Best Menswear Collaborations of 2023
In the ever-evolving landscape of menswear, 2023 emerged as another collaboration-intensive year, with some being more ground-breaking than others.
From football-inspired sportswear to avant-garde twists on puffer essentials, these are our picks of the best collaborations in the past year.
Not only did they capture the essence of contemporary fashion, but both sides displayed their unique skill in sartorial creativity.
Martine Rose x Nike
The collaboration between Martine Rose and the sportswear giant Nike, released in July, brought back the Instagram-favourite Shox sneaker and new football-inspired clothing.
Rose, current award winner for the best menswear designer in Britain, curated a collection that would cover players from pre-game to the pitch.
The Shox Mule MR 4 sneakers, featuring captivating gradient colourways, sold out swiftly and will no doubt become a streetwear icon.
Beyond its commercial success, the line achieved a deeper resonance through its mission to dissolve gender stereotypes, drawing inspiration from female football players, and incorporating elements of genderless traditional tailoring.
Endorsed by influential figures like Kendrick Lamar and Hailey Bieber, this unisex collection, like the beautiful game, is for everyone.
Emporio Armani x Our Legacy
They found common ground with the Stockholm-based brand in Mr Armani’s affection for cats, which appears throughout the collection in adorable feline sketches on silk shirts, graphic tees, and neckties.
Both brands have a shared affinity for relaxed yet classic menswear, and each side brought their unique set of skills to the table for an elevated result.
The juxtaposition of Armani's refined and precise tailoring with Our Legacy's vintage undertones created a collection that transcended expectations, proving that some of the most fruitful partnerships are the least obvious ones.
Juventus x 032C
The up-and-coming Berlin-based magazine and fashion brand 032c joined forces with Juventus football club in July to create a limited-edition collection that paid homage to the unbeatable fervour of football fans.
Featuring reworked versions of Juventus's 23/24 home shirt, the flame motif was dug out of 032c's archive designs and integrated into the youthful clothing and accessories, symbolizing the passionate dedication of Juventus supporters.
Juventus’s choice to partner with a young company was an uplifting tour de force for the converging worlds of fashion and football and paid off in the effortlessly cool vibe that only Berlin youth can offer.
Loewe x Howl’s Moving Castle
Wrapping up their sell-out collaboration trilogy between Loewe and Studio Ghibli, the Howl’s Moving Castle collection in February was nothing short of magical.
Transforming Loewe's signature leather accessories into canvases for Studio Ghibli sketches, the collection featured character graphic prints and a literal reconstruction of the castle as a leather bag.
Beyond the graphic elements, this collaboration showcased innovative ways of bringing a beloved film to life, offering special collector's items that bridged the gap between fashion and fantasy. The intricacy and craftsmanship displayed in each piece are true to Loewe’s values and highlighted the artistry involved in such collaborations, making it a memorable chapter in the year's fashion narrative.
Louis Vuitton x Yayoi Kusama
There is little chance you missed Louis Vuitton’s campaign with the iconic Yayoi Kusama in back January. The fashion house went all out with its marketing, installing building-sized sculptures of the artist in various stores and even her robot doppelganger painting spots on a shop window.
Renowned for her signature spots dot patterns and pumpkins, Kusama's artwork adorned a range of items, from clothing to accessories, replacing or joining the monogram canvas.
Opinions were divided on whether the variety of art offered lived up to the sheer scale of the campaign, but on the whole, it undeniably left a lasting impression.
A-COLD-WALL x Timberland
May witnessed the release of A-COLD-WALL*'s collaboration with Timberland as part of the latter’s Future73 project. Known for his architecture-inspired designs, ACW's Samuel Ross got to play with Timberland staples, but the brands’ compatibility showed in the prioritization of long-term appeal over momentary hype.
The 6-Inch Boot and 3-Eye Lug Shoe showcased minimalist looks with unique material choices, while reiterations of apparel from the Timberland archive, featuring hand-dyed items like vests and shorts, added a brutalist streetwear feel.
This collaboration not only demonstrated the brand's commitment to enduring style but also emphasized the potential for heritage brands to reinvent themselves through innovative partnerships.
Moncler x Rick Owens
Set against the backdrop of a futuristic "Sleep Pod" imagined as a relaxation haven (and boy, does it look cozy), the collection merged Owens' unique design aesthetic and love for dystopia with Moncler's expertise in outerwear.
There were down-filled puffer coats structured with spiral patterns, yeti-worthy snow boots, exaggerated mermaid skirts, and a donut puffer jacket, all in black tones plus green and white ombre.
Models with blacked-out eyes emphasized the collection’s curious appeal, creating an eerie, alien-like atmosphere.
This collaboration showcases fashion’s storytelling power by transporting us to surreal realities, an area Rick Owens thrives in.
As the pages turn in the book of menswear, the 2023 chapter was rife with collaborations, and our picks prove that, when done right, brands are stronger together than apart.
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