Designer Collaborations

Not a new trend, but definitely one worth mentioning is the number of interesting collaborations between big brands and big designers. With manufacturers and retailers joining forces with various designers, craftsmen and artists come some pretty amazing products. You may already own items that have been designed by influential designers that you may not have otherwise been able to afford.

Back in 2003 Target created quite the stir when they contracted Isaac Mizrahi to design an affordable line of fashion. Since then they have worked with the likes of Alexander McQueen, Anna Sui, Jean Paul Gautier, and Jason Wu to mention only a few. For more than a decade renown architect Michael Graves designed everyday objects like his pop art toaster, spinning whistle teakettle, and cleaning products for Target, and today they continue to evolve with fresh brands.

Next month Ikea will release the much-anticipated bookshelf speaker and table lamp-speaker Symfonisk which was a close collaboration with the audio experts Sonos. Another recent collaboration for this big box was the modular seating Delaktig that can be turned into a bed, which was designed by Tom Dixon. If you get a chance to watch the Ikea documentary, it is quite interesting as they spend a fair amount of time revealing what is involved in creating a new line and how they work with outside designers like Tom. I believe Ikea is leading the way with their past, present and future collaborations. For example, joining forces with the likes of Adidas, Lego and Hay allows Ikea to create affordable and design worthy products for the home. I look forward to seeing what companies they work with next.

Paint companies are also getting in on the action. Recently Sherwin Williams has joined forces with West Elm and Pottery Barn Kids to develop complimentary suggested color palettes for each retailer.

There are so many great collaborations we will continue this topic in our next blog. Do you have any favorites? Share with us using #area3designcollaborations