So, looks like that Maison Martin Margiela for H&M collaboration is happening after all. Only a day after the rumors broke, H&M has sent out a press release and posted two promotional videos on Youtube confirming the new partnership.
Maison Martin Margiela for H&M will launch November 15, and will feature clothing and accessories for both men and women. It'll be available in 230 stores worldwide and online (cross your fingers their US ecommerce site has launched by then).
While we're excited to see what the new collection will turn out (hair shirts, please!), we have to say, at first glance, the collaboration seems like an unlikely pairing. A very discerning set of fashion people (Kanye West included) live and die for Maison Martin Margiela, but the label doesn't have the easy name recognition as say, Versace. The label's avant garde aesthetic, too, seems like a gamble for the mass retailer. For Maison Martin Margiela's part, a mass-produced collection for a retail giant like H&M seems antithetical to the house's niche, fashion cult status. In fact, the two collaborators couldn't be more different--something the press release sought to highlight, with side-by-side comparisons of their C.V.s:
However, there is one thing H&M and Maison Martin Margiela have in common: They both believe fashion should be a democracy.
"The democracy of our fashion has always been at the centre of our creativity, and the collaboration with H&M allows us to push this instinct further," Maison Martin Margiela said in the press release. "We will bring together the contrasting universes of the two houses in ways that will surprise all." It's worth noting that mass market retail may not be so far off for the brand, considering it was bought by Diesel in 2002, and that Martin Margiela himself left the house in 2009. Still, die-hard Margiela fans will probably feel a little conflicted about the collaboration.
Whether MMM fans queue up or not, the collaboration is one of the most ambitious we've ever heard of, and H&M deserves kudos for that. The Swedish retailer is clearly devoted to pushing the envelope with these collaborations, and as the pioneers of designer collabs (they kicked off this crazy trend with Karl Lagerfeld in 2004), they know what they're doing, and they do it better than anyone else.
"This collaboration will be a great and memorable fashion moment," H&M's creative advisor, Margareta van den Bosch, said.
We don't doubt it for a second.
Will you line up?