H&M Forges Ties With Marimekko

Hennes & Mauritz is weaving another collaboration.

PARIS — Hennes & Mauritz is weaving another collaboration.

This story first appeared in the November 21, 2007 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.

The Swedish fast-fashion behemoth, which has teamed with Roberto Cavalli, Karl Lagerfeld and Stella McCartney for one-off fashion collections, said Tuesday that it would use vintage prints from Finnish textile firm Marimekko for a special capsule collection arriving in stores in 28 countries next April.

“Our design team has long admired Marimekko’s vivid prints and colors,” said H&M head of design Margareta van den Bosch. “The [collection] will be joyfully fresh — like a vitamin injection.”

H&M said the collection would employ popular Marimekko patterns from the Fifties through the Seventies, spanning some 50 men’s and women’s looks, including tunics, skirts, shirts and shorts. There will be children’s items and accessories, as well.

“I see great value in our collaboration,” said Kirsti Paakkanen, president of Marimekko. “I believe that it will enhance Marimekko’s international recognition among young and fashion-conscious consumers.”

H&M’s past collaborations have been great successes, helping generate traffic and sales. They have also been major marketing vehicles, building H&M’s visibility around the world.

In addition to tie-ups with high-fashion names, H&M has designed collections with celebrities such as Madonna and Kylie Minogue.

Marimekko, based in Helsinki, is known for its colorful prints and textiles for clothing and interior decoration. It operates 24 shops in Finland and one each in Germany and Sweden.This month, the company turned a page, announcing that Paakkanen would step down in February after 16 years. She is to be replaced by Mika Ihamuotila, who will become the company’s main shareholder, with a 20 percent stake. Ihamuotila has plans to build the company’s international distribution network.