Street Players Meet

This is no collab with Supreme. Some of you might be delighted. 😀

 

CDG X Stussy SS2020 P1

By Ray Zhang

For the Comme des Garçons sub-brand CDG’s first collaboration, the three-letter label chose not the obvious or those the main line had paired with before, but one, although now trending, isn’t immediately the name to sing a duet with: Stussy. Yet come together they did, like Ron Weasley and Hermione Granger.

I am not at all clear what the end game might be, but it looks like this pairing is going to allow two very different brands to sing their way to their individual banks—gleefully. Stussy, possibly flushed by the high that came from its founder’s collaborating with Dior two months ago, is a surf-turn-street-wear brand currently being rediscovered by a new gen of fashion folks and celebrating its 40th anniversary this year. CDG, interestingly hashtagged “CDGCDG on social media and “CDGCDGCDG for their web address” (wouldn’t we recognise that as kiasuism?), is possibly the most street of the main label’s many sub-brands. In that sense, it is possibly a match made in heaven.

CDG X Stussy SS2020 P2CDG X Stussy SS2020 P3.jpg

Frankly, I am not quite sure I see Stussy or CDG in this sole release: a unisex varsity jacket in heavy and coarse melton wool, lined with (presumably polyester) satin, and appliquéd on the left sleeve with chenille patches of a distinctive Comme des Garçons perfume bottle (Concrete, maybe?) sandwiched vertically between a jacket and a pair of pants, and on the right, a bucket hat and a T-shirt. At the back, a much larger patch depicting a stylised surfer holding a CDG-branded surf board. The media release says that the jacket “nods to the past without losing sight of the future”. Hmmm… a future together?

Those of us hoping to find in this collaboration some spirit of either brand might be disappointed. I don’t know who this is really for. One Comme des Garçons “please, I-buy-only-the-runway-pieces” addict told me the varsity jacket is “definitely” not for him. We concurred: CDG, the label, is not exactly shorthand for the main line’s outre looks. Rather it is to maximise profits with and to entice those shoppers who care only about logos, and prominently positioned ones. This varsity jacket, too. If, however, price is a concern (and I understand), one can always pick the Hanes T-shirts—they’re also a collaboration and are always available.

The Stussy X CDG varsity jacket, SGD570, is available at Dover Street Market Singapore. Photos: Dover Street Market

Meet In The Middle: The High And The Low

In just this month alone, two announcements of the union of the haute and the not. Will we really be better off buying not one or the other, but both-as-one?

 

Dior X StussyAn imagined logo of the Dior and Stüssy partnership. Photo: Lyle Low

The latest to join the still-important hi-lo brand pairing is the storied house of Dior and the once-a-surfwear label Stüssy. According to “leaks”, now circulating on social media and reported in e-mags, Dior, steered by Kim Jones, is repeating what he once did at Louis Vuitton, where he paired the French brand with an American, the hype-driven Supreme, to incredible ballyhoo and unimaginable success.

Based on what’s been shared, the Dior X Stüssy collab will comprise what the latter is good at producing: T-shirts, polo shirts and caps, and (what looks to us as) the odd bandana. It should be said that Stüssy is on a different level, design-wise, if you were to compare it with today’s choice collaborator, Supreme. Stüssy leans towards design with more discernible tilt than other streetwear brands. It is, therefore, understandable that the interest generated is strong. Dior and Stüssy have, so far, remained mum about the collaboration.

Conversely, Prada and Adidas couldn’t keep the lid tight on their pairing. About two weeks ago, the Prada communication team sent out an advisory about the collab shortly after the news broke online. Although there is, hitherto, no visual released about potential designs, the curiosity generated burns with enough heat to keep sneakerheads on constant lookout for unannounced drops. I, like others, speculate that it would be sneaker releases although why Prada needed to do that given their strength in cool, category-defining (or rejecting) kicks is a little beyond immediate comprehension.

Prada X AdidasThe Prada and Adidas collab is in the bag. Photo: Prada

There’s no avoiding it, these days: luxury fashion names aligning with streetwear and sports brands. It’s bubbling up and trickling down swirling simultaneously, the shang and xia meeting half-way or, in some cases, all the way. Fashion, of course, has to be inclusive, no exception. When the twain once shan’t meet, they now walk hand-in-hand. It has happened in art and music, but when it comes to fashion, the players are a little late in kicking elitism out of the door. It should, however, be said that the Japanese were already there: even before Junya Watanabe’s early collab with Nike and Levi’s, his mentor Rei Kawakubo, through Comme des Garçons had done high by exploring low and what can be further down that tatters?

The world was, of course, once a much simpler place. If you had money and appreciated designer clothes for design, you bought which ever designer name you fancied—decked out head-to-toe, underwear included. If you didn’t have the means and didn’t quite understand why north and south should meet when there’s is already the equator, you stick to those brands that said very little other than this was what you wore, end of story. Inclusivity, for better or worse, has wiped out such distinction.

These days, luxury brands rarely pair with luxury brands. This season, Valentino and Undercover (and to an extent the next’s Dries Van Noten and Christian Lacroix) are exceptions than the norm. When previously a luxury name teams with a mass brand (not even ‘masstige’) to appeal to the latter’s customer base or to produce non-traditional products such as denim jeans so that the bigwig did not have to go into the non-luxury product category, labels today justify their pairings by loftier motivations. As Prada explained their collab with Adidas, “the aim of this partnership is to investigate the realms of heritage, technology and innovation—and to challenge conventional wisdom through unexpected strategies”. Believe and buy.