How Isabel Marant's H&M Collaboration Raised the Designer's Profile

Who benefited more from Isabel Marant for H&M?
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Dhani Mau
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Who benefited more from Isabel Marant for H&M?
Courtesy H&M

Courtesy H&M

In many ways, H&M's decision to collaborate with Isabel Marant was a departure for the retailer. Most of its past collaborations, save for Anna Dello Russo, have been with household names like Versace and Karl Lagerfeld. And most people have at least heard of Margiela -- if only in a Kanye West or Jay Z song.

But Isabel Marant, while beloved and celebrated in fashion circles and by a few stylish celebrities, is not as well-known or recognizable outside of them.

Her collaboration with H&M may have drawn a few shoppers to the store who wouldn't normally shop there -- primarily fashion fans and eBay resellers -- but the outcome of the collaboration may have been more in Marant's favor.

As buzz about the collaboration continued to build throughout the summer, searches for "Isabel Marant" (not "Isabel Marant for H&M") on Google spiked nearly 300%, a rep for the search engine told us, suggesting that the collaboration introduced a new audience to the French designer.

Such promotional opportunities are a big draw in these kinds of collaborations, particularly for less established designers. However, a report in the New York Times in 2011 revealed that designers command pretty big paychecks from H&M as well. Karl Lagerfeld and Stella McCartney were each reportedly paid $1 million for their collections back in 2005.

With a paycheck like that and a huge increase in awareness as the Google data suggests, Marant pretty much made out like a bandit with this one.