Just when you think all possible interesting designer collaborations have been exhausted something new pops up. The frenzy for coolest possible fast fashion line has been won by Swedish retail giant H&M. For its next designer collaboration, H&M is bringing the Japanese avant-garde to the masses with a line by Rei Kawakubo.
A one-time Comme des Garçons for H&M collection is slated to launch in early November as the Swedish fast-fashion giant opens its first stores in Japan: a 10,000-square-foot unit in Tokyo’s Ginza district and a 16,000-square-foot location in hyper-trendy Harajuku. An international rollout will follow.
We are unsure just how the Kawakubo's highly conceptual work will translate into clothing for the hoi polloi. As much as many a young hipster or art student craves a Comme des Garçons look, Kawakubo's designs in cheap polyester could end up leaving the joke on the third estate. The line will include apparel and accessories for women, men, children, and a first for H&M, a unisex fragrance.
While we admit the last time we shopped an H&M collaboration was Stella McCartney three years ago we think we might have to check this one out. But in the end we remain skeptical. Comme des Garcons specializes in deconstructed garments. That austere look works with fine materials and great styling, but go cheap and we are going to look cheap. Her preferred color palette of black, grays, and whites won't help matters either there won't be vibrant prints or colors to distract from the poor construction. On the bright side, draped, frayed, and unfinished materials with the occasional hole or asymmetry means that even if the goods you buy start to disintegrate no one is going to notice. Well, either that or it will look terrible and not in that effortless good way. Thus instead of looking like the boys you will just look like the poverty stricken third estate. Which if you shop this line you probably are anyway.