Ready yourselves, shoppers. The anticipation surrounding H&M's upcoming collaboration with Kenzo just keeps building, but this is the big reveal: We got an exclusive first look at the collection in its entirety.
The pair-up was first announced in May, which gave us a whole summer to speculate about what the collection would actually look like — and to plot exactly how to incorporate technicolour animal print into our autumn wardrobe. Since then, some lucky folks, including iconic supermodel Iman and Vietnamese rapper Suboi, have been given the distinct honour of wearing H&M x Kenzo way before anyone else. Now that we're less than a month away from the collection's big debut, though, the fast-fashion retailer has lots to divulge. First, a full lookbook. Now, a comprehensive roundup of the 110+ items we'll be able to shop on November 3.
Much like the brand's previous collaborations with Balmain and Alexander Wang, H&M x Kenzo goes beyond just apparel. There are pouches and totes, fine scarves, branded gloves, hats with oversized bows, and plastic hoop earrings and bangles pulled straight from the '80s — all featuring Kenzo's signature bright patterns. The ready-to-wear is a mix of T-shirts and sweatshirts in highly saturated animal prints and traditional Japanese silhouettes (a nod to founding designer Kenzō Takada's roots).
"The whole collection is playful," Humberto Leon told Refinery29. "Details were so important to Kenzō Takada, and in this collection, I love all the little antiqued flower buttons that fasten mandarin collars or the embroidered patches we’ve used for the logo sweatshirts." The pieces are far from minimalist. Luckily, the non-models in the lookbook offer plenty of styling inspiration on how to mix and match the items.
"We wanted every piece to matter and for everyone to feel like they’ve got something special from H&M x Kenzo," Leon continued. Carol Lim, Leon's co-creative director at Kenzo and Opening Ceremony, and Ann-Sofie Johansson, head of design at H&M, both highlighted the ribbon dress as the most collectable item from the collection. It's a silhouette pulled directly from the brand's archives.
"It’s an iconic style and, yet, Takada only ever made two of them," Lim explained, one of which resides in Kenzo's archives. "It’s a tiered dress entirely made from ribbons woven in the different prints of the collection, trimmed with black lace." Johansson predicts the sweatshirt — a Kenzo staple — to be an instant classic (and a sure sell-out).
While the buzzy lead-up is pretty great, what really is butterfly inducing to the designers is the aftermath. "We still get excited when we see people wearing Kenzo on the street," Leon said. A collaboration with H&M gives many, many more people to buy into the brand — so they're looking forward to seeing "how [shoppers] have chosen to wear the collection in their own way."
Something Johansson finds exciting about the reaction to H&M x Kenzo so far is how customers have responded to the collection's "positive message of diversity," both in the casting of its campaigns and in the sheer range of items this pair-up encompasses.
Ahead, you'll find every single piece from H&M x Kenzo, along with style names.