Ringing in the holidays may not be to the sound of sleigh bells and hot coco, but rather the checkout counter at Barneys or Banana Republic. While some people sing, “Deck the Halls,” decked out in Swarovski sounds much more festive to us! The holidays are all about sharing, and we agree that this year’s timely holiday collaborations offer much to give. Especially, if it means your purchases are supporting the Shawn Carter Foundation, as is the case with Barneys “A New York Holiday” collaboration with Jay Z himself.

Whether you want to sparkle away at this season’s holiday parties or gift a little cashmere to someone you’d like cozy up to by the fireplace, it’s time to start shopping! After all, limited edition collaborations like this only come by once a year…just like Saint Nick.



Kate Spade New York and Swarovski have teamed up for the holiday season, creating a 14-piece collection aptly titled, “All Aglow.” Do you hear what I hear? “Shine bright like a diamond…”

Sparkle and glimmer frosted in crystals with this glitzy holiday collaboration. String-up the Swarovski bow collar and hang the crystal earrings, these ornamental pieces have festive cocktail party and New Year’s Eve written all over them. Clutches, gloves, sunglasses and high-heels crested with crystals drip glamour. And, should these bejewelled accents not be enough shine for your taste, the collab also has clothing to offer including a dress, shorts and jacket that will be sure to catch the light…and eyes! Available at Kate Spade New York’s flagship store on Madison Ave., shoppers outside the city limits can nab select items online.



Believe it or not, the iconic Alexander McQueen skull scarf has been kicking around for 10 years now. To celebrate this monumental anniversary, U.K. artist Damien Hirst has teamed up with the McQueen Fashion House to create 30 uniquely printed scarves ranging from psychedelic to morbid

In true Hirst style, creepy crawlies cover the collection’s pongé, cashmere, twill, and chiffon scarves. The swarm of insects compose symmetrical kaleidoscopic patterns, forming the distinguishable McQueen skull. The scarves are adaptations from Hirst’s “Entomology” series, and channel beautifully the spirit of McQueen’s legendary scull. Fashion fanatics and art fans alike will want to move fast, a memento from this collaboration is one that could easily move from closet to wall one day.



This is one for ladies who share a star with Betty Draper. A designer known for her ultra feminine and sophisticated take on ready-to-wear, L’Wren Scott is teaming up with Banana Republic this holiday season to gift shoppers with an elegant 50-piece collection that twinkles.

All about “decadent glamour” – you can buy a shirt that says so!  — L’Wren Scott wants you to embrace your girly side. Whether it is an office party or an intimate family dinner, sequin sweaters, bejewelled clutches, and peony print pants are essentials for the festive season. Red and burgundy dominate the collection; damask patterns adorn fitted dresses and pencil skirts, while a luxe lace dress coyly tempt with its comely elegance. Or, go for accessories and choose between a bejewelled clutch and a signature lipstick throw, that begs to be cuddled up in during a holiday-movie-marathon on the couch. Our advice? Two is always better than one.



There has been a lot of buzz surrounding the new Jay Z collaboration with Barneys New York for the department store’s “A New York Holiday” collection. Now that the line has launched though, reports on Barneys racial profiling have surfaced and the kick-off party for the collection, meant to be a fundraiser for the Jay Z’s foundation, has been cancelled.

Regardless, the collection was created for a good cause, with a portions of sales from pieces by designers including Rick Owens, Moncler, Balmain, Hublot, Lanvin, and The Elder Statesman, being put towards higher-learning scholarships awarded to students facing socio-economic hardship by the Shawn Carter Foundation. It is the season of giving, and this way, you get to give twice as much; there’s the person your buying for, and the stranger your gifting.


The Japanese streetwear brand Neighborhood, launched back in 1994 by Shinsuke Takizawa, is rooted in tradition and influenced by motorcycles, military, and outdoors. The sort of label that an architect with a thing for Paul Newman films would wear, Neighborhood has a classic American vibe: chambray jean shirts, parkas and now exclusive pieces by Canada’s own knitwear label Kanata. The name behind the homespun graphic knit sweaters your grandma use to wear curling, and that you now want to wear oversized with a leather skirt, Kanta has been knitting their iconic sweaters since 1979. Inspired by Vancouver Island’s Native American tribes these cottage gems are a winter “it” piece. Don’t accept duplicates, it’s got to be Neighborhood x Kanata knit.

Keeping with our Neighborhood love, may we suggest pairing your new winter staple with a pair of runners from the Neighborhood x Converse collaboration. A simple riff on the classic sneaker,  choose between Chucks in royal blue suede and black leather with contrast threading. Both collaborations can be found at select Neighborhood stockists internationally. Though pieces from these two collaborations will prove to be the toughest off our list, bank on the brand being easier and easier to find in the future, as it slowly penetrates the overseas market.

Published November 30, 2013