H&M is no stranger to sellout designer collaborations. In 2017, the Swedish fashion brand teamed up with the Canadian-born, London-based designer Erdem Moralioglu on a collection which featured a full wardrobe of the designer's famously feminine pieces, an accessories line and, for the first time ever, a menswear collection.
Last year, H&M continued its tradition of working with fashion's biggest hitters by joining forces with Giambattista Valli just in time for party season. The collection of delectable tulle dresses complete with red carpet-ready accessories sold out within hours, of course. And July of this year saw the high street giant hook up with Beirut-based Sandra Mansour to create a womenswear line. In the wake of last month's devastating explosion in the Lebanese capital, H&M launched the collection with a donation of £80,000 to support the work of the Lebanese Red Cross.
Now the high street favourite has joined forces with iconic '90s streetwear brand Kangol, in collaboration with BRIT award-winner Mabel. Some of the 31-piece collection has been co-designed by the singer herself and features a complete wardrobe of pieces perfect for autumn, from hooded jackets and long puffers to slouchy cardigans and cosy sweaters.
Kangol was founded in the 1930s and has long remained a streetwear staple among the fashion crowd for its effortless nod to '80s and '90s hip hop culture. Mabel, whose hits include "Don't Call Me Up" and "Boyfriend", has co-created pieces inspired by the throwback decades and priced from £6.99 to £34.99, including a streetwear take on the slip dress, a pair of Kangol joggers and – yep, you guessed it – bucket hats and beanies galore.
"I am so excited about this collection with Kangol and H&M. Streetwear is in my blood and Kangol is such a legendary brand. It's amazing to collaborate with Kangol and H&M, and to share my creativity and my style with a new generation," Mabel says.
"Kangol x H&M feat Mabel is a dream collaboration for us at H&M, uniting an iconic streetwear brand with one of the most authentic and genuine young music artists around," adds Emily Björkeheim, H&M's Head of Design Divided. "It's about that '90s streetwear attitude updated for today, a style that Mabel has made her own. There's so many hits, from the famous bucket hat, to the slim midi dress and autumn's hero piece, the puffer jacket."
As part of the launch, Mabel will reveal a new interactive video for her track "Bad Behaviour" on Instagram stories. Ahead, we catch up with the 24-year-old singer about what she loves about the collection, how she's been spending her time during lockdown and the artist she wants to hit the studio with next.
Can you tell us what you love about the Kangol x H&M collection?
I love how wearable yet stylish the collection is. You can dress all the pieces up or down and go from day to night easily.
What are your must-have pieces from the collection?
My favourite pieces are all of the knits. They’re so comfy.
Where do you find inspiration for both your music and style?
My inspiration comes from everything around me! I am definitely heavily inspired by the '90s though, which is why I love this collection so much.
You've really shot to stardom since your mix tape Ivy to Roses. How does it feel?
I feel so grateful for how far I’ve come in the last few years. I have an incredible team and amazing fans that have helped me get to where I am.
What's the writing process like for you?
Songwriting is like journalling for me. It’s how I process things that are going on in my life and how I express myself. I write about real things and I’m very honest in my songwriting.
2020 has been A Year, hasn't it? You've featured on Clean Bandit's third studio album with "Tick Tock", what else have you been up to?
2020 has been a crazy year but I’ve definitely been keeping myself busy with music. I’ve been working on new music and experimenting with my sound and using the time at home to just have fun with my creativity.
You also gave us a stunning stripped back version of your 2019 album High Expectations. Can you talk us through the process – why did you choose to strip it back?
The stripped version of High Expectations was something that me and my team started working on in lockdown. I wanted to give my fans a version of the album that was more intimate and that made the songwriting and the vocals stand out even more than before.
What's next for you? Any 2021 plans (fingers crossed post-pandemic)?
I want to continue to put out music and keep making people feel good with my songwriting. Another album is definitely something that I’m working on but it’s a process that can’t be rushed!
You've collaborated with a lot of artists this year. Who else would you love to get in the studio with?
There’s so many people I would love to collaborate with but my dream collaboration is definitely Pharrell Williams.
What are you listening to right now, anyone you love that we should have on our playlists?
I’m listening to a lot of RnB at the moment! I love Kiana Ledé, Kehlani, Summer Walker, Col3trane.