This year’s brand collaborations has been an awful lot like riding the Hollywood Tower of Terror at Disneyland. You know chaos is going to unfold; you just don’t know exactly when. Don’t get us wrong, we have seen some seriously questionable collaborations in the past (looking at you SPAM & HUF), but 2021 comes out winning with the sheer amount of bizarre, slightly genius and downright wrong. Let’s be honest though, bad or good; who doesn’t love a good crossover episode?
Tim Hortons x Justin Bieber
Just pure weird is the only way to describe this whole situation. Hailed as the most anticipated Canadian mash-up of all time, doughnut & coffee chain Tim Hortons has joined its jammy hands with every Gen Z girl’s dream boy, Justin Bieber. It is now clear why Biebs has been a little quiet on the music front. Lately, he has been working tirelessly to bring selected stores in Canada and the US a bunch of deliciously flavoured doughnuts.
It might sound quite wholesome sitting down to a delicious white chocolate fudge doughnut with your new commemorative Bieber tote bag tucked underarm. That is until you learn that the collection has been called ‘Timbiebs Timbits’, and then you vomit.
Dwayne Johnson x Salt & Straw
The world laps up anything The Rock does, so when ice cream manufacturer Salt & Straw unveiled its collaboration with the muscly man, it was going to be a hit. The limited-edition collection features five flavours inspired by Johnson’s ‘holiday cheat meals’ – how daring. Not only can you chomp down on some lovely ice cream, but you can also do it knowing that $1 of every pint sold will be going to charity and Johnson’s tequila company (yes, you did hear correctly) will be matching every $1 too.
It sounds like a dream too good to be true, doesn’t it? Well, that’s because it is. Clearly, no one learnt from ‘Timbiebs Timbits’ as they decided to name this collection and The Rock ‘Dwanta Claus’. Surely he didn’t approve of this?
MSCHF x Lil Nas X
This collaboration went so viral even your nan knew about it. That’s right. It’s the Satan Shoes created by controversial fashion brand MSCHF and Lil Nas X. If you’re going to make a pair of trainers with real human blood in the sole, you’re verging on the cusp of provocative. But taking it a step further and using Nike’s logo and Air Max shape illegally is taking things a bit too far.
Caviar x Apple x Tesla
Following the Tesla Model S release, luxury customisation brand Caviar has created a collection of Apple iPhone 13 Pros, and Pro Maxes from melted Tesla Model 3 parts. These uber-exclusive phones feature a portrait of Elon Musk, the Tesla logo and outlines of the brand’s vehicles.
If having Elon Musk permanently carved onto the back of your phone isn’t enough Musk for you, why not also buy their limited edition Elon Musk busts, again made from Tesla parts. Now, this sounds like an unmissable deal! And what’s more, a phone can be yours for as little as $6,760!
Asda x Gucci
Ahead of the release of Ridley Scott’s House of Gucci, Asda (of all places) decided it would hide vintage Gucci pieces around its stores for lucky grocery shoppers to find. It’s not very often you’re reaching for a baguette and instead grab a vintage silk loafer, but hey, these days, anything can happen!
Asda x Gucci is a collaboration that screams carnage in the aisles, but when you can get a Gucci belt for as little as £12, who are we to judge?
The Simpsons x Balenciaga
Imagine taking your seat at the Balenciaga show at London fashion week, and all of a sudden, The Simpsons theme tune starts playing. Iconic. Many brands have made collections with The Simpsons over the years but creating an episode where Marge is pining after a real-life Balenciaga dress was a touch of genius. If you haven’t seen it, take a look below.
IKEA x Swedish House Mafia
If Tim Hortons x Justin Bieber was the ultimate Canadian mash-up, this is the Swedish version. Although dropping officially in September 2022, the preview is out on YouTube, so it counts. From what we can gauge from the artsy and somewhat cryptic preview recorded by Swedish House Mafia, the collection will encourage creativity in the home, especially music production. The point of the collection, apart from reminding us Swedish House Mafia are still producing music, is to create products that are accessible and affordable. What an exciting prospect for the creative community; let’s just hope there aren’t any flat-packed DJ decks.
Fendi x Noel Fielding
Great British Bake Off fans have never been given high fashion – that is, until now. Thanks to Fendi, cake-loving individuals who dreamed of dressing like Noel Fielding now can! It may be a bit wild for your average Joe, but if you’re ready to splash on some bold colour and statement prints, well, you’re in the right place. If looking a bit colouring book-ish isn’t your style, though, it might be best to admire from afar and worry about bread week.
Mariah Carey x McDonalds
Honestly, yes, this is a thing. The queen of Christmas has returned for the holidays, not only to the charts but to your local McDonalds with a collection she called a “holiday wish come true”. The ‘Mariah Menu’ launching on December 13th features 12 days of different free McDonald’s items from burgers to cookies. Unfortunately, British Mariah fans will miss out on all this fast food fun as the Mariah Menu is a US exclusive. It really is a cruel world.
What a rollercoaster that has been! We’ve seen some truly *chef’s kiss* collaborations and some that were probably better remaining as an intrusive thought. Whether you’re about to rush out for some Timbiebs Timbits treats or cringe at the thought, these brand collaborations have got us all talking, and that’s what marketing is all about!