H&M's designer collaboration with Kenzo may be loud and bold, but that doesn't mean it isn't suitable for the masses.
The collection, which hits selected stores and the web on Nov. 3, captures the vibrant and colourful essence from the world of Kenzo, making it accessible to a wider audience, which is exactly what the Paris-based luxury brand was going for.
According to Kenzo creative directors Humberto Leon and Carol Lim, the collaboration was an "opportunity to tell [founder, Kenzo Takada's] story through our own eyes, mixing his ideas and themes with our own."
"He really broke all the rules in fashion, and we want everyone to take pieces from Kenzo x H&M, to experiment with their look and have fun with their style," Leon told HuffPost Canada Style via email.
Another aspect that was important to Leon and Lim? Bringing diversity to the forefront, especially when it came to choosing the stars of their lookbook. Rather than selecting only "traditional" models, the design duo picked a diverse group of individuals, including writer and activist Amy Sall, photographer Youngjun Koo, and musician and performance artist Oko Ebombo, to star in the lookbook photographed by Oliver Hadlee Pearch.
Its campaign cast was just as eclectic, with Iman, Chance The Rapper, Rosario Dawson and more joining the #KenzoTribe in the images photographed by Jean-Paul Goude.
"We’ve always seen fashion as part of a wider cultural dialogue," Lim explained to HuffPost Canada Style. "When we were discussing how we would represent Kenzo x H&M, we wanted to show the diversity and positivity of the collection by bringing together a mix of people from different walks of life.
"We love it when fashion feels inclusive, and it’s great to show the collection not just on models, so that everyone can see how they can wear Kenzo x H&M their own way."
Leon added, "Diversity is something that is a natural part of everything we do ... Fashion has become so much more diverse in the 21st century, and for the younger generation, diversity is a normal part of their lives. People in fashion should look to this new generation as an example of how to live, and to make fashion open and inclusive to everyone."
People in fashion should look to this new generation as an example of how to live, and to make fashion open and inclusive to everyone." — Humberto Leon.
H&M has also noticeably been more diverse in its campaigns and fashion shows. The Swedish retailer enlisted "size-sexy" model Ashley Graham, transgender models Hari Nef and Andreja Pejic and 66-year-old legend Pat Cleaveland to walk its studio collection runway show at Paris Fashion Week, and most recently made waves for its feminist campaign which challenged the stereotypical definition of "ladylike."
"We believe that fashion should be for everyone and at the same time we want to excite and inspire our customers around the world," Ann-Sofie Johansson, H&M's creative advisor, told HuffPost Canada Style via email. "Diversity is something very important to us in everything we do, so it’s great to be able to inspire and encourage our customers all around the world with our campaigns."
And as for the collaboration? Well, it fits right into this mindset.
"Kenzo x H&M is a collaboration that speaks to the whole world," Johansson said.
Kenzo x H&M will be available Nov. 3, with prices ranging from $14.99 - $549. You can check out more images from the lookbook below: