Giambattista Valli x H&M

Breaking news at today’s amFAR gala at the Hotel du Cap-Eden-Roc where H&M is announcing their newest designer collaborator Giambattista Valli. Ladies, you have to be ready this weekend. The flash collection, consisting of limited edition party dresses for his Valli girls, and, in a first, tailoring for Valli boys, will already hit the shelves in select H&M stores around the world and on the H&M website on Saturday, May 25. Speaking of firsts, never before has the Swedish clothing brand released a designer collaboration so close to the announcement; typically there’s been six months between the news breaking and the clothes arriving in stores, and never before have they worked with someone doing couture.

Kendall Jenner and Chiara Ferragni tonight at the amFAR

Personally speaking, I find these designer collaborations quite over and fully understand that H&M was looking for new ways to promote this so-called Project Love. Therefore tonight at the amFAR gala, Kendall Jenner, Chiara Ferragni, Bianca Brandolini, Chris Lee [Li Yuchun], H.E.R., and Ross Lynch are wearing the new pieces, transforming the red carpet into a fashion runway. With Kendall’s 111 million Instagram fans and Chiara’s 16.5 million watching, the launch is off to a great start.

H.E.R. in Giambattista Valli x H&M

The larger collection will follow on November 7, 2019. Stay tuned! In the meantime enjoy the looks below. You will see how beautiful the dresses are, quite pricey for H&M though, but better think twice wearing it to the next gala as you might spot many ladies in the same dress.

LoL, Sandra

Look 1 – CHF 349.00

Look 2 – CHF 649.00

Look 3 – Top CHF 179.00 and Skirt CHF 129.00

Look 4 – CHF 649.00

Look 5 – CHF 249.00

Look 6 – CHF 499.00

Look 7 – Blazer CHF 249.00 and Pants CHF 119.00

Look 8 – Blazer CHF 249.00 and Shorts CHF 79.95

Look 9 – Top CHF 49.95 and Shorts CHF 79.95

Photos: Courtesy of H&M

Moschino [tv] H&M

You might have heard the news already as they had been announced a few days ago:
H&M revealed their newest designer collaboration with MOSCHINO, this time through Instagram live.

I was in the champagne with Moët & Chandon for an outstanding experience that I had no time to write about it before. Nevertheless, you might have heard about it but you still haven’t read my opinion about it which you might find interesting.

Funny coincidence: I wore Moschino’s Barbie collection to the Alexander Wang x H&M launch party in NYC in 2014.

First of all, I think that the time for designer collaborations is over. Somehow the magic went missing. Why is that? Personally speaking, in times, where street style fashion, sneakers, track pants and so on are totally trending, being stylish can be easily achieved, even on a low budget. Jeremy Scott, Moschino’s Creative Director, for example had a fantastic collaboration with Adidas before where you could find his aesthetics for a great price. Moreover, there are many new brands coming up, raising to fame through today’s advertising channels of social media.

Another coincidence: I met Jeremy Scott for the first time at an H&M party – in 2012 Anna dello Russo’s Paradise Ball celebrated her collaboration with the Swedish fashion giant.

When I was eagerly waiting during the last years for H&M’s new collaboration to be revealed, this one hit me unexpectedly as I had just forgotten about it. Nevertheless, personally speaking, I have always liked Moschino’s fun approach to fashion, especially since 2013 when Jeremy Scott has started to inject his pop energy, reminiscent of what Franco Moschino was famous for. Depending on the pieces Jeremy will create, this can be a great collection. Moreover, he is a designer of celebrity status with millions of fans, many of whom are also friends, such as Kate Perry, Lindsay Lohan and many more.

One of his buddies, no other than Gigi Hadid, revealed the new project with an Instagram live call to her friend Jeremy Scott. Her call was projected on digital screens at the annual MOSCHINO party in Coachella, California and live broadcasted on @hm surprising guests with the big news after midnight. Jeremy Scott and Gigi Hadid, were dressed in the first looks from the MOSCHINO [tv] H&M collection, a collection full of the vitality, playfulness and humour that has made the label one of the most beloved in fashion today.

«I am so excited about MOSCHINO [tv] H&M. My life’s work has been to connect with people through fashion, and with this collaboration I’ll be able to reach more of my fans than I’ve ever had the ability to do,» Jeremy Scott, Creative Director of MOSCHINO

For H&M, Jeremy Scott has designed new MOSCHINO collections for both women and men, as well as a full range of accessories and some extra surprises too. The collection will be available online and in select H&M stores worldwide from November 8, 2018.

