H&M kicks off Erdem collab with celeb event, hits back over product incineration reports
Yes, it’s nearly that time again. You know, the queues, the frenzy, the eBay listings that all come along with H&M’s now-traditional annual November designer collaboration.
This year it’s with Erdem and the Swedish retail giant kicked off its buzz-building programme this week with a star-studded event at the historic Ebell women’s club in Los Angeles.
Such events may not seem as important in the grand scheme of things compared to the global TV ad campaign that also accompanies these collections’ launches, but getting a slew of celebrities together and wearing the brand is like sprinkling stardust on it as far as marketing is concerned.
So on Wednesday evening, H&M had red carpet A-listers Kirsten Dunst, Kate Bosworth, Zendaya Coleman, Alexa Chung, Kate Mara, Selma Blair and Taylor Kitsch among its guests.
What they found was the Ebell transformed into an English botanical garden overflowing with a mix of real and surreal plants shaping the runway, “as if a piece of England had been transported to the West Coast.”
There was a catwalk show and the A-list element continued onto the runway as the collection was modelled by Malgosia Bela, Alek Wek and Guinevere Van Seenus. Interestingly for someone who’s more used to showing at London Fashion Week, this event marked Erdem’s first time ever showing men’s looks on the catwalk.
As well as a live performance by Grimes, the guests got the be the first in the world to buy pieces from the collection at a one-night-only exclusive pop-up shop. The rest of the world will have to wait until November 2 when it debuts in the retailer’s stores and online.
Meanwhile the company also hit back after media reports that the firm incinerates up to 12 tonnes of new, unused clothing a year. In a statement Thursday, it said: “For H&M to send our products for incineration is very rare, it’s only done when they do not fulfil our safety regulations (if they are mould infested or do not fulfil our strict chemical requirements). We are puzzled why some media is suggesting that we would destroy other products than those required. There is absolutely no reason for us to do such a thing.
It said the products media refers to have been tested in external laboratories and don’t meet the safety requirements so “should not by any circumstances be either sold to our customer or be recycled. They will therefore be sent to destruction in accordance with our global safety routines.”
It also said that products stopped due to other reasons than health and safety are either donated to charity organisations or re-used through re-use/recycling companies. It added: “Those products in stores that are not sold at full price are sold at a very beneficial price through our sales. We also actively move garments to stores or markets where we see a greater demand, or store them to the next season. At a last resort, we consider external buyers of our overstock.”
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