When Alexander Wang announced his partnership with H&M early Sunday morning via Instagram (what happened to good old fashioned press releases?!), there was a collective OMFG moment. Clearly, a high fashion designer collaborating with a mass retailer is no longer a novelty. However, judging from the headlines, one would think a revolutionary moment occurred. Glamour.com described it as “the mother of all designer collaborations.” “You’re Not Dreaming, It’s Official” came from Refinery29 -- and someone please pass The Huffington Post some meds because their hearts were skipping a beat.
Wang is the first American designer to team with the Swedish powerhouse, which is pretty major. His downtown, cool-girl fashion isn’t astronomically priced either, which also makes the collection promising. But we’ve been down this road before. Right now we’re in the beginning stages of the hype machine. Next, every website will post the look book online. Further down the road, H&M will hold a pre-shopping bash for industry folks and when the collection hits stores on November 6, there may be lines around the corner. Finally, the collection will sell out and then we’ll see an Alexander Wang x H&M tee shirt on eBay for $300. Hit repeat for the next collaboration du jour.
Target and H&M aren’t the only mass retailers to cash in on the craze. Jil Sander and Uniqlo had a love affair, as did Giambattista Valli and Macy’s with the Impulse collection. However, Target and H&M constantly churn out top-notch talent -- Proenza Schouler, Lanvin and Commes des Garçons -- and have a knack for getting the media and general public worked up into a pack of rabid fashion dogs. I don’t think anyone was salivating over JC Penney’s foray into affordable high fashion.
After the dust settles, who emerges as the clear winner? Do you love your sequin Karl Lagerfeld x H&M blazer more than your Missoni x Target tote? Do your people compliment you on your Isabel Marant x H&M boots and no one notices your Rodarte x Target dress? Did you ever leave either store empty handed and disappointed because a collection was a bit "meh" in person? So I ask you, which retailer delivers the best collaborations and is worth the hype?
Defend your favorite store and collection in the comments section. I'm curious to see who you're loyal to.