In retrospect: Alexander Wang x H&M
Celebrating 10 years of design collaborations H&M teamed up with Alexander Wang to create a futuristic and edgy collection full of sports influences. Here’s a review of one of last years most-hyped events in fashion.
On November 6th 2014 the highly anticipated design collaboration between Alexander Wang and H&M launched worldwide. For the first time, in the ten years of collaborations, H&M teamed up with an American designer. And not any American designer; Alexander Wang is the 31 year old wunderkind who dropped out of college to launch his eponymous label at 23 and went on to become the Creative Director for Balenciaga in 2013. The acclaimed and award-winning designer was a natural partner following previous years collaborations with Karl Lagerfeld, Stella McCartney, Roberto Cavalli and Isabel Marant – to name a few.
In the spirit of the 2010’s the collaboration was announced on Alexander Wangs official Instagram account, and followed by a party at the Coachella festival in April. A few months and cryptic posts in social media later Rihanna was seen wearing pieces from the collection while casually strolling between shows during New York Fashion Week in September. When finally launching in November, it was with nothing but a big bang.
Super models Joan Smalls, Raquel Zimmerman, Isabeli Fontana, Natasha Poly and footballer turned male model Andy Carroll starred in the campaign video, which starts in a locker room, continues into a blizzard and ends on a motorcycle. Dressed from top to toe in clothes that look like a mix between sports wear, futurism and very much Wang.
Among the key items of the 61 piece collection were the crop-top and jacquard knit tights-set (first seen worn by Rihanna), the scuba tops with logo in relief, the down jacket in shiny silver and the beanies, socks, hoodies and sweatshirts with the four capital letters WANG printed, knitted or in relief on them.
Weeks before the collection hitting the stores, the Alexander Wang x H&M launch party took place in a New York City armory. With the runway being a racetrack, it was the perfect venue to display the collections futuristic and sporty aesthetic. The best of the fashion industry – plus a-listers Solange Knowles, Dakota Fanning, and Mary J. Blige – showed up and got their freak on to Missy Elliot, who gave a surprise performance. Standing in a rain of confetti, the rapper performed her classics Lose Control, Work It, andGet Ur Freak On. Before the rapper’s entrance Alexander Wang took a victory lap around the track.
As always with H&M’s designer collaborations it sold out within hours – adding to the many great partnerships through the decade.