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2011's Five Biggest Designer Collaboration Frenzies

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With only a few days left in the year, it's time to look back on 2011 with the annual (five years running!) Racked Recap. This week, we'll be reliving our biggest and brightest (and saddest and darkest) moments, from the most dramatically delayed store openings to the most excruciating lines. Up next: 2011's biggest collab freak-outs.


Satisfied customers at the Versace x H&M launch

When Target re-released the greatest hits from its GO International line back in March, critics wondered if the public was suffering from collaboration fatigue. But any tepid response on the part of the public must have been a fluke, because 2011 could well have been the Year of the Collab. In addition to dozens of smaller examples of designer-corporation teamwork, we saw some of the biggest public shopping frenzies ever thanks to Versace x H&M and Missoni x Target.

5. Rodarte x Opening Ceremony
It's hard to get your hands on a piece of Rodarte if you're not Natalie Portman (or at least fabulously wealthy), but Opening Ceremony made it a bit easier with a collection that split the difference between the full-priced line and the Target collab a few years back. Shoppers poured into the store the day the label launched, but the rest of us were rewarded for our patience: A lot of the merchandise is now on sale online.

4. Alexa Chung x Madewell
The first item to disappear from Alexa Chung's fall 2011 Madewell collection was the pony hair booties, but it didn't take long for the rest of the line to fly off the shelves both in-store and online. Just a few hours later, though, it was back—at a mark-up on eBay.

3. +J
Jil Sander's final collection for Uniqlo was austere and muted, but that didn't stop fans from lining up when it launched just before Fashion Week. Collab crowds often dissipate as the day goes on, but this one just got stronger.

2. Versace x H&M
Aesthetically, this neon-hued collection was the opposite of +J: all glitz and palm trees. H&M played up the drama with a party featuring Nicki Minaj and Prince, and when the launch date finally came, it took us two and a half hours to get into the store. We got off relatively easily—some people camped out overnight.

1. Missoni x Target
There's no question which collaboration caused the most insanity in 2011. Both editors and members of the public pillaged the Missoni x Target pop-up shop like so many locusts. When the collection appeared in stores, shoppers ransacked the shelves like locusts who were also Vikings. And let's not even get started on what happened when the website crashed and orders got canceled, causing what might have been the biggest customer-service PR disaster of the year. In short: People really wanted to own this stuff. Especially this lady.

· All Racked 2011 Recaps [Racked NY]

Madewell

115 5th Avenue, New York, NY 10003 212-228-5172 Visit Website

Uniqlo - Soho

546 Broadway, New York, NY 10012 Visit Website

Opening Ceremony

35 Howard Street, New York, NY 10013 (212) 219-2688 Visit Website