Thursday, March 21, 2013

Diet Coke and Fashion



When I think of Diet Coke and fashion at the same time, which I often do not, the first commonality that comes to mind is, unsurprisingly, dieting. Conceivably an entirely different taste than its full-calorie counterpart, Coca-Cola, if Diet Coke is your preferred drink, you can essentially have your cake and eat it too. All of the love, all of the flavor, without the calories. 

Reportedly, Karl Lagerfeld drinks nothing but the beverage, a habit I can't seem to wrap my head around.


Collaborations among fashion houses and accessible brands seem to debut every other week: Prabal Gurung for Target, Karl Lagerfeld for Fossil, Maison Martin Margiela for H&M, Kate Spade for Keds. Although collaboration lines are arguably much more affordable in comparison to their namesake house, some pieces still too heavily bear the costly weight of the designer's name. 

Enter Diet Coke. The company has routinely selected "celebrity" designer creative directors who sign on temporarily to design cans or bottles to the tune of their characteristic style. Big hitters like Karl Lagerfeld, Jean Paul Gaultier, Diane Von Furstenberg and most recently Marc Jacobs have all applied their signature designs to the already iconic can. 

But what's the point of having a Diet Coke can with some high-end designer's latest interpretation on it? 

Rob Bayne, senior brand manager for Diet Coke in North West Europe and Nordics, answers with, "Fashion is a top interest of our fans so we started designer collaborations to create something new and exciting to our drinkers."

Yes, high-low designer collaborations are a fad, but a good one. People love their designer goods, no matter if they're from Bergdorf Goodman or H&M. Aside from the Neiman Marcus for Target collection earlier this winter (in which most merchandise ended up at 75 percent off), every collaboration with Target has been a success. 

It's ultimately about combining novelty with accessibility. Think about designer perfumes. A 1.6-ounce bottle of Dolce & Gabbana's Light Blue is $69, a price that is downright affordable when comparing to their $1,025 cotton-blend lace T-shirt. The Diet Coke collaborations are similar, yet on a much less expensive and more quickly consumed level. 

Where will fashion exert its influence next?





Photo sources: top, Marc Jacobs for Diet Coke campaign; middle, Karl Lagerfeld for Diet Coke launch; bottom: Jean Paul Gaultier for Diet Coke bottles, Karl Lagerfeld for Diet Coke bottles, Diane von Furstenberg for Diet Coke bottles, Marc Jacobs for Diet Coke cans