Although high street/high end fashion collaborations are always an interesting endeavour, rarely do I get genuinely excited about the launch.
Tomorrow is the day that KENZO’s collaboration with H&M drops.
KENZO is a Parisian luxury fashion brand that combines streetwear with the vibrancy of the natural world and the different cultures it brings with it. Despite a general lack of enthusiasm for streetwear, something about the layering of patterns and colours in KENZO’s designs has led me to follow the brand on and off for a number of years.
Usually I am fairly disappointed with these collaborations as, in my opinion, the lack of high quality fabrics and attempts to make items more ‘wearable’ for the everyday consumer slightly kills the creativity of the designer, meaning pieces often don’t capture the essence that makes the brand what it is. However, if the real life pieces live up to their digital counterparts, KENZO X H&M appears to have got the balance right. Mixed in among the t-shirts, sweaters and leggings (which are actually all fairly beautiful anyway) are a handful of gorgeously unique designs. A number of heavily patterned layered dresses, a beautifully printed silk shirt with matching scarf and a selection of slightly garish fur coats seem to bring the collection back to its origins while still remaining accessible to the general public.
Despite being slightly pricier than the bog standard H&M t-shirt, I do believe that, done right, high street collaborations can be a fantastic way for luxury brands to reach a wider audience, allowing high end fashion to become more accessible to everyone.