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H&M’s Next Designer Collaboration Is With Mugler

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H&M is bringing sexy back — with the help of Mugler.

The Swedish fashion chain, resuming its high-profile designer collaborations in the post-pandemic period, announced Wednesday a tie-up with the Paris-based fashion house, confirming an earlier WWD report.

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The collaboration, under the director of Mugler’s creative director Casey Cadwallader, will be available online and in stores for spring 2023.

Mugler declined all comment.

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The Mugler brand, founded by Thierry Mugler in 1974 and a major fashion force in the ’80s and early ’90s, has been making fresh waves in recent years thanks to fierce collections and runway spectacles by Casey Cadwallader, artistic director of the fashion house since 2017.

Its notoriety and cultural impact have also been fanned by the hit “Thierry Mugler: Couturissime” exhibition, on through May 7 at the Brooklyn Museum after originating in Montreal in 2019 and touching down in Paris in 2021.

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Mugler RTW Fall 2022

A look from Mugler’s fall 2022 collection.

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Giovanni Giannoni/WWD

H&M stated that this collection will “encapsulate the unique and vibrant spirit of Mugler.” Its unapologetically sexy brand of power dressing would reach to a wider audience.

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Now best known for its unapologetically sexy brand of power dressing, the brand sells its anatomically designed jeans, barely there catsuits and strong-shouldered tailoring on its website and to select retail partners include Net-a-porter, Ssense, Mytheresa and Nordstrom.

H&M, which ignited high-low collaborations with a blockbuster 2004 collection by Karl Lagerfeld, has also sold collections by Stella McCartney, Moschino, Maison Margiela, Balmain, Isabel Marant, Comme des Garçons, Lanvin, Versace, Simon Rocha and Giambattista Valli.

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Most of them sold out briskly, occasionally unleashing pandemonium in the Swedish retailer’s flagship stores.

But its latest collaborations have been infrequent and more low-key, including a 2022 Iris Apfel x H&M line.

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It is understood H&M plans to put major firepower behind its 2023 design collaborations as competition for market share in the fast-fashion sector heats up.

Sources said a second designer collaboration is planned for later in the year with Puig-owned fashion house Paco Rabanne.

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The Paris-based house, which showed its spring 2023 collection at the tail end of July’s couture week, is back on the official Paris Fashion Week schedule, slated to show on March 1 at 5:30 p.m.

Contacted on Tuesday by WWD, Rabanne officials declined to comment.

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Rabanne’s creative director Julien Dossena has been leading the house, famed for its Space Age designs, since 2013, applying his meticulous, contemporary touch.

Spanish founder Paco Rabanne died earlier this month at age 88, remembered for his futuristic vision and use of nonconventional materials.

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Claire McCardell’s American Style to Be Spotlighted at Museum at FIT

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The renewed interest in the work of Claire McCardell is still going strong, with the Museum at FIT gearing up for Wednesday’s opening of “Claire McCardell: Practicality, Liberation, Innovation.”

Decades have passed since the designer pioneered the American look, but her influence on American sportswear prevails. Zippers, pockets, ballet flats and wrap dresses were all part of the designer’s arsenals of firsts. Tory Burch, whose spring-summer 2022 collection was inspired by McCardell, is a champion of her work. Somehow, 65 years after her death in 1958 at the age of 52, the designer’s work is gaining more interest with new generations of creatives.

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Strong-willed and pragmatic, McCardell’s indelible mark — the understated (but not undone) casual American look — was forward-thinking in the previously cookie-cutter dressing of the mid-’50s. Well-proportioned and affordable, her clothes, which spanned from bathing suits to ready-to-wear, were designed with a wide range of body types in mind. Understanding that “clothes may make the woman, but the woman can also make the clothes,” McCardell once said, “When the dress runs away with the woman, it’s a horror.”

Nine McCardell-crafted garments drawn from the Study Collection at the Museum at FIT will be on display through April 16 on the FIT campus. Seniors in the school’s art history and museum professions undergraduate program Nico Frederick, Christina Pene, and Emma Sosebee have curated the show, which also includes reproductions of advertising,

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In addition to the student-curated show at the Museum at FIT, the “Claire McCardell” exhibition is on view at the Maryland Center for History and Culture’s Museum in Baltimore through November. McCardell’s designs are featured with family letters, interviews and archival documents. The show was curated by the Tory Burch Claire McCardell fashion fellow Robyn Levy, whose fellowship was made possible by the Tory Burch Foundation. Last year Burch penned the foreword for the reissue of McCardell’s 1956 book “What Shall I Wear? The What, Where, When and How Much of Fashion.”

