Today is the day that H&M releases everything you will want to know before it launches this season's big designer team up, which is now officially known as Maison Martin Margiela with H&M. There are product shots, look books and price lists, all of which will be hitting the web today, and we have have seen them all. We could publish an extensive look book detailing the many items that will be available, but there are two reasons why we, The lazy Shophound didn't. First of all, the collection is too big for us to represent it thoroughly here, and second, if you are a Margiela fan, you have seen it all before. That's because, if you haven't heard already, this particular project is composed entirely of re-produced items from the design house's past collections —and knowing the Margiela penchant for re-producing things, it looks like they will be remarkably accurate. What is striking is that not only will H&M be offering many of the more wearable, classically styled pieces that have made Margiela a powerhouse sleeper of a brand, but they are also including some of the most directional pieces from the past, like the horizontally worn dresses, and a men's jacket concocted entirely out of leather belts. Some styles are inside out, and some are composed of disparate pieces of other garments, mashed together. In short, this is no watered-down Margiela for the masses. In fact, this collaboration could turn out to be even more aesthetically adventurous than the Comme des Garçons line from a couple of years ago. There is an extensive shoe and accessory offering, including several versions of his women's shoes with "invisible" lucite wedge heels along with the more familiar sneakers, and flat shoes that look like they have had stiletto heels ripped off them. While prices are a fraction of the main, blank labeled Margiela line, they are a bit above our typical H&M range starting at $39.95 for some simpler items, and topping out at $399 for the aforementioned belt jacket or "invisible" wedge boot, or several other items, actually. One men's boot hits $299, which is not that much cheaper than the original. There are quite a few more higher priced items than in the past, but most of the apparel hovers in the $99 to $149 range.
What's most remarkable about the collection is really that H&M is able to pull off these collaborations year after year, and with such a diverse roster of designers, going from the glitz of Versace and Cavalli to the quirky sophistication of Marni or the refined glamour of Lanvin and ultimately the avant-garde sensibilities of Comme des Garçons or Margiela. With the abundance of collaborations in the marketplace these days, nobody seems to be able to pull them off as consistently as H&M. We can't wait to see who they surprise us with next.
Maison Martin Margiela with H&M will hit select stores on November 15th