The MOSCHINO [tv] H&M campaign is a radically innovative TV concept enmeshing social and traditional media to create a multi-platform takeover – a captivating new «zapping» experience for the digital world.

News were revealed last week at Scott’s annual Moschino Coachella Party: Jeremy Scott and Gigi Hadid dressed in the upcoming collection with Ann-Sofie Johansson, H&M’s Creative Advisor.

Below you can find some of my favorite Moschino looks and accessories I wore over the past years, to see the complete outfit posts, click on the highlighted links. Let’s see if Jeremy will be inspired by one of those…

One of my favorite Moschino looks of all times: Barbie Girl.

Top left to right:  Love Pink –  When Fashion Meets Art – Good Girl
Bottom left to right: The Jacket BagFast FashionCalifornia Cool

Infused with pop art: Jacket quilted leather shoulder bag.

Fashion kills: Cigarette box-inspired leather bag.

Looking at my photos, I can imagine that Scott’s surreal-Pop aesthetic will find many fans…
… to be continued!

LoL, Sandra

Photos: Courtesy of H&M/Moschino, © Sandra Bauknecht
#HMOSCHINO – INSTAGRAM @hm @moschino

My Look: Girl on Fire in Erdem x H&M

Tonight, I attended the ERDEM x H&M pre-shopping event in Zurich at the brand’s flagship store on Bahnhofstrasse 92. I was very honored to wear this stunning look from the designer collaboration as one of the first ones. The collection is truly beautiful, lots of stunning pieces, don’t miss them!

My look: Fake fur leopard print coat, floral dress, crocodile printed leather handle bag with Swarovski crystals, floral stockings and bow earrings, all by Erdem x H&MRockstud leather pumps by Valentino.icon

LoL, Sandra

Photos: © Remy Steiner / Getty Images for H&M
© Sandra Bauknecht (Thanks to my daughter for taking them!)

H&M x Erdem Lookbook

Finally we know what to expect on November 2, 2017, when Erdem‘s collaboration with Swedish fast-fashion retailer H&M will hit the stores. It’s full of tweeds, animal prints and of course so many florals, everything the London-based designer is known for.

The lookbook, that you can enjoy below, was photographed by Michal Pudelka, who is known for his dreamy fashion campaigns. I am sure that you will agree now that we’re finally getting a glimpse at what, exactly, the Erdem collection will include, it’s safe to say that it doesn’t disappoint at all.

For the first time, the retailer’s designer collaborations will include men’s wardrobe offerings, which is also marking Erdem’s menswear debut at the same time!

I love this collaboration and it is truly hard to decide what to get as everything is beautiful. My personal favorites are those ones shown in the collage above… and yours?

LoL, Sandra

Photos: Courtesy of H&M

Erdem x H&M

Today H&M announced its big secret: the next exclusive designer collaboration will be with ERDEM, the London based must-have designer loved by celebrities and fashion insiders alike.

H&M is also pleased to reveal that the visionary film maker Baz Luhrmann will bring the collection to life through his unique storytelling. ERDEM x H&M will be available in selected stores as well as on hm.com, November 2.

For H&M, Erdem has designed a brand-new collection for women and, for the first time ever, a collection for men. Erdem believes in the power of beauty, exploring historical references and personal narratives in every piece he makes. For ERDEM x H&M he’ll reflect and reinterpret the design themes from some of his most celebrated collections, playing with the prints, textiles and delicate craftsmanship that have made his name.

Erdem with me

I am so happy to collaborate with H&M, and to explore my work on a whole new scale including a menswear collection which I have never done before. It’s also such a thrill to work with Baz Luhrmann, one of the most important storytellers of our time,” says Erdem.

Ann-Sofie Johansson, H&M’s Creative Advisor, to the left, Erdem in the center, and Baz Luhrmann.

For me fashion is always about more than just clothing, it is a form of expression – a stand alone art form. I am excited to be collaborating with ERDEM and H&M to reveal the story of this unique collection,” says Baz Luhrmann.

From the moment we started talking with Erdem about the collaboration, I was captured by his vision. For ERDEM x H&M he has created an enchanting world full of beauty, delicacy and rich details. These are special pieces you will want to wear forever,” says Ann-Sofie Johansson, H&M’s Creative Advisor.

Have fun watching the video below and start dreaming!
LoL, Sandra

Photos/Video: © H&M and © Sandra Bauknecht

Met Gala 2017

Always on the first Monday in May, the Met Gala takes place and its 150-foot-long red carpet is probably one of the most-watched fashion events of the year with a gazillion of celebrities walking it in the most exquisite gowns. This year, it celebrated the opening of the Costume Institute’s exhibition, “Rei Kawakubo/Comme des Garçons: Art of the In-Between,” that will go on until September 4, 2017.