On another front, the Museum at FIT will unveil “¡Moda Hoy! Latin American and Latinx Fashion Design Today” on May 31. The exhibition will celebrate the work of designers of Latin American descent including stalwarts like Aldolfo Sardiña, Carolina Herrera, Oscar de la Renta, Alexandre Herchcovitch, Edmundo Castillo, Victor Alfaro, and Haider Ackermann, as well as Willy Chavarria, Maria Cornejo, Isabel Toledo, Gabriela Hearst, Jonathan Cohen, Nous Etudions’ Romina Cardillo, Luar’s Raul Lopez and Kika Vargas. With text in English and Spanish, the show will feature 60 objects from the museum’s permanent collection, including multiple new acquisitions. The show will run through Nov. 12.

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Diane von Furstenberg Exhibition Slated for Brussels Fashion & Lace Museum

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Diane von Furstenberg will be the subject of an upcoming exhibition at The Fashion and Lace Museum in Brussels, where the designer was born.

“Woman Before Fashion,” which will be on view from April 21 to Jan. 7, 2024, will explore von Furstenberg’s career in fashion with a focus on the iconic wrap dress, as the silhouette prepares to celebrate its 50th anniversary in 2024.

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The museum’s curator, Nicolas Lor, has divided the exhibition into four chapters, recognizing von Furstenberg as both a person and a designer. The pieces presented in the exhibition came from the archives of the House of Diane von Furstenberg.

“It is both exciting and emotional to be honored with the first European exhibition of my work in my native city, Brussels,” said von Furstenberg.

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The Fashion & Lace Museum, founded in 1977, is housed in a group of historic houses in the heart of Brussels close to the Grand-Place. It holds some 20,000 items. Lace, clothing and accessories are on display dating from the 16th century. Its collections are the most important in the world for Brussels’ creation and clothing.

As reported, Lor has also written a book called “Woman Before Fashion,” which will be published by Rizzoli in late September and ties in with the exhibition. The book features nostalgic and contemporary photographs of DVF’s journey as a designer, featuring original essays discussing the intersection of DVF and her designs with feminism, gender politics and entrepreneurship. It also shows the wrap dress worn by DVF, and models such as Jerry Hall, Naomi Campbell and Cindy Crawford.

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In addition, von Furstenberg is the subject of a documentary being directed by Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy, a Pakistani-Canadian journalist, filmmaker and activist, which will be out in January on Hulu.

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G-Star Raw Releases AI-designed Denim Collection

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G-Star Raw is going deeper into the technology space with its latest denim launch.

The fashion brand on Tuesday released an AI-designed denim collection that was created with AI app Midjourney. With the app, G-Star Raw created 12 cape-like denim designs and ultimately manufactured one style, which will be displayed at the brand’s Antwerp store. 

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“Innovation is ingrained in the G-Star DNA,” said Gwenda van Vliet, chief merchandising officer at G-Star Raw. “We believe in giving our fashion designers the freedom to bring their dreams through AI. While anyone could make a design using AI, at G-Star Raw we have the craftsmanship to make those designs into real garments. We should see AI as enhancing the creative process, rather than taking it over.” 

G-Star Raw's AI-designed denim

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G-Star Raw’s AI-designed denim.

Courtesy of G-Star Raw

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G-Star Raw’s AI-designed denim collection falls in line with the recent wave of AI technology infiltrating the fashion industry. There have been apps such as Midjourney and Stable Diffusion, which are art and image generators, and ChatGPT, which generates elaborate written responses based on a user’s prompt. 

While these AI platforms are still new to the fashion world, some companies have already started embracing them. For example, Pantone looked to Midjourney last December to create an immersive visual experience for its 2023 Pantone color of the year, Viva Magenta. 

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The AI-designed collection is also G-Star Raw’s first major initiative of the year. Last year the brand introduced a “Haute Denim” hat collection created by designer Stephen Jones. The brand also released a campaign last fall featuring model Cara Delevingne for its fall denim campaign.

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