“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 endless creative possibilities, it also allows us to propose a more sustainable and inclusive fashion vision that can be accessed by anyone, anywhere in the world,”
Ann-Sofie Johansson, creative advisor at H&M.
Taking inspiration from the immersive potential of the Metaverse as well as the tactile beauty of the physical world, the ready-to-wear collection invites self-expression and explores sustainability in three dimensions. The first comprises the stand-out womenswear and menswear looks and a series of accessories designed with circularity in mind. The second sees multiple pieces available as part of a rental programme in selected H&M stores. Then there is the third dimension, the digital collection, co-designed and crafted 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 an internet-breaking colour palette. For women, a corset-waisted, neon-yellow dress with a dramatic tulle skirt dominates the spotlight. For men, an oversized black beaded bomber jacket offsets relaxed tailoring. In accessories, women’s wrap-around metallic sandals spiral to the thigh, while futuristic jewellery for men and women takes its cues from liquid metal that looks as though it’s been plumped by pixels. The more-is-more styling has been brought to life by Ibrahim Kamara, creative advisor to H&M for this project.
Circularity is a key focus for the collection. Several pieces feature recycled polyester fibres made entirely out of old garments and textile waste collected in partnership with H&M’s garment-collection programme in stores. One form-fitting dress in the collection has been made 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 blazer-and-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 partnership with the Institute of Digital Fashion, an AR fashion lens powered by Snap 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 excited to partner with H&M on a digital collection that pushes the boundaries of fashion as we know it, breaking free of physical restraints to embrace pure creativity. These digital garments are for every body, extending beyond seasons, beyond gender and beyond realities, and helping us to consider the planet,”
Leanne Elliott Young and Cattytay, co-founders of the Institute of Digital Fashion.
The H&M Metaverse experience
Customers wanting to learn more about the collection will be able to dive into an immersive Metaverse experience on hm.com. This interactive virtual space, available from 1 December, celebrates the unique digital garments that were made for the collection, and gives customers a glimpse into the future, where digital art expands the expressive possibilities of fashion.
About H&M Innovation Stories
H&M Innovation Stories was launched in early 2021 and comprises a series of themed collections dedicated to promoting more sustainable materials, technologies and production processes. Previous themes have encompassed animal-friendly fashion and alternatives to animal-derived materials, circular design strategies and fabrics that reclaim waste, and more sustainable methods of working with colour. The project goes hand-in-hand with H&M’s fashion rental service, established in 2019 in its Stockholm flagship store with a selection of occasionwear styles from past Conscious Exclusive collections. The rental programme currently operates in three stores in Stockholm, Berlin and Amsterdam.