As I was spring cleaning my closet the other day, I relegated an old Thakoon for Target striped t-shirt to the “workout clothes” pile. Later that same week, though, I wore his three-year-old white Gap shirt to work.
The paradox got me thinking: Designer collaborations are more abundant than ever, but as the pieces age, do they become more precious, or less so?
Jean Paul Gaultier’s recent line for Target was bashed in the blogosphere for looking and feeling cheap. And Giles Deacon's been designing for high street store New Look for a few years now, but my UK correspondents have assured me that his pieces are “just as crappy as the rest of the clothes in the store.” The other day I saw a girl wearing Sonia Rykiel for H&M and I thought, “God, that looks trashy.”
Sure, the latest round of discount collabs haven't been great quality-wise, save for Liberty of London. But what about Karl Lagerfeld's pieces for H&M? Or Proenza Schouler for Target? Will they ever be even remotely as valuable as a real Proenza, or a Fendi? Or maybe even a Chanel?
Cameron Silver, owner of world-famous vintage boutique Decades, thinks most lack that kind of potential. Certain collections, such as Viktor & Rolf’s for H&M (particularly the wedding dress) and the CFDA Gap collaborations seem more special. But they won't "necessarily be family heirlooms in the future," he says.
The lesson: If you want to try to sell your Rodarte for Target on eBay, you better do it now. Because it's likely to depreciate in value.