Stay Swathed in Denim with H&M’s Conscious Collection

Sandra Rieder and Chloe Wheatcroft (Muse) wear H&M Conscious Collection. Photos by Jaesung Lee.

We live in our denim — there’s simply nothing else that makes more sense for our lives. H&M has given us new reason to stay swathed in the stuff with the launch of the new Conscious Collection, available to shop now in stores and online. The materials that make up the collection are more sustainable than ever, and the processes used to create each wash are scrutinized for minimal environmental impact. To top it off, the collection is gorgeous. Smart and pretty? Sounds like the perfect package.

Sandra wears an H&M Conscious Collection cardigan, H&M zipper turtleneck, and refurbished jeans by Rialto Jean Project. Chloe’s overcoat by H&M Conscious Collection.
Chloe wears H&M Conscious Collection bra top, embroidered button down (worn over the shoulder) and skinny jeans, Sandra wears H&M Conscious Collection jumpsuit and sweatshirt, and Cosabella bra.

Photographer: Jaesung Lee
Models: Sandra Rieder and Chloe Wheatcroft (Muse)
Stylist: Alyssa Shapiro

Hair: Jason Murillo
Makeup: Dana Rae Ashburn
Stylist Assistant: Emily Ovaert

Shot on location at 13 Eight Avenue, a West Village townhouse available for sale now. For more information, click here. Special thanks to the Eklund Gomes Team and Clayton Orrigo.

Shop the Hottest Designer Collaborations of All Time

It seems like when our favorites designers release collaborations, the good stuff is swooped up within hours. Everyone wants a piece, and rightfully so — when else are you gonna get a piece of fashion history for pennies on the usual dollar? For all the shoes and jackets we couldn’t buy then, we’ll forever have reverse buyer’s remorse… which is why we’re on a mission to find it all again now. Lucky you.

 

Alexander Wang x H&M

The Alexander Wang x H&M collaboration was one of the most hyped we’ve seen — and totally worth it. City-ready athletic wear you can and will want to wear out at night? Hell yeah, that scuba dress is perfection! Didn’t we see Rihanna in that sports bra? And come fall, you won’t want to be without that cool parka.

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JW Anderson x TOPSHOP

Designer JW Anderson’s stock has risen since this TOPSHOP collab came out in 2013. Now he’s helming Loewe, too, and the fashion world can’t get enough. That’s why this back-to-school argyle skirt and cool leather boots are must-haves. We’re scooping them up if you don’t.

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+J (Jil Sander x UNIQLO)

+J was perfect while it lasted. (We still mourn the loss.) Jil Sander’s then-ongoing collaboration with UNIQLO was everything we wanted for staples in our closet — especially the jackets.

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Missoni for Target

Legit you can’t tell the difference — might as well be real deal, main line Missoni. And this is the perfect dress for summer.

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Maison Martin Margiela x H&M

For its H&M collab, Margiela pulled out the archives and remade the highlights. These Perspex-heeled boots are quintessentially Margiela. You could wear them forever.

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Adidas x Kanye West

These Yeezy kicks are HOT. They might defy that pennies on the dollar rule, but can you put a price on love?

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Raf Simons x Adidas Stan Smiths

Here we have a classic, slightly retooled by one of the chicest designers in the world.

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Marques’Almeida x H&M

Don’t you love it when the collaboration looks just like the designer stuff? The high rise ripped jeans are a staple from May to September (but you could break the rules and wear ‘em whenever). The fray on the denim jacket makes it Marques’Almeida and unique.

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Isabel Marant x H&M

A critically lauded collection full of must-haves. We’re particularly partial to the wear-anywhere chiffon dress and über-chic tuxedo jacket.

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Marni x H&M

Marni is art-mom-chic in the best possible way, and this patent leather jacket and knit has us feeling creative.

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Shop all of these looks in our curated collection on ebay.