Today I would like to share my personal list of best-dressed (and worst-dressed) celebrities that made their way last night into the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Temple of Dendur for the party of the year. The dress code called for avant-garde black tie, either you go big or go home, enjoy!

My favorite look on the red carpet: Lily-Rose Depp‘s pink Chanel look detailed with oversized silver camellias and a creeping vine.

Who did meet the dress code the best? The answer is clearly Rihanna. She showed up once again in a full-on fashion fantasy from the Comme des Garçons F/W 2016 runway that was also an architectural miracle, paired with Rihanna Loves Chopard jewelry.

As 2017 Met Gala cochair of the “Rei Kawakubo/Comme des Garçons: Art of the In-Between” exhibition, Pharell Williams wore ripped denim by Comme des Garçons Jeans with a black biker jacket, and plaid shirt. His wife, Helen Lasichanh, paired her straight-off-the-F/W-2017-runway red onesie with a blonde topknot. Not showing any arms, it looked like a fashionable straightjacket.

Cara Delevingne appeared as a sci-fi fashion fantasy wearing an embellished pantsuit from Chanel‘s Spring 2017 Couture collection. I love how she always surprises.

One of my favorites! Even that Zendaya rejected the theme of the night, she ensured all eyes were on her wearing a Dolce & Gabbana Alta Moda ball gown covered in a tropical parrot print.

Two thumbs up for bringing glamour to the red carpet. Jennifer Lopez looked gorgeous in a Valentino dress and Harry Winston jewelry.

Lily Collins showed up with a graphic dark bob and black lipstick, juxtaposing her sweet Giambattista Valli gown and her fierce Tiffany & Co. jewelry.

Plus-size model Ashley Graham channeled her inner flamenco dancer in a fabulous custom H&M dress. So pretty!

I am in love with Blake Lively’s Atelier Versace gown that featured a draped gold beading at the bodice, giving way to a plumed train in shades of blue. She had the best accessory of the night with her … her husband:-)! Couple goals I would say!

Another one arrived with her handsome husband who might have thought looking at his wife Gisele Bündchen in Stella McCartney, of Ed Sheeran singing «I’m in love with the shape of you» …

If you don’t have a husband to bring, bring the designer of your dress! That was Dakota Johnson‘s motto of the night, as she appeared in a stunning ruffled black Gucci gown with Alessandro Michele at her side.

Radiant like a sun goddess, actress Jessica Chastain in a yellow fluid Prada gown paired with some stunning Piaget jewelry.

Lupita Nyong’o also dazzled in Prada, pulling off the vibrant orange shade with Tiffany & Co. jewelry.

Gigi Hadid looked amazing in a nude, asymmetrical Cinderella-esque Tommy Hilfiger dress. I am just not so sure about the stay-up.

Showstopper! Leave it to Bella Hadid to steal the show in a glittering catsuit by none other than Alexander Wang. She looked so fabulous!

Priyanka Chopra did not disappoint in a bold Ralph Lauren trench coat gown with an unbelievably long train. Very different, something I like. I am just not a big fan of her booties in combination.

Like it or not, the award for most nude goes to none other than Kendall Jenner, whose slinky La Perla Haute Couture dress will absolutely go down in Met Gala history.

When it comes to Gwyneth Paltrow‘s understated Calvin Klein dress, I love the cut and the color, but I am not fond of the ankle length.

Katy Perry was unfortunately not among my favorites last night. The custom red tulle gown by Maison Margiela, designed by John Galliano himself, was topped with a heavy-looking wool coat covered in adornments like tulle flowers and plenty of beads. On the veil, a cryptic message across her eyes spelling “Witness” was embroidered, nevertheless it was truly one of the night’s most creative looks.

My favourite picture of the night! Have a look at Sarah Paulson dressed in a beautiful classy Prada gown. Her facial expression says everything! The American Horror Story actress seemed to have a heart attack after bumping into Madonna with the designer of her camouflage Moschino dress by her side, Jeremy Scott. Declaring war on fashion in camouflage, the famous singer was definitely not going incognito. I am not a fan of her look.

Swiss power at the Met Gala… Roger Federer in Gucci. I adore this snake embellishment on his back!

