H&M’s next designer collaboration will be with KENZO
Below story via H & M……………………
Ever since the #HMBalmaination hysteria calmed down, we’ve been taking guesses on who will be the next H&M guest designer. And today – finally – H&M announced that its next designer collaboration will be with Kenzo. Launching worldwide in selected stores and online on November 3, the collection will feature clothes and accessories for both men and women.
H&M Magazine spoke to Creative Directors Humberto Leon and Carol Lim to find out more about Kenzo x H&M.
WHEN H&M CAME TO YOU WITH THIS IDEA, HOW DID YOU REACT?
Carol Lim: “We were really excited. Obviously, we’re the latest in a line of a lot of incredible people. We were like, ‘We’re in great company!’”
WERE YOU NERVOUS?
Humberto Leon: “No. We trust ourselves. And we trust each other. You know, I say, ‘What about this?’ And Carol is like, ‘Well, what if we did it this way?’ It’s us, feeding off of each other.”
Carol Lim: “I can really say we don’t get nervous anymore. We get excited—to start thinking, to start planning, to start asking our ourselves, ‘Okay, so what do we want to talk about this time?’ What it comes down to is figuring out, okay, what message do we want to send with this collection?”
AND WHAT DID YOU DECIDE?
Humberto Leon: “We wanted to really tell the story of the brand and of us. Together with H&M, we will invite all the costumers and fans to the real Kenzo world.
We wanted to really tell the story of the brand and of us.– HUMBERTO LEON, CREATIVE DIRECTOR, KENZO
When pressed, even exuberant maximalists Humberto Leon and Carol Lim can pare down what drives them. Lim swears—it’s very simple. It’s what inspired them to launch global fashion emporium Opening Ceremony in 2002. It’s what spurred them to embrace new opportunities at KENZO, taking over the storied French fashion house in 2011. It’s the reason, Lim explains, that she and Leon said, “‘Yes,’ right away, ‘Yes’” to the chance to launch an H&M collaboration.
“Our philosophy is this,” Lim says. “We’re curious.” It’s a shared impulse—a fascination with newness, a reverence for tradition—that has united them from the start. Both students at the University of California, Berkeley, the two obsessed over clothes and food and art and music. “Even at the time, we were always trying to get to the bottom of what we loved—whether it was our favorite band or some dish we liked,” Lim remembers. “We care a lot and still care a lot about what is authentic.”
AT H&M AND AT KENZO, WHAT DEFINES A COMPLETE COLLECTION? HOW DO YOU KNOW YOU’VE NAILED IT?
Humberto Leon: “We like to make sure each piece [in the collection] has its own value and feels special, but at the same time that the collection as a whole feels really united. That means that people should be as excited to own a t-shirt as they are to own a dress. Each piece should feel deliberate.”
Carol Lim: “Yes, and, overall, it’s always about realizing strengths and weaknesses. We know what we’re good at and what we can bring. We know what the team at Kenzo is good at and what they can do. We try to give everyone that space to be creative. And then it becomes about letting there be a dialog between those perspectives. Sometimes, it’s really easy. And sometimes, it’s hard because there are multiple points of view involved. But that’s good! Ultimately, you work it out.”
WHO’S YOUR DREAM CUSTOMER FOR THE COLLECTION?
Carol Lim: “I think a dream customer is a new customer. We don’t have one girl in mind. And we never have. The more people that discover the brand and come to love the rich history behind the brand and what we’ve created—to us, that’s exciting.”
We can’t wait to share with everyone the world of Kenzo x H&M.– ANN-SOFIE JOHANSSON, CREATIVE ADVISOR, H&M