HIGH FASHION MEETS VIRTUAL IMAGINATION IN H&M’S LATEST INNOVATION STORY

“The increasingly virtual dimension of fashion creates exciting future opportunities for H&M, allowing us to create vibrant, bold and daring virtual counterparts to our physical collections. In addition to the infinite creative possibilities, it also allows us to propose a more sustainable and inclusive vision of fashion, accessible to anyone, anywhere in the world”.

Ann-Sofie Johansson, creative consultant at H&M.

Inspired by the immersive potential of the Metaverse and the tactile beauty of the physical world, the ready-to-wear collection invites self-expression and explores sustainability in three dimensions. The former includes stand-out looks for women and men and a series of accessories designed with circularity in mind. The second sees more pieces available as part of a rental program at select H&M stores. Then there is the third dimension, the digital collection, co-designed and created by H&M and the Institute of Digital Fashion, the London-based digital atelier and thinktank.

The ready-to-wear collection
Key pieces from the physical collection blend eye-catching silhouettes with intricate embroidery and a revolutionary color palette. For women, a neon yellow gown with a corset waist and dramatic tulle skirt dominates the spotlight. For men, an oversized black beaded bomber jacket offsets relaxed tailoring. In accessories, metallic wrap sandals for women spiral up to the thigh, while futuristic jewelry for men and women takes cues from liquid metal that appears to have been filled with pixels. The more-is-more style was brought to life by Ibrahim Kamara, H&M’s creative consultant for this project.

The innovations
Circularity is a key focus for the collection. Several garments feature recycled polyester fibers made entirely from old clothing and textile waste collected in partnership with H&M’s clothing collection in stores programme. A bodycon dress from the collection was crafted using a zero-waste pattern-cutting process. Innovative materials including REPREVE® Our Ocean™, recycled polyester made from ocean-bound plastic bottles, comprise a faux fur coat and jacket. After years of development, 100% recycled sequins made from plastic bottle waste adorn two dresses, a pair of leggings and a jacket-skirt combination.

The digital collection
Five augmented reality filters, accessible via the H&M app, complete the Innovation Metaverse Design Story line-up. Designed in collaboration with the Institute of Digital Fashion, a Snap-powered AR fashion lens enables virtual try-on, seamlessly bringing the physical and digital worlds together and empowering customers to express themselves both IRL and online.

“We at the Institute of Digital Fashion are thrilled to collaborate with H&M on a digital collection that pushes the boundaries of fashion as we know it, breaking free from physical constraints to embrace pure creativity. These digital garments are for every body, extend beyond seasons, beyond gender and beyond reality, and help us consider the planet”

Leanne Elliott Young and Cattytay, co-founders of the Institute of Digital Fashion.

The H&M Metaverse experience
Customers wishing to learn more about the collection will be able to immerse themselves in an immersive experience in the Metaverse at hm.com. This interactive virtual space, available from 1 December, celebrates the unique digital garments that have been created for the collection and offers customers a glimpse into the future, where digital art expands the expressive possibilities of fashion.

Learn about H&M’s innovation stories
H&M Innovation Stories was launched in early 2021 and includes a series of themed collections dedicated to promoting more sustainable materials, technologies and production processes. Previous themes included animal-friendly fashion and alternatives to materials of animal origin, circular design strategies and fabrics that reclaim waste, and more sustainable ways of working with colour. The project goes hand-in-hand with H&M’s fashion rental service, established in 2019 at its Stockholm flagship store with a selection of occasionwear styles from past Conscious Exclusive collections. The rental program is currently active in three stores in Stockholm, Berlin and Amsterdam.

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