Here are all of the women’s items included in Alexander Wang + H&M‘s collaboration set for a November 6th launch date. Looking at just the offerings (including body conscious leggings, crop tops, skirts and dresses ranging in price from $18-$349) free of models and fancy styling and photography, it’s easier to get a feel for what Wang was trying to accomplish with this collaboration. One has to assume H&M has long wanted to partner with Wang, though he probably resisted offers for many years simply because he wanted to stay focused on establishing the bona fides of this name as a luxury brand. After all, one of the disadvantages of partnering with a fast fashion retailer is that the association tarnishes the high-end partner by diminishing its reputation for exclusivity.
One of the pluses is that it greatly raises the profile of the luxury name and exposes to a new audience. With his dual role as head designer for Alexander Wang and Balenciaga, Wang probably felt the timing was right to expand name recognition by collaborating with a global retailer with a well-oiled marketing machine and an established history of successful partnerships.
However, Wang took a different path than previous brands who have partnered with H&M. Rather than offering take downs of his most inconic designs from Alexander Wang, he designed an entirely new line and one that has his last name or the initials “AW” emblazoned all over it (in fact it’s could more accurately be labeled H&M x Wang). The move kills two birds with one stone, he doubles down on using the effort to raise name recognition and creates a collection that is utterly distinct from T by Alexander Wang and Alexander Wang, neither of which are branded with his name.
The result is a collaboration that is good because it presents Wang in an entirely distinct and youthful light, but for the serious fan of the designer, it feels like it’s missing that handful of special items that make it next level. Case in point, while there are bags, they are mostly sporty gym bags and backpacks with none of the clever design details like the studs and straps that have become Alexander Wang trademarks.
Given the unique parameters of the collection, the most covetable items are the ones featuring prominent Wang or AW branding (with extra points for the crop top and leggings worn by Rihanna, the sox are also super cute). The collection also includes some pieces featuring a unique graphic, which also has some appeal as an original design. Overall there is a lot to like here, especially if you are a Wang fan and also are into the street sport look. And probably if you want any of these items, you should hit H&M early on November 6th. Alexander Wang while not a household name, has better name recognition with the average H&M customer than recent collaborators, Isabel Marant and Masion Martin Margiela, and as such depending on how much H&M has produced, all the Wang and AW-branded items probably will sell out on day one.