 

5 Memorial Day Weekend Outfit Ideas to Wear Now

If you’re in need of Memorial Day weekend outfit ideas, the answer is here in these five poolside-perfect looks from H&M.

Memorial Day weekend — finally it’s here, and with it, these super chic Memorial Day Weekend outfit ideas. It’s the kick-off to summer, the beginning of sun-soaked lounging and poolside fun. Are you hightailing it out of town for Memorial Day, or planning a staycation to rival the ritziest resort? Wherever you’re going, make sure to pack a swimsuit — preferably one of these tropical fever-inducing beauties. Styled with chic cover ups, sandals, and a few special accessories, these Memorial Day outfits are exactly how long weekends are supposed to look. Happy lounging — just don’t forget the SPF.

Get the above look here: Bikini, Embroidered Blouse, Shopper, and Slip-In Sandals, all H&M

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Paisley-patterned dress, Sandals, Earrings, and Bikini top and bottom, all H&M 

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Embroidered kimono, Straw hat, Bikini top and bottom, 2-pack hair clips, Sunglasses, all H&M

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Sandals, Bikini top and bottoms, Sunglasses, Earrings, Beach towel, Swim cover up, all H&M

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Sandals, Beach Towel, Short Denim Shorts, Swimsuit, Top with Sequins, Sunglasses, all H&M

Photographed by Alexander Cavaluzzo
Styled by Alyssa Shapiro

Olivia Wilde and H&M Launch a Very Eco-Chic Capsule Collection

Should you find yourself headed in the direction of Times Square today, we highly recommend grabbing some of your less-loved clothes from the back of your closet. In exchange any old wares to you donate to H&M‘s garment recycling program you will receive 20% off the store’s new Conscious Exclusive Collection–and a chance to meet its spokesperson, one Ms. Olivia Wilde.

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Kicking off the celebration will be a host of eco-conscious brands and celebs gathered together to fashionably toast the cause. The glam list of attendees and brands representing includes Blake Lively (Preserve), Lauren Bush Lauren (FEED), Studio One Eighty Nine (Rosario Dawson), and Lily Kwong (Amour Vert).

The collection is housed in a raw birch structure with sustainable metal inlays–delineated and distinguished from the rest of the H&M shopping experience. Beyond Times Square, however, collection will reach over 200 locations globally.

The clothes themselves are highly elevated and made with recycled, conscious materials as well as high in style–a mostly minimalist aesthetic including stacked-heeled sandals, an organic linen and silk sleeveless gown, a sleeveless cocktail dress made from organic hemp and silk, and a jacket made from organic leather. Other materials include tencel, recycled wool, and sequins.

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Cheers to guilt-free shopping.

Ximon Lee Wins H&M Design Award: See the Collection and Read an Interview with the Designer

Ximon Lee SS14 collection lookbook image photographed by Shirley Yu

On Tuesday morning, H&M announced the winner of its Design Award — a menswear designer for the first time — Ximon Lee. The award comes with a roughly $56,000 prize, mentorship, and the opportunity for Lee’s pieces to be sold at H&M stores later next month.

Get a preview of his award winning collection photographed by Quentin De Wispelaere here:

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In June of 2014, Lee was also the recipient of the Parsons Menswear Award for his collection. At the time of the award, we ran an interview with the designer which you can read below.

This interview by Vince Patti originally appeared on BlackBook in June, 2014.

Last Wednesday was the Parsons senior fashion show, a much-anticipated event for anyone watching emerging talent, and fashion tiger moms alike. This year the seniors showed at a new venue, in the new Parsons Building on the corner of 13th and 5th, feeling highly curated and very homogenous. But among the forest of men’s streetwear, one designer stood out: his name is Ximon Lee. He hails from a small town on the border between Manchuria and Siberia. We sat down with him during one of his few free moments to talk about designing for retail, Post-Soviet Russian style, and melting trash bags.

I wanted to start right off the bat by asking you about Dover Street. Can you tell me about your relationship with them and how that started?

