The word “mainstream” doesn’t exactly come to mind when you think of Rodarte, but sisters Kate and Laura Mulleavy have just taken a major merchandising step that puts the brand in every mall – and on every corner – near you. Rodarte’s limited edition collection for Starbucks, which just dropped today, features small gifts like cups and gift cards in a “pixelated” grey, silver and neon yellow design, a color palette borrowed from their SS13 collection (above). For those of you in the market for stylish stocking stuffers (say, for a fashion obsessed niece? or yourself?), there’s a tote bag ($12.95), canvas cup sleeve ($4.95) and travel mug ($12.95).
What was really exciting was working with a brand that has such a signature visual identity and culture. Everyone recognizes the Starbucks logo. Laura and I immediately immersed ourselves in trying to find a way to play with that visual culture and reinterpreting it. It was interesting to start from something that was very iconic and known—and with products, not clothing. As a clothing designer, you think about what you’re making, not what you’re putting on it. We had to have a concept that we could build product out of instead of just saying well, we have an idea for a collection and this color represents that and playing with silhouettes. You have to get your point across on top of a card.
While some in the industry are calling the collaboration “unlikely,” we think it’s a perfect fit. Aren’t some of the most stylish people on the planet caught with a coffee cup on hand almost daily (ahem, Olsen twins) — to the point that it’s become almost a fashion accessory? And aren’t you always struggling at the last minute to fine quality gifts under $20? Well, here you go!