The Armory Arena in Manhattan's Washington Heights neighborhood turned into part boxing ring, part adventure course for the event, with the runway fittingly resembling a circular jogging track rather than the average linear catwalk.
Rapper Missy Eliott shared the stage with Alexander Wang, asking the audience "Did you all come to look cute or did you come to party?" Given the occasion, one would have to say 'both'.
True to his usual sporty, bold basic look, Wang kept it urban and contemporary for H&M, a collection that should please fashion-conscious sports warriors as it comes complete with accessories like boxing gloves, footballs, hockey sticks, backpacks and beanie hats. “We started doing objects in our own collections a couple of years ago and with this, it felt very authentic to do sports accessories,” commented Wang at the launch in New York.
To make sure the monochromatic pieces in dark greys, blacks and whites do not become boring, Wang used cut-outs and creative shapes to make his pieces stand out. Add to that big “Wang” logos – especially on caps, sleeves and sports accessories - and you can be sure people will notice whose collection you are wearing.
Tech textile freaks can look forward to some functional details for some of the pieces like a reflective silver down jacket with side ventilation zips, a black parka with webbing zipper pulls, a water-resistant black windbreaker with bonded seams and hood designed to fit like a baseball cap and a black motorcycle jacket made with leather or scuba material.
Wang’s collection is H&M's 18th guest designer collaboration, which started with Karl Lagerfeld in 2004. Last year's collection by Isabel Marant drew large crowds to H&M's online and offline stores across the globe and was sold out in hours.
Alexander Wang's collaboration with H&M was announced at the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival in California in April of this year and has been eagerly awaited ever since. The collection will be available online and in 250 select H&M stores from 6th November onward. Crowds can be expected if previous launches are anything to go by but this time, at least they'll have boxing gloves to don too.Photos: Alexander Wang/H&M