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The Top Five Collaborations of the Year

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With only a few days left in 2010, it's time to look back at a year of dizzying highs and crushing lows, a year when every empty storefront held a pop-up shop and every sidewalk a sample sale line. Folks, it's the annual (four years running!) Racked Recap. This week, we'll be reliving our biggest and brightest (and saddest and darkest) moments, from the billboards to the bed bugs. Take a deep breath of the sweet, sweet nostalgia.

This year was a crazy one for designer collaborations. It seems that around every corner you could grab a new collaboration waiting in a new store. Forever 21 had Brian Lichtenberg shirts, M.A.C. scored Rodarte for a makeup collection, and Topshop is currently selling their final collection with Kate Moss. Big retailers summoned more designers than we thought possible—and we went to all the launches. Of those, here at the best—brace yourself, here comes to top collaborations of the year.

5. Payless: It's where we got to meet Christian Siriano face to face. Not him—his collab with the shoe retailer. His line of talon heels were just what we were looking for—and reasonably wearable. Before summer, we loved the brand's other collab, with Isabel Toledo. It wowed us and reminded us that Payless can produce some pretty awesome shoes.

4. Gap: Never forget the Pierre Hardy platforms madness just a month ago. We waited and waited for a release date and when they finally came we were all the more excited. Gap efforts to go fashion and reclaim their iconic status is working—more next year, please!

3. Uniqlo: Bringing us Jil Sander's +J collaborations throughout the year, Uniqlo knows how to make us smile. The latest collection came this past fall, we didn't know what to do with ourselves. And, life lessons: We learned to never put any +J down, you'll never see it again.

2. Target: This big-box retailer gave us a plethora of collaborations this past year. Kick-starting the year with Jean-Paul Gaultier and following that up with Dolce Vita, we were so awe-struck, we had to cover it all. The most anticipated and exciting collaboration came with Liberty of London. Target even opened a pop-up shop in Bryant Park to showcase the collection and within a matter of two days, the shop sold out of all the coveted merchandise. That's what we call amazing.

1. H&M: Target may have had some fabulous collaborations, but nothing brought out the true dedication of fashion lovers more than H&M. The most-hyped: Lanvin x H&M. From the East to West coasts, and across the waters to Europe and Hong Kong, Lanvin lovers lined up to snag first dibs on the much-anticipated collection with the fast-fashion retailer. Not even hours-long waits, rain, a reported (and false) stabbing, or the realization that you've just missed out on freebies stopped men and women from hoarding the collection of party dresses and accessories.

Pierre Hardy

30 Jane Street, New York, New York 10014 646-449-0070 Visit Website

TopShop

478 Broadway, New York, NY 10013 Visit Website

Lanvin

815 Madison Avenue, New York, New York 10065 646-439-0380 Visit Website

Dolce Vita

255 Elizabeth Street, New York, NY 10012 (212) 226-0635 Visit Website