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Zee Fashionista: The H&M debate

10.24.2011

The H&M debate


Swedish brand H&M sure rounded up all the top models for the ad camapign for the Versace/H&M collaboration. Lensed by Mert & Marcus, Sasha Pivovarova, Daphne Groeneveld, Abbey Lee Kershaw and Lindsey Wixson are all dressed up in bold, neon-coloured patterned pieces that pay homage to late, great Gianni Versace's aesthetic.

It's interesting that a number of people are actually unhappy about H&M's continuing collaboration with high-end brands, arguing that the quality and craftsmanship of the clothes will be of an 'H&M' standard, and not of the desired 'Versace' standard.

That's all well and true, but plain and simply, big brands have to consider this kind of collaboration if they are to remain relevant and trendy. I guess the thought of having thousands and thousands of women dressed in $200 Versace for H&M dresses does, in a way, detract from the exclusivity of the brand. But then again, how many of us love Versace but would otherwise never be able to afford a $6000 Versace dress?

For me it is, yet again, a matter of moderation. Sure, Karl Lagerfeld, Lanvin and other brands have already collaborated, but it would get a bit too much if we had all these brands being mass-produced at a lower cost.

But in South Africa, where it is not easy for the average person to get a hold of local designer pieces, collaborations like these (especially with department stores like Edgars, Woolworths and Mr Price) are increasing so as to get the public interested and aware of local designers and fashion.

Perhaps, it's just all relative?

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