H&M Is Launching Its First-Ever Chinese Designer Capsule With Angel Chen

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From Giambattista Valli and Lanvin to Versace and Stella McCartney, H&M has collaborated with some pretty epic designers over the years. Their latest high-profile joint endeavor? A H&M x Angel Chen collaboration, which is set to release in September and will mark the first time the retailer has worked with a Chinese designer. Not only has Chen created garments for some of China's biggest local celebrities, but the Central Saint Martins-trained creative is only 28 years old — this partnership therefore feels excitingly trailblazing for more reasons than one. Seeing as Chen's brand currently boasts over 60 stockists worldwide, including Lane Crawford, Luisa via Roma, and Selfridges, it's clear that the young designer is out for (and capable of) world domination — this capsule collection will be one for the books.

"Angel Chen is a pioneer Chinese designer brand with its colorful approach to fashion coupled with the brand’s core concept of fusion of Eastern and Western aesthetics,” Magnus Olsson, country manager of H&M Greater China, told WWD in an interview. He went on to add that she “is one of the brightest young talents in China and we are very excited for this collaboration. We hope to arouse more public attention to the Chinese young designers’ creativity and influence within the Chinese as well as international fashion industries.”

Comprised of 45 pieces ranging from $8.58 to $216.57, the collection will include a range of tees, a hoodie, a parka, a bodysuit, and more. Inspired by Fung Fu, the spirit of Chinese martial arts, design motifs that are strongly associated with Chinese culture will adorn the garments, including a pine tree, bamboo, dragon, and crane.

“When I was designing the capsule, my priority was to reflect Chinese culture and my brand identity in a meaningful way, sell through became secondary,” Chen told WWD. “I chose some iconic looks from my archive, and gave it an update in colorway, material and details. For example, we used 100 percent recycled nylon mesh fabric to construct my bodysuit, and that came out of a discussion I had with H&M on how to integrate sustainability into my brand.”

If you take a look at Chen's past designs, you'll see that vibrant colors and patterns, statement silhouettes, tempting textures, and an overt modernity are at their core. From Big Bird-inspired feather coats to striped sweaters with ground-grazing arms, her creations are the epitome of whimsical, yet they still boast an edge that makes them feel undeniably luxury. It's easy to see why H&M, a brand known for its youthful and playful style, would tap Chen.

As explained by Olosson, the partnership was also a strategic means of helping H&M reaching a wider consumer base. “The fashion industry is undergoing a transformation, and consumers are constantly changing. We always aspire to create fashion that offers our local customers something new, delivering a good balance between fashion basics, current fashion and the very latest trends. Therefore, we are experimenting with various ways in different markets around the world to bring outstanding design and products to local consumers," he said.