H&M: The collaborative years

H&M has become king of the collaboration.
There have been 11 guest-designer collaborations so far and Marni will be the 12th,
launching on March 8th next year in 260 H&M stores.
Despite the fact most of H&M's customers won't know who, or what Marni is,
(and may need redirecting to Armani)
 the tie-up will see H&M arousing yet another night-camping fashion troope, with their crazy little hearts set on being first to Ebay with their finds.
Italian label Marni is best known for it's clashing acid-trip prints, colour blocking and quirky, retro silhouettes. Personally I'm not a fan, but plenty are, with the label selling in sixteen countries and notching up sales of about $100m a year. There is no doubt the Marni collaboration will be as frenzy inducing as the others, and here's a look back at them all.

Karl Lagerfeld for H&M 2004

If one man is king of the collaboration it's Karl Lagerfeld. The designer has put his name on everything from Coke bottles to teddy bears - infact his most recently collaboration - a tie up with US department store Macy's was announced recently. Karl was the first designer to tie-up with H&M, a pioneer of the brave new collaborative world where high street meets high fashion.
Stella McCartney for H&M 2005

Stella was up next, and the collection went into 400 stores (more than Marni is destined for) and sold out worldwide. The designer put together 40 pieces for her first collaborative range and the partnership did her no harm, Stella said herself:
  "[it's] a fantastic way of reaching a wider female audience."

Viktor & Rolf for H&M 2006.

Viktor & Rolf decided to do something for the boys and the girls and launched a range for each category. The women's puffskirt trench coat was the most coveted piece in the collection. The avent garde pair saw the collaboration as a libertarian pursuit:
”If Haute couture is the most sublime form of fashion, H&M is fashion at its most democratic." They said at the time.
Roberto Cavalli for H&M 2007

Roberto just loves it doesn't he.
Of course the collection was drenched in leopard print, sequins and gold  - high octane glamour at it's best and one of the most commercial collaborations to date.

 Comme des Garcons 2008

Following the commercial success of the Cavalli collection, H&M looked to Japanese cult label Comme des Garcon to keep the concept fresh. The collection was true to the designer brands roots, with intelligent pattern cutting and playful proportions.

Matthew Williamson for H&M 2009

The Matthew Williamson collection was one of the most successful, and the blue tonic suit and peacock print dress were coveted items in this collection. I wondered at the time how Matthew managed to secure the H&M high street deal when he was a 'Designer at Debenhams' and had been since 2002. It was beautifully executed and truely offered customers an insight into his mainline design aesthetic.

 Jimmy Choo for H&M 2009

Shoes are very expensive to make (mainly due to the last) which is why only a few labels and retailers do them well. For that reason this guest designer collaboration was a disappointment with the shoes not representing the high-end nature of the Jimmy Choo mainline. But thousands still queued, and stampeeds were reported at H&M stores across Europe so what do I know.

Sonia Rykiel for H&M 2009

This was a cute collection of knitwear which was sold in 1,500 H&M stores worldwide and in Sonia Rykiel boutiques - a first for any H&M collaboration.

Lanvin for H&M 2010

Was it Alber Elbaz' collection, the pr campaign, or the price of the product? Whatever it was, shoppers went wild for the Lanvin for H&M collection. Ebay was flooded with pieces and the collection - at 60 pieces - felt bigger than usual. It managed to appeal to the younger H&M fan, and to the high-fashion fan, who bought into a little piece of the French fashion house's 145 year old heritage.

Versace for H&M 2012

It's the latest and one of the greatest. Just as fabulously garish vintage Versace was making a comeback, H&M unveild it's collaboration with the label. Not for the faint-hearted, The Very Best of Versace fuses old school Gianni-esque creations with the contemporary handwriting of Versus and Donatella. The collection sold out on the day of launch and here's a video interview giving insight into the creation of the collaboration:

Cocosa Magazine

My latest project The Cocosa SS12 Trend Edit has been published, and everyone is happy. Click here to view it online.


