How Mr Porter and H&M have redefined the fashion industry

It seems that 2016 is the year for high-powered collaborations. Not only has online menswear destination Mr Porter once again teamed up with Swedish label COS to create a 35-piece capsule of luxury casual goods but French label Kenzo has joined forces with fellow Swede H&M to release a collection of kaleidoscopic streetwear.

High end casuals

Available online, the Mr Porter x COS collection - dubbed The Art of Everyday - builds on and expands the themes created in their first collection together, Summer 2015's The Modern Traveller.

"What's exciting about this collection is that we were able to explore a capsule fit for the autumn winter season," explains Todd.

"The collection is anchored in by its tailoring, rich colour palette, and autumnal textures and fabrications, which lend themselves naturally to the season. This collection will also feature a greater number of pieces, showcasing a complete capsule of essentials."

The Art of Everyday does pretty much what it says on the box: a curated selection of versatile separates that offer a "head-to-toe wardrobe solution for the modern man". Expect to find a range of high end staples include tactile knitwear, trousers, shirts, outerwear in shades of dusty pink, gray, brown and navy - some of the key colours Australians can expect to see next autumn.

High octane on the high street

Coincidentally – or maybe not when you realise they're also the parent company for COS – H&M will release their collaboration with luxury French label Kenzo several days later.

In contrast to the more subdued MPxCOS range, this fusion instead features everything from faux fur, psychedelic animal prints to the more simple everyday items with the brand's tiger motif as the only nod to the theme.

(For the less outgoing gent, if you were going to pick anything from this collection, the chelsea boots with the green sole and any of the bomber jackets will be your best bet.)

So what's the appeal of such partnerships?


Easy on the eye and even easier on the wallet.

Big names working with high street brands have become an almost an annual event. In fact, it's a business model that H&M has been at the forefront of, having worked with some of the biggest luxury brands and celebrities to create sell-out capsules. (Although they weren't the first – that honour goes to American chainstore JC Penney who teamed up with American designer Halston way back in 1983.)

On a business level it's the chance to broaden a brand's market base – a democratisation of fashion if you will.

While the sales achieved by some of these may only make a small portion of the overall revenue for both brands, the marketing and hype that surrounds it drives more shoppers to the store.

Then there's the lust factor. Most of us are probably not able to regularly drop several thousand dollars on runway fashion.

In the past, collaborations produced by high street labels like H&M make those elite brands more accessible to the general population. Although as their infamy and collectability rises, so has the cost. But for the most part, prices are still generally more in line with the more affordable brand.

The evolution of fashion

Considering the increasing hype that surrounds the partnerships with H&M (who can forget Balmaination) we can definitely expect more big designers lining up in the future. And it seems Mr Porter is open to the prospect too.

"Both COS and MR PORTER I'm sure will continue on conversations to produce another collection," hints Todd.

"However this will only work when appropriate for both sides In a similar fashion to waiting for a few seasons to launch the second collection, we want to showcase capsule collections which are relevant, fresh and something new for our customers. We very much enjoy working with the COS team!"

Check out the gallery above to see the full H&M x Kenzo collection.