Updated: Jul 24
In the first week of June 2023, Afrobeats star Burna Boy announced a partnership
with French high-fashion house Jean Paul Gaultier. This collaboration produced
two limited-edition sunglasses with heart-shaped details and red lenses — very much
reminiscent of Burna Boy’s latest album “Love, Damini” — to be sold online and in
specialty stores from Machine A to Slam Jam and Antonioli.
This wasn't the first eyewear collaboration between a brand and an artist, and it won't
be the last. Offering unique and stylish products provides musicians an avenue for
creative expression while boosting the visibility, profitability, and overall artistic
appeal of artists and eyewear brands.
In this article, we take a closer look at how such collaborations are a win-win situation
for independent musicians looking to expand their reach and establish their personal
Benefits of musician-eyewear collaborations
Enhanced branding and image
Eyewear is a fashion statement that can instantly elevate an artist's style and create a
distinct visual identity. Pharrell Williams, for instance, is often seen wearing
sunglasses as part of his signature look and has elevated this branding by
collaborating with Louis Vuitton and Moncler in two separate collections. In June
2023, he launched his first menswear collection for Louis Vuitton as the company’s
latest creative director. Collaborating with eyewear brands allows musicians to align
themselves with established fashion labels and tap into their credibility, thus boosting
their own brand image.
Increased reach and fan engagement
Fans are often eager to support their favorite artists by purchasing merchandise
associated with them. Take the superhero-esque 3 C7 Mask Sunglasses of Steve Lacy
and legacy eyewear gurus Linda Farrow and Bernhard Willhem, which sold out
immediately after its initial release. Despite an exclusive collab status, Linda Farrow
announced a relaunch of the sunglasses due to popular demand. By releasing
exclusive eyewear collections, musicians can tap into their fans desire to own a piece
of their idol's style, generating excitement and fostering a deeper connection with their
Collaborations with eyewear brands offer independent musicians a significant revenue
stream. The sale of limited-edition eyewear collections can be highly profitable,
particularly if they are marketed effectively and cater to the unique style preferences
of fans. The aforementioned Linda Farrow Mask Sunglasses, for instance, are sold at
$195 for pre-orders and are expected to increase in price during the official period of
resale. Hence, the revenue generated from such collaborations can provide additional
financial stability for artists, allowing them to invest in their music careers and further
expand their reach.
More examples of musician-eyewear collaborations
Besides the mentioned examples, another case of a successful musician-eyewear
collaboration is German DJ Patrick Mason's partnership with Ray-Ban in 2020. Ray-Ban Studios are no stranger to collaborations with musicians from legendary rock
band The Rolling Stones to folk-rock legend Bob Dylan. Their men's sunglasses have become iconic through these collaborations, making models such as Wayfarer a
household name across the globe.
Through its latest tie-up with Mason, however, Ray-Ban Studios is now shining the
spotlight on the techno music scene. Mason worked closely with Ray-Ban to release a
unique, limited-edition pair of sunglasses. This collaboration took inspiration from Ray-
Ban iconic Wayfarer frames and Mason’s personal Club Kid inclinations, resulting in
the brand’s first-ever custom-made product: a reinvention of the State Street model.
This reflected Mason's individuality and appealed to his fans, who sought to emulate
his fashionable image.
Another standout collaboration from an established eyewear brand involves rapper
A$AP Nast. In February 2023, the style icon collaborated with Warby Parker to
release a fresh pair of sunglasses called the NST2-002. The collaboration showcased
Nast’s eclectic fashion sense, providing his fans with an opportunity to express their
admiration for his music while embracing his fashion sensibilities. Through this
partnership, Nast expanded his fan base and solidified his status as a trendsetter in
both the music and fashion realms.
By using successful collaborations as a strategy for success, musicians can leverage the
power of fashion to make the most of their reach and amplify their presence in the
industry. If you are unsure where to start, theMSQshop team can help with creative
direction to enhance your brand and unlock new opportunities for artistic expression
and commercial success.
exclusively written for themsqshop.com
by Riley Jada
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