How H&M's Collaboration with Erdem Changed My Insight on Trends & It's Necessity

Words by, Igee Okafor

Photography by, Daniel D'Ottavio

As a man that has honored a somewhat limited perspective on definitive, and timeless style, I have overlooked "trends" in the past and everything associated with the term because of its momentary, short-lived, here today, gone tomorrow reputation. It wasn't until very recently analyzing H&M's sold out collaboration with Erdem this past week that I realized the importance of such progression in global fashion. 

H&M's designer partnerships have been particularly anticipated for the past few years making the phenomenon one of the biggest trends in fashion, today. The idea is first - rate: A commercial brand joining forces with luxury brands to offer exclusive product to consumers on a price cut. This way, not only do consumers get to become part of a movement, they get to acquire a tint of desirable luxury without breaking the bank.

This year's long awaited collaboration was with London based brand, Erdem and luckily for me, interest sparked in the partnership three months ago as soon as I set eyes on the promotional teaser worked on by the very talented, Baz Lurman. This teaser initiated an interest an engaging point of view that H&M and Erdem had brought into being. I was impressed and moved - not only was I excited to learn about to Erdem as a brand, I was also looking forward to seeing the clothes from a collaboration cycle I once turned a blind eye to. 

Although Erdem is popularly known to specialize in womenswear, the partnership featured a handful of well tailored menswear clothing. The distinct offerings of suiting, double breasted coats and knitwear complimented the overall cleanliness of the collection alongside other spell binding articles of clothing - which I wasn't exactly expecting due to my formerly dated perspective on what trendy products were supposed to be. 

With the collection causing me great enthusiasm, I thought to myself: "The making of this clothing isn't 'exactly trendy' - not in its silhouette, style, design or cut. As a matter of fact - the overall essence is thrilling and inspiriting. Why wouldn't anyone want to be a part of this? The clothes are wearable, and affordable. Yes, it could be momentary and short-lived but why does that have to be a lousy thing?"

These questions further encouraged me to re-evaluate my sentiments on the idea of what it means to be on trend: where it comes from, how it starts, and why it can be so disregarded.

Here's the concept:

Someone or a particular group of people collaborate to start a general notion that aligns with who they are, and what they do. It becomes popular, and others catch on - typically because they can relate, want to experiment or are simply looking to be part of a cultural movement.

The "trend" label then forms when the adaptation of that notion is being provided a platform on a wider scale. Sure, it can read as clichéd and uninspired as it pertains to the people who orient themselves, but also on the other side which I have now come to candidly favor, it can spark multiple conversations that represent different variations of the same idea. That's a wonderful thing. In a larger sense, it's the sort of collaboration and interest that should be illustrated in everyday life - especially with a variety of people who share a common ground pertaining to a very celebrated genre such as a Fashion.

This is not a dialogue urging anyone to instantly take part in what's popular or to look to trends to define their personal style. There's a lot to be said about an individual who has taken time out to find and stick to a uniform that works specifically for them. The idea here is to prompt a certain openness, awareness and consideration to that can further propel a wider variation of who we are and what we are already used to. 

What is your take on following trends? Leave you thoughts in the comments below. 

Thank you for reading!