PARIS — “I think the idea’s genius, a perfect match,” commented Karl Lagerfeld as Hennes & Mauritz on Wednesday said Stella McCartney would follow the Chanel designer in collaborating with the Swedish fashion giant on a collection for holiday retailing. The announcement confirmed a story in WWD on Wednesday.
“She’s got a name, a face and a story,” Lagerfeld said. “I’m sure it will be very different from what I did. It’s a new dance. Another point of view. Today she’s proved that she has real personality.”
H&M said a one-time Stella McCartney for H&M collection would hit stores across Europe and North American in November. Retail prices should be along the lines of Lagerfeld’s blockbuster collection, which caused a run on stores last fall for $19.90 T-shirts and $149 wool-cashmere coats.
“Stella’s style is a mix between British tailoring and feminine things that is perfect for us,” said Margareta van den Bosch, head of design at H&M. “We are thrilled to bring Stella’s world to H&M.”
In a statement, McCartney said designing for H&M “is one of the most exciting and innovative ways to introduce my clothes to a broader range of women.”
Van den Bosch said choosing McCartney was a no-brainer. “We didn’t want to think of Stella as a follow-up to Karl,” she said. “We wanted something completely different.”
She said McCartney would contribute some 40 pieces, including accessories and some underwear — but no men’s wear.
“It’s all very feminine, with soft colors and very sweet,” said van den Bosch. “The sketches are great. It was important that we invite someone that people recognize.”
Van den Bosch called McCartney’s collection “much softer” than Lagerfeld’s graphic, largely black-and-white collection of tuxedo shirts, sequined jackets and chiffon skirts.
“It’s not a coordinated look,” she said. “There will be a lot of separates and pieces that girls can combine in their own ways.
“We loved what Karl did for us,” continued van den Bosch. “It showed what potential there is [for inexpensive designer clothes]. We want to invite more designers and continue the collaborations.”
This story first appeared in the May 12, 2005 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
Rock royalty as daughter of Sir Paul McCartney, McCartney is certain to bring another dash of glamour to H&M, which drew vast coverage in the press with its Lagerfeld partnership.
But the $7.8 billion H&M also is sure to broadcast McCartney’s name to a wider audience, since the small size of her Gucci Group-owned company (30 million euros, or about $39 million, in revenue last year) limits her advertising brawn. H&M advertised its Lagerfeld project with a massive outdoor and television campaign.
The deal is the latest of McCartney’s collaborations. She already has a successful contract for co-branded Adidas activewear.