With Francesco Risso of Marni taking to the Collina Strada catwalk, we take a look at all the times a designer has crossed enemy lines

The way we talk about fashion is almost identical to how comic book fans discuss movie franchises. Historically speaking, luxury labels have always existed independent of one another, with each designer presiding over their own universe, much like Marvel or DC. From a young age, we pledge allegiance to a small number of brands and fashion ourselves in their image, tearing down anyone who might encroach on their territory. What is clothing if not merch? What is fashion week if not a month-long Comicon? And what is Fendace, Gucciaga, and Skendi if not fan fiction?

Over the past year, however, fashion’s planetary system has seemingly collapsed in on itself, bursting open blackholes with every hack, swapping, and cross contamination. But what if the borders and boundaries of those worlds were more permeable than we were led to believe? What if designers were not the warring entities that Diet Prada hawks them as? What if they were muses, bedfellows, even lovers? Offline, fashion designers are not only aware of each other but, more often than not, they’ve studied together and forged close-knit cabals. They are friends, which is a bit like collaborating, but in real life.

Take Hillary Taymour of Collina Strada, for example, who asked Francesco Risso of Marni to star in her AW22 show last week. It felt incestuous, silly, and a lot of fun – and while it tends to be celebs making all the suprise appearances these days, there is a time-worn tradition of fashion designers making cameos on each other’s runways, hailing back to when Martin Margiela walked for Jean Paul Gaultier in 1986. There’s something so exhilarating about designers publicly acknowledging each other’s existence – it’s like The Avengers, but not boring. Below, we take a look at all the times designers have crossed (fr)enemy lines.