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The sporting life of Wang and H&M

By Chen Jie | China Daily | Updated: 2014-11-18 07:34

The sporting life of Wang and H&M

Chinese singer Li Yuchun attends a launch party for Alexander Wang's collaboration with H&M in Shanghai. Photo provided to China Daily

Swedish street-fashion brand H&M has collaborated with famous designers, such as Versace, Lanvin and Margiela, to launch special collections for 10 years. Wang is the first American designer in this project.

Margareta van den Bosch, H&M's creative adviser and formerly head of design for H&M for 30 years, says the company has followed Wang for a while. "With the sports influence that is in fashion today, I think it was a brilliant moment to bring him in."

Previous H&M designer collections have been mostly redos of the best of the labels' archives. But Wang wanted to do something brand new.

"I don't want to just reintroduce the kind of things I've done in the past. I want to do something that really excites not only my customers and H&M customers, but new customers. It does not matter if you are a luxury customer or a mass customer, if you are active or not. Anyone can really find something in this collection."

Wang says the point isn't to take luxury and make it cheaper: "When you spend $60 on a sports top or running shorts, you want to buy something of quality, made properly."

He used fabrics and techniques that suit sports; most of the line was made in Italy.

He enjoyed the collaboration and says he learned a lot from it.

"We designed everything together-from the string on the hand tag, to the pin, to the finish of the label."

To Wang, the hardest part was editing. They looked at almost every sport, including boxing, wrestling, skiing and surfing. He designed a lot of things from clothes to accessories such as boxing gloves, laceup stiletto boots, sports bras, key rings and bottles, and had to take many out in the end.

Interestingly, Wang said the boxing gloves are among his favorite pieces.

"You don't really use them. I don't box but I just want to have them and put in the room, you know. I just like to own those beautiful things and interesting-looking things."

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