These two fashion industry giants might not strike you as the perfect bedfellows, but Moschino and high street fashion retailer H&M have more in common than people might think.
The news that Moschino were to be the next in a long line of fashion houses to collaborate with H&M hit the fashion world like a bolt out of the blue. The announcement left many industry insiders scratching their heads, unable to understand the logic behind the link up.
Afterall, Moschino is a brand known for its lavish and luxurious apparel, while H&M are the cheap and cheerful high street fashion giant. The idea that these two fashion industry players might have something in common challenged perceived notions about each brand.
However, as Jeremy Scott, Moschino’s creative director emphasises, the world famous fashion brand have always seen democratizing fashion as one of its chief objectives. “Franco loved the idea that more people are part of it, that things can be more available if they can’t afford the big stuff,” says Scott in a reference to the brand’s founder, Franco Moschino. Indeed, the Italian designer, who passed away in 1994, launched the Cheap and Chic line in the 1980s to meet this very aim.
H&M are probably one of the most significant influences in the recent democratizing of fashion. Whether inviting its followers to help design its next collection or creating affordable versions of catwalk collections, the Swedish high street fashion retailer has been right at the forefront of the trend to bring catwalk fashion to the masses.
H&M’s designer collaborations are part of this approach. The initiative began with a link up with Channel’s Karl Lagerfeld. The uber designer created 30 new designs for the project with every piece selling out in under an hour. Collaborations with Stella McCartney, Comme des Garçons, Versace, Erdem and Balmain followed. These link ups have been an astonishing success which have seen massive queues outside H&M stores, blanket coverage on social media and huge press interest.
The two fashion brands have another thing in common too. Both use popular culture as a reference point for their designs.
Under Scott’s direction, Moschino has embraced popular cultural and America’s national icons in particular as reference points. From SpongeBob SquarePants sweaters to McDonald’s Happy Meal purses, the brand has used popular culture continuously. This is probably why the fashion house holds such a special place in the heart of so many American cultural icons. Lady Gaga is a fan, as is Katy Perry. Miley Cyrus makes no secret of her admiration for the brand and Madonna, the queen of pop herself, is a devoted follower. All of these artists have grown up with exactly the type of cultural references that Scott is now synthesising.
H&M are similarly influenced by pop culture. The high street retailer continuously incorporates cultural icons into its designs too. T-shirts, shorts and sweaters come emblazoned with images of cultural icons like James Dean and Marilyn Monroe while new lines continually trade on cultural tropes like Americana, Parisienne or Harajuku Girls.
So, what can we expect from the link up between the luxury fashion house and the high street fashion retailer?
Scott is promising fun, colour and cartoons. “Like all my collections, it’s humour meets haute couture meets the street. That’s been a hallmark of my work for Moschino, and I want to continue to explore that with this collection”. The American designer becomes animated when he talks who he expects to buy the new collection. “Who do I want to see in the collection? Everybody. I want to see all the cool kids that want to wear my clothes but can’t afford them. I want to see it in Japan, in South Africa”.
The Moschino and H&M collection will be available online and in selected stores worldwide from 8 November 2018.
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