Simone Rocha and H&M Launch Star-Studded “Augmented Reality Experience”

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Kelsey LuCourtesy Faye Wei Wei, Simone Rocha and H&M

The unique project, created in collaboration with British artist Faye Wei Wei, features appearances from Kelsey Lu, Helena Bonham Carter and Kaia Gerber

Simone Rocha and H&M launched their hotly anticipated collaborative collection today. To celebrate, the brands have teamed up with British artist Faye Wei Wei for a suitably artful – and Covid-safe – augmented reality project, featuring appearances from Helena Bonham Carter, Kaia Gerber and former AnOther Magazine cover star Kelsey Lu.

Rather than holding an in-person event during the pandemic, both Rocha and H&M opted for a more considered, imaginative alternative. They decided on an innovative digital experience – combining art, fashion, and cutting-edge technology – which viewers can access from the safety of their homes. 

The project is activated through a limited-edition pop-up book, which includes five intricate backdrops painted by Wei Wei, along with a series of QR codes. By scanning the images through their smartphones, viewers are able to see a star-studded cast of creative collaborators spring to life on the pages. It is, according to H&M’s Ann-Sofie Johansson, “one of the most innovative collection events” the brand has ever created. “The collection truly comes to life with the help of AR,” she says.

The majestic cast – who are shrunk to around 10.5cm tall for the project – include actors, dancers, models and musicians of all ages, shapes and backgrounds. As well as Lu, Gerber and Bonham Carter, there are also cameos from actor Barry Keoghan, dancer William De Val Darby, model Jess Maybury, and It’s A Sin breakout star Omari Douglas, among others. The diversity of the cast reflects the “broad range of individuals who enjoy Rocha’s work”, with everyone wearing pieces from the new collection.

Rocha says that the project was partly inspired by the events of the last 12 months, which forced her to reimagine new ways of working. “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,” she explains in a statement. “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.”

You can view the full Simone Rocha x H&M collection – which includes menswear, womenswear and childrenswear – on the official H&M website.