H&M goes luxury

Sarah Rosenberg

I love it when there’s high-end fashion available to the little people; the little people being those who don’t normally sit front row at fashion shows or shop on Lexington Avenue in New York City on a monthly basis. Back in high school, I used to go crazy for the “Go International” lines at Target. Designers like Paul & Joe, Proenza Schouler, and Luella would create a small but eye-pleasing line of skirts, dresses, tops, bathing suits, and accessories at the most affordable prices. Back when I was always conscious of designer brands, this was my sneaky way of showing off expensive labels without paying the price. I still believe that a designer’s attempt to appeal to a larger market and a mass of people with a diverse economic status is pretty much ingenious.

So, let’s take this moment to thank the fashion stars above. Lanvin and its creative director, Alber Elbaz, have agreed to create a fashion line for the global behemoth H&M. This Swedish mega-brand has come to the center of style due to its chic yet low-cost shopping. If there is any trend that strikes your interest, H&M is sure to be imitating and mass-producing it.

The company was cautious at first to reveal the designer it would be collaborating with. Just to add to the hype, all the necessary steps were taken to keep ardent shoppers guessing about the mysterious fashion house taking on the industry with one of the most coveted chains in the world. According to Glamour Magazine, back in September when the project was first hinted at, H&M released puzzling videos surrounding the partnership of brands. Two separate videos were released on the company’s official Facebook page featuring a male and female designer talking about fashion but without revealing their faces. Was it Carolina Herrera? Tomas Maier? The two designers were used as ploys, distractions from the true designer behind the guessing game that had fashion devotees anxiously waiting for a revelation.

And Lanvin it was. Lanvin idealizes Parisian fashion. Its high-class style and sophisticated, refined clothing has carried on generation after generation. It is almost shocking that a brand of such fame and high quality agreed to step down the totem pole to reach out to a wider range of people who enjoy fashion, yet have different incomes and priorities. As stated in the New York Times, however, Elbaz made his devotion to the luxurious rather than affordable end of the fashion spectrum clear: “I have said in the past that I would never do a mass-market collection, but what intrigued me was the idea of H&M going luxury rather than Lanvin going public.” I, for one, am a total supporter of this notion. H&M, to many of its most dedicated patrons, is already a representative outlet of high-class fashion. The difference in price is drastic, but when it comes down to it, H&M is just the world’s link to luxury.

For the buyers waiting for this collection to make a groundbreaking entrance, they won’t have to hang around much longer. According to the New York Times, the collection will be available in 200 H&M stores worldwide on Nov. 23.

For those eager to see what the collection has to offer, check out the Lanvin for H&M video on YouTube. But you won’t get a taste for what the pieces look like, as they are blurred out. On Nov. 2, however, the collection will be available on film before the clothes come out in stores.

There is no doubt that the collection itself will be promising. Something tells me Elbaz is serious about making a mass-market brand the picture of opulence rather than economy.

“All the dresses, skirts, shapes — the fabric is amazing,” model Natasha Poly said in the promotional video.

It is a vague statement, I know, but one that still holds a lot of weight for those hanging on every video, blog post, and article on the upcoming compilation. This is one more excuse to shop, and of course, attempt to fool those who think what I am wearing is authentic Lanvin. Still, this may be impossible as H&M has pretty much taken over everyone’s closet all over the world.