< Back To Home

While many designers prefer to work independently, some turn to teamwork – and to great effect! They collaborate with artists and celebrities for limited-edition collections or partner with professionals from different creative subsets when designing complex pieces.

Here we highlight four prominent creative duos that we believe pioneered design collaborations and shaped the world of fashion and interiors.

Salvadore Dalí x Elsa Schiaparelli

Elsa Schiaparelli and Salvador Dalí shared an eccentric character. They had a passion for peculiar things and experimentation. It all started with a friendship, which naturally flowed into what may be considered one of the first collaborations between a fashion designer and an artist.

Schiaparelli and Dalí produced a variety of original pieces in surrealism style during this fruitful partnership. The first accessory, Shoe hat, was made with a real high-heeled shoe – an idea originating from a photo of Salvador Dalí wearing a shoe on his head taken by his wife.

Schiaparelli also designed Lobster dress, an exquisite silk organza dress adorned with a lobster print, and Tears dress, a delicate silk-blend marocain dress with a light veil covered in teardrops. Motifs for both garments were designed by Dalí himself and were inspired by his paintings.

Fendi x Versace

Donatella Versace and Fendi’s artistic director Kim Jones aptly named their collaboration as Fendace. The partnership was inherently unique and very different to what a typical collaboration would look like. Instead of working together on designs, Versace and Fendi switched the roles completely. Versace infused Fendi with her extravagant style, while Fendi utilised their tailoring skills and evening-wear expertise to reinterpret Versace’s vision.

Fendace items combine brand codes of both labels: Versace’s iconic Baroque prints and Medusa emblem, alongside Fendi’s monogram logo. Designed garments and accessories are fierce, vibrant and drenched in luxury, with materials ranging from silk and leather to wool and cotton.

Charles & Ray Eames

Charles and Ray Eames are the ultimate power couple with a strong background in the field of interior design. Their most famous design piece is the iconic Eames Lounge Chair, which transformed our idea of modern furniture but was merely one facet of their influential work. The Eames were also talented graphic and textile designers, architects and filmmakers.

In the interior space, their mission was to provide a new kind of decor for a new generation of suburbanites, ranging from contemporary chairs to smart storage solutions. The furniture they made was stylish, high quality and, above all, fit for purpose. Eames used many natural material including wood veneers (such as rosewood, birch, walnut and beech) to decorate their designs along with fabric and leather.

Vivienne Westood & Malcolm McLaren

With a shared design vision that revolutionised punk-era Britain, this duo spearheaded late ’70s and early ’80s New wave music and fashion. They were rejecting the hippie ethos that was prevalent by the end of the 1960s and were much more intrigued by acts of rebellion and typical 1950s clothing, music and attributes. Westwood and McLaren created clothes that referenced youth culture’s recent past.

The pair enjoyed shocking people, designing punky garments and shoes, including rubber dresses, stilettos decorated with spikes, and t-shirts with outrageous graphics. Other key looks that expressed a new ‘distressed’ form of fast fashion included loose-woven, unraveled mohair jumpers, military style cotton sateen trousers and torn dresses and tops decorated with chains and safety pins. And their most famous clients, The Sex Pistols, showcased the pair’s designer clothes to perfection.

Only Natural welcomes submissions from individual creators and designers duos. To register and submit you project please follow our how to guide provided here.

Working with our partners at Arts Thread to develop lifelong learning and career opportunities for students of fashion and design. Our partnership provides the opportunity to compete on a world stage, participate in industry led workshops, set up an outstanding portfolio and gain access to the resources that will kickstart careers in fashion and design.