High street champions H&M unveiled the latest in a long line of designer collaborations.
Today H&M finally made its latest designer collaboration open to the public. Teaming up with Parisian streetwear brand Kenzo, the high street store, famed for it’s high profile collections with international designer labels, has released a perfect capsule collection.
Combining Kenzo’s bold aesthetic, championing primary colours, clashing prints and, of course, their signature tiger logo, the collection brings the luxury streetwear brand to the masses via H&M.
Always much-anticipated and renowned for causing a stir online and in stores, these designer mash-ups are perpetually one of the top fashion releases of the year. This year it fell to artist Jean Paul Goude, Grace Jones’s longtime collaborator and the man behind that Kim Kardashian champagne-popping pic, to take on the role of choreographer for both the window displays and the huge runway show launching the collection back in October.
I went to the Oxford Circus flagship to explore the collection for myself. Expecting the huge crowds usually drawn to what have grown to become high profile launches, I arrived at 7:30am to find more security guards than shoppers. In previous years H&M has seen what can only be described as mass hysteria, as crowds clamour to get their hands on a piece of these affordable designer collabs.
This year, however, in this flagship at least, a ticketing system was in place where you were issued a time slot upon your arrival. I drew 11:05am, so went back to bed for three hours. When my time finally came, I was ushered upstairs with less than 10 fellow shoppers, and we were cheered on by helpful staff and booming music: The Kenzo jungle, brough to London’s most famous high street.
Having never bought into any previous H&M collaborations, I was struck not only by the high quality of every garment, but also by how affordable each piece was. Sure, I spent more than I usually would on a simple patterned t-shirt, but in this case, the cotton was super soft, the embellishment well established and the overall feel was one of luxury.
Key stand-out pieces have to be the lined leather bomber with the Kenzo logo emblazoned on the back, dramatic floor-length tiger print gowns and, of course, their much-coveted t-shirts. I settled for an oversized printed t-shirt, going all-out for the Kenzo experience.
The whole thing is the perfect digest of everything we know and love about Kenzo: the prints, the sense of fun, and the easy, relaxed approach to style. Launched in 1970 by Japanese designer Kenzo Takada, the luxury brand has been the brainchild of Opening Ceremony founders Humberto Leon and Carol Lim since 2011, and has garnered fans all over the globe for its signature tiger logo jumpers and bold, clashing prints.
Having previously partnered with the likes of Balmain (2015), Karl Lagerfeld (2004) and Lanvin (2010), H&M has become known for bringing these luxury brands typically unattainable to shoppers like myself, or, even for those who can afford bonafide Balmain, savvy shoppers looking to get in on the street style genius that is these collaborations.
The collection is available in store and online.