the first time CDG has used its initials to such oversized, dramatic effect. As part of their (now-concluded) collaboration with Japanese retailer Good Design Store (GDS), the CDG logo was, in fact, the main reason the small collection consistently sold well. Commercial and accessible, CDG is, by the looks of its longevity, more successful—and desirable—than the first initials-as-brand-name labels DKNY and CK, helping the house that Rei built secure a reported USD300-million turnover annually.

To hit that figure, one can’t really just rely on expensive products. There’s not that many catwalk looks you can sell either, but the CDG T-shirt, at the opposite end of haute, at the entry-level price of ¥8,700 (S$105) for a pack of three (compared to the S$100 a piece for the most basic of the tees of the Play line) is what you can move in staggering numbers. And for those who find the prices of the regular T-shirts prohibitive, the tagless versions (logo-less essentially) may proof to be a value buy, as is often the case in Supreme stores.

Whether there’s pent-up demand for something that Hanes sell all-year round at around USD10 for the three-piece pack or this is merely antithesis to the Zeitgeist, it’s too early to tell. Sure, this is a page from the Supreme play book (we don’t know what’s in it for Hanes), but if Supreme’s success with the tagless three is any indication, CDG may score with yet another product that can go on selling without a need for markdown. Some may deem this too low for Comme des Garçons to go, but it could prove to be a strategy most well Play-ed.

Photos: (right) Stadium Goods, (left) CDG