Earlier this year, H&M announced its next designer collaboration with Parisian fashion house Balmain. In a star-studded launch in NYC, creative director Olivier Rousteing unveiled the new collection with fashion aficionados Kendall Jenner, Jourdan Dunn, and Gigi Hadid looking ferosh on the runway.
The Balmain capsule collection is a mix of couture spirit and street-wear attitude starting from $17.99. Available in select H&M stores from November 5th, fashion flippers are already advertising the catwalk-inspired pieces on Ebay for double the retail price.
H&M is no stranger to high-fashion partnerships. Previous designer collaborations have featured the likes of Versace, Jimmy Choo, Roberto Cavalli, Karl Lagerfeld, and Stella McCartney. The Swedish fashion giant also teamed up with soccer star David Beckham on an affordable menswear line.
You can be sure that the Balmain partnership won’t be the last collab for H&M. As we head into 2016, trends are shifting and new color schemes are coming to the fore (a hybrid of serenity and rose quartz was just named the Pantone “Color of the Year!” What is the world coming to?!), meaning H&M will no doubt be looking to partner with a new high-end designer to capitalize on the sartorial zeitgeist.
Which fashion designer will be next to charm the masses with a high-low collaboration? We set the odds.[UPDATE: H&M went off the board, announcing a 2016 collaboration with Kenzo. Expect a minimalist collection from the Parisian fashion house. The odds below are largely unchanged in light of H&M’s announcement.]
The fashion world is obsessed with the 70s lately, and no house hones in on the decade better than Chloé. Under the direction of Clare Waight Keller, Chloé has kept their 70s-inspired, free-spirited femme aesthetic fresh. Think ruffles and wearable denim, with masculine touches. Their affordable, ready-to-wear brand See is already a hit with the young’uns, which fits in well with H&M’s main demographic.
Marc Jacobs has yet to jump on the high-low bandwagon, but never say never. Although a collaboration could create competition for his existing ready-to-wear line MBMJ, the contemporary designer hopes to go public one day. A partnership with a major retailer like H&M could capture the mainstream audience needed to secure an IPO. Nineties-inspired grunge-chic is trending right now, and fits perfectly with Jacobs’ retro looks.
Back in 2012, there were whispers of a possible collab between the luxury French label and H&M. It didn’t pan out. Since then, Givenchy has worked with Nike to create a line of haute sneakers. If this dream pairing becomes a reality, divas on a dime will be dizzy with delight. Websites will crash.
Brandon Maxwell, the man behind Lady Gaga’s style revival, is generating a lot of buzz. Having recently launched his own 70s-centric collection this fall to rave reviews, a joint venture with H&M isn’t a stretch. H&M loves to use star power to market their fast-fashion lines. The possibility of bringing Gaga into the mix could be too tempting to resist.
The Lebanese-born designer hasn’t paired with a fast-fashion retailer before, but he has the high-end reputation H&M are looking for. His odds remain pretty long, though, because he already does his own ready-to-wear lines. A collaboration with H&M would mean either putting that on hold or competing against himself.
Back when Alexander Wang was teaming up with H&M, Spad was doing the same with The Gap. She’s obviously not averse to collaborations, but she’s also not as high-end as most of the designers that H&M has paired with. And does the Swedish giant really want to follow in another retailer’s footsteps … especially one like The Gap, whom they’re keen to outclass?
You never forget your first and, for H&M, it all started with Karl Lagerfeld. His first collection for H&M was so popular that it sold out in most cities within an hour. Despite striking fashion gold, it’s unlikely that the pair will join forces once more. Lagerfeld has stated publicly that he will never work with the retailer again. Burn. Breaking up is hard to do.
(Photo credit: Siebbi (Karl Lagerfeld) [CC BY 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons.)
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