Isabel Marant for H&M hits stores on November 14th, and is sure to be a sell-out. Why are we so keen to get our fashion mitts on a piece of Parisian chic?
It’s almost here. November 14th is in every fashionista’s diary as fierce shopaholics excitedly count down the days until H&M and Isabel Marant finally unite. When the announcement was made, tweeters and bloggers erupted in a storm of anticipation about the Swedish fashion retailer’s collaboration with the Parisian design queen; now the newly awaited collection is all anybody is talking about.
Marant founded her label of bohemian chic in 1994, and fast began to convey a cosmopolitan upbringing through her clothes, taking inspiration from an eclectic childhood dress sense and from trips to Asia, India, Africa and the Caribbean. After being asked by friends to recreate her innovative designs for them, Marant instigated a jewellery range in 1989, before expanding to a knitwear partnership with her mother, a year later. Despite not originally aiming to enter the fashion industry, Marant soon proved that she deserved a place in it. She won the Award de la Mode in 1997 and the Whirlpool Award for Best Female Designer in 1998.
The alluring aspect of Marant’s designs is the way she creates trends through key pieces, and how her quirky-meets-stylish designs become staple items for every girl’s wardrobe. Her collections to date have tended to turn a traditional fashion faux pas into a certified style hit. Before Marant, if anyone had suggested a heeled sports shoe, they would have been ridiculed for taking the sport-luxe trend a tad too far. But last year, the wedged and hidden heel trainers were introduced to the fashion world, and almost instantly, thousands of high street copies spilled from shelves.
Lengthening one’s leg in a comfortable and quirky shoe is probably one of the most genius ideas a designer has had in the past decade, so it is understandable why Marant was hailed a hero (particularly by the shorter fashionista, myself unfortunately included). It is her ability to identify with her audience that makes this collaboration with H&M so enticing. Given the fact that she has been a source of inspiration for the high street itself during the past few years, this collaboration with H&M seems like a natural step.
When Marant created the legendary ‘Dicker’ boot, she reminded women that despite all the pretty heels in the world, nothing is more necessary than a standard, staple, comfortable ankle boot. Kate Bosworth and Rosie Huntington-Whiteley were among the celebrities fawning over these famous boots while the entire world went crazy, either splashing out on the real deal or anxiously searching for copies.
Marant herself appears to be excited about the collaboration, claiming to be ‘flattered’ at being asked to design men’s and women’s collections for the popular Swedish chain. Marant claims that she “is not a rock star” and does not desire fame, but she will be joining a list of prestigious household names, including Karl Lagerfeld, Roberto Cavalli and Donatella Versace, who have also designed for H&M.
At the collection’s launch in Paris’s 16th arrondissement, actress January Jones spoke about her nieces’ excitement for the collection. Indeed, now the younger, everyday customer can afford a little slice of Isabel Marant. Frieda Pinto and Alice Dellal also attended the launch, turning up in fabulous pieces from the collaboration, including a shrunken embellished jacket and fringed boots. Audrey Tatou oozed Parisian chic herself, proving that Marant has not drifted too far from her classic roots.
Celebrities are already fighting over the best picks, so it’s not hard to imagine the thousands of women who will be lining up outside H&M in less than a week’s time, and likewise the cries of disappointment when it becomes a sell-out. It’s not every day that an esteemed designer collaborates with the high street, so best Dicker-boot forward, ladies! May the best mini-Marant win.