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With only a few days left in 2008, it's time to look back at a year of dizzying highs and crushing lows, of one major economic collapse and many minor shopping frenzies. Folks, it's the annual (two years running!) Racked Recap. This week, we'll be reliving our biggest and brightest (and saddest and darkest) moments, from the worst window displays of the year to the best sales. Take a deep breath of the sweet, sweet nostalgia.
The formula for a successful collaboration is so straightforward: Get an exciting designer, give them non-crappy materials, and charge mass-retailer prices for whatever they produce. Of course, the precise balance of hype, talent, aesthetics, and affordability can be difficult to pull off, which is why we're so impressed with the top five partnerships of the year. Good teamwork, guys!
5.) Natalie Portman for Te Casan: It feels like a century ago, doesn't it? When Natalie Portman launched her line of vegan footwear last February, the economy was going strong, her 2008 movie The Other Boleyn Girl wasn't even in theaters yet, and Te Casan, you know, still existed. Those were the days—although we still think $225 is a lot for a pair of non-leather heels.
4.) Alexander Wang for Uniqlo: 2008 was the year of the Wang, and we're still impressed Uniqlo was able to tap him for a collaboration. Wang himself turned out for the collection's debut in April, and if the stuff didn't sell quite as well as hoped, opening day was still a madhouse.
3.) Lanvin x Acne: So pretty. But so expensive. But so pretty. But so expensive. That, in a nutshell, is Swedish brand Acne's collaboration with Lanvin, which produced lovely denim looks for women (and slightly more questionable ones for men) at distinctly non-denim prices. We want it, and we feel terrible about hoping a lot of it will wind up on sale.
2.) H&M x CDG: The looks themselves might have been a bit silly, but comme on, people! Nobody inspired as much of a frenzy this year, or as many puns. From the moment we first saw the collection, to the press previews on both coasts, to the Commeniptions in Herald Square and midtown, we obsessed over this collaboration like only we can.
1.) Rogan x Target: Also known as the Target collection so good, Barney's decided to carry it. Designer Rogan Gregory's eco-friendly line was made out of 100% organic cotton, so it didn't feel cheap like too many other high-low collabs. It debuted to sweaty insanity at Barneys; being resourceful, we located a much quieter shopping environment in the Target in Jersey City. Don't be too sad if you missed it, though: There's going to be a new line soon, and this one includes menswear.