Marni x H&M: collaboration magic not exhaustedFriday, 09 March 2012
At the end of November, H&M announced that Consuelo Castiglioni, Marni’s Founder and Creative Director, was going to be the seventh designer to be working together with the Swedish fashion chain. The news was made public two weeks after the collaboration collection with Versace had been released in the shops. Donatella Versace announced the news personally. Top models Daphne Groeneveld and Lindsay Wixon played the main roles in the intensive media campaign which followed and the collection was superbly presented with a fashion show in New York, with the fashion press being specifically flown in for the occasion. The collaboration with Marni was the complete opposite. The news was announced worldwide with a formal press release, plus there was an intimate event in Los Angeles and the campaign, shot by Sophia Coppola, was distributed to a much lesser extent. It was the fashion house’s request to tackle the Marni for H&M campaign in a smaller and more subtle manner.
“We look at what kind of campaign we want to work with together with the designer,” Elke Kieft, H&M’s spokesperson for the Netherlands, tells us during the launch in Amsterdam. “This exudes what the fashion house stands for. Marni is much more modest compared to Versace, so we decided to opt for a different line of approach.”
Yet H&M still managed to attract plenty of people to its shops with this method on a worldwide scale. The rise was comparable to Versace for H&M; it may have been even busier. Customers instantly went for the collection the moment they were allowed in, as the Nieuwe Kerk on the Dam’s clocks struck nine. Virtually all racks were empty within a matter of minutes, plus the mannequins and displays were stripped bare too. The incredible peak busyness resulted in problems for the Dutch online shop. H&M used Twitter to announce the website wasn’t functioning optimally due to an ‘unprecedented level of interest’ and advised customers to place their orders by telephone. “We are very happy with this rise in sales. We always look at what’s being written on the internet beforehand and whether a great deal is being twittered about the subject. Those messages were very positive, but we still always have to wait and see. This is fantastic,” according to Kieft.
The collection was reportedly sold out within thirty minutes in New York, but our correspondent in Shanghai could still purchase the Marni designs in the afternoon, with the exception of the blue spotted suit.
Even though Marni for H&M was the seventh collaboration for the retailer, it soon became apparent the magic of designer collaborations hasn’t yet been exhausted. The collection’s popularity appears to still be gaining in strength, which has resulted in some of our competitors now also working with the same concept. Mary Katrantzou recently worked with Topshop, Jason Wu designed a collection for Target and Jil Sander went back to the drawing board for Uniqlo. Aren’t they getting in H&M’s way? Kieft: “Our concept is by no means unique, nor were we the first ones to work with it. But we are only interested in our own results. Our main aim is to demonstrate that designer clothing can be perfectly affordable. And we will continue to do so, for as long as this is appreciated and for as long as we can continue to surprise our customers.”
From our correspondent in Amsterdam