H&M announces new designer collaboration with Sabyasachi
For some, Sabyasachi is not yet a household name. For 4.7 million followers on Instagram, however, he is an international sensation. The Indian fashion designer is known for his rich textiles, bridal wear, high-end jewelry, and a distinct aesthetic that beautifully weaves traditional silhouettes and techniques with modern sensibility. Now, the Kolkata-born talent is bringing his vision to the masses with an already highly anticipated collaboration with H&M.
“If I am able to bridge my world with international audiences by staying true to who I am and keeping my authenticity alive, this collection becomes the symbol of a more inclusive fashion industry, where designers of India and countries like ours are on the move. in the global fray, ”he told ELLE.com exclusively via email. “This collection and this collaboration was for me a period of introspection, where I asked myself: ‘What can I bring as an Indian designer to a collaboration with a juggernaut on the streets? It must go beyond representation, it must become a collection that brings together the best authentic of our two worlds.
The joyous collaboration is a marriage of all these things. Composed of women’s clothing, accessories and men’s clothing, it folds into traditional Indian landmarks like the tex
checks made with vintage prints, loungewear embellished in the form of glamorous patchwork caftans and brass-colored jewelry imitating family heirlooms. As Sabyasachi’s house collections venture into couture prices, this collaboration with H&M is more accessible.
We spoke with Sabyasachi in more detail to dig deeper into his expansive design process, how he hopes to be received by new audiences, and more. Read on for the full interview below.
How is this collection different from your own brand?
“Wanderlust” as the name of the collection (not so subtly) is largely inspired by the wonder and experience of descending the very real rabbit hole to travel and explore the rich diversity of our many cultures. It is a recognition of our differences beyond borders and oceans, but also of what unites us. We are a group of nomads from all over the world, despite the pandemic, of course, but on the contrary, the last year has been a reminder of the importance of travel in our lives. So the prints and embroideries that are an integral part of my brand find a very real place in this collection, where we used artisan techniques and, with the help of technology, we were able to bring it to scale.
We saw the boundaries fade into the tailoring with the street inspired tailoring – this was an opportunity to explore that the other way around, so you see the details of the tailoring but with elements of streetwear.
What does expanding your global audience mean to you, especially for clients who are not as familiar with fashion as American and European designers?
I don’t think we’re more limited by geography – our tastes and sensibilities as designers and consumers are now looking for authentic products and experiences that we can find in markets around the world. And my collaboration with H&M is a great introduction to new audiences, while also making my brand accessible to those who know us. But that’s beyond me – I think what collaborations like these do is that they firmly cement India as a market the world can no longer ignore.
What was your biggest challenge in designing this collection?
It was surprisingly smooth, honestly. They understood my vision from the start and were very encouraging throughout. My biggest apprehension was when I created the master samples – I kept wondering how H&M would translate them into production. But my fears subsided the second I saw the collection!
Your creations are so rich in colors and textiles, but this collaboration is much more accessible and discreet. Why did you choose this path?
We do a lot of Indian bridal tailoring, which is, of course, rich in color and textiles. But our repertoire is wider and also includes printed sarees, clothing and even home textiles, where color palettes range from jewel tones to earthy and pastel ones. With this collection, I wanted to take a part of India that would be distinctly Indian, but shape it with a more global sensibility. Basically, I wanted to create an international collection with an Indian soul, heritage but contemporary.
What do you want customers to take away from this collaboration?
Honestly, I want them to have fun with it and enjoy it, and find a part of it in it, because they interpret it and wear it in their own way. And as they engage with this collection, they will become familiar with a more nuanced idea of modern Indian aesthetics, beyond fuchsia pink shots and dancing peacocks. There is a strong and vibrant contemporary clothing culture in India that is deeply influenced by our rich heritage of textiles and crafts, and it is versatile, wearable and beautiful. I hope this collection will spark that wonder of discovering more, paying more attention to our stories, and embracing what modern Indian design has to offer.
The Sabyasachi x H&M collection will be available in store and online at hm.com on August 12.
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