H&M Teams With French Brand Balmain for Designer CollectionKatarina Gustafsson
Hennes & Mauritz AB, Europe’s second-largest clothing retailer, is teaming up with Parisian fashion label Balmain in its latest designer collaboration, offering high fashion at cut-rate prices.
A collection of apparel and accessories featuring items for men and women will go on sale in about 250 stores and online Nov. 5, Stockholm-based H&M said in a statement Monday. Olivier Rousteing, Balmain’s creative director, and model Kendall Jenner revealed the first items of the line Sunday at the Billboard Music Awards in Las Vegas.
The retailer has offered one-time lower-price collections by high-end designers every year for more than a decade, starting in 2004 with Karl Lagerfeld. Last year, the Swedish company formed a partnership with American designer Alexander Wang for a sporty collection including a little black dress in wet-suit fabric and reflective leggings. The latest collaboration is a good move for both parties, analyst Maureen Hinton at researcher Conlumino said in an e-mail.
“Balmain, like many traditional luxury brands, needs to appeal to a younger audience and this collaboration will raise its profile,” she said. “For H&M, it is linked to one of the new stars in the fashion world.”
Balmain, founded in 1945, has been guided by designers including Oscar de la Renta and is now led by 29-year-old Rousteing.
“With its mix of couture spirit and streetwear attitude, Balmain owns a unique style, at once opulent and direct, sensual and energetic,” Ann-Sofie Johansson, creative adviser at H&M, said in the statement.
The Swedish retailer has also worked with Stella McCartney, Jimmy Choo, Donatella Versace and Lanvin.
“I want to talk to my generation: this is my main aim as a designer,” Rousteing said in the statement.
H&M sales growth slowed to 10 percent in local currency terms in March and April. Revenue on that basis rose 14 percent in the company’s fiscal year, which ran through November. The shares have gained 19 percent in the past 12 months.
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