Draper James, a lifestyle brand founded by Reese Witherspoon in 2015, has recently teamed up with Crate & Barrel to release a new home-goods collection. The Southern-inspired brand is known for patterning with high profile retailers like Nordstrom and Saks Fifth Avenue to expand its footprint. CEO Taylor Rettig says the partnerships are chosen carefully to ensure cohesion between the two brands. The company’s goal is not to slap “a tag or a logo on another company’s product,” but to match design sensibilities and leverage the expertise of their partners to reach a larger audience. For Crate & Barrel, known for its partnerships with designers and having worked previously with Witherspoon, this collaboration helps keep their product offerings fresh and relevant.
In a comment to Glossy, Vivaldi Engagement Manager Gesina Gudehus-Wittern spoke to how partnerships like Draper James and Crate & Barrel can ultimately prove effective when they leverage each other to find new means of reaching different audiences. “In a great brand collaboration, the whole is more than, and different from, the sum of its parts – both brands create something together that neither would have been able to do on its own. And in the right collaboration, they are able to create better customer experiences, offset each other’s weaknesses, open up new target audiences and enhance each others’ overall brand perception.”
In addition, she said it’s important that companies like Draper James be mindful to avoid gimmicks in partnerships. Though capsule collections can be advantageous to both parties, they are most effective when companies already have roots in the lifestyle arena. “A collaboration only makes sense for brands with lifestyle-brand aspirations that have already taken the first steps to becoming one and have a strong and clearly defined target audience. So they have a clearly defined lifestyle or culture, but they may not yet have consumer permission to launch their own line of another type of product. A collaboration partner is the best way to bridge that gap.”