As part of H&M’s latest high-low collaboration launching Aug. 12, the collection, called ‘Wanderlust,’ mixes traditional Indian style with contemporary design. It will make designer Sabyasachi Mukherjee’s famed Indian fabrics and prints accessible to wide audiences.
This is H&M’s first global Indian designer collaboration. The collection ranges from sequined kaftans for women to printed sets for men, priced up to $299.
“A long time ago, I had promised myself that when the time was right, I would make a collaborative (ready-to-wear) line for my consumers, so that I can reach out to the many requests I have gotten over the years to make my creations more affordable,” Mukherjee said.
Sabyasachi said it’s time for India to move past its image as a manufacturing hub, and for the country’s designers to “cross over into the mainstream.” The country has a rich design history, rooted in traditional textiles and crafts — it is as diverse as India itself, from streetwear to bridal couture.
“India is not yet a market as significant as China in terms of scale, but it is definitely emerging, and I think collaborations like these firmly cement India as a market that the globe should no longer ignore,” Mukherjee said.
Fern Mallis, the creator of New York Fashion Week and an industry consultant working with Mumbai’s Lakme Fashion Week, has for the past decade heard Indian designers aspire to become global brands and sell in America.
She also said the collaboration could help clear up misconceptions Westerners can have about Indian clothing — that they are either overly-embellished wedding clothes or “hippie-dippie.”
“It’s been frustrating to me because I wear a ton of clothes from designers from India,” Mallis said. “I’m always stopped and asked where I got it, but the answer is always, ‘sorry no, it’s from India.'”
Mukherjee said it’s smart business for him to embrace a new market with a multicultural vision. He also has plans to launch accessories and beauty globally.
“It was my mission to make H&M’s first sari, it’s my pièce de résistance, and an absolute coup to convince H&M to make a Sabyasachi sari,” Mukherjee said.
One of India’s most famous designers is teaming up with H&M