Okay, got it. Everyone’s talking about the H&M collaboration with lovely Donatella lately and since (from bit to bit) pieces of that collection were released, I got the feeling of a bloggerwave gone mad yesterday. What’s all this hype about? It’s not the first collaboration H&M is doing with some high-end designer and it’s not the first one, which again doesn’t let me queue in front of some store the day the collection is buyable. I mentioned it once in my blog (unfortunately in German when Lanvin released first insights of their H&M collab), but can’t resist to repeat myself: To me, it’s by far nothing to get too excited about with those collaborations the Swedish retail clothing company is doing over and over again. It’s way too obvious for the normal customer that they actually try to make you buy those clothes just because it says “blahblah Versace/Karl Lagerfeld/Viktor&Rolf/Jimmy Choo/Matthew Williamson blahblah”.
From an H&M point of view it’s perfect: You have millions of girls and women and even the one or another man queuing in front of your store just because you were smart enough to set up that whole idea of making everybody feel a little more “superior”/”exclusive” once in a while. It’s just clever because there’s no other retailing company (as far as I know) that has such a collaboration “tradition” with high-end designers than H&M does. (and if you want to say “Topshop” then please think about that having models like Kate Moss designing some things is not the same as designers – both in the fashion industry, both important but not the same).
I’m not saying that I’m not curious about how different pieces will look like and especially how they actually look on me etc. but still: Are you people out there serious about going crazy just because the shop you usually go to to buy your basic stuff is finally doing another collaboration? Since I can remember (and I guess I remember from Stella McCartney onwards) H&M fatally failed in transforming a designer’s characteristic into their image and above all into real-life-customer-buying-habits (no, this doesn’t make me sound more intelligent nor does this word really exist…). Quite honestly I have to tell that some of those pieces, including jewelry, show some kind of Versace-look but still I guess it’s nearly impossible to compensate the main intention of H&M (selling clothes for a certain price and therefore having a certain quality) with an high-end designer’s image just for one collection. Okay, it won’t look like this to the average customer walking into a store and being all excited about the fact that Versace’s actually that cool to give you, as the person next door, the chance to wear Donatella’s idea of a collection for a much cheaper price than you would normally pay for something that says her last name.
I always thought that once you pay for something that obviously doesn’t say Zara/H&M/whatever, you also pay the name. The image. The whole feeling you get the moment you slip into the clothes. (not trying to generalize it too much). But I think this is what H&M wants to make you feel: A certain kind of luxury. A lifestyle. And a feeling of something special mixed up with the known, normal.
H&M guys did an amazing job in this but still it doesn’t get me personally. Why in God’s name spending “a bit more” on that stuff just because it says someone else’s name as part of a collaboration? Does it automatically guarantee another manufacture? Does it mean that nobody will wear exactly what I’m wearing when I’m heading to the next party? (it wouldn’t for a pure Versace peice either but H&M will be more likely to show up on the average styles of girls on the street, right!?). Are you seriously going to throw on this bicoloured flowerpower dress including the matching leggings? It may be a matter of taste for some people, but then again it may be a matter of having lost the brain while shopping. I’m honest: Some of those pieces even attract me (like that “leather”dress Abbey Lee Kershaw is wearing). But will they look and especially feel the way they appear in those glossy pictures (and worn by Sasha Pivarova, A.L.Kershaw, and Daphne Groeneveld all having superduperbodies and the right photographer to photoshop)?