American artist Jeff Koons once said: "I believe in advertisement and media completely. My art and my personal life are based in it." Which makes it especially apt that Swedish retailer H&M has chosen to collaborate with him on the launch of its largest flagship to date, located on New York's Fifth Avenue.
Koons will create both an art-inspired store concept and a limited edition handbag line for the brand – bringing the highbrow world of art to H&M's mass-market fashion audience.
Spanning five floors, the 57,000 sq ft flagship will feature a giant façade displaying supersized versions of Koons' Balloon Dog sculpture, 26 x 20ft LED screens, and 'museum-inspired interiors' – the design of which has yet to be revealed.
While H&M is renowned for its big-name product collaborations with luxury fashion labels including French fashion house Isabel Marant, Italian label Versace and US designer Alexander Wang, this is its first collaboration with an artist.
The 'Jeff Koons for H&M' collection will feature leather handbags printed with an image of Koons' Balloon Dog sculpture – available on the brand's e-commerce website and in selected US stores. They will also be sold in the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York – which is due to host the artist's retrospective, sponsored by H&M, from June 27 to October 19 2014.
For more on how retail brands are merging art and fashion as a core part of their brand strategy, see Fendi Flagship Embraces Art Ethos, Louis Vuitton Townhouse, Selfridges, McQueen Sponsors London Frieze, and Luxe Mall Store Beymen Trades on Cultural Kudos.
See also Art-Fuelled Fashion Spaces report, which further explores best-practice case studies and opportunities in this field.