LoL, Sandra

Photos: Via Vogue.com, © Getty Images, © Rob Latour/REX/Shutterstock, © Theo Wargo/Getty Images

H&M Conscious Exclusive Collection 2017

Last week, I had the chance to preview the upcoming H&M Conscious Exclusive Collection 2017 at the new showroom in Zurich which is a dream by the way. The Swedish fashion house knows how to amaze us when it comes to affordable fashion, but it’s the work the brand is doing with its latest sustainable line that will blow you away.

Natalia Vodianova is the face of the campaign and looks absolutely divine in my favorite dress of the collection: a dreamy, blush-pink gown that seems to float on air, made of the new material BIONIC®a recycled polyester made from recovered plastic from shorelines, waterways and coastal communities.

It is the very same plastic that is constantly polluting our beach ecosystems that is used throughout the newest Conscious lineup. Have a look at the video at the end of this post explaining the new material further.

Launching in stores and online April 20, you can enjoy here the mind-blowing preview of the future of fashion.

The full assortment will also include of men’s and kids’ clothes and accessories as well for the first time a fragrance.

LoL, Sandra

My favorite dress on display in the Zurich showroom…

… along with more beautiful pieces from the collection.

Those tulle dresses are also absolutely beautiful.

Photos: Courtesy of © H&M and © Sandra Bauknecht

Interview with Carol Lim and Humberto Leon

interview_carol_lim_humberto_leon_kenzo_hm

Dear readers, the big day is almost here. This Thursday, the KENZO x H&M collection will hit the shelves. I am thrilled to introduce you today a little more to this great collaboration and to the two masterminds behind it. Get to know the designers, that are truly two amazing people, and dive into the must-have pieces. I took many photos for you when I met them in NYC at the H&M showroom on Fifth Avenue.

sandra_bauknecht_kenzoxhm_look_day1_carol_lim_humberto_leonFramed by lovely Carol Lim to the left and Humberto Leon to the right in NYC.

Here is a little bit more insight about CAROL LIM and HUMBERTO LEON, the creative directors of KENZOicon, who have been friends since their studies at the University of California Berkeley.  In 2002, they opened their first store in New York. They took this decision after they had quit their corporate jobs at different fashion houses. Carol was a merchandise planner at Bally and Humberto was at Burberry. Even that it was a little bit of a risky time in New York, they dared this adventure. Not too surprisingly, OPENING CEREMONY went on to become a global sensation because Carol and Humberto bring such enthusiasm and fun to everything they do in fashion.

sandra_bauknecht_balmain_opening_ceremony_backMe running to the OPENING CEREMONY store in Los Angeles in 2013

The street wear brands that the designer duo brought into their store and made partnerships with, the things that they’d seen from their youth when they were growing up in the Los Angeles area, the celebrities who walked into their shop and expressed interest in the collection. This journey lead them to a big milestone in their lives. Five years ago, they became the creative directors at KENZO and transformed the brand immediately into something every fashionista wanted. Do you remember the hype about their tiger head sweaters (click here for a previous post from 2012)…

As you can see from the success, Carol and Humberto were clearly the right choice for the revival of the brand. KENZO TAKADA himself – when he started his brand in the ’70s in Paris – opened a store that was really visionary at the time. He mixed all these different cultures and design elements, and was one of the first ones transforming couture to street wear in a super accessible and fun way.

Therefore, H&M was eager for them to join their long list of designer collaborations. As ANN-SOFIE JOHANSSON, creative adviser at H&M, pointed out: «I think the timing was really right. We had our eyes on KENZO for a while, ever since Carol and Humberto joined and kind of recharged it. It’s really nice to have a house with kind of a history but also new creators giving it new energy

carol_lim_humberto_leon_anne_sofie_johanssonCarol Lim, Humberto Leon and Ann-Sofie Johansson, all in Kenzo x H&M

To begin, Carol and Humberto, looking at the beginning of these collaborations, 2004, the first was with Karl Lagerfeld, a couple years after you opened up your store, what was it like as retailers to see this phenomena happening in fashion, breaking the rules of what a designer brand could be, and what’s happened since then that made it possible for these partnerships to continue to be a success even 12 years later today?

HUMBERTO LEON: I think when we first heard about the Karl Lagerfeld and H&M collection, we were not only store owners but also lovers of buying and shopping and super excited. We were two people who lined up like everyone else. We just recounted all the pieces we had bought. I still own the suit, the dress shirt, the jeans, all these amazing things. I felt like it really gave us as consumers not only a chance to buy a designer, but also something that was created specially for this collaboration. So a really unique experience that is beyond just being able to buy the designer’s goods.

