6 Indie Design Collaborations That Are Better than Big Brands

With all the Isabel Marant for H&M insanity (have you seen how much the pieces are selling for on eBay?) and slightly ridiculous collaborations like Adam Levine for Kmart, it often feels like we're being force-fed a steady diet of celebrity-branded product. Sure, many celebrity collaborations produce something that's greater than the sum of their famous parts, but often they simply consist of a name splashed across a product to make it sell better.

Enter the indie collaborations. You might not read about them in Vogue or People; you might not read about them at all. But they're happening all around us, and they usually feel more genuine and meaningful than the big-name collabs. In short, they can be the coolest way to find items that are really, as Shakespeare once said, a "marriage of true minds." 

Beth Hoeckel x Laqa & Co.

I adore Beth Hoeckel — you've probably seen her work for Rookie — and own two of her prints. She designed the packaging for this warm coral nail polish with the best name ever: "Nemesis."

Explore the collaboration here.

Bratson z Hiphoper

Korean brand Bratson teamed up with streetwear store Hiphoper to make a cap for those who live outside the lines. Let's just say it's not for everyone. 

Explore the collaboration here

Liberty x Frederic Malle

Liberty is a London department store that's stocked Frederic Malle's perfumes for ages. In honor of their long relationship, Malle matched each one of his fragrances to a fabric or wallpaper print from Liberty's archives. The resulting limited edition packaging is classically gorgeous. 

Explore the collaboration here

Q-Tip x Quarterly

Q-Tip's a big name rapper, but he hasn't reached superhuman celebrity status yet, so we'll let this one qualify as "indie." Quarterly is a genius little gift box service: You subscribe to one of your favorite cultural influencers and receive a curated gift in the mail every three months. Q-Tip is currently working on his first package for them — no idea what it'll hold, but you know it'll be hip.

Explore the collaboration here

Rosie Fortescue x Laura Gravestock

Fashion blogger/reality TV star Rosie Fortescue teamed up with jewelry designer Laura Gravestock for a line based on Rosie's signature saying, "Dreamy." The collaboration is a little cheesy, but in a cute, wearable way. 

Explore the collaboration here

Swatch x Mika

Glam-rock/power-pop singer Mika and watchmakers Swatch both turned 30 this year. Aw! Naturally, they teamed up, and the line of watches that Mika designed, inspired by African tribal motifs, are as punchy and wild as his music. 

Explore the collaboration here