Last week, Chanel dropped an exclusive collection of curated playlists on Apple Musicfeaturing show soundtracks and songs directly selected by some of the fashion house’sambassadors and friends.Pharrell Williams, Sébastien Tellier and Caroline Maigret are among the first who curatedtheir own playlists for Chanel, for a collaboration that is only the latest in a semi-trend that hasseen more fashion brands working with Apple Music.
Apple first partnered with Burberry back in 2015 to create a branded channel shortly after itsmusic streaming service was introduced. By doing so, the Californian tech giant tried todifferentiate itself from its rivals – mainly Spotify – but also initiated a new type ofconnection between fashion and music.
The crossover between the two creative industries is nothing new as their intersection came to define pop-culture from the 1980s onwards – when musicians essentially assumed the roles oftrendsetters and brands began to use them to advertise their styles and project their vision.
In the past few years, it’s also become more common to see music artists turn into designers and launch their own lines, which typically become instant cult pieces – Kanye West’s Yeezy, Rihanna’s Fenty andBeyonce’sIvy Park areamong the most successful examples.
But through a platform that reaches millions of people instantly – even those who can’tafford to shop the collections of many luxury houses – Apple Music is slowly redefining therole of fashion brands and designers. By including them among its “curators”, the platform isessentially giving them a space to share their own music selection and create a brand that goes beyond theirgarments. What is it like then when brands and designers becomedirectly involved with music on a creative level?
The fact that the lines between street style and high-endfashion have never been so blurred is an example in itself. On runaways across the world, hip-hop silhouettes have inspired almost every major luxury brand to expand beyondtheir conventional reach and creative direction.Beyond award ceremonies and official fashiongatherings, the shift implies that the industry is betting on relatability.
In an era where a fashion brand’s strategy is basically based on beingas representativeof a specific lifestyle, Apple Music seems like the best destinationto do so, providing customers and followers with a 360 degree immersive experience. The “sound of Chanel” and other iconic fashion houses, much like making fashion shows available to watch on Periscope, can bring us all closer to the feeling of sitting in an exclusive venue in Paris, New York or Milan.
Recently, to celebrate creative director Christopher Bailey’s 17thanniversary with Burberry, the Britishhouse has once again used music to represent its vision and to turn its aesthetic into sound.The new soundtrack playlist on Apple Music was created by Bailey himself and features more than 200 songsspanning four decades and generations.
From old and contemporary British music legends to global artists, the selection celebratesthe brand’s relationship with the music industry as well as some of the most iconicmoments of its recent history.
Fashion Designer Alexander Wang also stepped into the world of music through Apple. Backin 2016, soon after Burberry became the first fashion brand to appear on the platform, hewas the first designer to become a curator and share different personal playlistscategorisedby moods. His channel is an insight into his creative process, personal tastes and, mostimportantly, his vision as one of fashion’s most influential figures.
As brands try to navigate and understand the value of mass engagement, music seems an obvious choice to explore this type of conversation and influence. Bravo, so far, Apple Music. Spotify – eyes are on you.