Both Simone Rocha and H&M were determined to honour 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, created in collaboration with the celebrated British painter Faye Wei Wei, who also stars in the campaign.
Five intricate paintings by Wei Wei appear within the book and serve as pop-up backdrops for a cast o talented characters, who spring to life from the page, via QR codes, to model the new collection in AR.
The cast (here, at 10.5cm tall) is a diverse and majestic, and reflection of the broad range of individuals who enjoy Rocha's work.
The cast includes 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.
The cast filled with talented actors, dancers, models and musicians comes to life in front of Wei Wei's paintings.
The book nods to Rocha's signature skill fo referencing art and painting with her work, and also the collection campaign's broader themes of joy, optimism and congregation.
"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," said Rocha.
"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," expressed Ann-Sofie Johansson, H&M.