Ate breakfast at The Delano
Service 8/10
Food 8/10
The interior is so beautiful here, watch out for squirrels that jump onto your table.
Tanned at The Gansevoort
Service 8/10
Food 6/10
Go to the left and centre of the roof top pool for prime tanning position.
Dinner at Nobu
Service 8.5/10
Food 8/10 overpriced, but have the mango martini, it’s delicious.
A brief, but incredible open top car tour of Miami courtesy of
furniture designer Jack Levy was followed by dancing at Mokai - a club with a high Jersey Shore-type count.
Dress by Juicy Couture
Hat by Celine
Bracelet stylist’s own
Sandals by H&M

Breakfast at The Betsey on Ocean Drive
Food 5/10
Service 5/10 The staff don’t seem to enjoy their jobs very much - or life.
Tanned on South Beach. Lie out at the top of Ocean Drive for a chilled time, or move up outside The Raleigh for a buzzier time.
Dancing at Florida Room
The crowd is a lively mix of business types who have wives that don’t know that they’re on a night out, and Miami hip-hop ballers.
Dress by House of Holland
Sandals by Office

Yoga first thing at The Gansevoort. The instructor was patronising and made me chant.
Tanned at Soho Beach House.
Evening Cocktail #1 at STK  more of a sports bar, hence the down to earth crowd. Not worth a visit unless you have a thing for the NFL and steak.
Cocktail #2 at The Setai the most 'of the moment' and upmarket hotel in Miami, and one of the most beautiful. The Asian inspired courtyard is a must see. The crisps or ‘chips’ are, like most things here, made on the premises and yummy.
Dinner at Casa Tua (don’t be put off by this ludicrous website).
The Miami hype around this restaurant is next level and while its beautiful, it’s like many an Italian tratoria. Try and get a seat outside and order the buffalo mozzarella starter. The members bar upstairs is worth a visit if you have your blagging hat on.
Playsuit by Room31
shoes by Bstore

Hired a car from Signature (much cheaper than Avis) and went on the hunt for some vintage shops. We drove out of town to the part of Miami where women have faces like leather and Juicy Couture velour is still in favour. Here we found C Madeline's. A huge sprawling warehouse filled with vintage from the 1920s, right up to '90s Versace, alongside some designer and couture. I interviewed the owner Madeline (blog post coming soon). We went to The Design District for lunch to a bistro called Michael's which was sweet, but book because it gets busy.
Dress by DKNY
Bag Celine
Shoes Bstore (again)

Dinner at Mr Chow's at The W Hotel with a friend who was staying at The Shelbourne AKA '1980s Beirut'. Anyway, Mr Chows...
Food 9/10
Service 9/10
After we went for drinks at Mango, not sure I've ever been anywhere better than this place. Coyote Ugly meets America's Best Dance Crew on stage with a dash of what can only be described as Glee inspired stripping.
Dress by Tea at Auntie's
Shoes by Prada
Miami: A Week in Outfits
Photography Ayse Suleyman
Art work Denise Viljoen
Hands on hips and reticence to look at camera all provided by me
Clothes courtesy of:
High Fashion Society 
Tea at Aunties 
Room 31 
House of Holland

Duffy Jewellery

Brits aren't known for our jewellery wearing prowess. We lack the fine jewellery finesse of say the Scandinavians who wear it so well.  Instead of jewellery steeped in elegant heritage - like that you'd find in India, or even Russia - ours hinges off the Crown Jewels, a signet ring here, a sovereign there, and a dash of Elizabeth Duke.

Of course we have our Bond Street exports and our talents, who include artisanal makers like East London based Duffy Jewellery, who is just one of those talents pushing on the UK jewellery scene. If you party in East London you may have come across this long-haired beardy goldsmith. He has collaborated with designers from Katie Eary to Nike on handmade unique pieces straight out of his East London atelier and has just launched his website.