Erdem Moralıoğlu's designs are known for florals, prints high detail and a lot of experimentation with fabrics. Photo: H&M
Erdem Moralıoğlu has been designing womenswear for years. His signature label launched in 2005. Photo: H&M



CLOTHING RETAILER H&M has chosen its 2017 guest designer: Erdem, the London-based label loved by celebrities and industry insiders alike. The ERDEM x H&M line debuts Nov. 2 and will feature a full wardrobe of his famously feminine womenswear, an accessories line and — for the first time ever — a menswear collection.

Moralıoğlu, a Turkish-Canadian designer, is considered one of fashion’s more romantic creators. Erdem style means prints, high detail and a lot of experimentation with fabrics. His exquisitely crafted pieces celebrate the power of beauty by exploring historical references and personal narratives. He’s a red-carpet favorite, worn by the likes of Nicole Kidman, Keira Knightley, Ruth Negga and Emma Stone. 

The line will be promoted, in part, by movie director Baz Luhrmann (Moulin Rouge, Strictly Ballroom, The Great Gatsby), who’s conceptualizing the ad campaign through video. Think of an artsy commercial, as seen in this teaser:

H&M has been collaborating with high-end designers for years. Karl Lagerfeld was the first, followed by Stella McCartney. This collaboration, Erdem says, allows him to look back at his career since the label launched in 2005.

“It was fun to reflect on what I’ve done over the past 12 years.” 

Erdem and twin sister Sara were born in Montreal to a Turkish father and English mother. He moved to London in 2000 to study fashion at the Royal College of Art. The Erdem label has become one of London’s more successful. Erdem himself has won multiple awards, including Womenswear Designer of the Year at the British Fashion awards in 2014. Some of the most prestigious stores in the world carry his collections.

 H&M creative adviser Ann-Sofie Johansson (from left), designer Erdem mmmmm and filmmaker Baz Luhrmann on the video set in England.
H&M creative adviser Ann-Sofie Johansson (from left), designer Erdem Moralıoğlu and filmmaker Baz Luhrmann at the video shoot in England. Photo: H&M

His designs are instantly recognizable. “I love narratives,” he says. “Whenever I start a collection, I try to understand who the character is that season, what she thinks, who she is.”

His thought processes lead to collections that are like time travel, connecting different stories and filtering them through a 21st-century perspective. He loves to create pieces that feel totally modern — and as if they’ve existed forever. 

Floral prints are in every Erdem collection. “I’ve always been fascinated by things that explore femininity,” he says, “whether it’s lace or flowers or the aesthetics of beauty.”

The H&M collection is still a secret, but Erdem says one of his inspirations was the Bruce Weber video for the Pet Shop Boys’ song “Being Boring.” 

“It’s about a group of young people at a country-house mansion. It’s that idea of a country getaway with boys and girls dressing up and playing with their look, with girls in ball gowns and sneakers, and also sharing a wardrobe with guys.

With the ERDEM x H&M collection, the designer is creating menswear for the first time. Photo: H&M
With the ERDEM x H&M collection, the designer is creating menswear for the first time. Photo: H&M

“It’s very personal,” he says. “The collection reinterprets some of the codes that have defined my work. It’s also inspired by much of my youth, from the English films, ’90s TV shows and music videos I grew up watching, to memories of the style that defined members of my family.”

Erdem is known for his craftsmanship, a talent he brings to the H&M collaboration. “It’s all so beautifully finished,” he says. “It’s the way I approach every collection, turning it inside out and making sure that every detail is perfect.” 

And menswear? “I found it a real joy,” he says. “It’s really about looking at a wardrobe of pieces and focusing on the exact design details. There has to be an easiness to menswear, and a sense of reality. I’m so happy with it.”

Also top-secret at this point: what pieces in the ERDEM x H&M line will cost. Typically prices in these collaboration collections retail closer to H&M prices than high-demand-designer prices.

H&M has a retail store online and stores at Atlantic Station, Cumberland and Perimeter malls, and Lithonia’s Mall at Stonecrest.


About E. Vincent Martinez

E. Vincent Martinez is a fashion and lifestyle expert and the creator of Fashionado, a fashion, lifestyle and trend website. He was born in Havana, grew up in Miami, earned his B.F.A. from Miami’s Barry University, trained at the Penland School of Crafts (North Carolina) and earned an M.F.A. in photography from the Rochester Institute of Technology (New York). He’s a full-time professor at the Art Institute of Atlanta and the founder of “Doggies on the Catwalk,” an annual fundraiser that pairs celebrities with service dogs from Canine Assistants in a runway show.

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