Collaborations are nothing new (remember 2007 when all we cared
about was Kate Moss and Topshop bringing heroin chic to the
masses?), but at the moment you can't swing your tote in a high
street store without taking out a dozen pieces designed by a
couturier or celebrity.
As the hotly anticipated Alexander Wang x H&M line drops
into stores, we look at some things you should consider before
launching your Honey Boo Boo sneaker line.
Agree not to damage each other's brands.
Back in 2004 Karl Lagerfeld collaborated with H&M. When the
collection was released, he turned on the Swedish giant, stating he
would never work with them again because he had designed a range
for "slender or slim" customers, and H&M made sizes
for normal people. Nice one, Karl.
Intellectual property. Be clear on who owns
Payment. Will the designer be paid a flat fee
for providing the designs, or an ongoing royalty?
Termination. How can you pull the pin if
it's a flop? In one of fashion's biggest WTF moments,
Ungaro engaged Lindsay Lohan to design a few seasons' worth of
lines. The first show was the laughing stock of Paris Fashion Week
2009 and Ungaro quickly ended the relationship.
Define the market. Will the range be sold in
one or two specific markets, or worldwide?
Competition and exclusivity. Will the designer
be prevented from creating a range for a competitor for a certain
Promotion. What obligations will the designer
have to promote the range? Jessica Simpson partnered with The
Tarrant Group to produce a low-priced collection, including Princy
jeans. Despite agreeing to promote the range, Jess refused to wear
the jeans at public events, and ultimately admitted she much
preferred True Religion. Tarrant sued for $100 million.
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We discuss whether certain clauses commonly found in ordinary commercial contracts could be considered to be penalties.
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