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H&M Collaborates with “Cult” Footwear Brand Eytys on Unisex Collection

H&M has announced plans to release a unisex collection of footwear, outerwear, accessories and everyday apparel on Jan. 24, 2019 with the assistance of self-proclaimed “cult” footwear and apparel brand, Eytys.

Eytys, based in Stockholm, Sweden, is known for its ultra-chunky soles and off-the-wall marketing. For example, its newest collection—Purple Velvet—doubles as a mid-80s style ad for a suspect (and fictional) body lotion of the same name. Now, it will team up with one of the world’s largest retailers for a collection that infuses H&M’s familiar fast fashion standards with the quirky, minimalist styling of Eytys.

“With this collaboration, we hope to introduce the H&M customer to our design philosophy of robust and fuss-free design where function triumphs embellishment and styles spans genders,” Max Schiller, creative director at Eytys, said. “The collection is all about proportions–creating a distinct unisex silhouette by playing around with loose silhouettes and chunky architectural footwear. It’s the Eytys idea of a ‘generic’ look, one that is meant to elevate integrity, attitude and confidence.”

The collection will be free from “restraints based on gender or age,” H&M and Eytys said in a statement. The new line will include leather and suede boots, jackets, raw denim and trousers—incorporating cotton, faux patent leather and nylon throughout. Of course, the classic chunky sole found on Eytys’ own footwear will also be incorporated into the collection’s sneakers and shoes.

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The line was designed in a joint effort by both companies, though the Eytys influence is decidedly more apparent, particularly among the boxy silhouettes and mixed-material construction. One notable example is a platform slide that couples faux snakeskin with suede. The same snakeskin pattern can also be found on a pair of sneakers, a jacket and a button-down shirt.

“We admire that Eytys have a look distinctly their own and initially approached them with the idea of creating a shoe collection,” Ross Lydon, acting head of menswear at H&M, said. “But after initial brainstorming, it was decided that a full collection–shoes, clothes and accessories–would enable our customers to really experience the whole brand aesthetic and ethos. With this collaboration, we want to offer our customers a total look that is all about chunky statement shoes and mindful proportions that are genderless.”

H&M said it designed the collection to be “effortlessly mixed and matched to suit any mood.” Although, that is likely helped by a grunge-like color palette that mixes purposefully obtuse colors like “school bus yellow” and “bottle green” with base colors like beige, khaki, indigo, black and white.

Additionally, each pair of Eytys x H&M shoes will come with a custom-designed box painted by professional artist, Zoe Barcza.

H&M has a long history of collaboration with quirky Swedish designers. However, it recently shut down underperforming acquisition, Cheap Monday, another Stockholm-based brand with connections to alternative cultures, to focus on its core business.