From a designer’s perspective, the benefits are clear: H&M offers intense exposure, including press coverage, and a solid marketing budget. Prince and Nicki Minaj performed at a party celebrating the Versace collaboration in 2011. Sofia Coppola directed a commercial for the Marni collection in 2012, as did Baz Luhrmann for Erdem in 2017.
It can also be personally lucrative for them. The Times has reported that Stella McCartney and Mr. Lagerfeld were each paid $1 million for their collaborations. “And in many cases, beyond that, there is some kind of royalty or revenue share,” said Marc Beckman, whose advertising firm DMA United has brokered fashion collaborations involving Gucci, LeSportsac and the NBA. H&M declined to comment on its finances. Agreements with designers.
However, some designers, such as rick owenshave spoken out against working with fast-fashion companies, citing concerns about waste and disposability, an image H&M has worked for years to shed.
Here, designers give H&M an advantage: a “halo effect,” Beckman said.
“Some people will continue to be interested in environmental concerns, regardless of these types of top-tier aspirational collaborations,” he said. “But a lot of people will look the other way to get a piece of luxury.”
Democratization or dilution?
A decade ago, Jessica Y. Flores waited in line overnight for the H&M Versace collaboration at a store in Midtown Manhattan. She sat on the sidewalk, she said, remembering that it was so cold outside that people took turns warming up inside a nearby pharmacy.
He was there because he had grown up admiring Versace. “But I am a first-generation American and I come from a working-class family,” said Ms. Flores, now 36. “Buying high-end luxury to wear was not something that was available to me. I heard about this collection and I was like, ‘Oh, I can buy this.’”