It was 2004 when H&M released its first-ever designer collaboration with the legendary Karl Lagerfeld, which set a precedent for the high street brand’s forthcoming designer collabs.
Like clockwork, the brand has continued to release at least one, if not two designer collaborations per year ever since.
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Each time, the collection sells out within hours and hits the secondary market for two or three times the price of the original. You have to be in it to win it.
Over the years, H&M has collaborated with some of the biggest names in fashion, from the aforementioned Karl Lagerfeld to Versace, Balmain and Stella McCartney to name a few.
The most recent designer collaboration came in May 2023, when H&M released teamed up Mugler on an exciting collection of bodysuits, cut out leggings, blazer dresses and more.
Before that came the 2021 collab with Irish designer Simone Rocha, which sold out within mere hours.
While we wait for the next collab we’re predicting will come in 2024, I decided to rank our top 10 favourite H&M collabs of all time.
Keep scrolling to see who comes out on top.
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10. Stella McCartney (2005)
Stella McCartney’s collaboration with H&M was timeless. The British designer’s signature style is creating effortless and ultra-wearable garments, which was of course a great match for the Swedish company.
The collection mirrored her main line, which was greatly appreciated by high street shoppers, and the collection included her signature trousers, blazers and blouses as well as boho-chic dresses.
9. Simone Rocha (2021)
From the beaded hair clips and earrings, to the tulle and pearl-embellished dresses, the collection was exquisite.
The campaign saw Kaia Gerber, Daisy Edgar-Jones [above] and Helena Bonham Carter posing in ribbons, pearls and voluminous silhouettes.
The demand for this collaborative collection reached unprecedented heights. The collection sold out in minutes, leaving many fans of the designer disappointed (and empty-handed), while in China it literally broke the Internet, giving Kim Kardashian a run for her money.
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8. Roberto Cavalli (2007)
Next up is Italian designer Roberto Cavalli’s collection for the high street hero. Cavalli’s signature look is ultra-glamorous and sexy, with his collection’s always full of fantasy with embellishment, sequins and bold prints.
There is absolutely no way Cavalli was creating a wardrobe of everyday basics for H&M. The collection was full of glittering mini-dresses in gold lamé, animal print and sequins. For the men’s collection, there were even dapper tuxedos.
Cavalli’s collaboration captured the party-girl ethos and was perfect for a Saturday night out – even years on.
7. Moschino (2018)
The Moschino collection is probably the most playful and fun collection to date.
H&M teamed up with Moschino and designer Jeremy Scott for a party-ready range, which featured skin-tight bodysuits, knee-high lace-up leather boots, and a wealth of ’90s pop culture references such as hi-fi speakers (who remembers these?) and MTV.
Disney’s iconic Mickey Mouse even found itself featuring front and centre on many of the pieces.
6. Alexander Wang (2014)
Alexander Wang became the first American designer to collaborate with H&M on the brand’s 10th anniversary of collaborating with designers.
The drop was heavily inspired by functional sportswear, in keeping with his ready-to-wear collections, with leggings, hoodies, and t-shirts in whites, greys, and blacks. Joan Smalls demonstrated just how much we needed the pieces in the campaign.
5. Lanvin (2010)
While we expected Lanvin’s extravagant designs to be near-impossible to make on a high street budget, the collection managed to encapsulate a sense of the brand’s magic.
It had people rushing out for the couture-inspired ruffled dresses, faux-fur coats, graphic statement T-shirts and elaborate jewellery.
The success of the 2010 collab can in part be contributed to Alber Elbaz’s openness with H&M. He commented, “I decided to give H&M our Lanvin secrets, the patterns, everything. In the end, you really only have what you give away.”
The collection captured not only Elbaz’s spirit, but also converted many of his signature designs to the high street for the masses to enjoy.
4. Versace (2011)
Donatella Versace emulated her own image in the brand’s H&M collaboration, turning models into Donatella lookalikes head-to-toe in Versace’s signature Greek key motif. It was the first time a H&M collab included home décor.
The collection embraced colour, patterns and prints, crashing H&M’s website within minutes. The re-sale prices were astronomical on the secondary market, with people even paying for garment bags and paper shopping bags on eBay. It was so successful, H&M brought it back for a second season.
Prince performed at the New York launch party, the seal of approval from one of the greatest musicians and style icons of our time.
3. Comme des Garçons (2008)
Comme des Garçons collection for H&M comes in at number three for us.
The cult Japanese fashion label founded and headed by Rei Kawakubo is world-renowned for its boundary-pushing, gender-fluid streetwear and the collection made this cool unique aesthetic available to the high street.
We entered the world of digital drop countdowns and hour-long queues for this designer collection for H&M.
Rei Kawakubo was also no stranger to collaborations having previously partnered with the likes of Disney, Supreme, Converse, Nike, and many more.
2. Balmain (2015)
Olivier Rousteing designed arguably the most popular H&M collaboration to date.
It’s hard to top Balmain’s collection in the millennial wow-factor department. Rousteing enlisted the help of his supermodel friends Kendall Jenner, Gigi Hadid and Joan Smalls along with the Backstreet Boys to lend star power to his collection for H&M.
Through social media, Balmain and H&M invited their fans to join a movement of togetherness with #HMBalmaination.
The hype of the campaign wasn’t the only think that made his collection memorable; Rousteing remade some of his most recognisable runway pieces for H&M, giving all shoppers the opportunity to feel like stars.
1. Karl Lagerfeld (2004)
The #1 spot of course has to go to the legendary Karl Lagerfeld. It was too iconic not to take first place.
At the time, it was a ground-breaking move that made high fashion accessible to all.
The collection included sequin jackets, cashmere coats, lace dresses and of course the Lagerfeld silhouette T-shirt. The entire collection sold out within minutes of release and set a precedent for all future collaborations.
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