Imagine That: Kids’ Innovation Story

Our latest Innovation Story collection – and our first independent kidswear offering – celebrates the joy and wonder of young creative minds, as Concept Designer Ella Soccorsi explains.

Playful designs meet cutting-edge processes and more sustainable materials with H&M’s latest Innovation Story, Imagine That. Aimed squarely at the next generation, this is the first independent kidswear collection from H&M’s Innovation Stories initiative, blending euphoric color, energizing print and stimulating texture with pioneering innovation. 

A paean to young, imaginative minds that have an expressive approach to personal style, the collection is designed to spark conversations about sustainability. Think: a cactus-derived leather alternative that appears in a pair of unisex sneakers and sequins made from 100% recycled PET bottles that decorate a jacket and coordinated skater skirt. Here to tell us more about the imaginative fusion is H&M’s Concept Designer Ella Soccorsi. 

WHAT WAS THE INSPIRATION BEHIND THE COLLECTION? 
For our first independent Innovation Stories collection for kids, we wanted to celebrate the innate creativity and incredible imaginations of young people as well as the cutting-edge innovations at the forefront of fashion. So, we created exuberant pieces that can be styled in lots of versatile combinations. And we made them in amazing materials that will spark conversations about technologies revolutionizing our world. It’s all about creativity and curiosity.  

WHERE DID THE IDEA FOR THE TITLE, IMAGINE THAT…, ORIGINATE? 
The design team wanted to educate our audience about sustainability and circularity — and inspire about these subjects. The innovations behind this collection are astonishing, and even for someone who has worked with sustainability development for years, I think it’s amazing to see what we can accomplish when we use our imagination. For this Innovation Story, we wanted a title that would spark curiosity and conversation. “Imagine That” captures the collection’s essence in a fun and engaging way. It’s playful and confident — just like the clothes.

CAN YOU TELL US ABOUT SOME OF THE EXCITING CIRCULAR INNOVATIONS AND CUTTING-EDGE PROCESSES THAT ARE SHOWCASED IN THE COLLECTION? 
There is Desserto®, a plant-based leather alternative made with cacti that we’ve used in a pair of sneakers. The faux fur found in a color-popping jacket, hat and bag is made using the REPREVE® Our Ocean fiber — a recycled polyester made from ocean-bound plastic. And the sequins in our sparkling set are made from 100% post-consumer PET bottle waste.

WHAT WAS THE BRIEF FOR THE ENERGETIC AND JOYFUL STYLING? 
Optimism and imagination sum up the positive mood for this collection, and we wanted the styling to reflect the younger generation’s expressive approach to style, mixing lots of bright colors, fun textures and a streetwise sensibility to create a playful look. 

WHAT ARE YOUR FAVORITE PIECES FROM THE COLLECTION THAT YOU WOULD LIKE TO DRESS YOUR KIDS IN? 
When the collection was in development, the design team tried some of the samples on their own children to get their honest feedback. So, I know for a fact that my little ones will love the cactus-leather sneakers, with the beads on the laces that can be customized to suit their personalities, and the faux-fur accessories. 

WHY DO YOU THINK IT’S IMPORTANT TO INTRODUCE KIDS TO THE CONCEPT OF CIRCULARITY AND SUSTAINABLE FASHION?  
We’ve seen a huge rise in interest in and engagement with more sustainable fashion in our customers over the last few years, and the next generation is similarly excited about the possibilities of circularity. We know that we can’t change the fashion system on our own – we need to work together with other organizations, governments and our customers to effect positive, long-term change. Educating younger generations is a big part of that. 

The Imagine That Story Kids Collection will be available worldwide on hm.com from October 20.

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