In 2004, H&M sent the fashion world into a frenzy when it announced its first high-end designer collaboration. Karl Lagerfeld – the creative at the helm of Chanel – had worked with the high street chain to design a range of limited edition pieces which were available in 20 locations worldwide. The collection sold out within a day, with one New York store reportedly shifting 2,000 products an hour.
At the time, the high-meets-low fashion collab was a fairly novel experience. And it was big news. Two years later, Topshop revealed its first collaboration with Kate Moss – a partnership that paved the way for a wave of joint ventures between brands and fashion influencers.
Now, it seems we have reached peak collab: Dolce & Gabbana has designed food mixers and kettles for Smeg, Victoria Beckham has teamed up with Target, Heidi Klum has created a fashion range for Lidl and Baliencaga has designed a range of Crocs – the footwear style once referred to in Netflix’s Queer Eye as “I’ve given up on life shoes”. Diesel has even launched a range of branded clothing with a Berlin Kebab shop. H&M has partnered with over a dozen designers and premium brands from Erdem to Balmain since working with Lagerfeld, and countless other affordable brands have looked to recreate its success by collaborating with luxe labels.
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