The concept, two well-known, coveted brands coming together might be the same yet the recent collaboration between French brands Petit Bateau and Carven has little in common with the H&M collections in partnership with Lanvin, Karl Largerfeld or Comme des Garçons its has been compared with, beyond bringing two well-known fashion names together.
Petit Bateau and Carven feel much closer, in terms of brand DNA, than any of the other brands did, pre-PR spin on the matter. Their links go beyond clothes-making. They are both pillars of French fashion. Despite very different origins (one was born at the end of the 19th century as an underwear brand, the other after the Second World War to cater to luxury clients), they now answer to a similar fashion ethos made of well-cut items and quality fabrics. Neither is fast fashion, nor is their natural price point that different. While the price of a Lanvin dress can easily reach 100 times that of H&M, Carven ones are rarely more than five times that of a Petit Bateau: with a saving effort, the Petit Bateau customer is more likely to purchase an item from Carven than the H&M customer to buy into a luxury brand.
With common points outweighing their differences, Petit Bateau and Carven are a natural fashion match built on foundations stronger than financial and brand building imperatives. Judging by the reviews so far, these affinities have resulted in as strong a capsule collection as I would have expected from two of my favourite brands - I’ll be queuing on King’s Road on 4 December.