PARIS — It looks like H&M has snared one of the hottest labels in Europe — Lanvin — for its next designer collaboration.
According to market sources, the Swedish fast-fashion giant will unveil a project with Lanvin and its creative director, Alber Elbaz, within the next week.
On Tuesday, H&M launched a viral video campaign on its Web site and YouTube to build curiosity about its annual holiday designer tie-up. A series of black-and-white videos features stereotypical fashion designer types: a man in a skinny dark suit; a woman in an outlandish blouse and chunky jewelry.
By midday Tuesday, H&M’s Facebook page was peppered with guesses — Bottega Veneta’s Tomas Maier and New York society dresser Carolina Herrera among them — posted by Web users.
While the camera never lingers on the faces long enough for recognition in the clips, the voice-over of designer musings, while electronically altered, are unmistakable Elbaz-isms. “Design is very important because it actually brings dream to our life,” says one.
The video ends with the date Sept. 9 — presumably when H&M will unveil details of its latest collaboration, which have ignited retail pandemonium annually since the retailer first partnered with Karl Lagerfeld in 2004. Other designers to have collaborated with H&M include Rei Kawakubo of Comme des Garçons, Stella McCartney, Roberto Cavalli and Sonia Rykiel.
A project with Lanvin would be a coup for H&M, given Lanvin’s status as one of the fastest-growing designer firms in Europe, and Elbaz’s drawing power as a fashion personality.
Lanvin officials could not be reached for comment Tuesday night, nor could a spokeswoman for H&M in Stockholm or New York.
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“Azzedine has been one of the biggest influences in my life. He has always been such a strong, loving, fatherly figure to me. I call him Papa. His designs are indescribably unique, they are pieces of art. He knew how to make the female form look its loveliest. I have so many memories of him; my favorite might be during my first show with him in Paris. He liked me and he wanted to help me get more work. He called all his friends at Kenzo and Comme des Garcons, and asked them to book me. They said, ‘But she can’t walk!’ And he said, ‘but she has such a great ass!' His friendship and support has been the great privilege of my career. I can't imagine life without him. Repose en paix mon Papa.” - @stephanieseymour tells @wwd. #wwdfashion (📷: @steveeichner) #alaia #azzedinealaia
Azzedine Alaïa, flanked by two of his closest friends, models Stephanie Seymour and Naomi Campbell.
He designed Seymour’s dress for her 1995 wedding to Peter Brant, and treated Campbell (who famously called him Papa), like a daughter. For more on the legendary designer, tap the link in bio. #wwdfashion #alaia #azzedinealaia