H&M Teams With Balenciaga’s Wang for Designer CollaborationNiklas Magnusson and Katarina Gustafsson
Hennes & Mauritz AB, Europe’s second-largest clothing retailer, is teaming up with Alexander Wang in its latest collaboration with a fashion designer, bringing on board the creative director of Balenciaga.
Products from the “Alexander Wang x H&M” project will go on sale in select H&M stores and online on Nov. 6, the Stockholm-based company said in a statement yesterday. The collection will feature clothing for men and women.
H&M’s first designer collaboration was with Karl Lagerfeld in 2004, and the chain has also worked with Stella McCartney, Jimmy Choo, Donatella Versace and Lanvin. The partnership with Wang is the first time the Swedish retailer has teamed up with an American designer.
“To prevent the novelty of the designer-collaboration approach from wearing off, the pressure is mounting on H&M to improve the quality and global recognition of the collaborator in question each time,” Ashma Kunde, an analyst at Euromonitor International, said in an e-mail. The Wang collaboration “is likely to add to H&M’s fashion credibility, as well as lend the brand a point of differentiation as price competition intensifies at the economy end of the market.‘‘
H&M fell 0.6 percent to 269 kronor as of 11:50 a.m. in Stockholm, scaling back from a drop of as much as 1 percent earlier today. The shares have declined 9.2 percent this year, valuing the company at 445.2 billion kronor ($67.8 billion).
Wang was named as creative director of Kering SA’s Balenciaga fashion and accessories brand in December 2012, replacing Nicholas Ghesquiere. Wang also has his own label, and is known for sporty, urban designs.
H&M is ‘‘very open to pushing boundaries and to setting a platform for creativity,’’ Wang said in the statement. ‘‘This will be a great way for a wider audience to experience elements of the Alexander Wang brand and lifestyle.’’