Donald Trump and Barack Obama Meet After Trump's Historic Win For The White House Presidency

Crash Collaboration-Could Your Brand Successfully Collaborate At This Level???

Its been an intensely provocative week.

First, it was the amazing post-election exchanges between Obama and Trump.  Then it was what I learned at the Dior Makeup Counter. Both of these experiences made me think about collaborative brand relationships.  Of course, since I am in branding and consumer products, I look at most everything through this lens.  Barack and Donald are definitely brands. Just as politicians shape and influence our lives and decisions, so do brands.

Never, ever could it be imagined that Barack and The Donald would have this most gracious of exchanges.  Of course, a hand-off of the office was expected.  The unexpected was this high level of success in civility, cooperativeness and effectiveness.  When brands never thought of as compatible can pull off a major relationship coup such as this, this is what I call a Brand Crash Collaboration.


Could your brand successfully collaborate with another at this extreme level?

Donald Trump and Barack Obama
Donald Trump and Barack Obama’s Brand Crash Collaboration.


The Donald and Barack Obama together.   This is a Brand Crash Collaboration because it is so unexpected and effective that you cannot take your eyes and attention away from it.





What I learned at the Dior Makeup Counter

Also impressive is the collaboration of Dior and Amore Pacific in creating the       DreamSkin Perfect Skin Cushion product.


This much openness to a partnership between true competitors in the beauty space is remarkable.  I love the brand collaboration as much as I am loving this product.


Dior DreamSkin Perfect Skin Cushion Capture Totale
Dior DreamSkin
Dior Partners with Amore Pacific for the Dior DreamSkin Perfect Skin Cushion Product.
Dior Partners with Amore Pacific for the Dior DreamSkin Perfect Skin Cushion Product.


Other successful Brand Crash Collaborations are:

  • Louis Vuitton & BMW– brand behemoths executing at this level is definitely worth benchmarking.
  • Bonne Bell & Dr. Pepper- can you believe this collaboration formed in 1975?!
  • Karl Lagerfeld & The Odyssey at Hotel Metropole in Monaco– historic hotels have taken deep dives into the fickle world of fashion with these catwalk giants such as: Armani, Versace and Diane von Furstenberg.

Karl Lagerfeld collaborates with Hotel Metropole in Monaco
Karl Lagerfeld designs the Odyssey at the Hotel Metropole Monte Carlo

Brand Crash Collaborations are beneficial but require lots of forethought and planning.


  1. Greater Audience Reach
  2. Expanded Brand Identity
  3. Alliance of Expertise
  4. New Creative Opportunities
  5. Expense and Revenue Sharing


  1. Extra Effort Coordinating Teams
  2. Authenticity Issues
  3. Execution Complexities
  4. More People Equals More Finger Pointing
  5. Legal Agreements

There is much to be considered and possibly much to be gained through Brand Crash Collaborations.  Every situation requires extreme diligence in assessing viability and pay-off and what everybody stands to gain or lose.

Brands now have a new benchmark high in collision collaboration.  Be careful with your brands and the possible outcomes- just as Barack Obama and Donald Trump seem to be.


headshot-from-christmasChristine C. Oddo is the author of The Christine Report blog and founder of Madison Luxe Group; a beauty and luxury retail sales, product development, brand curation and digital strategy agency.

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Free or Best Offer. What is the affect of Live Streaming on Fashion’s Finest Freelancers?

Live Streaming Fashion may have completely changed the fate for Fashion’s Finest Freelancers.

While going for my daily morning run, this old chest of drawers was on the curb looking for a new home.  I stopped, stared at the sign and had to take a photo because it reminded me of something I had just recently learned.

Free or Best Offer. 

I think a few of my freelance fashion colleagues feel like this chest of drawers.

Free or Best Offer Chest of Drawers Photo

Just as this season’s shows were winding down, I reached out to a couple of my freelance makeup artist friends.  Knowing how busy they are during shows, I did not expect to hear back for a couple more weeks.  I routinely figured that they would finish their shows, get their post-show rest and then we would catch up.

Except that I did hear back from a couple of them immediately.

What the heck was going on?

The shocking answer is that they were barely booked this season!  This update was coming from some very highly talented freelancers.  Their talent was always booked solid during fashion and award seasons.  This was shocking news.

They have also come to rely heavily on the income, camaraderie and contacts each fashion season brings.

No doubt, live streaming fashion has been AWESOME for the wanting consumer.  Its AWESOME for the brands too.  Via the multitude of live media outlets, brands are sharing their essence and value in real time.  It does not come cheap for the brands though.

Last year, WWD reported, “ the bulk of beauty brands paying designers for show sponsorships anywhere from $5,000 for a lesser-known fashion label to $50,000 for a more established one — plus supplying the products — the question is: Do the beauty companies reap rewards?  The answer is a resounding “yes.” 

And for their $50K, you know that the big corporate brands are bringing in their own armies of celebrity stylists and entourage.  This leaves little to no room for the talented freelancer.

I’ve been told that this year was the biggest yet.  Big companies totally dominated backstage at the shows.  Can’t begrudge anyone, let’s face it, they are marketers and paid heavily for the opportunity.

Major change brings on major change.  In hyper-available “real time” where items, looks and trends are immediately available to the public, there will be equal evidence of the immediate winners and losers at this new game.

Tresemme 2016

Is it working for the brands?  Yes.


“From our research at Unilever, we know that the content we develop around fashion week has a

really strong ROI,” said Jen Daly, marketing director of salon-inspired hair-care brands at Unilever, who noted that since 2013, when TRESemmé concentrated its efforts in New York as the official hair-care sponsor of fashion week, the brand has seen the growth rate of its styling business increase five times.  “[For our consumer], the hair resonates more than the designer.”



Karl_Lagerfeld_Cannes (1)

Karl Lagerfeld recently shared his opinion with The Business of Fashion.

“It’s a mess,” said Lagerfeld backstage after the Fendi show, when asked about the lack of consensus amongst members of the fashion industry in the US, UK and Continental Europe on the value of consumer-facing fashion shows…..

“Chanel makes six collections per year, but I make already one — the capsule — that is not shown to the press, to nobody. The day it comes out is the day the stores get a document. Now I want to do something else — perhaps it’s too early to talk about it — to make a special collection only for the [Internet].  Fifteen things, you buy them and you get them immediately.”


Many shows are now also opportunities to immediately buy. No more 6 months wait until it hits the retail floor.  This is fantastic for consumers and brands.

So, what will Live Streaming most likely mean to the freelancers?

Maybe many talented freelancers will be left out of the stream.

headshot-from-christmasChristine C. Oddo is the author of The Christine Report blog and founder of Madison Luxe Group; a beauty and luxury retail sales, product development, brand curation and digital strategy agency.

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