Tuesday, 28 October 2008

Kawakubo on her collaboration with H&M

Now we’ve all seen the full Comme des Garçons for H&M collection a number of times across the online world but put aside your personal opinion of the collection and read the reasons behind the collaboration. The Independent has an interesting article chronicling the collection which includes a number of quotes from Rei Kawakubo herself.

Image courtesy of mensrag via Selectism.

"The collection is constructed around Comme des Garçons' style. Rather than aiming to make clothes that no one has ever seen before, it is very much Comme des Garçons goes [back] to its roots." Rei Kawakubo

When asked why she’d do this collaboration she answered, “I was interested in selling Comme des Garçons in a new place where it has never been sold before and to people who may never have heard of it. Usually, Comme des Garçons only sells in places where people who understand it go.” There we have the reason behind most designer collaborations: to extend the audience and potential customer base for the label. "The first objective of high-street fashion is that it sells. Designer fashion is more about new creation. In some respects, the high street represents the bad side of democracy, the lowest common denominator, but it certainly appeals to me that many people may be able to discover Comme des Garçons through H&M."

As the article points out, there is always a danger within any designer-high street collaboration that it might detract from the main event, causing customers to buy into the more reasonably priced line at the expense of the original that inspired it. However, by reverting to classic pieces, Kawakubo has ensured that this will not be the case. In fact, it is more likely that by working with H&M she will bring a whole new customer into her own, more rarefied fold.

Now that you have seen the collection and had a chance to read the thoughts from the designer herself what do you make of it all? For me personally collaborations can only be a good thing. However, I still have my doubts about the quality of the garments but that is become of my deep rooted scepticism of H&M fabric choice and garment construction (buttons should not be missing from shirts which are still on the rack!).


Anonymous said...

Interesting article, thanks for the heads up. I can't wait to get my hands on the collection.

Matthew Spade said...

so ive looked at the collection a few times now and there are a few pieces which i'm quite interested in, mainly the multi colour way smart shirts and long trench coat. as you said, i'm also abit sceptical about the fabrics, if they're good then the suit could be a great buy (depending on the fit). i will hopefully be able to get the the trafford centre on the day of release. the item i'm most interested in seeing the the victorian dress in the ladies section, hopefully my gf will be able to try that on.

my thumbs are up for collaborations, as they're are usually affordable for me more so.

kteeo said...

I want H&M in INDIA!!! Indian menswear designers are horrible. Ill soon change that (I wish).

Style Salvage Steve said...

mat ahoy - Fingers crossed that the quality is there! I'm intriegued by the Victorian dress on offer for the women, I've not see it! In terms of the fit I expect it to be loose because of the cdg influence.
kteeo - I feel your shopping pain, fortunately there is lots on offer in London but I'm still jealous of the offering in Japan. Be inspired and go for it though

Ian Brown said...

Another reason for me to miss my hometown New York: access. To be honest, I never fought my way through the H&M capsule collection crowd so I can't complain but I would have waited in line for this one.

Ca said...

I've never had any bad experiences with H&M pieces. You really get what you pay for. Personally I've become tired of the mundane collections there but I manage to find a few good things once in a while. Mostly basics in good fabrics and such.

Still I can't wait for the CDG line, dots dots dots! Haha, I may try to get an item or two!

TheSundayBest said...

The design is good. But it's still H&M.

I want a Uniqlo with the Loden Dager and Tim Hamilton collections...

Style Salvage Steve said...

ian brown - It takes dedication and a fair bit of elbow strength to get lucky on opening day. Unfortunately, I have neither.
ca - H&M really does divide opinion! The polka dot pieces are my favourites ones from the collection.
thesundaybest - I want that to!


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