A teaser of Pronounce's collaboration with H&M

LONDON — Days after releasing a strong fall collection exploring China’s traditional pottery both on the physical and philosophical levels, Chinese fashion label Pronounce, designed by Yushan Li and Jun Zhou, has announced a unisex collaboration with fast-fashion giant Hennes & Mauritz SA for China.

Speaking exclusively to WWD, Li said the collaboration is based on H&M’s Blank Staples line, which was first introduced in August 2020.

“We treated the collection as a blank canvas. Without changing the shape of the garments, we focused on the detail, material and trimming. It was a similar approach to when I designed for Yeezy,” Li said.

Dropping on April 8 across the retailer’s online store, WeChat mini-program, application, Tmall flagship, and selected stores in China, the colorful and easy-to-wear capsule is inspired by the Crescent Lake at Dunhuang, an oasis in China’s Gobi desert and a key stop at the historical Silk Road. The location is famous for its association with Buddhism, as it is home to the Thousand Buddha Grottoes. Millions flock to the lake and grottoes for spiritual enlightenment every year.

“We developed this collection during the pandemic. The idea of a lake in an oasis to us symbolizes a sense of hope in a difficult time,” Li said. “We imagined a hike in front of the Crescent Lake, and we explored the subtle layers of everyday wear and combined them with unique craftsmanship to provide more possibility for the wearers.

“We hope that this collection will help more consumers to understand the spirit of Pronounce’s solutions to life and the power of original Chinese design,” he added.

Jun Zhou and Yushan Li, founders of Pronounce

Jun Zhou and Yushan Li, founders of Pronounce  Courtesy/ Li Cha

Faced with stiff competition from local players, as many of its peers were forced to exit the Chinese market, H&M Group has stayed resilient. The Swedish high street giant regularly taps local stars to appear in its campaigns. It has also worked on capsules with local fashion talents such as Ximon Lee and Angel Chen to attract fashion-loving consumers back to its stores.

The group is also opening its first physical stores for Arket and & Other Stories in Beijing and Shanghai, respectively, this fall to meet the market’s rising demand for premium quality products.

Founded in 2016 with offices in Milan and Shanghai, Pronounce has become a prominent men’s wear brand in China with good international exposure. The brand is a regular on London Fashion Week’s official calendar, and it has collaborated with Mini Cooper, Gap, Li-Ning, Diesel and Chinese men’s wear powerhouse Baoxiniao on well-received fashion capsules.

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