In the fashion industry, collaborations are a strategic way to combine two brands’ influence and, at the same time, reach new audiences. They’re also an avenue for brands to break their boundaries and instead try a new style or trend. Such was the case for the Barbie x Balmain NFT collaboration in 2022. Although it seemed like an unlikely pairing between Mattel’s legacy brand catered to kids and a luxury fashion house, the two brands merged to showcase how Barbie’s iconography can adapt to modern digital art and physical fashion.
Another longstanding brand notable for its fashion collaboration is Oakley. From the time they first rose to fame in the 1980s to this day, Oakley sunglasses have become a hallmark in the eyewear industry for how they balance outdoor protection and functionality with sleek, timeless designs. Among the iconic Oakley pairs are the modern and minimalist Holbrook and the outdoor-oriented, visor-like Radar EV Path. However, through the following collaborations with fashion and apparel brands, Oakley proves that it can continuously innovate and reimagine its heritage characterized by both performance and style.
Palace x Oakley capsule collection
Earlier this year, Palace and Oakley released a limited capsule collection that captured the respective brands’ focus on outdoor adventures through sunglasses and apparel pieces. The focal point was the two variants of the Re:Subzero sunglasses that characterized Oakley’s 2000s designs. These shades had silver and gold outlines paired with silver and black Prizm lenses, with each pair being accessorized with neck stars and brand engravings. Meanwhile, the apparel side showcased futurism through a reflective jacket, workwear-inspired jacket and trousers, technical backpacks, six-panel hats, and hoodies adorned with both brand logos.
Oakley x streetwear brand Fragment Design
By presenting themselves as ever-evolving brands in their respective niches of eyewear and streetwear, the multiple collaborations between Oakley and Fragment Design have been nothing short of impressive. While the companies have been partnering since 2009, the most recent collaboration in January 2023 had Fragment reinventing the signature Oakley Frogskins sunglasses to look more minimalist and understated. The exclusive limited edition pair was in Matte Black frames with Prizm Grey lenses, bearing Oakley’s White B1B logo and Fragment’s laser-etched one on the temples.
Satisfy x Oakley high-performance eyewear
Another way that Oakley demonstrates its commitment to improving outdoor performance is through its recent collaboration with Parisian running brand Satisfy. The two-part eyewear and apparel collection featured a blend of Satisfy’s luxury-level craftsmanship in running equipment and Oakley’s highly advanced product design and innovation. Highlights included two unique colorways of the Oakley Re:SubZero, as well as the Oakley x Satisfy Eye Jacket with a matte transparent brown frame.
Oakley x Bodega BXTR
Also worth noting is Oakley teaming up with Boston and LA-based sneaker store Bodega in 2023 to honor the eyewear label’s influence on subcultures like skating. Together, they released the BXTR frames, named after Baxter Street, a popular skating spot in LA. These frames were largely based on Oakley’s original Razor Blade sunglasses, which featured a shield design and a modernized trigger stem to introduce a fresh yet elevated take on lifestyle eyewear.
With this stream of collaborations from Oakley, it cannot be denied that the brand knows how to leverage its decades-long influence in the industry without having to stick to the same styles and designs every time. Its carefully curated and limited edition collections also illustrate how much more the eyewear segment and the larger fashion industry can thrive when brands cultivate meaningful, lasting partnerships with one another.