Erdem talks his H&M collaboration and reveals the story behind the innocuous grey wool blazer

That's what he said

Text: Jolene Khor

"I was adamant that everything would be the most beautiful it could possibly be."

You've seen the collection in full. You've debated — and decided on — the pieces you're queuing all night to get your hands on. Now, ahead of the Erdem x H&M release on November 2, watch Baz Luhrmann's romantic short film for the collection above, and consider the inner workings of the genius behind the collection below.

Ladies and gentleman, we present to you, Erdem Moralioglu. 

Erdem Moralioglu

This is your first foray into menswear. Why did you take so long to branch out of womenswear, and why with H&M?
My training was in womenswear. That's how it all really began, and when I start a collection, I usually start with a dress. That's been my thinking from then beginning, and as I've grown my brand, womenswear has been my focus. It's so exciting to be finally designing my first ever men's collection, and to be doing it on such an amazingly global platform as an H&M collaboration.

Your collections have always even very romantic — an aesthetic that hasn't been popular for men until the last couple of years. Do you think your menswear is here at "the perfect time"?
Since I started my own label, I've always felt the best thing was to trust my instincts. We are still a completely independent label, and so every decision we make is personal and heartfelt. I had so much fun creating the men's collection, and I am so excited by the results.

What's the biggest difference between designing for your own label and designing for H&M?
It was really fun designing this collection, because I was much looser with my thought processes. Usually when I design a collection, I have a very specific idea of a particular woman, thinking of a narrative and understanding who she was and what she wore. This collection was much freer, and more about the inspiration for individual pieces themselves.

You love combining different fabrics, prints and colours in your namesake label. How is that translated at H&M for a democratic pricing strategy, while maintaining the Erdem quality and appeal?
That's a really interesting question, because when I agreed to collaborate, I was adamant that everything would be the most beautiful it could possibly be. I was determined that everything would have the most amazing cut and silhouette, in the most beautiful fabrics with real attention to detail in the trims and finishes. H&M is amazing to work with because they share the same goals for the collection.

Tell me about your favourite piece.
My favourite piece from the collection is the tailored blazer, which was inspired by a photo of my father in the 1960s. He looked so wonderful in his neat suit, so I first made a single-breasted version for men. While we were fitting the collection, we tried it on the female model, and she looked so amazing, we made a double-breasted version for women too.

Shop the H&M x Erdem collection at H&M Orchard Building on November 2.