Design innovation and creativity are deeply rooted in our company’s core values. We want to be guided by these principles in the way we do business and grow our brand. A great way to do so is to collaborate with other brands and creators to design new products.
Last summer we met Joanna Lyle, a British designer based in Milan. When collaborating on the creation of a capsule collection, it is crucial to share a similar set of values. Joanna designs these bold colorful patterns, that immediately catch the eye, just like a babú. She also crafts her garments in Italy in small batches, to minimize overstock and waste. One could argue that we had found a perfect match.
The first step in creating a capsule collection is to define what is the platform, or product, and what are the design variations to be applied to make that product unique to the collab. For instance, in the North Face x Gucci collection, North Face provides their iconic bomber jacket and Gucci their signature prints. Another example might be Marni x Carhartt Wip, where Marni re-imagined the materials and prints of Carhartt’s classic jackets, pants and accessories. In our case, our classic v-neck babú loafer is the platform and Joanna’s printed silky velvets are the design variation on the uppers of the shoe.
The Gucci x North Face and Marni x Carhartt WIP Collections.
Secondly, we had to decide which of Joanna’s signature patterns would be most suitable for our shoes. Following her advice, we selected the ‘frecce’ motif as it had a direction, hence it could be oriented towards the pointy toe of the babú to highlight the slender silhouette of our loafers. Since, we believe it is important to offer some variety to our customers to try to capture everyone’s imagination and style, we eventually created three different models, Paprika, Green and Blueberry.
The Frecce Pattern in the Paprika, Green and Blueberry colors.
Prototypes! It takes a few trials to land on the desired result. We experimented with different color combinations of uppers and linings, re-designed the logo a few times and tested the structure of the shoe uppers for a more comfortable fit. Once the final version was ready, it was time to organize a shooting to create the media necessary for the websites and social channels. At babú we are very informal and we love the support of our photographer and models in the creative process. Everyone is involved in experimenting different outfits, locations, poses and styles and it always turns out to be an amazing day.
Shooting the new collection around the Brera neighborhood in Milan.
Finally ready to launch our capsule collection. We planned a cocktail at Joanna’s shop in Milan and invited our friends, customers and suppliers. Before the event we had drafted a press release and implemented a media plan to communicate the event and create some buzz. The event was a success! The atmosphere was laid back and joyful and it was a great occasion to gather feedback on our creations. It is always inspiring to understand how our audience interprets and styles our loafers. Mostly, babú are worn with flared pants, gowns or dresses and generally paired with colorful or patterned garments.
Good vibes at the launch event at Joanna's shop in Milan.
To conclude, it was fantastic to design, create and launch this capsule collection and we are looking forward to the next one! We are always searching for new opportunities and if you have some suggestions, feel free to reach out in the comments below or through our Instagram page!
We also invite you to explore Joanna Lyle’s amazing creations on her website.