By Sarah Hand
In a world where ‘popstars’ seem to be in a constant tango with fashion brands, a new and refreshing collaboration has emerged, breaking the monotony of the usual suspects. AllSaints, the iconic fashion brand known for edgy aesthetic, has taken an unexpected leap into the world of high art by partnering with dancers from one of the world’s greatest ballet companies, The Royal Ballet. And, in my view, it’s worthy of a standing ovation.
The campaign ‘The Stars Are Out’ showcases four Royal Ballet dancers wearing AllSaints clothes self-styled and hand-picked from the brand’s winter collection. Exquisite images capture the dancers leaping and moving through the air, the clothes taking on a magical life of their own.
To mark the collaboration, a limited edition ‘Royal Ballet Saints’ T-shirt and hoodie have been created with 10% of the sales contributing to the The Royal Opera House Covent Garden Foundation, which supports The Royal Ballet.
Collaborations are not a new thing. In recent years, the high street has become awash with popstars teaming up with fashion brands to launch their own clothing lines. In 2023 we’ve seen Rita Ora teaming up with Primark, Billie Eilish with Nike, Dua Lipa with Versace … . Once upon a time this would have led to queues around the block and front-page splashes. Now, clothes languish on the rails and a cynic might wonder how large the commercial transaction derived from the collaboration was, rather than admiring the meaning or purpose behind it. I simply don’t believe the hype; it’s all about the money, money, money... So why then, can I not get enough of The Royal Ballet and AllSaints collaboration? What makes this collab different? In a landscape saturated with superficial and formulaic partnerships, the AllSaints and Royal Ballet one genuinely stands out. Today we demand authenticity from brands and meaningful partnerships, and this collaboration offers just that. The elegance and grace of ballet, coupled with the urban edge of All Saints’ designs, creates a mesmerising fusion that goes beyond just clothing, it’s an artistic expression that wows. And I love it.
The collab resonates with me personally too. Reflecting on my time in PR for the English National Ballet, I observed the inherent coolness of dancers as they moved around the studio, stretching at the barre, their bodies contorting into enviable shapes and poses – effortlessly stylish in practice gear, showcasing individual flair and unique expression.
As a result, I really do believe the Royal Opera House when it says ‘AllSaints is loved and worn by many of our dancers …. the synergies between our brands have been clear from the outset’. And for AllSaints, they’ve partnered with The Royal Ballet ‘to bring together a shared passion for performance, music, community and individuality – a perfect partnership of artistry and style’.
It’s clear that this partnership has longevity and life in it, extending well beyond Winter 2023. I get the feeling; it’s only just warming up. And if one of the objectives is to bring ballet to a younger target audience, then this collaboration, bringing edge to the classic art form could really work.
So, what can we learn from this showstopper of a collaboration?
At Launch, we help brands OWN IT through insight-driven creativity. Apply this mantra to future collaborations and you could be onto a winner.
Embrace authenticity, purpose and credibility – don’t just throw cash at the latest influencer or personality making the headlines, it won’t make the tills go Ka-ching. Instead, build an authentic brand collaboration by aligning values, ensuring mutual benefit, and creating content that resonates with both audiences.
And whatever you do, don’t force a collaboration for the sake of it. Do it because it really means something, andyou’ll be well on your way to taking centre stage and receiving rave reviews.