Perfect Partners: When Rodarte met Starbucks

Like a moth to a flame, my mother and I are drawn naturally to the nearest Starbucks coffee shop where we are able to reflect upon the morning’s window shopping and receive the caffeine boost we need to see us through an afternoon of vital decision making and carrier bag holding. This is why when I first heard about Rodarte’s collaboration with coffee extraordinaire, Starbucks Coffee, a part of me was shocked that no-one had thought about combining coffee and fashion together before, since they seem to naturally co-exist together.

Although the collaboration with Starbucks is a far cry away from the world renowned exquisitely designed tutu the sisters created for Natalie Portman for her role in Black Swan, their creative and bold flair seen in their Fra Angelico collection has certainly found its way into their designs for the Starbucks range of gift cards, take away cups, tote bags and cup sleeves. Though the eccentric grey heavily pixelated pattern does not resemble the elegance or femininity seen in the Rodarte gowns which are ‘not only beautiful in the long view of the red carpet but also in circumstances of greater intimacy’, the print encapsulates city life and is extremely modern. Additionally, although the design masks their iconic Starbucks two tailed Siren, Rodarte keeps an essence of the Starbucks branding through the eye catching bright lime green lid.

Laura Mulleavy who forms one part of the Rodarte designer pairing said, “we like the idea of collaborations and putting our thought process somewhere else”; this is precisely why I think the Mulleavy sisters have gone from strength to strength since their arrival on the fashion scene in 2005. Though, being able to think outside of the generic fashion box certainly had its rewards, in 2008 they received the CFDA Swarovski Emerging Womenswear Designer award and the Swiss Textiles award for their innovative thinking and fashion forward creations.

Therefore, whilst calling a designer coffee range a ‘collection’ will take some more than others to adjust to, I think it is both refreshing and a novelty to see a fashion brand pairing up with a coffee chain. As a past employee of Starbucks, I used to dread the early November invasion of Christmas, which is why I’m delighted that from 13th November in selected Starbucks stores reindeers will finally be replaced with fashion.

Hattie Lee

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