[dropcap]D[/dropcap]esigner collaborations have become a staple in the world of retail, from the many Target and H&M many designer parternships to the news of the debut of Vera Wang’s line Princess Vera Wang at Kohls. But an unexpected ecommerce giants entry into this growing circle will soon be changing the game of designer collaborations. The online bidding house,eBay, known for their deals on original and vintage designer wear will be presenting its 2012 holiday season line of designer collaborations that will range in category from men and women’s apparel, home decor, electronics accessories, travel, and jewelry will all be priced under $100. This move will not only likely expand the company by broadening its audience but will possibly be creating a new contender in the realm of designer collaborators.
eBay chose a small select group of designers for the development of their limited edition gifts, available online on November 12th. Participating designers include Chris Benz, Jonathan Adler, Billy Reid, Dana Lorenz from Fallon, Claude Morais and Brian Wolk of Ruffian, Tibi’s owner Amy Smilovic, and Steven Alan. Not much has been released on the pieces to be released but as the summer ends and the holiday season grows closer anticipation is beginning to mount. Like most everything else on eBay, there’s no doubt that the the line’s limited amounts of unique goods won’t last long.
Designers like Alan, who was only recently asked to participate in the project, was asked to “design…outside [his] comfort zone”, which resulted in the creation of a small line of leather tech accessories such as a series of iPad covers and cell phone shoulder cases. Designer Chris Benz like Alan abandons elements of his signature style, but mixes his typical use of luxe fabrics with more durable practical textiles to create what he describes as “travel essentials”. Among Benz’s essentials are silk pajamas, cashmere T-shirts, scarves, and canvas bags.
While Smilovic was pleased with the openness of the project, she had no plans to rest on her laurels. She explains “I really wanted to create something that wasn’t just boiled down from my collection”. Switching out typical fabrics, like leather for pleather, and using inexpensive versions of textiles typically used in her own line, like the lace used in her jersey and cotton sweatshirts. Smilovic was glad for the limited budget which forced her to think “about designing in different ways, and lower price possibilities”, a new skill that comes through clearly in her eBay holiday collection. Adler stayed within the realm of home decor, creating smaller pieces such as coasters, ornaments, picture frames, and salt and pepper shakers.