CAROL LIM: Yeah, and I think that having collaborated and having had a store, we realized the importance right away. We were excited to see the two brands coming together, creating something really magical. So for us, we had it marked in our calendars that it was something we were really excited to experience.

KENZO x H&M launch event : directed by Jean-Paul Goude - FIRST LOOKS

Carol and Humberto, why did you think this was right for KENZO as the first brand under the LVMH umbrella to do a partnership with H&M, which is interesting in itself?

CAROL LIM: First, we love the idea of storytelling and also speaking to a broader audience. It is also the perfect opportunity to not only talk to people that know KENZO, but to a whole new customer that could discover the brand. For LVMH, it is the perfect brand to test such a project.

HUMBERTO LEON: The idea of being able to experience the KENZO brand in different ways is really part of our ethos. So this was a no-brainer. H&M has an amazing portfolio of designers that have done this. It feels exciting to be a part of this group of people.

showroom_kenzo_x_hm

That’s a really good point. The hesitancy some designers had at the beginning is completely gone now. There’s no reason to not think this is a great thing for them. Tell us about your concept. What is KENZO x H&M?

HUMBERTO LEON: The most exciting part about this collaboration is that every piece we created is somewhat unique for this KENZO x H&M collection. We wanted to treat this as if it was a true conversation between the founder, Kenzo Takada and us. We went into the archives and actually resurrected pieces in their original form but we obviously modernized them. For instance, the dress behind us is one of the famous dresses from a 1978 collection where there were only two pieces made. There’s over I think 300 meters of ribbons. We own one of the two pieces and a museum owns another. So it’s super exciting that the H&M customer can actually come in and get a piece of this.

For Carol and I it was important that everyone knew that this house has a really, really unique story. It started in 1969 by one man before all the other Japanese designers came that now show in Paris. Kenzo Takada was the first. It’s exciting to tell the story of him, his struggles and the joy that he brought to the French capital.

For instance, there are a lot of little details that we found when going through the archives, he finished all the pieces so beautifully that they look like they should be reversible, so we decided to make some reversible as Carol’s skirt among other pieces. I think knitwear is another great example. We did a really amazing knitwear exploration, probably more than a lot of the other collaborations. It’s a big code of the house. So it’s exciting that people can actually buy a piece of this part of history.

sweater_kenzo_hmThe «watermelon» sweater is super soft.

Some of the 110 looks are a little bit wild. Jean-Paul Goude, who did the advertising and imagery, and  worked on the show, described them as nutty. There are pieces that when you look at them out of context, people may not even know how to react to them. There’s like a pink and green tiger striped sweater that could have been inspired by a watermelon. What you were thinking when you decided to go in such a strong fashion approach?

HUMBERTO LEON: We came into it as us, as the fanatical shoppers. We wanted to approach this, and we’re obviously showing really strong looks on the runway, really strong looks on the presentation and the campaigns. But in reality I think, as consumers, you only have a chance to grab as much as you can as there are only a couple of pieces. And the idea we’ve always said is that we want people to mix with what they are already having in their own wardrobe.

We always feel a lot of times when you design fashion, when you give a really strong proposal on the runway, it ends up being really expensive. It’s the €3,000 piece. We thought this would be a fun opportunity to be able to buy a piece of fashion at a really incredible price. I think that’s why we wanted it to be super unique. Most of the stuff was never in our collection. It’s really almost kind of buying a piece of history. The idea is that you can make it your own. And, yes, there are strong pieces. I think that the brand is known for the prints and the color and the fun. We’re showing it one way, and we really feel like in the end people will kind of interpret it their own way.

CAROL LIM: I think true to the spirit of how we work and also the brand we wanted there to be a joyfulness. When you walk into the room and you see the clothing, you can’t help but smile. I also think Humberto is right, when you pull it apart, you’re going to find things. But each piece can stand on its own. Hopefully it’s going to be the kind of piece that, you know, even if you may not wear it at this point in time, you put it in the box and save it and it comes back out. We wanted to approach every single item that way.

KENZO x H&M launch event : directed by Jean-Paul Goude - FIRST LOOKS

It seems there is something for many different types of customers, different generations in this collection. Who do you think is the customer for it, in your mind? With all this fashion, what challenges did you face, given the huge scale of this project?