I did this competition earlier, as a part of the IT Group, which is pretty much the biggest fashion retailer in Asia. I won the prize… and I developed this capsule collection for them. The IT market in Beijing is pretty much the luxury market. It’s pretty much between a conceptual collection and something wearable and marketable, something people can wear on a daily basis.

Is that gonna be for pre-fall?

The production, according to them, is August, and the collection will be launched in December. It should be in the store for next spring. They said globally, but I’m not sure which physical store. The main store in the center of Beijing would be great. It’s good exposure in the Asian market.

So would you say you’ve drawn influence from other designers in that store? Say, Rei Kawakubo.

So, IT brought us to the store as part of the competition. We got into all different brands, not just Comme des Garçons. But our generation is influenced by all of them–Raf Simons, Phoebe Philo–all their designs and philosophies. Personally I wasn’t a big fan of Comme des Garçons already, but I think what they’re doing is really pushing the boundaries of fashion.

Of course. I think also practically or in a business sense she’s doing something very interesting. So, your thesis: the title was “Children of Leningradsky”. Can you elaborate on that?

I was born in a very small town on the border between China and Russia. It’s like suburbia. I keep remembering from childhood the people who crossed the borders and trade. There are interesting trades that happen there, like bubblegum or Chinese white wine for a Russian fur coat. To them, it was nothing, but they would like to get a pack of bubblegum. So that’s really interesting–my mom had a collection of fur coats. It’s lonely, everything’s gray. It’s all really influenced by Soviet architecture. The buildings just look like blocks, very geometric. We moved from there. My life is all about traveling because my parents traveled a lot. I had a hard time making friends in school since I pretty much transferred every year. It got to a point where I got sick of meeting people because I knew I’d just be leaving at the end of the year.

So, do you think that loneliness played a part?

Yeah, it definitely played a part. I think that’s when design comes, in high school. I pretty much put myself in a bubble. I wasn’t really into schoolwork cause every school my mom sent me to was a different education. My mom had a strange way of educating: “You should go to an American school in the country so you can get an international education.” And you’d get a completely traditional education; it’s a Chinese-owned school. So it’s very different. And every city has different dialects. So design became something that distracted me. I don’t really know what I designed back then. It’s all visual things; I clashed things on my homework book, a lot of architecture too. What I was touched by in the documentary [“Children of Leningradsky”], going back to that, was how the kids were constantly moving. They’re pretty much abandoned and there’s no home for them after the collapse of the Soviet. I actually cried after watching it because the architecture looked so similar, and the style. I don’t want to say that, because I hate to romanticize something that is quite sad for them, but I think it’s romantic, especially when the boy is holding a heart. I think he found toys as love and was proposing to the girl, but they were super young and didn’t know what it really meant. It’s very emotional, and I think they know more than me. Some of the words that come out of their mouths, they really know what they’re doing.

When I heard the title I immediately thought of Gosha Rubchinskiy, the menswear designer from Moscow. I was curious, because his stuff is nothing like yours. It’s funny how you guys approach similar thematic topics but in very different ways. 

When I started the collection, I had never heard of Gosha. I started looking at random architects and photos of children from the Soviet time. I had a collage book when I was at Central Saint Martin’s; I did all the research in London. At one point I went to Russia to look at things and do research. A photographer friend of mine, Masha, did a preview photo shoot of my mockups. She showed me all of Gosha’s work, and I was stunned. His aesthetic is about the culture, and he still approached people who are very anti-fashion and let them wear his stuff. All the imagery is very attractive to me. I put it on my inspiration board. I want to meet him and see how our two different perspectives would come together.

Let’s move on to more aesthetic stuff: the associations that I made right off the bat were Margiela and Comme des. Were you thinking structurally about the history of either of those houses, or alternatively, someone avant-garde, when you were doing the collection?

