H&M usually launches a new designer collaboration in November, so I am presuming there will be an announcement in the next few weeks or months about who this might be. I’m sad that brands like Comme des Garçons and Maison Martin Margiela worked with them, I feel it devalued their brands and is just a reinforcement of the fact that so many fashion companies put money before intergrity. (That said, I felt that “brands” like Karl Lagerfeld and Stella McCartney made good H&M partners as they are all about being commercial and attention whores. But I digress…) Anyway, here are five brands I dearly hope never work with H&M.
1. Dries van Noten. Dries is almost like a sacred fashion brand – creating commercial, wearable clothing in an almost non-commercial way. He quietly goes about his business of making wonderful collections, without shouting and screaming and being vulgar. Plus, he makes the best designer day shoes. If he were to do H&M he would probably become a household name, and I shudder at that thought. Also, his collections probably wouldn’t work well made in cheap versions, as it is all about the fabric, cuts, and fits, and that is hard to replicate well in a mass market factory.
2. Tomas Maier/Bottega Veneta. One of the primary messages of Bottega Veneta is discreet luxury, and there is absolutely nothing discreet about being sold in hundreds of H&M stores around the world. (There is also nothing “luxury” about that, either.) Maybe Maier would try and do an H&M collaboration under his own brand name (which makes swimwear and beachwear) but that would be quite depressing, too.
3. Haider Ackermann. There is no way H&M would be able to successfully re-create the drapes and cuts of Ackermann (I haven’t ever seen a fast fashion brand successfully create a dramatic drape in a garment) nor be able to emulate the stark, sharp tailoring. So I hope they don’t even try.
4. Giambattista Valli. Valli’s stunning collections have earned him a loyal following of wealthy, stylish women, and I feel like his reputation amongst them would be ruined if he designed a collection for H&M. His reputation would certainly be ruined for me.
5. John Galliano. I look forward to the day Galliano makes a comeback. He may have said some stupid things, but he showed remorse, did his time, and I think it is important to remember that we never loved him for his eloquent speeches. On that note, I feel his comeback (beyond just working with Oscar de la Renta) needs to be well planned and wonderful. This does not mean people lining up at 4am to buy $100 versions of his bias cut dresses at the local mall.
Two last thoughts. If one of the above designers did an H&M collection in order to fund their own brand, because they were short on cash, then it would be ok. I would rather these designers sell out and do fast fashion, than cease to exist. And Tom Ford is number one on my “designers who should do an H&M collection” list. He would be very good at producing fashion for the masses (although he would hate to admit it.)
Read my thoughts on previous H&M collaborations: Love and Loathe: Maison Martin Margiela for H&M, Another Overrated H&M Collaboration, and Loathe: Lanvin for H&M. Image sources: Dries Van Noten, Tomas Maier, Haider Ackermann here and here, Giambattista Valli, and John Galliano here and here.