Masstige refers to the action in which a luxury brand collaborates with a mass-market brand to produce to a collection. The word masstige comes from the combination of the two words “mass” and “prestige”. The Swedish fast fashion multinational company, H&M, began the trend of guest-designer collaborations in 2004 with Karl Lagerfeld. Since then, H&M has offered exclusive designer collaborations with Stella McCartney, Balmain, Kenzo, and Versace.
Being in New York for the debut of the Karl Lagerfeld for H&M collection was quite an experience. I was only thirteen at the time and didn’t quite understand what the fuzz was all about. However, I will never forget the long lines of people waiting outside the store. Little did a knew, a few years later I would be one of those people in front of my computer a few minutes before the Lanvin for H&M collection became available online.
I believe the phenomenon of masstige is a successful formula for both the luxury brand and the fast fashion brand. The luxury brands get a lot of attention, and the fast fashion brands get to increase their sales. All collaborations are featured in all communication channels (billboards, magazines, and TV commercials), which get people talking about them. Moreover, sales increase for the fast fashion brands, because consumers of modest socio-economic status can now afford the brands they aspire