The collection really came out of nowhere. There’s reference to architecture and the drapes of homeless people sleeping on the street, the silhouettes of material draping over their bodies and the sandwich board walking sign on their body. That’s a starting point. What they’re wearing is a matter of survival. So I didn’t draft a pattern from zero. Instead, I went to the Salvation Army and got a bunch of old man XXXL sweatshirts. All the patterns are based on those deconstructed garments. Margiela is almost the legend of deconstruction, but for me I wasn’t looking at designers but rather something quite ordinary–oversized sweaters manipulated into different sizes.

I noticed at the show I saw that the menswear was very oriented towards sportswear like basketball uniforms and casual clothes. Would you say you see yourself in opposition to that movement in menswear right now? How has that affected you?

Yeah, I see all my peers doing something quite on-trend. I feel like this is really my last collection in my fashion education so I want to push this concept and not think about marketability and wearability. If you look at any piece and simplify it a little, it could be very wearable. A plastic can be developed into a special vinyl; you could easily have a tanktop with a really cool drawstring. In New York, students are more concerned about marketability. The year I spent at Central Saint Martin’s was very different because I could go crazy and experiment with silhouettes.

Could you tell me more about the materials you used for your thesis? I heard you had all of those developed.

All of the original fabrics are really cheap. The entire collection is very cheap. I saved a lot of my budget by doing something homeless. A lot of the denim is from Indian fabric stores in the denim district. No one walks into those stores because of the tacky bling-bling window displays, but in the back they have really cool denim. I bought a bunch of different denims and started thinking about how they could work with different materials. So I ended up bonding them into different types of thickness to fit different looks. Besides the denim, and the bonding material, which is the glue and the sponge between them, I also used trash bags. I spent pretty much three months melting trash bags with different heats and ways of steaming to make them presentable. I also used a lot of bleaching on textiles, not traditional bleaching. I actually dipped a brush in the bleach and then painted on top of the denim so you can see a perfect gradient. That was fun. I realized it could be developed into something with a lot of visual impact. The beginning of the collection was black denim, white denim, some copper trims and panels–all very cold. That defeated the purpose because it was more about the children than their dream of seeing the ocean and the sky. That’s why I started bleaching more pastel blue colors.

Do you have any background in painting?

I studied painting before, but nothing like that.

It seems like Parsons really curated the show well towards a certain aesthetic. How would you say they’ve influenced you, or you’ve influenced the way they’re moving the aesthetic?

I think it’s very interesting and different from the last few years. A couple years ago, the show was at Chelsea Piers and the runway was very long, so the model would come out but you couldn’t see them all standing together. This year there’s three sections, and each segment you realize it’s a very colorful collection, and in the middle it’s black, white, and neutral, and the end is more conceptual, something new. What they’re trying to show is a variety of works. It’s quite impressive because a lot of choices are not what they used to be. It’s more experimental.

They went out and picked a lot of kids who are doing different stuff from the New York aesthetic they were pushing before. So it’s cool they picked someone like you, who embodied that new mentality of deconstruction. It’s funny; even Calvin Klein has gone from doing super clean minimalism to a more deconstructed aesthetic in the women’s spring ’14 collection. Do you think that’s up and coming, like it’s going to have another renaissance?

I had this question for a long time: how can you produce something new? All human beings want something new. You want to get excited, but I feel like everything in fashion is just circulating. Calvin Klein had been doing this really well in the past decade. All clean cut, black and white. It’s good to have in your closet, but they realized the market was shrinking and people want to buy more colorful stuff and wear it, there’s more young generations becoming a big group of spending in fashion. But I think they’ll go back to what they were doing, because it’s all a cycle.

Do you see yourself in that cycle?

I get sick of things really easily. When I look at my collection now, I just feel like I need something new and could have done it better. I think every brand and every person has to have a core to keep. I still feel like my stuff is amateur. There might be something very me, but I’m looking for something to focus on, so I’ll concentrate on that.

For most people this happens for a really long time. What are your plans now that you’re graduating?