HUMBERTO LEON: I feel like the customer who has grown and loved KENZO for the last almost 50 years will look at this and say, Whoa, they really arced back into the spirit of KENZO. I think that customer who is probably in their 50s, 60s, will be super excited to see what this is and reminisce about what this brand is. I think for a younger generation, there’s a lot of stuff that Carol and I injected into the brand that you can easily understand and  incorporate into your wardrobe. In many ways, there’s almost something for everyone. We always said, and Kenzo Takada also mentioned, it’s not about an age, it’s really about a spirit. So this collection is for a youthful spirit. That can really be an ageless notion.

details_kenzo_hm

CAROL LIM: Actually H&M were incredible partners. The ribbon dress was not an easy feat to accomplish but they were able to create everything. They were equally as excited about pushing it to the right quality and the finishing. So everything, even the small little buttons for which we created specific hardware, down to even the thread. 

74f89b2552b6e7fe5213c3e02af4c60bHans Feurer, Kenzo ad campaign, 1983

Let’s go back to the specific references within the collection. It’s really quite fascinating what you found in the archives, more so than perhaps you even do in the KENZO collections. There is the net print from maybe the second collection you showed in the showroom. What other elements are actually from the archives here?

HUMBERTO LEON: All the florals are from the archives. So you see all the florals and the ribbon tapes. There’s these floral dresses. The original kind of leopard print is from the archives.

One of the things we decided to do was do a mash-up between the archives prints and our prints. So you see the original tiger print that was on these amazing photos that Hans Feurer shot of the three women in these body suits, three-colored body suits. So this is from the archives. We recreated those jumpsuits in the collection. They’re two pieces, so it’s not one full body suit. But they’re these amazing, washable wool. So it’s an amazing fabric. H&M really took the time to redevelop these fabrics for today’s times, so they’re super cool, washable wool jerseys.

sandra_bauknecht_kenzo_hm_outfit1

Aside from that, the fuzzy coat is one of the first things that Kenzo Takada made. He made these hoodies, jackets and everything, even faux fur, the latter was kind of a great little fabric that really kind of brings us back to when he began, almost this kind of great naïve way of working that was just raw.

floral_top_hm_kenzoThe cropped floral top.

But I think the off-the-shoulder thing is something that if you are a KENZO fan through the years, like, different journalists have told us, I bought my first off-the-shoulder piece back in the day. We recreated those pieces both in a little crop top and this floral pleated ensemble. These are all really kind of signature details of the house.

img_3781The must-have sweatshirt

Then obviously Carol and I brought in the sweatshirts, made those a big thing for the house. We wanted to celebrate that and give the icon, which says KENZO Paris, with the running tiger in the back, is actually from the archives. That is from a piece from the ’80s. So we really, really brought in a lot of archival elements into the mix, which we felt like was such a great way to celebrate the brand.

CAROL LIM: Then we also have a lot of silhouettes we created in our first and second collection. There’s a sleeveless reversible silk dress with the medallion in the larger and smaller scale. There’s kind of a long tiger striped dress. Each piece is kind of speaking back to the archives or the period of time we kind of put our collections out.

HUMBERTO LEON: Yes, the medallions come from a little tie and a silk square that is from the archives, as well.

Kimonos over the must-have ribbon dresses.

You are mixing global cultures, there are the sandals, there’s a kimono in the collection. How do you approach that as designers when you’re kind of sampling from different cultures in a sense? What kind of message does that promote for the brand?

HUMBERTO LEON: Carol and I have always used our travels as a prime example of where we gain inspiration. We try to really embrace the authenticity of cultures. Similar to Kenzo Takada, who also had these famous travels that he brought back into his brand. But you have to give it your own take and twist it. I would say that our kimonos, it’s not a rub-off of a traditional Japanese kimono. It’s really a fashion take on that silhouette. We made them reversible. We made them cropped. I think the idea is to be inspired by culture, but at the same time I think hint and reference to it, but also give it your own take, your own personality.

hm_kenzo_lookbookFor the lookbook, click here.

There’s a lot of personality in the lookbook. I’m sure the reaction you’ve seen to this already tells you quite a lot about how welcome the representation of diversity is in fashion today. How did you select the group represented? How did you approach them? How do they reflect the values of KENZO x H&M?

HUMBERTO LEON: When we sat down and talked about this project, Carol and I wanted people to represent, first and foremost, themselves, something that they stood by. Individuality was a really big expression in what we were looking for. People that were authentic and that expressed themselves. So we  didn’t look at the models how they looked but what they stood for as human beings. It was a really kind of genuine approach Then as a bonus, they all looked amazing in the clothing. There was a big diversity. There’s a makeup artist, a performer, a singer, a journalist. I think that we could really relate to these people as you could imagine sitting down at a dinner table with them and having great conversations. They felt like great ambassadors for us. 

kenzo-x-hm

And what about the campaign?

