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Glamour's Fashion Director chats to the designers of the exciting collaboration, MUGLER H&M

Glamour had the exciting opportunity to interview Ann-Sofie head designer for H&M as well as Creative Director for Mugler, Casey Cadwallader about the collaboration.

See interviews below:

Mugler F22

H&M Q&A:

1. How did the collaboration between the house of Mugler and H&M happen?

It’s been a long process, because we started off talking to Mr Mugler himself. Obviously, we were all shocked and devastated by his passing, and truly sad not to be able to bring his vision to life as he’d been so enthusiastic about the collaboration. But then we were so happy that Casey was keen to pursue things, and in the end the collection is everything we could have dreamed of and more – it’s so contemporary, in the way it unites eras and inspirations. Casey has done such an amazing job at offering a totally modern, exciting collection, while also using parts of the range to pay tribute to the history of the house, and to Thierry Mugler’s legacy and designs, such by including special reissued archive pieces within the collection, like the amazing 80s and 90s dresses for women.

2. What is H&M’s process in deciding who you would like to collaborate with?

Well, we have a wish list of designers or houses who we think are interesting and who we think are setting the pace of fashion in the moment, and we watch them closely. With Casey and Mugler, it just felt like such a clear choice that was totally right for the now. Mugler is in the air right now, everywhere. Just look at the current global enthusiasm for 80s and 90s icons, and the way young people are looking to the past for inspiration. The house’s founder Thierry Mugler is obviously a big part of that. He is key to the flamboyance and excitement of that period – he set the agenda, just as Casey is doing now, by reinterpreting the house and its codes for a fresh generation. Casey has such a respect for the legacy of the brand, and for all that Mr Mugler stood for – inclusivity, gender-fluidity, empowerment, body positivity and sexiness. He has made young people adore both his vision for the house, and also the history of the house – which is an amazing thing to achieve. And yet he isn’t overwhelmed by the past – he takes elements he likes and he totally twists them and makes them modern. And by doing that he’s made Mugler a totally recognizable house, which is why it makes for the perfect collaboration. You can immediately identify a contemporary Mugler piece - the catsuits, the cut-outs, the spiraling jeans, the impeccable tailoring – and that’s a very hard thing to achieve as a designer.

3. Through these designer collaborations, H&M has made these once unattainable pieces accessible to the masses. Why is this important to you as a brand?

H&M’s ethos is about making great fashion available to all – and democratizing high fashion is a key part of that. We are so proud to have played a role in pioneering the entire notion of the “designer collaboration”, and I know that our legacy of partnerships, from Karl Lagerfeld to Marni to Margiela, to Casey and Mugler today has really touched a global audience of fashion lovers. Collaborations such as this help spread joy, and spark enthusiasm and passion for great design and fashion history.

4. What was the highlight of working with the House of Mugler?

It’s just been an incredibly fun process. And watching Casey be so generous with sharing so many of his iconic designs – the jeans, the dresses, the catsuits – has been amazing. I know that our customer will love it, which is the nicest feeling. Young shoppers will be totally excited, and I love the idea of original Mugler fans, from the 80s and 90s, also finding special pieces within the collection, and being able to remember and reminisce

5. What is your favourite piece from this collection?

Personally, I love the leather pieces, like the petrol green long leather coat – you’d treasure that forever. I also love the denim spiral jeans, just because they really are a Casey signature – something he invented. They are so beautifully made and meticulous when it comes to shape and angle – you can tell he studied architecture as they totally enhance and empower the body, lifting, shaping and making it super sculptural. Talking of architecture, the jewellery is also very special and very sculptural – really bold and unapologetic. For the archive pieces, I am obsessed with the archive skirt suit, which is a remake, I think it’s just fantastic, especially with the little piercing buttons. It’s a very special piece. Sorry – it’s impossible to pick one piece!

Mugler F22

Mugler Q&A:

1.What was the motivation behind collaborating with H&M?

Casey: I’m really honoured to be asked to work with H&M. I do think there is a shared value system here, between H&M and Mugler. Both care about giving people access to amazing fashion, and both care about confidence and contentment and opening up great design to a broad range of people. The Mugler world has always been about inviting people in, and that’s what we are doing here. I’ve always been a fan of the H&M collaborations – I remember clearly the one with Alber Elbaz of Lanvin, and with Margiela and Versace, and how each of those designers really offered up their signatures, and I took a lot of inspiration from that when designing this collection.

2. Can you share your inspiration for this collection?

It’s about the spirit and ethos of Mugler. As I mentioned, I was really inspired by the ethos of the H&M designer collaborations – which is about offering people something to collect, something that stands up in the history of fashion. I drew a lot of inspiration from that idea. I was adamant that this had to be true Mugler – nothing compromised or watered down. In our mainline high fashion collections Mugler is always a mix – there’s the darkness, the edge, then the sexy side, then the lightness, the happiness. And what I wanted to do here was keep that blend, to keep the diversity and complexity, while also offering pieces that are the most useful and interesting to people, for their personal wardrobes. There are so many great Mugler staples and signatures in the collection – the catsuits, the dresses, the denim. And on top of that, there are casual sweats, t-shirts, accessories. A lot of my inspiration came from the idea of the Mugler family, and about celebrating the relevance of the house across genres and media. Mugler has always been a house with a lot of cultural soul – and that’s why it’s so interesting for me as a designer, because it taps into so many worlds that I’m engaged with and inspired by in my own life, whether music or club culture. This collaboration has been a very positive experience for me, and I think you sense that from the campaign – it’s about community, about people who are really important to me, and who are truly themselves. Mugler has always been about celebrating so many different types of beauty and this campaign continues that.

3. The House of Mugler is known for its architectural style, very unique, bold and interesting silhouettes. Whereas the H&M customer loves fashion but a more wearable version of the trends. How have you managed to bridge the gap between your design aesthetic with the expectations of the H&M consumer?

I think our pieces are always been defined by a strong vision, but also a commitment to wearability. One thing we focused on with this collection was how we could take our key pieces – whether the dresses or the jeans or bodysuits – and produce them at the scale and price-point needed, and one way we did that was by carefully working out which details were essential, and which could be stripped back to make things more clean – so maybe it’s a seam that was removed, or the number of ties or knots on a dress that was edited down. It allowed us to make truly beautiful pieces, that are in no way a compromise, but that are at an affordable price point. One thing you’ll also notice is how broad the collection is – there are glamourous party looks but also loungewear and casual pieces. Lots to choose from.

4. What was the most surprising part of this collaboration?

I think people will be pleasantly surprised by how truly Mugler every piece is. And I hope they appreciate the mix - the fact that we have super contemporary pieces, alongside key remakes from the archive, from Mr Mugler’s original designs. I also hope people are floored by the amazing quality and breadth of the range, including menswear – which of course can be bought and worn by women – as it’s really, really strong. I’m really proud of the collection.

5. What is next for Mugler?

I’m trying to take a moment to be in the present – and to really appreciate the celebratory moment that this collection marks. In terms of the near future, I’m looking forward to the many events and happenings that will occur to celebrate the collection – occasions that unite people, and bring the Mugler family together. This collection is all about inviting people into the Mugler world, and I want the next few months to be a continual process of celebration and community and fun.

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