“My code name is Pearl,” he confided Simone Rocha almost in a whisper about Zoom, the week before Christmas. Finally, the aura of secrecy that surrounds the designer’s collaboration with H&M has finally dissolved: a series of teasers launched it online today, January 14th. “Pearl”, so nicknamed by H&M due to its well-known fondness for pearls, began negotiations with the Swedish fast fashion giant since the fairytale period of summer 2018. The project took much longer than expected. , but despite a worldwide pandemic, restrictions permitting, the collection will finally be available for purchase globally in H&M stores and online in March.
In essence, the collaboration is an extended microcosm of Simone Rocha’s imaginative feminist world, a bit Irish and a bit Chinese, for the whole family, from pink perspex to hooks to slightly sugary almond pink packaging. “When H&M created me a collection for them, I replied: if I have to do it, I would like to do it for everyone: not just for women, but for men and children, and at the highest quality”. The designer had never done men’s or children’s looks before; it is also the first time, too, that he deals with beauty. There will be a product – in shades of pink – to be used both as a blush and as a lip tint.
Examples of H & M’s collaboration with Martin Margiela, Versace and Comme des Garçons are there to commemorate the independence left to the brands by the Swedish giant. And these are important landmarks that Rocha, who grew up excited to be able to buy clothes designed by her favorite designers in the 2000s, has not escaped. “There’s still a Lanvin X H&M box in my bedroom in my parents’ house. parents in Dublin! “
True: many of these collections have become cult-like and have quickly been objects of online exchange for aficionados – let’s consider it a sort of response to some of the reservations so many consumers have about fast fashion. Rocha also pointed out to us that the possibility of working with sustainable materials was one of the important factors in his choice to accept the proposal “A company like H&M has a much bigger impact than Simone Rocha, so yes, sustainability of the collection was essential. We were able to use an organic cotton, a recycled polyester, a new compostable yarn. Actually, it was very interesting to see what came out of the collaboration, and I think people will be surprised by the quality of the garments, “he said.” They will be so special that they will want to wear them forever. “
Daisy Edgar-Jones of Normal People in the Simone Rocha x H&M campaign. Photo: Courtesy of H&M
Certainly Simone Rocha certainly did not hold back from using all the distinctive features of her brand – the broderie anglaise, the Scottish seersucker, the tweed, the cloche, the bows, the pearl embroidery – up to the hair bands and earrings. of plastic in the shape of a red flower. “It’s been 10 years since I founded my brand, it was nice to look at my entire archive. And to find the recurring elements that I could recognize as my codes, in order to share my identity”.
And now her inclusive and “pan-generational” collection for H&M is ready: it ranges from adorable little girl dresses to unlined suits and men’s sweaters; and other styles, from perspex soled shoes to trench coats. It was natural to do menswear too, he said. “Looking at my first collections, I made many intersections between feminine and masculine: shoes, tailoring, certain trousers and trench coats. I didn’t want to make “a frivolous Simone Rocha for men”. I chose minimal, so it became a question of practicality, ease of use. I translated my Aran sweaters into cotton yarns, some with pearl embroidery. I just wanted everything to be childish, beautiful and real. “
The collaboration was an opportunity for her to showcase her talent and that of her extended family through campaign videos. His partner Eoin McLaughlin shot documentary chats with Simone, Adwoa and Kesewa Aboah. But that’s not all: there’s also a campaign shot by Tyler Mitchell coming up, and some outings in the pipeline with Daisy Edgar-Jones of Normal People and Micheal Ward. “I wanted everyone I normally work with to get involved,” Rocha reflects. “When you work on something so big, the important thing is not to lose the human dimension. I would like these dresses to become an integral part of people’s lives. “
Behind the scenes with Adwoa and Kesewa Aboah for the H&M campaign. Photo: Courtesy of H&M