It’s always exciting to see what H&M has in store for fashion lovers with their new collections. They’ve often introduced fun and innovative styles that take local wardrobes by storm, regardless of the season. Now, as the colder weather seasons approach, H&M welcomes in autumn by curating one of their famously collaborative collections into the mix. This November, it’s ERDEM.
An ERDEM piece can be easily spotted from a mile away thanks to Canadian designer Erdem Moralioglu signature use of floral prints reimagined with modern-meets-classic structures. When we heard that his work would be making its way onto H&M’s racks, we were thrilled and mentally shopping his looks. Moreover, the designer’s recent presentation at London Fashion Week left us ripe with anticipation, and the fact that his floral beauties have for the first time, translated into a Men’s collection, that added even more intrigue. And so we chat with Erdem himself about the collection, as well as H&M Head of Design Ann-Sofie Johansson about this monumental step for both ERDEM and H&M.
INTERVIEW WITH ERDEM
What was the inspiration for this collaboration?
There are so many different inspirations that all come together to make ERDEM X H&M. As well as my previous collections, I was thinking about my childhood, and pieces that we wore when we were growing up. I also thought about a group of friends coming together at an English country mansion, finding these pieces and wearing them in their own way.
What excites you most about creating a Men’s collection?
It was such a joy designing the men’s collection. It’s such a different process, because womenswear for me is so deeply based in the narrative and story. With men’s, I was thinking about what I wear, as well as my childhood and youth, and what my father wore. I loved the idea of creating a men’s group of clothes that could be absorbed by women too. It’s great to think of someone taking the fleece from the men’s collection and wearing it over the sinuous sequined slip dress.
How was the process different from designing womenswear?
It was such a forensic process, because we were designing these menswear pieces for the very first time. Take a piece like the parka. It was something totally new to me. How should I design it? How should it fit? How long should it be? It was such an interesting process to go through with every single piece.
What elements do you use to give your collection the quintessential H&M touch to your ERDEM masterpieces?
The collection is pure ERDEM, with no compromise on design or quality. The biggest difference to my catwalk collections is that it is much looser, with many different narratives joining together. It was so much fun to design, and I wanted it to be a collection that will be fun to wear, too.
What are some key pieces to look out for from the men’s collection?
My favorite piece is the tweed blazer, because it’s got such a sharp silhouette. I also love the tailored coat with the removable lining, and the nylon zip-up shows how florals can work perfectly for men. I love the sweater that’s like a graphic take on a Fair Isle, and the parka has such a great shape for the city. I’m so proud of the collection, I could mention every piece!
INTERVIEW WITH ANN-SOFIE JOHANNSEN
What’s most exciting to you about introducing this collection to your stores this season?
I can’t wait to see how people around the world wear ERDEM x H&M in their own way. This is such a special collection that can be dressed up, or dressed down. It’s perfect for the party season, and it’s also a collection that can then mix into someone’s wardrobe. I know that people will be wearing pieces from ERDEM x H&M for so many years to come.
How does this collaboration differ from past H&M designer collaborations?
I would say that every collaboration gives a different thought process, and offers something new and unexpected. ERDEM’s creations are about pure beauty, romantic, magical, feminine and powerful at the same time. It is all about the love for the craft and delightful textiles and delicately designed feminine fashion. So if you compare it with the sassy Balmain and street smart KENZO, it is definitely something new.
How does ERDEM capture the essence of H&M while still keeping his design ethos intact?
Looking at the result, I think the marriage between both styles couldn’t be better. I feel we need more beauty in the world these days and this collaboration will bring in something new and unexpected to our customers in that sense. H&M’s audience is very wide and we have a great variety of customers, therefore playing with versatile collections is key for us as we can give the opportunity to more people to discover ERDEM’s universe thanks to this collaboration.
What can men and women shoppers alike look forward to in their respective collections?
Rich fabrics, lovely embellishments and vivid florals are all part of ERDEM’s signature style. As I said, the whole collection is very versatile, you can easily dress it up or dress it down depending on different occasions. For example, you can mix the lace blouses or the long dresses from this collection with a masculine style blazer over your shoulders to get the look. Regarding our men’s collection, the result is a tight, well-edited collection built around favourites from the male wardrobe. You can easily see ERDEM in every piece of the men collection. The tweed suit, white shirt, together with sportier garments is something he wears everyday as his favorite pieces.
What are your favorite pieces in the collection?
It is hard to select only one, I love all of them! I really like the jacquard suit, the tweed garments or the leopard faux fur long coat, together with the jewel bag, making a whole outfit. I also love mixing the collection with garments from the men’s collection, such as the silk pyjama.