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Exclusive Starbucks Merchandise Features Designs from Fashion Brand

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When Jen Gotch traveled to Tokyo and Kyoto, Japan, during a week-long vacation last summer, she was captivated by the people, architecture and aroma of the city, which provided inspiration for a project she was working on back home in Los Angeles.

“From the culture to the five-story art stores, floral-shaped cotton candy, rich history and traditions, it was everything I thought it would be and more,” she said. “I knew that I would come back someday to explore other countries in Asia.”

Just two months before her trip, Gotch, the Chief Creative Officer of the prominent lifestyle brand, a design house that creates everything from clothes to jewelry to 3-D iPhone cases, had received an unexpected call from Starbucks to collaborate on a merchandise collection for the company’s stores across Asia.

“I was extremely excited to get the call to work with Starbucks,” she said. “It was definitely cool that the project coincided with my first trip to Asia.”

After only two months of working together, trading design themes, patterns, color selections and packaging ideas, Gotch and Starbucks are introducing their + Starbucks® Designer Collection, available at participating Starbucks® stores across Asia starting May 16, while supplies last. The limited-edition merchandise includes drinkware and accessories with bright, colorful designs inspired by tropical vibes, laid-back vacation fun and a retro Los Angeles beachside look and feel.

“We admire the brand for its vibrant and playful merchandise,” said Michele Waits, vice president of marketing & category for the China and Asia Pacific region. “We had a strong feeling that working with Jen and her team would result in a special collection of items for our customers to enjoy.”

Options in the collection

Customers can select merchandise with three lively design patterns: Tropical Floral, showcasing delicate, hand-painted flowers, Good Times, which captures the feeling of cheerful summertime days and Beach Stripe, which highlights a classic retro poolside aesthetic. The collection includes: + Starbucks® Double Walled Mugs: These 12-ounce, New Bone China, double-walled mugs, feature plastic crescent lids with real gold hand-painted rims. The double-walled construction keeps beverages hot or cold and reduces condensation to keep hands dry. They are available in the Tropical Floral and Good Times designs. + Starbucks Cold Cups: Each cup holds 16 ounces of cold liquid and is available in both Tropical Floral and Good Times designs. The double-walled construction keeps beverages cold and reduces condensation. + Starbucks Lifestyle Accessories: Tropical Floral, Good Times and Beach Stripe designs are featured on canvas totes, coasters, pencil pouches, luggage tags, passport holders, notebooks and cold to-go lids.

“All of the designs were based on the idea that we were bringing a little slice of L.A. sunshine to the other side of the world,” said Gotch. “Each design is compelling on its own, but they also complement one another and work great as a set.”

Introducing fashion designers to Starbucks customers

Gotch founded with her friend, Jamie Coulter, in 2008. With no prior business experience, they transformed it from a small vintage hair accessories company into a multimillion dollar brand. Gotch said the partnership with Starbucks works well since the two companies share similar values.

“Some of our core values are togetherness, nostalgia and fun, all values we feel are aligned with Starbucks mission,” said Gotch. “We’re also super passionate about our products and focus on connecting with our customers to create a welcoming community for them.”

Starbucks has a history of working with up and coming designers. The company collaborated with the acclaimed French fashion house Paul & Joe to develop a 2016 and 2017 spring collection of mugs, tumblers and totes. In 2013, alice + olivia contributed designs for Starbucks winter holiday and earlier this year, helped the company with its Valentine’s Day merchandise.

“By working with acclaimed fashion designers, we hope to inspire our customers and further connect them with our brand,” said Waits. “What better way to kick off the summer season and put a smile on customers’ faces this year than with the fresh and fun limited-edition collection?”

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