Lxuury label Balenciaga and U.K. singer and Grammy winner Sam Smith announced today plans to collaborate on a capsule for Autumn 2015, with Smith stating on his Instagram post, “Ladies & Gentlemen. The time has come for my first ever collaboration with a fashion house. You ready…” In addition to black and white imagery shot by Josh Olins, the brand also has revealed video (below), which will be part of the label’s Autumn media campaign.
Luxury labels tend to be choosy about which celebs they deign to mingle with, mostly sticking with with top-notch models or actors and actresses with established associations with quality projects. Musical artists as linked with labels often receive mixed reviews because so much depends on how one feels about said artist’s body of work. In the case of Smith, while most media outlets dutifully, heck even excitedly, reported the news, there were no shortage of snarky comments on Twitter dismissing the partnership. It’s sort of been like that ever since Nicolas Ghesquière stepped down from the label in 2012 and was replaced by Alexander Wang who from the jump the fashion snoberatti have always viewed as not good enough to lead the storied Balenciaga name.
We can’t say we have enough of an viewpoint on Smith to have an opinion either way, but it seems any brand like Balenciaga with a sizable infrastructure has no choice but to dance with the devil of wider appeal through associations with a popular artist like Smith, either that or retain one’s design purity and exist only as a part of fashion history. As for Wang, we’ve always been big believers in his talent, vision plus his ability to scale all that into global success. Whether he wants to continue to apply his skills at Balenciaga is altogether another question.