Today is the day that Parisian brand, Martin Margiela’s collection for H&M is available to the masses. The global retailer is no stranger to partnering with high-end designers to present a more affordable range, but this collaboration was particularly special to fashion intelligencia who have coveted Margiela for their avant-garde details and masterful tailoring for years. Folake Ologunja. Photo by Erica Sewell.
Unlike more well-known designers that H&M has recently partnered with, such as Versace, one could easily say that your average American consumer (and certainly the everyday H&M customer), had never heard of Margiela until rapper Kanye West shouted them out. Much like Versace during the heyday of Notorius B.I.G., West bragged about his rich and fashionable lifestyle by saying, “What’s that jacket Margiela?” in the infamous N*ggas in Paris track with Jay-Z on their Watch The Throne album last summer. The global visibility that those simple four words can bring to a french designer cannot be taken lightly, and can probably be attributed to the retailer’s decision in partnering with Margiela to ensure that the collection will be profitable. In short, hip-hop has put a large sum of money into fashion pockets across the table (per usual). In return I’m sure that Mr. West has made great friends with the those behind the label, received lots of freebies, and was certainly asked to attend the launch – clad in the collection from head to toe (we hear that the jacket that he wore that day was selling on ebay for an insane amount). Unlike the Marni for H&M collaboration, I didn’t remember to chase invites to the preview this time, but was encouraged to weather the crowd this morning with my fashion partner in crime/Art PR maven, Folake Ologunja (of Folake Forever). We came, we saw, we accomplished. After a 6am call time, bonding with determined wardrobe stylist strangers and Japanese tourists, and a pleasant breakfast in between, we walked away stress-free and with some lovely goodies.