Margiela for H&M? We heard this rumor over the weekend and immediately wrote it off like we did with the Tom Ford for H&M rumor. However, the collab. has been confirmed! Believe us when we say, affordable fashion is a great thing, but a designer collaboration is not always the best move for a brand. A collab. with H&M didn't seem to hurt Lanvin, Comme des Garçons, Stella McCartney, Jimmy Choo, and Karl Lagerfeld. But is Margiela really H&M material? The famously avant-garde house has had an interesting past few years. A rare article on the otherwise discreet brand in the New York Times in 2008 told of Margiela's (the designer) attempt to step down as creative director, but Raf Simons and Haider Ackermann both turned down the position. A year later, Margiela majority stakeholder Renzo Rosso announced simply that, "Martin has not been there for a long time. He is here but not here. We have a new fresh design team on board." So, is this the best time to bring in the mass market and what does MMM stand to gain?
Hypothetically speaking, it seems a bit risky for a house that is situated somewhere between emerging and Hermès to experiment with the mass market. This type of collaboration has much appeal for emerging designers as it provides more PR than a young designer could likely ever fathom. On the opposite end of the spectrum, a lower priced collection allows big luxury houses to attract a new customer, in many cases a customer much different than their most loyal consumers. Think: Karl Lagerfeld for H&M or Missoni for Target, So, where does everyone in between fit in? We will be able to answer that question with certainty as MMM is set to debut a holiday collection for H&M this year.
The previous designers to produce H&M holiday collections, Lanvin, Jimmy Choo, Karl Lagerfeld, are big name designers. Margiela is getting there. The Paris-based design house has arguably become much more of a household name this year thanks to Jay-Z and Kanye West's song, Niggas in Paris, which features the line," What's that jacket, Margiela?" So, maybe coupled with a successful H&M collection, Margiela will receive much more attention and main-stream exposure than a very niche-oriented design house (like itself) otherwise might have, and maybe that's what the house will gain from going mainstream.