Fashion buzz: H&M announces collaboration with Simone Rocha, Zimmermann apologises over cultural appropriation incident, and more

Fashion buzz: H&M announces collaboration with Simone Rocha, Zimmermann apologises over cultural appropriation incident, and more

Fresh updates

Text: Joan Kong

Image: H&M

New collaborations, new ambassadors, and new controversies—here’s every fashion news to know this week

H&M is collaborating with Irish designer Simone Rocha

2021 hasn’t exactly been a great start for many, but H&M knows just how to uplift the spirit by announcing its designer collaboration of the year: Simone Rocha. Known for her dreamy-romantic aesthetic that’s undeniably feminine, the Irish designer will be introducing a full collection for women, men, and children.

In a statement by the brand, creative advisor and former head of design Ann-Sofie Johansson says, “Simone Rocha has been on the H&M wish-list for some time. This collaboration offers a new audience the chance to own a very special piece of design history. All of us at H&M have been so inspired to work with a female designer who spends so much time thinking about contemporary femininity, and womanhood, and who is so committed to excellence in craft and design, from the process of developing special fabrications, to pushing silhouettes, shapes and embellishments. Every garment within this collection is unique, special and the result of years of work and meticulous research.”

The Simone Rocha x H&M collection will be launching on March 11.

Zimmermann apologises over cultural appropriation incident

Zimmermann got itself embroiled in a cultural appropriation controversy last Tuesday when the brand posted an image of a model wearing an embroidered dress from its Resort’21 swim collection on Twitter. Not long after, the brand was accused of cultural appropriating the designs from artisans in Oaxaca, Mexico. The bird motif, panels, and floral details, in particular, were native to the indigenous Mazatec community.

Following the backlash, the brand posted an apology on Instagram. ”Zimmermann acknowledges that the panelled tunic dress from our current Swim collection was inspired by what we now understand to be a traditional garment from the Oaxaca region in Mexico. We apologise for the usage without appropriate credit to the cultural owners of this form of dress and for the offence this has caused. Although the error was unintentional, when it was brought to our attention today the item was immediately withdrawn from all Zimmermann stores and our website. We have taken steps to ensure this does not happen again in future,” the statement reads.

Related: 7 Fashion brands that have been accused of cultural appropriation, and how they responded

Hugo Boss taps Chris Hemsworth as its first global ambassador

Four years after Chris Hemsworth partnered up with Hugo Boss on the Boss Bottled perfume, the brand has officially welcomed the Hollywood actor as its first global ambassador. He will be the face of Boss’s fashion campaigns throughout 2021 and 2022. The first will be unveiled in Spring this year.

"I've been a huge BOSS fan for a long time, so I'm really happy to now represent the brand's collections as global ambassador,” the actor says in a statement. “Our partnership over the past few years has been absolutely brilliant. I’m very excited to be working more closely with the BOSS team.”

Louis Vuitton introduces its new ambassador: Naomi Osaka

Louis Vuitton has also unveiled a new ambassador for the brand, and it’s none other than tennis star Naomi Osaka. The 23-year-old, who’s also the world’s highest-paid female athlete, made her debut in the French Maison’s Spring/Summer 2021 campaign shot by artistic director of women’s collections, Nicolas Ghesquière.

“Naomi is an exceptional woman who represents her generation and is also a role model for everyone. Her career and convictions are inspiring. I am in awe of Naomi, she stays true to herself and doesn’t compromise on her values,” says Nicolas Ghesquière.

Naomi also professed her love for fashion and the brand, saying, ”Aside from tennis, my most treasured passion is fashion; and there is no brand more iconic than Louis Vuitton. It is such an honour to work with Nicolas—he’s a designer I admire so much and we share a mutual love of Japanese culture and style. To become global brand ambassador is truly a dream come true for me.”

Chanel launches its new podcast series, Chanel Connects

Looking for something to do during MCO 2.0? Chanel has launched a new podcast series called Chanel Connects, and it focuses on “conversations on the future of culture”.

Its list of guests include some of the biggest names in the film, art, architecture, dance, music, and fashion industries, such as Tilda Swinton, Pharrell Williams, Keira Knightley and more. Regardless of the episode, you’ll be able to gain more insight into the minds of celebrated creatives.

Tune in to Chanel Connects via the Chanel podcast 3.55 on Spotify, Apple, or

Anne Hathaway stuns at the virtual premiere of her latest film, 'Locked Down'

Movie premieres may have gone virtual for now, but that isn’t stopping Anne Hathaway for bringing her A-game for the release of her latest film, Locked Down. Shot by Christian Hogstedt in her own backyard, the actress stunned in not one, but three eye-catching ensembles from Atelier Versace, Azzaro Couture, and Vivienne Westwood. It’s the high-fashion therapy we never knew we needed.