The collaboration with Japanese clothing brand Beams and functional outdoor brand Mountain Research is the coffee chain’s first foray into fashion, available exclusively at the Starbucks Reserve Roastery Tokyo.
Forget about a drink inspired by Ariana Grande or a new lineup of summer frappuccinos, the four-story Starbucks Reserve Roastery Tokyo recently collaborated with high-end Japanese designers to release a line of accessories including a chic, multi-use cargo apron. As reported by RetailWire, the Starbucks Reserve Roastery branded collaboration also features a plastic basket, fabric lounge chair and cutting board.
Could a branded Starbucks collection from a U.S. fashion designer play out similarly in the states? Well, weirder fashion collaborations have happened, like this one between fast-fashion company Forever21 and the United States Postal Service. Iconic brands such as Coca-Cola are almost ubiquitous in apparel, and websites like Etsy are already rife with bootleg Starbucks merch. A recent crossover between Arizona Iced Tea and Adidas caused such a commotion that it had to be shut down by police.
Over the years, big franchise brands like McDonald’s and KFC have also made moves in limited-edition apparel. As the line between branding and identity blurs, it only makes sense that more franchise and non-franchise brands would make the move into the ever-personal fashion realm. Supplemental retail offerings like apparel and accessories not only increase brand visibility, but also give consumers a chance to express their fandom in a fun, playful way. Maybe this is what camp is all about.
Personally, this writer isn’t necessarily going to be lined up outside for a limited-release Starbucks x Palace capsule collection, but I might absentmindedly buy a branded scrunchie if it was in the checkout line at Target.
Photo courtesy of BEAMS as used by multiple news outlets.