Shopping during the pandemic isn’t the same. In many clothing stores, fitting rooms are still closed, occupancy is limited to allow for social distancing, and the thought of buying clothes with no place to wear them feels especially pointless. So in launching the Simone Rocha x H&M collaboration, the brand is making shopping exciting again by using augmented reality (AR) and an inspiring cast of characters to bring the experience home.
For the collection, Rocha collaborated with Chinese-English artist Faye Wei Wei on pop-up books. Wei Wei’s delightful archive drawings and paintings are lovingly rendered in 3D shapes that come to life on each page, featuring some of Rocha’s signature motifs, including roses, ribbons, and lush pastoral daydreams.
As Vogue explains, each image also embedded with a QR code, so readers can scan the code on their smartphone to activate the AR experience. Once scanned, Wei Wei’s art springs to life in the virtual dimension; Rowan Blanchard takes photos of model Paloma Elsesser, both modeling two pink pieces from the collection. Artist and musician Djenaba strums on a string double-bass, while Laila and Nadia Gohar enjoy a picnic of cake and desserts. Helena Bonham Carter, whose style exemplifies the Rocha paradise, tends to her appearance in a mirror, an activity that prior to the pandemic, seemed like a part of our daily routines — now, it reminds us of how much we miss an excuse to get dressed up and feel pretty.
The collection launches exclusively online at at hm.com on Thursday, March 11.