Designer collaborations are continuing to pop up everywhere from makeup counters to mall chain stores. And while some have certainly been hits since the trend started nearly a decade ago (Missoni for Target, Versace for H&M), there have also been some bona fide flops (ahem, Target + Neiman Marcus Holiday Collection).
But even with the misses, we’d be lying if we said that we didn’t look forward to any opportunity to get our hands on some designer duds for less. Lucky for us (and for you), 2014 has started off with a fashion bang thanks to a noteworthy lineup of designer collaborations, and it looks to only get better as the year goes on. Here are our current favorites and the ones we eagerly look ahead to.
In stores now
Peter Som for DesigNation at Kohl’s
Hot on the heels of a collaboration with designer Catherine Malandrino last fall, Kohl’s has teamed up with Peter Som for spring 2014. Som, who apprenticed under Michael Kors and Calvin Klein, has long been a staple on the red carpet with celebrity fans like Scarlett Johansson, Kate Mara and Amy Poehler.
For his DesigNation collection, Som was inspired by the laid-back luxury of St. Barths. Featuring tropical-inspired prints and chic silhouettes, the collection — which includes dresses, tops, pants, skirts and a cool moto jacket — has a relaxed but chic feel. Since launching in early April, pieces from the collection have been spotted on celebrities like Ashley Greene, Kate Bosworth and Jenna Dewan-Tatum. Price range is $38-$88.
Valentino by Havaianas
Can’t get enough of Valentino’s signature Rockstud? Then you might want to check out the new collaboration between the Italian fashion house and Brazilian footwear brand Havaianas.
Proving that flip-flops can be high fashion, Valentino by Havaianas features three styles in sophisticated colorways. Fans of the Rockstud pump will be happy to hear that there is a Rockstud Flip Flop, which retails for $245 (a camo-print version is $295).
Those interested in adding a pair to their shoe wardrobe should act fast. The hard-to-find collection is sold out at most places but can still be found on the Neiman Marcus website in a variety of sizes and can be ordered in-store or online.
Isabel Toledo for Lane Bryant
Isabel Toledo was tapped in 2009 to make the inauguration outfit for Michelle Obama. The Cuban-American designer created a gorgeous yellow dress and matching overcoat made from satin-backed wool guipure.
Flash-forward to today, and Toledo has brought her White House-approved style to the retail chain Lane Bryant for its first-ever designer collaboration. Whimsical, romantic and classic, the collection features a variety of shapes and silhouettes in eyelet, chiffon and lace. It includes dresses, jackets, tees and a tote bag. Price range is $60-$178.
Maleficent by Stella McCartney Kids for Disney
No stranger to designer collaborations, Stella McCartney has in recent years lent her creative talents to brands like Gap, Adidas and H&M. McCartney’s Gap Kids collection was so successful that it prompted another go-round (so enviable were the designer duds that grown women tried squeezing themselves into the larger sizes), so it comes as no surprise that she has chosen to once again focus her design efforts for the preschool and preteen crowd.
This time, however, McCartney will be drawing inspiration from the upcoming Angelina Jolie movie Maleficent (in theaters May 30). Designed for boys and girls ages 4-14, the collection of eight styles includes everything from princess dresses and sandals to T-shirts and sneakers. Price range is $75-$185, and items can be purchased at the Disney Store.
Proenza Schouler x MAC Cosmetics
Branching out from the New York brand’s typical offerings of apparel and accessories, Proenza Schouler has stepped into the world of makeup with a collaboration with celebrity favorite MAC Cosmetics. Housed in groovy multicolored packaging, the 15-piece collection features a variety of vibrant hues with names like Dynamo and Mangrove.
Prices range from $17.50 for a nail lacquer to $38.50 for a makeup brush. Note to fashion fans: You will definitely want to check out the collection online. There you will find a limited-edition Proenza Schouler T-shirt ($75) and tote bag ($50) designed for the collaboration. Both items are being sold exclusively on the MAC Cosmetics website.
Banana Republic Marimekko Collection
Launch date: Summer 2014
While many people might not immediately recognize the name of Finnish design company Marimekko, fans of the late Jacqueline Kennedy’s style will. It was introduced to the American audience in the late 1950s, but it wasn’t until December 1960 that the brand gained massive notoriety. That month, Kennedy was featured on the cover of Sports Illustrated (along with the newly elected president, John F. Kennedy) in a simple red Marimekko dress. It was just one of seven that she had selected from the fashion house to be worn throughout her husband’s presidential campaign.
Continuing with the brand’s signature style of brightly colored prints and simple silhouettes, Marimekko has teamed up with Banana Republic for a cheerful collection perfect for the warm-weather months. The nearly 25-piece collection includes apparel and accessories ranging from $39.50 for a tank top to $140 for a dress.
But that’s not all we will be seeing from Banana Republic in the designer collaborations department this year. Just in time for fall, the Roland Mouret capsule collection will launch in early August with almost 30 pieces of apparel and accessories. Known for his exceptional skills in draping, structure and style, Mouret (whose fans include fellow designer Victoria Beckham) promises a collection full of bold colorblocking, graphic perforated details, leopard prints and svelte cuts. Prices will range from $49.50 for a belt to $165 for a dress.
Alexander Wang x H&M
Launch date: Nov. 6
When most designer collaborations are announced, a press release is sent out. When Alexander Wang announced his upcoming collaboration with Swedish retail chain H&M, he did it with a star-studded party that included the likes of Kate Bosworth, Fergie and Katy Perry. The location of that party? The uber-cool Coachella music and art festival.
The current creative director of Balenciaga, Wang got his start at Parsons The New School for Design, which he attended for two years before dropping out to start his own label. Since then, Wang’s empire has grown to include two labels (Alexander Wang, T by Alexander Wang) and a reputation for effortless fashion. His style is often described as “downtown cool” (think luxury basics in muted colors), and Wang’s designs have earned him a legion of celebrity fans that include fashion it-girls Miranda Kerr, Blake Lively and Rihanna.
But while his collaboration with H&M is certainly exciting, it’s just the most recent in a long history of designer collections at the retail chain. In the past, the store has teamed up with fashion notables like Karl Lagerfeld and Maison Martin Margiela. While images of the upcoming Wang collection have yet to be released and details are being kept tightly under wraps, fashion devotees have already begun compiling wish lists of items they’d like to see included. The most requested? A budget-friendly version of Wang’s beloved Rocco bag.