HUMBERTO LEON: For the campaign, we have everyone from Chance The Rapper, Iman, Rosario Dawson, Martinez, Suboi. These amazing people from all around the world that in many ways are our idols that we think stand for something so great and so exciting. The look look together with the campaign presents a great group of people, really authentic and real to us.

kenzo-2012-fallKenzo F/W 2012 campaign shot by Jean-Paul Goude

Tell us about Jean-Paul’s involvement. How did you approach him? Isn’t there’s a slight connection to Kenzo Takada himself. Why was he the person for the ad campaign?

CAROL LIM: Humberto and I have been fans of Jean-Paul from growing up. I think we’re familiar with his work as an art director, as a photographer, and as really an image maker. When we first joined KENZO, Humberto and I, we were brainstorming about who would shoot the first campaign? Humberto came up with Jean-Paul. As we were dreaming up who we wanted to collaborate with when we joined the house, he was the first person that we approached. Through luck and perseverance and through developing a relationship with him, he came and he actually said to us, I know Kenzo Takada. Through scheduling conflicts, they never worked together. I can sense the energy of what you’re bringing. He’s very much about a personal connection. So he shot our first campaign for us at KENZO and we formed a very deep bond with him.

So when this partnership came about, we even deepened his involvement with the event. If you’ve seen any of his happenings, for example this incredible bicentennial for France. What he’s able to do on an event level, even on windows, a lot of different things, we thought if he would be open to it, would he be interested in working with us on this project.

untitled-article-1461238096-body-image-1461238226Grace Jones by Jean-Paul Goude

HUMBERTO LEON: I mean, even prior to everything Carol just said, I don’t know if everyone knows how amazing Jean-Paul Goude is, but he obviously did all those amazing Grace Jones covers, all this amazing, amazing work with different brands, incredible people. But Carol and I, even before we joined KENZO, when we were doing our interview for the job, the first question they asked, they said, Who are you going to get to shoot the campaign? We said, Jean-Paul Goude. They said, Oh, wow. Do you know him? We said, No. They said, How are you going to get him to shoot the campaign? We said, We don’t know, we’re going to figure it out. Okay, you get the job, let’s see if you can figure this out. In our first and second campaign, Jean-Paul shot it. We became friends. That was really the main thing that happened. We went into this as a part two of what we had done. I think that the show and the runway experience, it’s a deepened relationship because he really hasn’t done too many performances, art directed, creative directed too many performances. The bicentennial is probably the most famous.

kenzo_takadaSince selling KENZO to LVMH in 1993, Kenzo Takada has travelled the world and set up his own interior company.

What would Mr. Takada say about your collaboration with H&M? Would he approve?

HUMBERTO LEON: I think he would love it. I mean, number one, I guess it’s not good to say he’s a fan. But he’s a fan of what we do. He comes to our shows. We’ve had conversations with him where he really feels like we brought the energy and spirit of what he did in the ’70s and ’80s back, and that our values feel very similar to his values. In many ways, I feel like one of his biggest objectives and things that brought him the most joy was just seeing people wearing his clothing. I think this is an amazing opportunity to see more people wearing this brand that he created. I think that Carol and I have never shied away from our efforts really kind of being an homage to what he does. So I think he’d be thrilled, excited to see, I don’t know, after November 3rd, just people on the streets wearing these prints and these propositions that he once created, obviously newly thought about and newly done, but in a way seeing these things walk on people.

CAROL LIM: He’s known for being, and still, one of the most generous people in terms of his spirit and kindness. He’s had amazing, legendary parties, not only at his home but his shows. He staged them in elaborate ways and always included people he admired, his friends,different artists. I mean, before there was this term ‘collaboration’, he was doing it naturally. I think he would be really excited about this.

The reversible kimonos are amazing.

I would like to know more about your creative process. Do you sit down together or do you start separately from each other? Do you present then your ideas each other? Have you ever had an argument about a design one of you wanted to do and the other didn’t approve?

HUMBERTO LEON: Never about that. I think Carol and I talk a lot. The reason we were able to do as much as we do is because we’re together. I think we also know what we’re both good at. I think in 15 years we’ve been able to learn the other side of what we’re not good at. I feel like we’ve been able to really communicate well. We definitely never argue over, you know, whether or not something is good or bad or right in terms of design. I feel like we’re pretty in sync. At the end of the day we have the same end goal. Both of us are trying to work towards that end goal.

What are you strongest at and what is she strongest at?

