Brian Donnelly, more well known as Kaws, is the genius behind the Companion and BFF. Both characters are the faces of the Kaws brand. They have been most commonly produced as figurines in varying colors, sizes, and designs.
Starting in 2016, Kaws began his collaboration with Fast Clothing giant, Uniqlo. Throughout the years, he has not only done collaborations with Uniqlo, but has brought in Peanuts and Sesame Street as well. These pieces did not contain classic Kaws characters, but included the signature X’s in the eyes.
The final collaboration between Kaws and Uniqlo dropped at the beginning of June in China, and utter mayhem followed. Shoppers began by sprinting towards the products which then led to violent shoving, tug of war antics to retrieve their desired merchandise, and the removal of clothing from mannequins. The collaboration included an array of t-shirts with the companion and/or the BFF in numerous colors and canvas tote bags emblazoned with similar images.
The Black Friday like behavior does not come as a surprise due to Kaws’s growing popularity around the world. This is especially relevant due to shoppers possibly not being able to get their hands on Kaws x Uniqlo collaborations ever again. Kaws’s success partnered with the growing and affordable nature of Uniqlo has allowed for the collaborations to not only thrive, but constantly sell out throughout the last three years.
This collaboration serves as one of numerous examples of effective partnerships that bring together art, fashion, and culture. Collaborations have consistently drawn in masses of individuals, and continue to become more sought after.