On April 3″, the fast-fashion retailer H&M announced it had officially chosen Rei Kawakubo from Comme des Garcons to create the next designer collection coming out November 2008. H&M which has become known for producing “masstige” collaborations by bringing top-end designers and celebs to create limited-edition collections (i.e. Stella McCartney, Isaac Mizrahi, Madonna) at lower price points for the “masses” said in the statement that they have always wanted to have Rei Kawakubo on board as a guest designer.
The decision of course is timely in that H&M will be launching the collection with the opening of their 2nd retail store in Tokyo during this time. H&M currently has 1 500 stores in 28 countries.
“I have always been interested in the balance between creation and business. It is a dilemma, although for me creation has always been the first priority. It is a fascinating challenge to work with H&M since it is a chance to take the dilemma to its extreme, and try to solve it, says Rei Kawakubo of Comme des Gar?ons in the release.
“Rei Kawakubo has been at the top of our wish list for a long time and we are thrilled that she has chosen to collaborate with us. We have tremendous respect for Kawakubo’s fashion philosophy of questioning fashion’s ingrained patterns, and admire her artistic approach to design. We are particularly excited that the collection will be launched in Japan, Kawakubo’s native country, at the same time as the launch of our new store there, explains Margareta van den Bosch, creative advisor H&M.
As we’ve noted at Label Networks in our European and North American Youth Culture Studies” H&M is becoming a top shopping location for young people ages 13-30. In our Pan-European Report covering the UK, France, Italy, Spain and Germany, H&M is the #1 favorite store to shop in among 15-25-year-olds.
H&M, as we noted in the story about their collaboration with Second Life, “What’s Next in Virtual Fashion Runway Hits from H&M via Sims 2 Created by “Ordinary People Designers” is known for extremely clever campaigns and digital integration as well as changing up their on-site shopping experiences.