With less than 24 hours left before the impending release of the much-hyped H&M X Balmain collab, containing our excitement is becoming more and more of a challenge.
Every year for the past decade, high street favorite H&M works with the very best of the fashion industry to give us an exclusive collection to look forward to. It's been going on for ten years now, but they never fail to find ways to keep things fresh. The goal? To collaborate with someone completely unexpected that will keep on surprising its customers. Setting fashion boundaries and surpassing it each time, the retail giant's objective is not just to sell dresses for less, but to create pieces worthy of the hype and to build relationships that will be remembered in fashion history.
Below, the complete list of all their designer collaborations.
1. KARL LAGERFELD, 2004
“Design is not a question of price anymore. H&M has made inexpensive desirable.” -Karl Lagerfeld
Who else to start making history with better than the one and only Karl Lagerfeld?“I love the idea that I was the first,” says Chanel's main man. Carine Roitfeld styled the campaign, Karl photographed it, and he even modeled some of the menswear pieces himself! Pioneering what would be an annual tradition, the stars simply fell into place and made it a complete success. To say the least, the collection sold out within minutes.
2. STELLA MCCARTNEY, 2005
“Every single piece was a wardrobe staple.” -Stella McCartney
The very next year, H&M met up with Stella McCartney and asked her to bring what she loves to do best to a wider audience. The British designer created masculine-meets-feminine pieces—de-frilled and de-frothed without killing its charm. Of course, given her eco-friendly sensibilities, the collection sold only truly vegan pieces.
3. VIKTOR & ROLF, 2006
“Show the world that one can be different and commercial.”
The theme was love and the collection was built around a wedding dress. Exciting ideas like this make people start talking. This iconic collection was where the first ever wedding dress was sold at H&M. They produced a limited 1000 pieces of it and the crowd went nuts. According to the stories, one woman who was single bought three: one for her future wedding, one to turn into a short dress, and one as a collector’s piece. Wow.
4. ROBERTO CAVALLI, 2007
“It was for the people who could never afford our prices.” – Roberto Cavalli
The theme of the collection was party clothes, a little dolce vita in Rome. It was all about bringing the Cavalli experience of glam and luxe to any fashion lover all over the world.
5. COMME des GARÇONS, 2008
“I am very happy that a much wider audience of customers can get the chance to try the Comme des Garcons feeling.”- Rei Kawakubo
When the world found out that Rei Kawakubo agreed to team up with H&M, the fans went cray. Finally, a chance to get their hands on a piece of the cool cult Japanese label pie. One important theme in the collection was polka dots; it’s one of the brand’s signatures—and that was exactly what we got, and more.
6. MATTHEW WILLIAMSON, 2009
The collection was dropped in two phases with a month difference. The fans were treated to a gamut of kaftans, bikinis, prints and psychedelic brights in Williamson’s strong colors. The mood was the ultimate summer optimism.
7. JIMMY CHOO, 2009
In that same year, H&M collaborated with an accessories brand for the first time. Sex and the City, thanks to Carrie Bradshaw, made Jimmy Choo a household name. Women from different statuses became Choo-obsessed and H&M took notice. Not only did they release a fine line of women’s footwear, but the fashion genies also created Jimmy Choo for men, plus a ready-to-wear collection the brand itself didn’t even have—talk about limited ed, right?
8. LANVIN, 2010
“Everything was done with a lot of love and a lot of emotion.”- Alber Elbaz
Lanvin Anna Dello Russo even modeled at the launch party!
9. SONIA RYKIEL, 2009 and 2010
“The symbol of this association with H&M is to reach to women.”- Sonia Rykiel
A full lingerie collection was first launched in 2009 featuring Sonia at her flirtiest. A year after, a knitwear range was released, too, embodying the heart of the brand—stripes. It was fun, feminine, and Parisian. Plus, there was a kids collection, as well.
10. VERSACE, 2011
“The thing that really shocked me was the boys in the store, pulling the clothes off the rack.” -Donatella Versace
Versace is known for not being apologetic; it is not shy. That said, Donatella came up with a beaded, bedazzling, glamorous collection that contained the label’s trademark opulence with a mix of rock ‘n roll.
11. MARNI, 2012
“The customers were not defined by age or status.”
Marni’s niche is intelligence. It's quirky, bold, inventive, independent, and interesting without having to follow trends. That in mind, the collection did not take the traditional path and instead showed off the line using a fashion film directed by Sofia Coppola in Marrakesh. The short filmed focused on the fantasy and fun of fashion, the very story each piece tells.
12. MAISON MARTIN MARGIELA , 2012
“It’s exciting to see that the items are still up-to-date and stand for something today." -Mison Martin Margiela.
One of the most unexpected high street-meets-designer collaborations happened in 2012. With a shared goal of democratizing fashion, the partnership brought out the best in each other. The designs were faithful to the originals and each piece was even labeled with a unique tag indicating the season in which it originated from, accompanied with a brief description.
13. ISABEL MARANT, 2013
“I almost think it’s better than my original.”- Isabel Marant
In 2013, Marant and H&M released a collection that has Parisian chic with a rock ‘n roll twist all over it. The pieces had an approachable elegance and were functional yet covetable. Marant, who is often inspired by menswear staples, didn’t hesitate to grab the opportunity to expand the line to include menswear.
14. ALEXANDER WANG, 2014
The first-ever American and the youngest designer to do a collab with H&M was Alexander Wang. The pieces made waves because they were relevant, sports-influenced, and tasteful. Pondering the unexplored territory, the line was a collection that the brand has not treaded before. The scuba dresses, sports bras, perforated laser-cut shorts, and boxing gloves(!) made all our sportif dreams come true.
15. BALMAIN, 2015
It's the current fashion collaboration fashionistas are going gaga for. Olivier Rousteing and his model clique went all out with the campaign, the teaser video, and the covetable pieces that will drop in stores soon—November 5, to be exact!
Race you there!