Fast luxury


Fast luxury

On 19 October, French luxury house Kenzo’s fashion collaboration with H&M, news of which has begun to be splashed online, will see a formal opening in New York. While Kenzo is revered worldwide for the way it blurs and blends Asian inspirations with Parisian style, H&M, as one of the world’s most popular fast fashion retailers, has been constantly assimilating influences of the high street and the “exclusive” in its fashion explorations. With this collaboration, authored by Kenzo’s creative directors Carol Lim and Humberto Leon, H&M’s acceleration of its style mergers with fine fashion brands—such as Balmain and Karl Lagerfeld—becomes more ambitious.

Founded in 1970 by Japanese designer Kenzo Takada, who moved to Paris to live and work there, the Kenzo signature, spiked with big prints and bold colours, evolved to one of global eclecticism. The brand began to imbibe and mirror a myriad international influences.

From 2011, since Lim and Leon joined Kenzo, the vividity of the luxury house’s colours, patterns and silhouettes became more defined and fervent. Art-fashion collaborations, digital campaigns that provoked awe and inspiration, and catwalk shows that left audiences applauding became the norm. They had the buzz of the high street and the finesse of luxury—without jarring clashes. That’s exactly the kind of energy that Lim and Leon are expected to bring to their collection for H&M. It is visible in the campaign’s enigmatically, energy-filled images created by fashion and music image maker Jean-Paul Goude. It features the collaboration’s first endorsers—Chance the Rapper, model Iman and rapper Suboi—wearing pieces from the Kenzo x H&M collection, shot with Goude’s signature handmade cut-up style, where prints have been sliced and reassembled. Watch the making of the collection on YouTube . Accompanying the first lot of campaign images are short films by Swedish director Max Vitali that include interviews with Chance, Iman and Suboi.

Kenzo x H&M—garments and accessories for men and women—will be available at more than 250 H&M stores worldwide (at High Street Phoenix, Lower Parel in Mumbai and Select Citywalk in Delhi) as well as online, from 3 November