After much anticipation, the Kenzo x H&M collaboration festivities have officially begun! This morning, international press gathered at H&M headquarters in NYC to get the lowdown on the collection from Kenzo designers Carol Lim and Humberto Leon, who sat down with InStyle’s Eric Wilson for a Q&A. The duo have been at the helm of the French fashion house since 2011 and are also the founders of retailer Opening Ceremony. Kenzo, which was founded in 1970 by Kenzo Takada, is the first brand under the LVMH umbrella to collaborate with the fast-fashion chain. To Lim, the team-up benefits both the H&M and Kenzo customer. “It felt like a great opportunity to give the H&M customers a collectible and also the Kenzo customer, who is familiar with the brand, iconic pieces.” Leon added, “Knowing all the different collaborations that H&M has done, it’s really exciting to be part of this portfolio of designers. I think they’re very good at picking different people who are all individuals in their brand. It’s exciting to see how they embrace the diversity.”
Leon revealed that he and Lim went into designing the collection as people who love to shop and wanting to give everyone the chance to shop the collection. Leon took original archive pieces from the early ’70s and ’80s and came up with ways to modernize them. There are a number of pieces that were recreated which haven’t even made it onto Kenzo runways, but rather are truly original pieces exclusive to this collaboration. “Carol and I try to take every opportunity to remind people that Kenzo Takada did something amazing. He was really the only Asian designer to break into the Parisian fashion scene, and we never want to forget that. This is an opportunity to really celebrate that.”
Tonight, Lim and Leon will show their collaboration at a runway show on South Street with an exclusive shopping opportunity for attendees and surprise performance. One person we suspect we’ll be seeing is Iman, who’s starring in the collab’s campaign photographed by French photographer Jean-Paul Goude. He created collages with hand-made cut-up styles, featuring the ever-colorful range of clothing and accessories. Others appearing in the campaign include Suboi, Chloe Sevigny, Rosario Dawson, and Chance the Rapper.
The collection will be available at H&M stores and online on November 3. Until then, keep your eyes on your Instagram and Snapchat feeds. They’ll surely be buzzing!