I’m not sure, actually. I’m taking a break in the past three days. It’s a luxury. For now I need to finish this capsule collection for IT. After finishing this collection I think I’m going to participate in some of their store events in July. Simon Collins, the dean, is actually going to judge the second competition in Beijing. It should be a great chance to meet people. There’s a store in Berlin that wanted to purchase pieces. There’s a show director in China who wants to introduce me to a director at GQ so we can have a presentation in London Men’s Fashion Week. I feel like it’s not there yet. I want to produce cool works, and when it’s time I want to show it, but I feel like I need some time to keep in touch with them and see how it goes.

If you were to get an offer from any menswear house, what would be the one that you would be most excited about?

I would die to work with Phoebe Philo. Celine’s always been my dream, but they don’t have menswear. I wouldn’t mind. Everything’s so perfect; the cut, the pattern. It’s just beautiful. And Balenciaga. The silhouettes go with them, and I want to see what they’re moving to now. Their menswear collection is quite small, so if I worked with them I’d have a chance to learn.

If you were to start your own line, would you want to be recognized as a New York designer or a Chinese designer?

I got my education here and all my friends are based here, and everything is produced here, so I like this connotation. My background cannot be changed, but if I establish something in the future, I’d love to base it here. Everything is so active, and quite exciting for new designers. After this collection I feel in love with denim, so I’d love to focus on that. The denimwear market is really boring. We need something more exciting, and denim is very American.

David Beckham Announces His New Long Term Relationship

David Beckham has elected to renew his vows with retailer H&M. Though we all hoped, privately or otherwise, that he might reconsider a lasting love with each of us, we’re very pleased to see more of the man, and H&M is granting our wish. Think more of Beckham’s Bodywear, of which a new collection launches for Spring, and also the continuation of Modern Essentials Selected by David Beckham. Beckham is picking what you’ll be wearing, guys, and modeling it for all of us.

Both collections will be available in store on March 5.

Check out a behind the scenes video with Becks, then see images from his collection and selections, photographed by Marc Forster, below.

David Beckham’s Bodywear for H&M:
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Modern Essentials Selected by David Beckham:
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Photos courtesy of H&M

H & M Announces the Eight 2015 Design Award Finalists

5:01 am, December 2nd–the time is now that H & M has announced the eight finalists for it’s 2015 Design Award.

This contest provides an opportunity to some of the world’s most talented fashion students who are compete to win the 4th annual H&M Design Award and the chosen eight have been selected as “some of the most promising talents of their generation.” H & M sees the competition as testament to their dedication to fostering future talents: “The fourth annual H&M Design Award underlines H&M’s strong commitment to design, by encouraging young designers continue the evolution of global fashion industry.”

The jury, led by H&M’s head of design, Ann-Sofie Johansson, chose the 8 finalists that will move onto the next round of the competition. Other top fashion influencers on the jury include Luella Bartley, Design Director of Marc by Marc Jacobs; Lucinda Chambers, Fashion Director of British Vogue; Paula Goldstein di Principe, Creative Director; Tommy Ton, Visual Journalist; Angelo Flaccavento, Freelance Fashion Critic; Justin O’Shea, Buying Director for Mytheresa.com; Lily Allen, Singer/Songwriter; and Margareta van den Bosch, Creative Advisor, H&M.

Next, the finalists will present their collections and sources of inspiration to a jury of fashion experts, who will choose one final winner. However, all eight finalists will also be rewarded with a prize of €5,000. Winning the next round comes with a far grander prize though. The winner of the H&M Design Award 2015 will be announced on January 27, 2015. This one designer/designer-to-be wins €50,000, and his or her own fashion show presenting their winning collection during Fashion Week Stockholm. The winner will also receive mentoring, and the chance to develop pieces from their winning collection to be sold in select H&M stores.

A briefing on the eight finalists, who will surely all be names to watch, regardless of the final outcome.

