The Swedish retailer’s biggest store, a 57,000-square-foot flagship on Fifth Avenue and 48th Street in Manhattan, is being designed to resemble an art museum. In addition, H&M is teaming with Jeff Koons, the artist known for his “balloon” sculptures of flora and fauna. The opening, July 17, will overlap with Koons’ highly anticipated retrospective at the Whitney Museum of Art, running June 27 to Oct. 19, which H&M is sponsoring.
Koons, who has sold his work for as much as $58.4 million, designed a handbag for H&M priced at $49.95. The limited-edition Balloon Dog handbag will be sold in select markets in the U.S., including Los Angeles, Chicago and Dallas, as well as online, beginning July 17. The handbag will also be sold at the Whitney during the retrospective.
“It’s one of our most important openings of the year,” said a spokeswoman. “This is the first time H&M has partnered with an artist and sponsored a museum show in the U.S.”
While H&M is an art virgin in the U.S., fashion brands have been linking with artists for years. Memorable examples include Vanessa Beecroft’s Gucci-clad models in a 1998 show at the Guggenheim Museum of Art and Louis Vuitton’s 2003 partnership with Takashi Murakami. More recently, Miuccia Prada commissioned six contemporary artists to create murals for her spring 2014 catwalk.
Koons has had no shortage of commercial hook-ups, including a BMW art car and a Balloon Venus for Dom Pérignon.
“The partnership with H&M was really exciting for me,” Koons said. “The chance to showcase one of my most popular works to a new generation of people was inspiring. H&M delivers great fashion season after season and [it will be] nice to see my work at their new store.”
For the opening, the artist’s Yellow Balloon Dog will be blown up to cover the flagship’s five-story windows with the message “Fashion Loves Art” written across the entire facade.
The company continues to pump up the size of its stores. The Fifth Avenue flagship will be unseated as the biggest store later this year when a 63,000-square-foot unit opens in Herald Square. But the flagship will hold on to the title of most upscale in the U.S. H&M said it tried to reflect the “elegance and world-class level” of neighboring buildings and storefronts on Fifth Avenue by using elevated materials to build the flagship, including green and white marble, herringbone woodwork and a wall of mirrors, along with vitrines and pillars.
With six floors of fashion, each with its own museum-inspired theme, the store will have a five-story atrium with a 26-by-20-foot LED screen. The store will be the first to carry all categories, including men’s and women’s apparel, lingerie, accessories, newborn and children’s wear, special sizes, maternity and cosmetics, and will boast the first home department. In another first for H&M, there will be a full VIP concierge shopping service.
As one of the most recognizable models in the world, Christy Turlington Burns has an insider’s view of the fashion industry and the allegations of sexual harassment swirling around it. “I can say that harassment and mistreatment have always been widely known and tolerated in the industry. The industry is surrounded by predators who thrive on the constant rejection and loneliness so many of us have experiences at some point in our careers,” Turlington told WWD, along with her suggestions for how the modeling world should protect younger women and men. Read more on WWD.com. Link in bio. (📷: Tony Palmieri) #wwdnews
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24-year-old Jean Prounis is redefining the rules of jewelry. Formerly a studio assistant to Jemima Kirke and a design apprentice at Ghuran, she focuses on handcrafted subtleties and ancient goldsmithing techniques. “There was a really sterile feel in the environment and I wanted to have jewelry with character that shapes how you wear it everyday,” Prounis said. Each piece is hand made in New York, either by Prounis or three other jewelers in the district. #wwdfashion
“These collections continue to build on that vision, empowering differently abled adults to express themselves through fashion,” said @tommyhilfiger of his line of adaptive apparel, which launches today. The line consists of 37 men’s and 34 women’s styles based upon the pieces from the spring Tommy Hilfiger sportswear collection. #wwdnews
“Stranger Things” is getting a new cast member for season 2. Meet @sadiesink_, the 15-year-old who will be joining the Netflix series for its new season. You may recognize her from “The Glass Castle” with Brie Larson and Woody Harrelson, but the Texas native’s next role goes in an entirely different direction. She describes her character, Max, as “a rough and tumble skater girl [who] becomes friends with the boys at school.” The second season debuts on October 27. (📷: @jgreenery) #wwdeye
Amid the Harvey Weinstein controversy, there’s another sector that’s being put under the spotlight for sexual abuse: the modeling industry. While rumors about abuse and sexual harassment of female and male models — and the photographers, agents and others who perpetrated it — have circulated within the fashion world for years, model @cameronrussell started posting stories from models on Instagram last week about abusive situations they’ve encountered — from sexual harassment and molestation to attempted rape. Over 75 have weighed in so far. Read more on WWD.com. Link in bio. #wwdnews
To celebrate its 16th anniversary, @dylanscandybar tapped designers and celebrities to create mosaics out of candy. The mosaics will be auctioned off to support the philanthropic cause of each participant’s choice. Pictured here is the mural created by @aliceandolivia's Stacey Bendet. For a first look at some of the other artwork being unveiled tonight, go to WWD.com. #wwdeye
The annual Veuve Clicquot Polo Classic in Pacific Palisades this weekend drew Kate Hudson, Tracee Ellis Ross, Laura Dern and more. See pictures of the star-studded event on WWD.com. (📷: @chelsealaurenla) #wwdeye
In his new book “Hollywood Royale,” Andy Warhol’s Protégé Matthew Rolston celebrates the Eighties revival of Hollywood glamour. Featuring more than 100 portraits taken by Rolston from 1977 to 1993, the book contains photos of icons like Michael Jackson, Cyndi Lauper, and @drewbarrymore, pictured here in 1991. “Hollywood Royale,” out today, will be accompanied by an exhibition opening at Los Angeles’ Fahey/Klein Gallery on March 1. #wwdeye