HUMBERTO LEON: Inherently, I was the creative director doing more of the creative, and then Carol came in more as the business person. I think as everyone has learned today, the two really go hand-in-hand. I think that’s where we feel like our strength is, is really questioning every aspect of it and making sure what the end consumer gets is exciting and of value.

Thank you, Carol and Humberto, for giving us an amazing insight in the collection!

The Kenzo x H&M collection will be available in over 250 H&M stores worldwide, as well as online, from this Thursday, November 3, 2016.

LoL, Sandra

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Photos: Courtesy of H&M, Kenzo, © Jean-Paul Goude and © Sandra Bauknecht

The Secret of Monsieur René’s Amazing Collar

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When I spotted René’s jacket that he wore for the launch event of Kenzo x H&M in NYC, I was immediately drawn to it. The collar was divine and it drove me nuts that I didn’t get which designer it was. It looked a little Gucci… when I asked, he revealed the secret: those embellishments were earrings by H&M that he had just sewn on to it. What a great idea! The same goes for his ribbon tie. It is a silk band with one sparkling H&M earring attached to it.

This is what I call creativity! Bravo, René! Follow him on instagram @monsieurené or @rené_zibold.

TO SHOP THE LATEST H&M EARRINGS, CLICK HERE PLEASE.

LoL, Sandra

Photo: © Sandra Bauknecht

At the Kenzo x H&M Launch Party in NYC

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One word: amazing! This is what describes Kenzo x H&M best. Last week, I was in NYC to attend the party of the year with a fashion show directed by fashion legend Jean-Paul Goude at Pier 36 that was as spectacular as the collection itself.

jean-paul-goude_sandra_bauknechtWith Jean-Paul Goude at the after party.

To the rhythm of a customized remix of «Express Yourself» by Sam Spiegel, we were able to watch the vibrant and playful energy of the pieces that were designed by Kenzo’s Creative Directors, Carol Lim and Humberto Leon on models, that were actually dancers, beatboxers, whistlers and musicians.

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Front row? Chloë Sevigny, Iman, Lupita Nyong’o, Sienna Miller, Elizabeth Olsen and many more…

Elizabeth Olsen, Lupita Nyong’o, both wearing Kenzo x H&M.

Bethann Hardison, Jean-Paul Goude, Iman, Chloë Sevigny, Humberto Leon and Carol Lim.

Joe Jonas and Charli XCX looking great in the new collection.

Front row power: Charli XCX, Chance the Rapper, Halsey, Chloë Sevigny, Rosario Dawson and Suboi.

Sienna Miller

sandra_bauknecht_chloe_sevignyWith Chloë Sevigny at the show.

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The choreography was created by Kenzo collaborator, Ryan Heffington and transformed us into something very special, not a stiff runway presentation but an energized dance show that Carol Lim and Humberto Leon described as «a celebration of everything we love about Kenzo x H&M – it was a fun, vibrant and unexpected celebratory mix of different worlds coming together. It was a show we will never forget.»

sandra_bauknecht_kerstin_fridayWith my dear colleague Kerstin Netsch, Editor in Chief Friday Magazine waiting for the show to begin!

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KENZO x H&M launch event : directed by Jean-Paul Goude - FRONT ROW 

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Happy about their show: Jean-Paul Goude and Carol Lim.

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As the show finished the fun continued and the models came to ask us to join them on the runway which became immediately a dance floor. I didn’t wait a second to jump up and move to the sound as the whole performance had transported me already in such a fun state of mind.

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Chance the Rapper and Iman dance at the show finale…

… that also made Lupita Nyong’o move her body with a full smile.

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Ice Cube performs at Kenzo x H&M after party.

Later, after we went shopping in the pop-up store next door, a surprise performance by rapper and surprise guest Ice Cube took place and we partied late. I am very thankful that I was able to experience this inferno of playfulness.

kenzo_hm_show_nyc_sandra_bauknecht_caroline_picchcin_ren_ziboldHaving always the best time with those guys: Caroline Piccinin, Le Matin and René Zibold, PR and Communication Manager at H&M Switzerland (@monsieurené). Isn’t her skirt the best? The fabric is from Ikea and she tailored it herself. René was also very creative. His collar embellishments are divine and I will reveal his secret to you soon!

The Kenzo x H&M collection will be available in over 250 H&M stores worldwide, as well as online, from November 3. Stay tuned for an amazing interview with Carol Lim and Humberto Leon as well as a close-up look on the collection coming up shortly.

LoL, Sandra

Photos by Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images for H&M, Bryan Bedder/Getty Images for H&M and © Sandra Bauknecht