Karl Lagerfeld, Balmain and More: 10 Best H&M Collaborations With Fashion Designers
Last week, the release of Simone Rocha's limited-edition collection in collaboration with H&M caused China's most popular app, WeChat, to break down from the sheer number of people rushing to get their hands on the Irish designer's new pieces.
With Helena Bonham Carter and Kaia Gerber posing in ribbons, pearls and voluminous silhouettes of the new collection among the colourful artworks of Rocha's augmented reality world during the global launch, the demand for this collaborative collection has reached unprecedented heights.
But this is not the first time H&M has whipped up a fashion frenzy by teaming up with iconic designers. Come with us as we take a look back at H&M's most exciting collaborations over the years.
1/9 Karl Lagerfeld (2004)
Karl Lagerfeld was the first designer that teamed up with H&M to create a capsule range of womenswear and menswear. It was a groundbreaking move that made high fashion accessible at a time when luxury labels treasured exclusivity above all else. From the cashmere coats and sequin jackets to the lace dresses and Lagerfeld silhouette T-shirt, the entire collection sold out within minutes of release—with some shoppers even buying up to 20 pieces of the same clothing!
The overwhelming success of this collection set the tone for all the designer collaborations with H&M that followed.
(Related: Why The Karl Lagerfeld X Kenneth Ize Fashion Collaboration Will Be A Highlight Of 2021)
2/9 Comme des Garçons (2008)
By 2008, this Japanese fashion label founded and headed by Rei Kawakubo had already exploded in popularity for its boundary-pushing, gender-fluid streetwear with collaborations with Speedo and Hammer Thor under its belt. This H&M collection was definitely the first foray into the world of digital drop countdowns and hour-long queues for many baby hypebeasts at the start of their careers.
(Related: Tatler Hot List: Asia’s Biggest Fashion Stars)
3/9 Lanvin (2010)
Released in November 2010, the Lanvin Hearts H&M collection had people rushing out for the couture-inspired ruffled dresses, faux fur coats and graphic statement T-shirts, complete with chunky jewellery, just in time for Christmas.
4/9 Versace (2011)
All you need to know about this collection is that it had the seal of approval from one of the greatest musicians of all time—and style icon in his own right—Prince. It was also the first time a H&M collaboration with a luxury fashion label extended to home decor.
(Related: Grammys 2021: Dua Lipa's 3-in-1 Pink Versace Dress Was Everything)
5/9 Maison Martin Margiela (2012)
At the time, Maison Margiela was shrouded with mystery after the resignation of its founder Martin Margiela as creative director. Run by a team that remains anonymous, the fashion world was nevertheless amazed by this collaboration with H&M, which presented timeless, expertly tailored pieces including reversed denim and suede jackets, teddy coats and painted vests.
6/9 Balmain (2015)
Olivier Rousteing, creative director of Balmain, enlisted the help of his supermodel friends Gigi Hadid, Kendall Jenner and Joan Smalls, to lend star power to his collection collection for H&M. The viral campaign video saw the stylish supermodels dressed in metallic fabric, embellished studs and structured silhouettes engaging in a dynamic dance battle in a futuristic subway controlled by Rousteing himself.
7/9 Kenzo (2016)
In 2016, former Kenzo creative directors, Carol Lim and Humberto Leon, presented a technicolour collection of clashing animal prints and logos as well as an eclectic cast of faces for the campaign, including activist writer Amy Sall, photographer Youngjun Koo, make-up artist Isamaya Ffrench, and musician Anna of the North.
(Related: Kenzo Takada’s Private Collection of Items in Paris to Be Auctioned)
8/9 Moschino (2018)
This collaboration between H&M and Moschino's fashion designer Jeremy Scott featured knee-high lace-up leather boots, skintight bodysuits and a wealth of '90s pop culture references such as MTV and hi-fi speakers. There was a palpable street-smart edginess inspired by Scott's 'Dare to be Different' philosophy, which was made all the more by a companion campaign fronted by Mj Rodriguez, the transgender actress from hit series Pose.
Disney's iconic Mickey Mouse also found its way to many of the pieces, fuelling the frenzy further.
9/9 Giambattista Valli (2019)
Giambattista Valli brought all his signature touches to this H&M collaboration, from overflowing tulle and ruffles with accentuated waists to intricate beadwork and embroidery. And for the first time in H&M history, he introduced cultured freshwater pearl accessories alongside delicate floral-print silk and cashmere scarves.
With Kendall Jenner as the face of this campaign, the collection was given a grand debut on a pink runway in Rome's iconic Palazzo Doria Pamphilj at a show attended by the who's who in fashion and entertainment.