Both Simone Rocha and H&M announced their collaborative collection in an imaginative, pioneering and artful manner, while also being safe and instep with social-distancing guidelines.
Therefore, they selected to forgo a physical in-person global event in favour of a curated digital celebration: a pioneering pop-up book AR experience.
This is a truly experimental creation, and the first of its kind – a dynamic way of bringing art, fashion and iconic figures into invited guests’ homes, through technology.
The digital experience is activated via a beautiful, limited-edition book (a nod to Rocha’s history of publishing printed matter with artists and image-makers), created in collaboration with the celebrated British painter Faye Wei Wei, who also stars in the Simone Rocha x H&M campaign.
Five intricate paintings by Wei Wei appear within the book and serve as pop-up backdrops for a cast of talented characters, who spring to life from the page, via QR codes, to model the Simone Rocha x H&M collection in AR.
The cast (here, each at 10.5cm tall) is diverse and majestic, and a reflection of the broad range of individuals who enjoy Rocha’s work. They are Helena Bonham Carter CBE, Barry Keoghan, Francesca Hayward, Kaia Gerber, Rowan Blanchard, Paloma Elsesser, Kelsey Lu, sisters Laila and Nadia Gohar, Omari Douglas, Djenaba, Jess Maybury, Nancy Andersen, Lily Ashley and Hugo Hamlet of Voo Le Voo, William De Val Darby, and Faye Wei Wei herself, who comes to life in miniature in front of her own paintings.
Encompassing talented actors, dancers, models, and musicians, this wide array of individuals highlights the breadth of this collection; the first time Rocha has offered a full wardrobe for the family, including womenswear, menswear and childrenswear.
The book nods to Rocha’s signature skill for referencing art and painting with her work, and also the collection campaign’s broader themes of joy, optimism and congregation.
This is a truly innovation celebration – a chance to mix with virtual guests and reflect on the beautiful garments and accessories within the collection, all from the safety of home.
“This year has required us all to think about things afresh and find new ways of working and congregating. I am thrilled to be able to celebrate my collaboration with H&M in such an innovative way, using the best AR technology to bring such an amazing cast of figures right into people’s homes.
I always wanted this collection to conjure excitement for dressing up, and for meeting with family, friends and loved ones, and I hope this digital event speaks to that, providing a thought-provoking moment of art, beauty, celebration and happiness.”
“This is one of the most innovative collection events we have ever created here at H&M. What a thrill to work on fashion’s first-ever pop-up book AR experience, and with such an incredible, and broad, range of talents.
The collection truly comes to life with the help of AR, and it’s wonderful to see so many of Simone’s passions and inspirations – from art, to family, craft and music – come together in one incredible project.
It’s a very new take on a fashion party or runway show!”
Ann-Sofie Johansson, H&M.
“I think that this AR experience really encapsulates Simone’s world – it feels playful, magical, and a little bit whimsical, as well. All these pearls everywhere – it feels like opening up a beautiful dressing up box, a special picture book, somewhere.
It’s a really special way for her to share her universe with others.”
“I love Simone’s work, so being involved in the AR experience is such a treat. I always feel really strong and powerful in her pieces, especially given how Simone renders femininity, there is so much strength and power in how she executes it.
With the Simone Rocha x H&M collaboration, it is beautiful how she has carried through such exceptional design and elevated styles into a more accessible platform. Simone always follows through!”