At last year’s Coachella, retailer H&M and designer Alexander Wang made a splash by announcing an upcoming collaboration. Fast forward to November, and the release of the chic yet (mostly) affordable line caused various H&M websites to crash around the world. Such was the clamor for Wang’s foray into fast-fashion.
H&M has collaborated with other celebrity designers in the past, including Versace, Alber Elbaz (from Lanvin), and Isabel Marant. Given the success of Wang’s line – and the previous collabs – it’s only a matter of time before the Swedish clothing giant teams up with another (metaphorical) heavyweight in the fashion industry. (There weren’t any literal heavyweights, last I checked.)
Who is it going to be? We take a look at some of the likely (and not-so-likely) candidates below, and set the odds on H&M’s next celebrity designer collaboration.
Odds on H&M’s next celebrity designer collaboration:
Jason Wu: 5/1
Wu’s designs are immensely popular with a broad swath of the fashion public. Everyone from Michelle Obama to Kristen Stewart to Michelle Williams has looked fabulous in his creations. The only thing Wu wearers necessarily have in common, at this point, is a large pile of disposable income. A collab with H&M would make Wu’s clothing (more) accessible while simultaneously creating a ton of hype for the retailer. It makes sense on all fronts.
Kate Spade: 10/1
Spade has collaborated with a retail giant before (see her designs for Gap Kids); and H&M has yet to collaborate with someone known predominantly for handbags, meaning Spade would be both another popular name and also a fresh partnership for the company.
Jean-Paul Gaultier: 10/1
Gaultier recently ended his ready-to-wear line and suddenly has some more time on his hands. We know that Gaultier will be focusing more on haute couture now, but it’s also been reported that he is interested in collaborations. And Gaultier actually has a history of collaborating in order to make his designs available to the lesser-monied; if you go way back to the 80s, he collaborated with Les Trois Suisses, a mail order catalogue. It’s high-time “L’Enfant Terrible” went back to his youthful roots.
Christian Louboutin: 15/1
Louboutin would be a perfect designer for H&M given his mass appeal with both genders. This reality isn’t lost on the retail giant, which approached Louboutin about a collaboration in 2009. While the Parisian turned them down then, he also stated that a collaboration with H&M was “an interesting idea“. Might he have come around six years down later? Given his 2012 work with Disney, the designer may be warming up to working with massive corporations.
Vera Wang: 15/1
Would it be weird to collaborate with another Wang right away? (Perhaps H&M is in its phallic stage.) Vera has been working with Kohls and Zales for a number of years, so there isn’t likely to be any moral opposition from the designer, and the notorious perfectionist wouldn’t have to give up any creative control, if her arrangement is like Alexander Wang’s.
Marc Jacobs: 100/1
A couple years ago, rumors swirled that Jacobs would be the next to collaborate with H&M. But Jacobs never did and, to this day, he still hasn’t collaborated with a major retailer. According to Fashionista, Jacobs is hesitant to collaborate with major retailers because of the backlash that Halston received (from the fashion-elite) after its collaboration with JC Penny back in 1983.
Does that mean Jacobs will never enter the realm of reasonably priced, fast-fashion collaborations? No. But it does make him a long-shot.
Of course, H&M has an entire industry’s worth of great designers to try to wu, I mean woo. Without any leaks or rumors to go on, don’t be surprised if their next collaboration is with someone not mentioned on the list above. The likes of Miuccia Prada, Phoebe Philo, or even Victoria Beckham could be saying, “Hallå!” to fast-fashion in the near future.
Do you have any insider tidbits you’d like to share, or a hot-take based purely on intuition? Let us know in the comments!
(Photo credit: By MediaPhoto.Org (mediaphoto.org Own work) [CC BY 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons.)