Music and Fashion: The Perfect Partnership?

From Rihanna to Beyoncé, from Kanye to Pharrell, music and fashion are combining more than ever. Here's why.

Music and fashion go together like peanut butter and chocolate! From the high-waisted low-flare jeans of the ’70s paired with the rock sounds of Jimi Hendricks. 

To the Avant-Garde vibrant nature of Korean street fashion paired with infectious K-Pop, music is the perfect ingredient for all things apparel. 

With the fashion industry exploding with countless ideas and inspiration, music is used to catapult various trends, styles, and cultures into social stardom. Genres such as Hip hop has been a prominent force in fashion for many years. 

As a driving force for the consumer market, hip-hop has become a major selling ground and influential entity for companies to increase product sales.

Brands such as Adidas go to great lengths to make sure potential customers know their presence in the growing fashion market. 

Billboards and creative television campaigns only touch the surface of how far brands can go when it comes to proper advertising outlets. 

The main reason for brands to collaborate with music artists is to ultimately increase exposure. Artists and musicians have a strong influence on various cultures, especially on youth style choices. 

As athletic sneakers are more about performance, artists can be more creative with their designs. 

In 2014, a competitor of Adidas, Puma assigned Pop icon, Rihanna, as a creative director of their women’s show apparel called Fenty Puma. 

According to Puma CEO Björn Gulden, the brand experienced a 92% increase in income during the first quarter of that year.

According to, hip hop artists such as Pharrell Williams sell 80% more sneakers than athletes Steph Curry, Damian Lillard, and Paul George combined. 

Through endorsements, product placement in music videos, and social media outreach, fashion brands, such as Adidas, flourish from the prominent music collaborations. However, are they aware of the product’s musical influence?


The Adidas Journey

From the early hip hop days of Run DMC, the German apparel company yearned for its immersion with the hip hop culture for a long time. 

According to, in 2006 Adidas partnered with British American clothing and footwear company, Reebok. The partnership seemed to be a perfect combination. 

At the time, Adidas had a major deal with rapper Missy Elliott, whose music videos were deemed a great promotional outlet for the growing company. 

With the retro 1980s hip-hop look of Adidas and the RBK lifestyle brand created by rappers such as 50 Cent, Nelly, and Jay-Z, Adidas would benefit from the partnership and marketing approaches set through Reebok’s business ventures. 

However, with strong hesitation, the partnership became troublesome. 


Reebok’s Edge

Through the partnership, Reebok lost the RBK edge. Hip hop rappers signed to the company, moved on to better applicable deals. 

Through this notion, the company missed out on the next generation of hip-hop artists affecting the company with sneaker market shares falling from 8% to 2% in 2015. 

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Through this notion, an ‘Adidas curse’ was presented. So how could the company who was seen as a business’s poison, manage to change its market perception and keep increasing revenue?

The induction of the Ultraboost became a breakthrough product in 2013. The new technology regarding shoe apparel became a customer “must-have” for running and street apparel. 

As the Ultraboost became hip hop’s most popular shoe and leveraging the brand, Adidas wanted to keep up the hip hop momentum. 


Kanye and Beyoncé

That same year, Adidas signed a deal with Hip Hop icon Kanye West, releasing the legendary Yeezys. This collaboration changed the company forever! In 2018, Yeezy became the ninth highest selling sneaker in the US.

With a strong one-year force, Adidas and vocal diva sensation Beyoncé managed to create a fashion culture all their own. 

From the past years, the singer has become a substantial Adidas creative partner through developing signature apparel through relaunching her Ivy Park clothing line. 

What sparked media attention and great marketing efforts, was the company’s distinct advertising strategy. A few days before the clothing line release, the singer sent 20 celebrity friend’s massive gifts of apparel which were unboxed on their various social media platforms. 

Gaining that strong exposure, set consumer sale expectations to rapidly increase. When the brand launched, it sold out through in minutes! 

It is my belief that companies such as Adidas could not thrive without the influential workings of hip-hop music and other influential genres of music. Fashion has benefited tremendously through the wide range of avenues music can create. 

This notion proves the power of music and its many implications, is endless. So, the next time you buy a pair of shoes or a new edgy jacket; see if you can spot the music artists associated with these epic brands.

More great music content right here:

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