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27 Dec

Cool Collaborations: When Pop Stars and Big Brands Collide

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It’s often said that creativity knows no bounds, and when two or more visionaries meld their talents the possibilities seem truly limitless. It can be particularly exciting when creators cross mediums, as is the case with these huge pop stars who’ve married their visions with some of the hottest brands on the planet. Here are some recent musician and brand partnerships that have generated a lot of buzz.

DJ Khaled x DG

DJ Khaled has built his career around spectacular collaborations with the likes of Drake, Justin Bieber, Rihanna, and more, so it’s no surprise to hear that he’s partnered up with stars outside of the sonic sphere as well. In early 2021, he unveiled an exclusive collection of clothing and accessories that he put together with Italian designers Dolce and Gabbana.

The line features materials that blend Khaled’s laid-back Miami beach style with the brand’s signature high fashion. The wardrobe pieces for men, women, and children incorporate bold tropical designs and luxurious fabrics, and the accessories stand out for both their whimsy and their craftsmanship. Each side says the collaboration was beneficial, with D & G feeding off Khaled’s energy and passion and the hitmaker fulfilling a lifelong dream to showcase his style.

Billie Eilish x Jordan Brand

Pop stars don’t only partner with houses when it comes to creating wearable collaborations. Nike has worked with dozens of notables over the years, yet the Air Jordan 15 model they designed with singer-songwriter Billie Eilish may be one of their more unique offerings.

Inspired by the X-15 hypersonic jet plane, the sneaker that Nike and Eilish partnered to create is more than just another athletics-meets-flair addition to the Jordan line. This shoe puts an emphasis on comfort and protection, concepts that Eilish brought to the table after spraining her ankle and needing stable footwear. The design reflects both the chart-topper’s lack of pretentiousness and the brand’s knack for crafting eye-catching kicks.

Lizzo x Quay

A music and icon like Lizzo knows that accessories make the outfit, so for one of her hottest collaborations she partnered with Aussie sunglass brand Quay to develop fashionable pieces for above the neck. Although the bejeweled bling of the frames she inspired was certainly eye-catching, it was the addition of a unique face mask designed to call attention to voter access issues that had the music and accessory worlds buzzing.

Lizzo said she welcomed the chance to collaborate with a cool and fresh company that also makes products that are inclusive and attainable. For Quay’s part, they viewed the partnership as speaking to their core values of confidence and authenticity.

BTS x McDonald’s

Hot collaborations aren’t restricted to musicians and wearables. In recent years, stars like J Balvin, Travis Scott, and Saweetie have had their favorite McDonald’s orders featured in collaborative campaigns for the world-famous hamburger house. Joining the mix in 2021 was BTS, with the launch of the band’s signature meal promotion. Consisting of fries, McNuggets, a drink, and Cajun and sweet chili sauces created for the meal, the offering incorporated favorite flavors from the band’s native South Korea.

While there are no hard numbers available for how well the collaboration succeeded, there’s no doubt the partnership boosted McDonald’s profile amongst hardcore K-Pop fans. For the band’s part, they benefited from a unique opportunity to promote a new single and boost social engagement in a fresh way.

Building buzz-worthy collaborations can be a boon for top brands and the pop stars they partner with. Whether it’s sartorial stylings or favorite fast food orders that bridge the two worlds, big-name mashups always seem to generate a lot of excitement for everyone involved.

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