By  on June 9, 2006

PARIS — The Material Girl likes cheap and chic as much as couture.

At least, that is the inference to be made after Hennes & Mauritz on Thurs­day said the high-voltage singer and her dancers — decked out in Jean Paul Gaultier regalia on stage — would wear the Swedish firm’s clothes off stage for the remainder of her “Confessions” world tour. This confirms a WWD report June 2 that a deal was brewing between Madonna and H&M.

In addition to wearing H&M, Madonna has collaborated on a “specially designed Madonna tracksuit” that will be sold in H&M stores starting in mid-August.

The singer and her troupe will trumpet the association in an advertising campaign that is scheduled to break in August. H&M declined to name the photographer of the campaign.

“Partnering with H&M feels like a perfect fit,” Madonna said in a statement. “We’ll all get to express ourselves in our own individual ways. The dancers and I are excited to go shopping together.”

The tie-up is the latest of H&M’s high-profile associations aimed to generate buzz and elevate the firm’s image for inexpensive, trendy clothes to higher levels of creativity. In the last two years, H&M has worked with Karl Lagerfeld and Stella McCartney on popular one-off fashion collections that brought droves of shoppers into the stores.

Perpetuating that strategy, Dutch designers Viktor Horsting and Rolf Snoeren, two of fashion’s most conceptual minds, were hired to design a collection that will be introduced in H&M stores this fall.

Working with a celebrity of Madonna’s caliber signals that H&M is willing to take its strategy for publicity-generating ploys into new territory.

“This is a thrill for H&M,” the retailer’s head of design, Margareta van den Bosch, said in a statement. “Aside from being great fans of Madonna’s music and fashion sense, we admire her ability to always be ahead of the trends in everything she does. We look forward to seeing how her touring family translates H&M’s seasonal trends to their own personal looks.”

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