Isabel Marant for H&M: A First Look at the Collection

Finally, previews of the most-hyped designer/ High Street collaboration of the year (or should that be ever?) have been released. I’m talking about, of course, Isabel Marant for H&M.

Finally, previews of the most-hyped designer/ High Street collaboration of the year (or should that be ever?) have been released. I’m talking about, of course, Isabel Marant for H&M.

Marant, the epitome of Parisian chic, promised a collection “that women want to wear in their everyday lives, with a certain carelessness…you dress up, but do not pay too much attention and still look sexy.” She certainly didn’t disappoint.

So what should we expect? Think a healthy dose of Aztec with a dollop of bohemian charm: basically, everything we’ve come to know and love from Marant. The designer has also made her first foray into the realm of menswear and the range includes a children’s line as well. Cue whole families of immaculately dressed, wannabe Parisians popping up all over Britain.


The collection is surprisingly vast. Thankfully, it is also very wearable and versatile.

The first look we are presented with is a black, Aztec print top (£59.99), teamed with leather skinny trousers (£179.99- they are real leather though!) and topped with a shaggy, oversized, Aztec-inspired hooded cardigan. The look is simple and muted, yet the burgundy and subtle blue embroidery on the cardigan breathes some life into the outfit.

Next is what has to be my favourite ensemble. A cropped, boxy Aztec jacket (£199.99) is elegantly slung over a simple white tee (£24.99) and paired with oxblood biker-style trousers (69.99). I am a sucker for a beautiful jacket and this one certainly ticks all the boxes. Beautifully cut? Check. Intricately embellished? Check. A statement piece? For sure.

My main concern when I heard about the Marant/ H&M collaboration was that the designer’s look is quintessentially quite summery. How wearable would the collection be in winter? I need not have worried; Marant has included a selection of fabulous oversized coats that are so on trend right now. She teams a grey one (£99.99) with a white Aztec-print top (£59.99) and white skinny jeans, adorned with chevron embroidery to the seams (£59.99). The look is finished with a pair of slouchy black, fringed boots (£149.99). White can be tricky in winter but this works.

The range includes a virtual duplicate of a metallic mini dress that sold for £730 on, which retails at a bargain £69.99 in the H&M collection. Ok, the print is marginally different and the material is probably not as luxurious, but even so, Marant has succeeded in making pret-a-porter fashion available to us all.

My favourite piece of the collection has to be a black, tuxedo-inspired blazer (£79.99). The silky lapels add a touch of elegant luxury while the skinny ribbon waist tie is such a simple feature that really adds a high-end stamp to this basic design. I am also particularly enamoured by the accessories range. The tassel earrings (£14.99) and a colourful Aztec belt (£29.99) are an affordable way to work the Marant look.


Now the menswear is where it really gets interesting. There is a definite synergy between the men and women’s looks but I am undecided if this is a good or bad thing.

The first men’s look consists of a chunky monochrome chevron jumper (£59.99) with white skinny jeans adorned with Aztec embroidery (£59.99), much like the women’s. My question is this- are men really going to wear these? Correct me if I’m wrong, fellas, but I don’t anticipate seeing many blokes in patterned white skinnies, trudging through the slush on a typical British winter’s day.

There is, however, a similar pair of black jeans with the slightest embroidery to the seams (£59.99) that definitely look much more wearable. In fact, teamed with a slouchy white t shirt (£19.99) and a boxy dark grey woolen coat, this look is really rather fabulous.

The men’s collection also includes some funky suede boots (£99.99) that are, in my opinion, much nicer than their female counterparts’. Think urban-cowboy: certainly not a look for everyone but a stylish one all the same.

Will it be a Hit?

In the past, H&M’s designer collaborations have sold out almost immediately and I predict Marant’s will be much the same.

The women’s collection is a refreshing change to the High Street as it deviates away from this season’s main trends, yet looks modern and understatedly stylish. However, I have my reservations about how successful the men’s line will be in Britain. I think the overall look is just a bit too bold for us conservative Brits, but I have no doubt it will be snapped up by our counterparts on the continent.

Unlike many designer collaborations, Marant has not merely produced a cheap, High Street-esque collection that vaguely emulates her high-end range but instead has created almost identical copies of her catwalk looks and made them available to the average consumer.

Isabel Marant for H&M will be available on-line and in-store from 14 November.

Image: H&M