Among global fast-fashion players, H&M has long distinguished itself via designer collaborations. Their first was a collection designed by the late Karl Lagerfeld — and it sold out in seconds. Then there was that top secret Giambattista Valli couture capsule which damn near broke the internet. Its latest designer pairing is the first of its kind for the retailer. On Monday, WWD announced H&M is bringing its fashion designer collaboration initiatives to China, and designer Angel Chen has created a 45-piece capsule with the retailer’s design available in September.
“When I was designing the capsule, my priority was to reflect Chinese culture and my brand identity in a meaningful way, sell through became secondary,” 28-year-old Chen said. “I chose some iconic looks from my archive, and gave it an update in colourway, material and details. For example, we used 100 percent recycled nylon mesh fabric to construct my bodysuit, and that came out of a discussion I had with H&M on how to integrate sustainability into my brand.”
Chen is a Central Saint Martins-trained designer. She's interned for Marchesa, Vera Wang and Alexander Wang in New York. She is stocked in 30 retailers internationally including Lane Crawford , Luisa Via Roma, H. Lorenzo and Dong Liang. Her collection with H&M will be a “summary of her greatest hits.” Chen tells H&M her collection is based on the spirit of Chinese martial arts, commonly known as Fung Fu. Pine tree, bamboo, dragon and crane motfis will decorate the colourful and easy-to-wear parka, hoodie and T-shirts.
“Angel Chen is a pioneer Chinese designer brand with its colourful approach to fashion coupled with the brand’s core concept of fusion of Eastern and Western aesthetics,” Magnus Olsson, country manager of H&M Greater China, tells WWD. Chen “is one of the brightest young talents in China and we are very excited for this collaboration," Olsson continues. "We hope to arouse more public attention to the Chinese young designers’ creativity and influence within the Chinese as well as international fashion industries.”