When Rodarte announced it would release a diffusion line for Target in 2009, the fashion brand’s fans rejoiced at the idea that they might finally own something designed by sisters Kate and Laura Mulleavy (Rodarte’s full-priced pieces can cost around $10,000). But, like many other diffusion collections, Rodarte’s Target line quickly sold out in stores and pieces were soon selling on eBay for hundreds of dollars.
This winter, though, Rodarte is giving it another try—and taking mass to a completely new level—through a partnership with Starbucks. The coffee retailer will sell limited-edition gift cards, coffee mugs, tote bags and reusable cup sleeves designed by the Mulleavys starting Nov. 13. Customers can purchase the items in all Starbucks locations in the U.S. and Canada, as well as on the website.
The two brands collaborated on the design, a pixelated gray and white pattern with a similarly pixelated Starbucks logo. Hints of lime green accent the decidedly non-holiday-colored concept. It represents a unique intersection between Starbucks’ inviting coffee house vibe and Rodarte’s intimate, exquisitely artistic clothing and accessories designs.
Starbucks is using its first fashion partnership as an avenue for “putting us on the map as a true inspirational gifting destination,” said Samie Barr, vice president of category brand management, in an interview with the Associated Press. Previously, the coffee company worked with Project Runway alum Christian Siriano and home decor guru Jonathan Adler on special projects.
For Rodarte, teaming up with a prominent name to create bold pieces has been a frequent event in their career. The award-winning designers, who founded their brand in 2005, famously designed the stylized tutus in 2010′s psycho-thriller Black Swan and created costumes for the Los Angeles Philharmonic’s 2012 production of Don Giovanni to go along with Frank Gehry’s sets.
This project is much more accessible, but no less indicative of their talents. Laura Mulleavy told the Associated Press that their daily coffe intake made designing the products easy, but that the small surface of the gift card made designing trickier. The items are expected to retail between $4.95 for the cup sleeve and $12.95 for the tote and tumbler—the perfect price points for cash-strapped holiday shoppers.