ERDEM Tells All About His Innovative H&M Collaboration

ERDEM Tells All About His Innovative H&M Collaboration

We talk to the eponymous fashion designer about his collaboration with H&M and his first ever menswear pieces.

We talk to the eponymous fashion designer about his collaboration with H&M and his first ever menswear pieces.

Text: Danielle Combs

This calendar item is featured in V110, available for pre-order here

Fashion house ERDEM has mastered the art of meshing the bold with the delicate since its launch in 2005. Now, they're taking that expert blend and craftsmanship to H&M. The fast-fashion retailer is working with Erdem Moralioglu for their latest designer collaboration, combining their accessibility with the brand's high-quality materials and flare for florals to create a highly-anticipated range of clothes and accessories. The line also marks Erdem's first foray into menswear, a move that could lead to a potential breakthrough for the eponymous house.

Ahead of the collection's launch tomorrow, we talked to the designer about working with H&M, his process for creating menswear for the first time, and how his heritage influenced the designs this time around.

After your first experience designing menswear, do you think you'll bring menswear into future collections in a more permanent way, or was it a one-off experience for you?

It’s been such a pleasure creating this menswear collection, and I’m so excited to see how men react to ERDEM X H&M around the world. I wanted to create a complete collection that stands on its own, and I hope men will find something that they want to wear for years to come. Designing a menswear collection came very naturally, the character of who he was felt connected to who she was. It was interesting to see how the men’s collection influenced the women’s and vice versa. I wanted to create a men’s collection that stands on its own. It was about creating beautifully made pieces that you would hold on forever.

With florals being such an important motif through all of your collections, how do you continually reinterpret the theme and manage to keep it current and interesting without feeling repetitive? 

I’m often asked why I work with flowers and lace. They’re the codes of femininity. There’s a language of things that are feminine that I find fascinating. I have a twin sister, so I grew up with this idea of femininity being something that was powerful, and something that was equal. I never ever equated femininity with something that was ever weak. Prettiness or the idea of femininity is a strength, and I found that so interesting to apply to men as well. There’s a tremendous power in women.

For ERDEM x H&M, I was looking at flowers from a decorative point of view, thinking about the Englishness of upholstery fabrics and wallpapers from the 1930s and '40s. I was playing with scale and formality, like the small flowers we’ve used on the silk pyjamas, or the wildflower jacquard for the tailored blazer.

What part of the process of creating a collection for H&M was most exciting for you?

It’s been so fun to create pieces I’ve never designed before. It’s how I felt creating the men’s collection, and also pieces from the women’s, such as the hoodie. It was such a forensic design process, because I had to think, "What would my hoodie look like? How would it be? How would people wear it?" It’s such a rewarding way to work.

You mentioned memories of your family's style as being an influence in this collection and an influence to you generally; can you speak more to that, and how fashion played a role in your life growing up?

I loved looking back to my memories of childhood in Canada. There are functional reasons, because this is a collection that’s going into stores at the beginning of winter, so we have put removable linings into coats, or made fleeces in the men’s collection. But it was also about a way of dressing, and remembering how my sister would wear a fleece over a tea-dress when she was going out, or how my mother would wear our father’s coat over her shoulders when she drove us to school. It’s an attitude that I hope comes across in the whole collection.

Credits: Photos via H&M

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