MAGDALENA BROZDA (Poland) – Magdalena took her MA at the Geneva University of Art and Design. Her collection is based on positive and celebratory ideas of death.

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ANDREAS EKLÖF (Sweden) – Andreas took a Master’s degree at the Swedish School of Textiles in Borås, Sweden. His nominated collection used taping to develop new ideas in outdoor wear.

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GRAHAM FAN (Canada/Hong Kong) – An MA graduate from Central Saint Martins, London, Graham used techniques of weaving by hand to develop the complex textiles for his minimalist silhouettes.

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ANDREA JIAPEI LI (China) – Andrea completed the MFA program at Parsons, in New York City. For her collection, she used the antithesis of her aesthetics to define herself and her work in a new way.

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JAMES KELLY (UK) – James took his MA at the Royal College of Art in London. His inspiration was photographic imagery of garments caught in movement.

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LEONARD KOCIC (Serbia/Sweden) – Leonard graduated from Beckmans College of Design in Sweden. His nominated collection is based on his memories of his mother.

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XIMON LEE (Hong Kong) – Ximon graduated from Parsons in New York City, where he studied menswear design. His collection was inspired by the documentary “Children of Leningradsky”.

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FIONA O’NEILL (Ireland) – Fiona completed her BA at Central Saint Martins, London. Her inspiration for her nominated collection came from women painting pictures of other women.

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The It List and Legend Missy Elliot Come Out for Alexander Wang X H&M

Jessica Chastain, Dakota Fanning, Eddie Redmayne, and Kate Mara strike a pose. Photo: Neil Rusman/BFAnyc.com

It’s the collection that everyone has been talking about and its literally (almost) here. The Alexander Wang X H&M Collection has been one of the most hyped about collaborations in history, so it’s no question why a team of A Wang’s A-List besties came out to support.

The crowd shopped a pop-up shop, and hip hop legend Missy Elliot performed. The perfect sound for his nostalgic meets futuristic collaboration. Not siblings with Beyoncé or engaged to Jennifer Aniston? No worries, we’ve got you covered with the night’s best looks. The collection will be up for grabs to the public November 6th. Better start camping out at your local H&M now!

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Photo: @alyssashapiro on Instagram

Karlie KlossALEXANDER WANG x H&M Launch EventPhoto: Neil Rasmun/BFAnyc.com 

Nate Lowman and Justin TherouxALEXANDER WANG x H&M Launch EventPhoto: Neil Rasmun/BFAnyc.com 

Jessica Chastain Billy-Farrell-4Photo: Billy Farrell/BFAnyc.com

Emily WeissNeil-Rasmus-5Photo: Neil Rasmun/BFAnyc.com 

Kate Mara and Mary J. Blige Neil-RasmusPhoto: Neil Rasmun/BFAnyc.com

Dakota Fanning Billy-FarrellPhoto: Billy Farrell/BFAnyc.com

Solange Knowles Neil-Rasmus-3Photo: Neil Rasmun/BFAnyc.com 

Alexander Wang X H&M Army ALEXANDER WANG x H&M Launch EventPhoto: Neil Rasmun/BFAnyc.com

H&M x Liberty Prints at The Ludlow — See It Here Before You Shop

Niclas wears H&M x Liberty. Photographed by Adeline Mai.

Since 1875, Liberty has been producing printed fabrics in the heart of London’s Regent Street. Liberty’s floral, graphic, and geometric prints have stood the test of time — from the Victorian era to the ‘60s psychedelic rock scene — and they still remain as relevant and stylish as ever.

Need further proof? Check out these photos by photographer Adeline Mai, who shot Niclas Nilsson (Request Models) in the H&M x Liberty capsule collection. Check out the looks, and then check out the shopping situation in stores this week.

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Photographer: Adeline Mai
Fashion Editor: 
Vince Patti

Grooming: Mariko Hirano

Thank you to The Ludlow for allowing us to shoot in your beautiful new hotel.