Alex Katz Nabbed to Design Capsule Collection for Fast-Fashion Giant H&M

The fast-fashion giant has its eyes set on artist collaborations.

US artist Alex Katz poses past one of his piece of art titled "Gold and Black 2" during the presentation of the "This is Now" exhibition at the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao. Courtesy ANDER GILLENEA/AFP/Getty Images.

Swedish fast-fashion giant H&M is no stranger to successful collaborations with high-end designer labels; the release dates of these often see customers eagerly waiting outside store doors long before opening, and items sell out online within minutes.

But for the first time, H&M has commissioned a contemporary artist to design a collection: American painter Alex Katz will be creating clothing for men and women in addition to homewares, to be unveiled on December 1. (In 2014, Jeff Koons produced a handbag for the retailer, but the partnership did not include a full scale collection.)

This comes in the wake of the highly-anticipated KENZO x H&M capsule collection scheduled for November 3, in which clothing is already marked up at seven times the retail price on eBay, according to the Daily Mail.

While details of the Katz collaboration remain mum—as official images have yet to be released—one can bet that this, too, will see successful results, if the designs are anything similar to Katz’s poppy and colorful figurative paintings.

“The partnership with H&M surpassed my expectations,” Katz said in a statement to Vogue. “It is exciting for me to work with H&M to make my art more accessible to more people.”

This won’t be Katz’s first foray into the world of retail. Last year, Barneys New York announced its second partnership with Art Production Fund (APF): a collaboration with Katz on a limited-edition collection which consisted of home goods and gift items.

Alex Katz, born in Brooklyn, New York in 1927, and has been shown in museums and galleries internationally for decades. Recent exhibitions include The Serpentine, London (2016); The High Museum, Atlanta (2015); Guggenheim, Bilbao (2015–6); Tate St Ives; Turner Contemporary, Margate (both 2012), and The National Portrait Gallery, London (2010).

“His portraits and landscapes are characterized by their flatness of color and fluidity of line,” wrote London’s Serpentine Gallery for the release of his 2016 summer exhibition. “He reinvents both genres within the context of abstract painting and contemporary image-making.”


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