Will 2021 be the year for the return of the designer-high street collaboration? Time will only tell, but if the recently announced Simone Rocha x H&M collaboration is anything to go by, we most certainly think so.
H&M has managed to once again pull it out of the bag with another name that belongs to one of fashion's greats and this time it's Simone Rocha. The leading high street mecca has always been known for their leading designer collaborations, so much so that what has become an annual collab for them is one of the loudest chimes of the fashion clock. With each chime seeming to present an even bigger and louder name in fashion than before, Simone Rocha for H&M comes after an impressive list of predecessors including Maison Margiela, Kenzo and Comme des Garçon. Topshop, once the high street retailer at the top of the designer collaborations game, has recently fallen by the wayside, with many agreeing the heyday of the once most popular fast fashion retailer is something of the past. So, could this be the collaboration that defines the next generation?
Although Simone Rocha x H&M has been in the pipeline since 2018, with disruptions like the pandemic putting everything on pause the collection has taken longer than initially anticipated. However the wait is nearly over, with the collaboration set to be available globally in H&M stores and online from 11 March 2021.
It's no surprise people's shopping habits have dramatically evolved in the past year, more so than anyone could foresee. Although life feels like it's slowly turning into something that resembles a sort of virtual reality, when the shops can reopen again it's safe to predict that many consumers will be back in full force. A mixture of intrigued housebound customers and fanatic Simone Rocha fans are expected to set upon the high street once more.
Along with the classic Simone Rocha details that are to be expected (cue pearls, pleated tulles, puffy cloques, plump bows), this one is also a family affair. Yes, you read that right, for the first time in the brand's history, Simone Rocha will lend her talents to menswear for the collection. The Irish-Cantonese fashion designer told British Vogue:
'Looking at my first collections, I did a lot of cross-pollinating between femininity and masculinity: brogues, tailoring, cropped trousers, trenchcoats. I didn't want to do "Simone Rocha frivolity for men." I stripped it back, so it became about practicality, ease. I translated my Aran knits into cotton yarn, some with pearl embroidery. I just wanted it to be boyish, cool, and real.'
The archive has been a massive driving force for the designer for this collection, meaning her piquant and feminine patterns are here to stay, pleasing her devoted fans and possibly even attracting new ones too. 'In forming this collection, Rocha spent time reflecting on her brand's archive, combing her past collections and carefully reworking favourites into dynamic new propositions that feel right for today', a statement from the brand reads.
Amongst all the heavenly clothes is just as a divine campaign. The dreamy lineup of models features Adwoa and Kesewa Aboah, Normal People star Daisy Edgar-Jones, Tess McMillan, Kelsey Lu, Francesca Hayward and Micheal Ward, who all speak to camera in a series of short films by Hugh Mulhern, encapsulating the enduring allure of Simone Rocha. Styled by old-time collaborator Robbie Spencer, the campaign also features the designer herself.
Strap in, sit tight, and put your best finger forward (on the keyboard) this one is going to be good.