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Ahead of the July 17th opening of the world's largest H&M on Fifth Avenue and 48th Street, WWD is reporting that the Swedish retailer is collaborating with artist Jeff Koons for both merchandise and a giant store facade.
"The partnership with H&M was really exciting for me," Koons told the paper (the retailer is also sponsoring his upcoming retrospective at the Whitney, which kicks off July 29th). "The chance to showcase one of my most popular works to a new generation of people was inspiring."
His famed Balloon Dog sculpture will cover both the entire storefront—with the phrase "Fashion Loves Art," as seen above—and a limited-edition handbag that'll run for $49.95 and will be sold in select markets, including online and at the Whitney.
"H&M delivers great fashion season after season and [it will be] nice to see my work at their new store," Koons added.
Though art and fashion have been overlapping for years—Louis Vuitton's collaboration with Yayoi Kusama is just one recent example—this is H&M's first direct partnership with an artist.
To remind you of just how massive this store is, it'll include every single product line from H&M—that encompasses men's, women's, children's, newborn, maternity, special sizes, lingerie, cosmetics, and home. The store is trying to compete with other upscale stores on the famed shopping route by using nicer building materials (like green and white marble and herringbone woodwork, according to WWD) and adding a concierge service.
And this isn't the only project the company has in the works for this year—an even bigger store in Herald Square, a collaboration with Alexander Wang, plus there are the openings of COS and & Other Stories, which will hopefully both open by the end of the year.
· H&M Calls on Jeff Koons [WWD]
· Sorry, Vegas: H&M Wants to Open Its Biggest Store in New York [Racked NY]
· H&M Breaks Its Own Record With Enormous Herald Center Store [Racked NY]