H&M unveils new Studio collection in the desert

H&M skipped Paris Fashion Week this year, in favor of BMX tracks and water ballet in the desert.

The Swedish retailer finally unveiled its Spring/Summer 2019 H&M Studio collection in Sedona, Arizona, USA this week, following weeks of teasing.

The presentation took the form of an immersive three-day event that saw brand ambassadors and the media participate in a scripted narrative titled ‘The Glam Explorer', comprising a water ballet spectacle, acoustic performances and a BMX stunt show, ending with a concert from the singer/songwriter Maggie Rogers. Additional details planted to engage guests included secret personal messages, a scripted fake radio show and a fake morning newspaper. Fashion fans could follow the action from all over the world via social media.

The location was also the setting for the collection's new campaign, which the brand began teasing last week. Shot by photographer Lachlan Bailey, the images, which were partly inspired by the 1975 French movie "Le Sauvage," evoke a wistful sense of free-spirited adventure. Similarly, the presentation was designed to underline the themes of spontaneity and wanderlust present in the collection, which will go on sale on March 21.

"Our ambition was to take the fashion template and revolutionize it using an entertainment mindset," said Kattis Bahrke, Head of Creative Marketing and Communication at H&M, in a statement. "The unique format of immersive theater allowed our guests, customers and fans to step into a fully realized world of the SS19 collection."

The event is the latest example of a major brand seeking an alternative to the traditional fashion show, following on from the example set by labels such as Mulberry, which unveiled a series of immersive fashion-focused experiences in Seoul to mark the launch of its Autumn/Winter 2018 collection, and Tommy Hilfiger, who has been touring his ‘TommyNow' fashion show experience for two years.
 

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