It’s every style maven’s favorite season: Fall/Winter collections have hit the stores. This year, H&M has teamed up with the legendary brand KENZO, creating an unforgettable FW2016 collection that’s sure to be a hit. The vibrant and playful Parisian fashion house promises a collection that captures its unique, youthful spirit, created by creative directors Carol Lim and Humberto Leon. They have curated collections for women, men and accessories, which will be available in 250 selected H&M stores worldwide from November 3, 2016.
Since joining KENZO in 2011, Carol and Huberto have set a unique fashion agenda with collections full of bold colors and vivid prints.We at bazaar can hardly contain our excitement for this collection’s release, and judging from our chat with Carol and Huberto, as well as H&M’s creative director, Ann-Sofie Johansson, it’s going to be a great one!
Interview with Humberto Leon and Carol Lim
What does collaborating with H&M mean for Kenzo?
Humberto Leon: We’re very excited to be collaborating with H&M. There are so many people around the world who don’t know the amazing history of the brand, or the work of our founder Kenzo Takada. For us, KENZO x H&M is the perfect opportunity to tell the story of KENZO to a new generation, and to look at the work of Mr. Takada through our own eyes.
How will Kenzo’s overall spirit be incorporated into this collection?
Carol Lim: This is the first time we’ve ever truly played with the archives, and we had such a great time researching the collection. It was amazing to see how modern Mr. Takada’s designs still look today. He broke all the rules and designed with total freedom, clashing colors and prints and mixing influences from around the world. He’s such an inspirational designer, and we want everyone to have as much fun experimenting with their look as we had designing it. KENZO x H&M is about mixing it up, trying something new and breaking the rules, just like Kenzo Takada did.
What type of Kenzo’s trademark styles should we look out for in the collection?
HL: It was great to bring together the signature KENZO styles that people know, and also some that are less familiar. KENZOx H&M is full of clashing colors and prints, with prints both from the KENZO archives as well as those that Carol and I have designed. There’s a mix of global and folkloric influences that are as important to us as they were to Mr. Takada. But maybe people didn’t know that KENZO has a romantic, feminine side. Mr. Takada loved to play with ruffles and frills, capturing the effortless style of Paris in the 1970s. We’ve loved bringing these influences into the collection to create a true picture of the KENZO DNA.
What type of audience does this collection target?
CL: It’s so exciting to think of the different people who will be coming to KENZO x H&M. There are those who will be buying their first ever piece of KENZO, maybe even teenagers buying their first ever piece of designer fashion. Then there are those who have made our version of KENZO part of their wardrobe, who will be coming to the collection to get something totally unique. We’d also love to think that some original customers of Mr. Takada will also be shopping from KENZO x H&M, to find pieces that remind them of their youth. But really, KENZO x H&M is for anyone who loves the fun of fashion, and we can’t wait to see how people wear the collection in their own way.
Do you feel that the Kenzo spirit is a reflection of Middle Eastern street fashion in any way?
HL: We love that fashion is such a global language that is shared among countries around the world. We’ve always been influenced by different cultures since we started Opening Ceremony, and its something that’s always been a big part of the KENZO style. KENZO x H&M is full of so many pieces that you can make part of your street style look, whether it’s the logo sweatshirt with the frilled mandarin collar, the reversible kimono coat, the longsleeve fluid printed silk dress or the medallion sweater. We love all the accessories too, like the boots with the rubber sole, the leather shopper tote or the tiger print scarf.
Interview with Ann-Sofie Johansson:
How has it been, collaborating with Kenzo?
We’re so excited that KENZO has agreed to be the next H&M designer collaboration. Since they started as creative directors, Carol and Humberto have brought such amazing energy and attitude to one of the most famous Parisian brands. It was so great to watch Carol and Humberto at work, and to see how much they love fashion. They have such a great understanding of the brand, and how you can use color, print and special detailing to create pieces that look such a pleasure to wear. They are involved in every stage of the design process, and I think you can see their passion in every single piece of KENZO x H&M.
How would you describe the collection?
KENZO x H&M is bursting with print and color! As soon as you see this collection, it makes you smile. With the collection, Carol and Humberto are giving us all permission to try something new. It’s okay to clash colors and prints and to create a look that’s fun and daring. However you choose to wear KENZO x H&M, we know that everyone is going to have so much fun.
How is this collaboration different from previous designer collections?
We like to challenge ourselves with everything that we do at H&M. We always want to think big and push ourselves to always make something special. It’s something you can see throughout KENZO x H&M, whether it’s the handcrafting on the ribbon dress, or the attention paid to the extra details, like the tiger head zipper pulls or the zigzag frames of the sunglasses and the heels of the sock boots. We set ourselves the biggest challenge with each of our designer collaborations, and we’re always so glad we did so.
What does this collection offer that is completely unique to the market?
We love that each of the designers we collaborate with want to make a collection for such a diverse audience. At H&M we believe that fashion and style should be for everyone, and it’s great when the collaborations include pieces for all of our customers.
For the latest details check out the hashtag #KENZOxHM, twitter: @HM and @KENZO, Instagram: @HM and @KENZO, Facebook: @H&M and @Kenzo, and Snapchat: hm_snaps. This exclusive collection will be available in selected H&M stores across the Middle East starting 3rd November, 2016.