MiNDFOOD STYLE caught up with H&M’s creative director Ann-Sofie Johansson and KENZO design duo Carol Lim and Humberto Leon to find out everything you need to know about the highly anticipated collaboration that hits stores tomorrow morning.
Tell us about how the collaboration with KENZO came to be.
Ann-Sofie Johansson:Â We always have many conversations with different brands about theÂ possibility of collaborating. We always make sure that itâ€™s the perfect time forÂ everyone involved, and that each collaboration is something completelyÂ different from what weâ€™ve done before. Weâ€™re thrilled that Carol and HumbertoÂ agreed to make KENZO x H&M our next designer collaboration.
We loveÂ to show the different sides of fashion with our designer collaborations, andÂ KENZO is totally unique. They capture a mood for fun and experimentation inÂ fashion, giving people the chance to play with their look and to try new colours,Â shapes and global influences. I love that theyâ€™re so democratic, and believeÂ that fashion should be for everyone. Theyâ€™re the perfect brand for an H&MÂ collaboration and we canâ€™t wait for our customers to get the chance to wearÂ the clothes for themselves.
For H&M customers unfamiliar with KENZO, what one piece would youÂ tell them to buy?
Humberto Leon: KENZO X H&M is the perfect collection for anyone whoâ€™sÂ unfamiliar with KENZO, because itâ€™s like an introduction to both the historyÂ and also the present day language of the brand. Itâ€™s like a three-dimensionalÂ conversation between us and the founder of the brand, Kenzo Takada,Â bringing together his iconic designs and themes mixed together with our ownÂ take on KENZO.
If I had to pick just one piece, Iâ€™d say the orange patchworkÂ logo sweatshirt. It has the colour and vibrancy for which he was famous, asÂ well as a frilled mandarin collar that hints of the Parisian flair of his designs.Â The sweatshirt is something that has become an iconic piece for us atÂ KENZO, so it really is bringing the two worlds together.
What was the highlight of working with H&M?
Carol Lim: We had such a great time researching the collection in the archivesÂ of KENZO. It was amazing to see how modern Mr Takadaâ€™s designs still lookÂ today. He broke all the rules and designed with total freedom, clashingÂ together colours and prints and mixing influences from around the world. Heâ€™sÂ such an inspirational designer, and we want everyone to have as much funÂ experimenting with their look as we had designing it. KENZO x H&M is aboutÂ mixing it up, trying something new and breaking the rules, just like KenzoÂ Takada did.
What piece of advice would you give someone who loves the collectionÂ and wants to wear it but doesn’t usually wear loud and colourfulÂ garments?
Humberto Leon: We love it when people take our designs and mix them inÂ with their own wardrobe. Print and colour looks so great when itâ€™s made partÂ of an outfit. It can be something elegant, like the reversible kimono coat, orÂ something that really pops, like the frilled collar tiger print blouse. Put themÂ together with pieces that you already know and love, and itâ€™s like itâ€™ll give yourÂ look new life.
Can you tell us what your three favourite pieces are from the collection?
Ann-Sofie Johansson:Â Iâ€™ve got so many favourite pieces! Itâ€™s such a diverse collection, with so manyÂ different ideas and ways of dressing. The ribbon dress is such an iconicÂ design, itâ€™s going to be a real collectorâ€™s item. Itâ€™s amazing how theyâ€™veÂ recreated the dress with their own ribbon designs, capturing that romantic,Â folkloric feel and projecting it into the future. The sweatshirt is an instantÂ classic, and I love how theyâ€™ve added a twist with the mandarin collar andÂ sweet antiqued floral buttons. The double-breasted coat with the pink fauxÂ shearling collar makes a real statement.
What was it likeÂ working with Carol and Humberto of KENZO?
Ann-Sofie Johansson:Â Weâ€™ve had the best time creating the KENZO x H&M collection with Carol andÂ Humberto. Theyâ€™re such an inspiring duo, who completely understands whatÂ works for their brand and how to push it to create something fresh andÂ exciting. They care about every small detail in the collection, and have suchÂ freedom in the way they put everything together. Itâ€™s been lots of hard work,Â but also so much fun, and we hope everyone has as good a time wearing the collection as we have had producing it.
H&M Sylvia Park will be the first store globally to launch the KENZO x H&M Collaboration Collection. Doors open at 9:00am,Â Thursday 3rd November 2016. Curate your own shopping list for tomorrow here.Â