When we found out back in May that H&M’s latest designer collaboration was with none other than Kenzo, Stylist HQ was alight with screams of: ‘Be still our beating fashion hearts!’
And now, the time has come where the first campaign images have been revealed.
We've already been treated to three looks from the collection, but the campaign images really bring the garments to life - and they reveal exactly what we’d suspected – that Carol Lim and Humberto Leon’s signature garish zebra prints translate perfectly to the high street.
The images feature supermodel, Iman, hip hop artist, Chance the Rapper, and rapper, Suboi, and are shot by photographer Jean-Paul Goude. Each image has been sliced up in and put back together in a collage-style, framed on an old-fashioned film camera roll. The models are presented in dynamic ways, with Suboi leaping with joy, Iman in a striking pose and Chance the Rapper opening his arms.
Accompanying the campaign images are three films by Swedish director Max Vitali, featuring interviews with Chance, Iman and Suboi. In the films, each model talks about a cause close to their heart, with Iman saying: "I am the face of a refugee."
Carol Lim and Humberto Leon took over the Japanese-founded, French luxury house five years ago, and have since reinvented it, bringing it firmly back into the fashion limelight with their colourful, fun, youthful styles and killer sweatshirts.
When the collaboration was announced, Kenzo said: “With this collaboration with H&M we want to think big, push the boundaries and bring the new energy of KENZO to everyone around the world.”
Inlcuding red and black matching textured zebra print polo neck and high-waisted trousers, pink zebra print stiletto boots and a pink lined black sheepskin jacket, it’s clear that – just like the previous H&M collaborations- this latest one will be a sell-out.
When the high street chain’s Balmain collaboration by Oliver Rousteing was released last year, it saw fashion fans and ebay chancers go feral, fighting each other to get their hands on a piece of (affordable) fashion history.
The Kenzo x H&M collaboration will be the twelfth in a line of designer collections for the brand that has seen high fashion democratise and become available for mass consumption.
Stylist's fashion director, Alexandra Fullerton says: “Kenzo’s street aesthetic will translate brilliantly to the actual high street. The skintight zebra trousers are sure to become after-dark staples but I’ve got my eye on the candyfloss pink sheepskin-lined bomber – it will be the hero piece of the collection.”
The preview images are not only exciting for sartorial reasons, though, because they also mark a new step for the fashion world. Instead of just models, the images feature young activists and creatives, including the New York-based student activist, Amy Sall, and poet and DJ Juliana Huxtable.
Also in the campaign are musician Oko Ebombo, and make-up artist Isamaya Ffrench.
The collection will be available online and in over 250 selected H&M stores worldwide from 3 November 2016