Since his surprise social media-fueled album announcement and chopping off his signature locks, The Weeknd has successfully capitalized on his Grammy success with the release of his third album Starboy.
Now the 26-year-old Billboard cover star is making the foray into fashion with the help of Swedish retail giant H&M. The singer created a capsule wardrobe composed of 25 different pieces, where the bomber jacket is the principle statement garment.
“For my generation, the bomber jacket is like a replacement for the suit jacket,” The Weeknd exclusively tells Billboard. “It’s a piece that men wear every day, and it’s something that I would wear for any occasion, whether it’s on the street or going to an awards ceremony. For me, bomber jackets are smart, but they are also street and have a lot of attitude.”
This new wave of streetwear sensibility is felt throughout the 25-piece Spring Icons collection, which is available online and in-stores nationwide on March 2nd. A black long sleeve hoodie ($29.99) with a large XO emblem over the heart and also covering both sleeves can be paired with the olive green or black tailored pant ($29.99). Other selects include a cream cardigan with a small black XO logo which can be paired with dark wash jeans ($34.99) and a baggy gray sweatshirt with XO in large black typography accented by a medium-sized red heart.
The Hot 100 chart-topper believes that both music and fashion are creative mediums for self-expression, noting the two “can’t ever be separated” and are “always evolving.”
“When I think about artists today or from the past, I think both of their music and also their look. Nowadays you can’t really draw the line anywhere, you just get inspired by a special vibe, whether it’s a sound or a style,” adding that “the effect of music on fashion has been immense, especially hip-hop and urban music.”
H&M’s head of menswear design, Andreas Löwenstam — who worked closely with The Weeknd on this collection — chatted with Billboard about the collaboration, noting that The Weeknd’s “effortless style” was a natural fit for the brand, as “his sharp take on streetwear is connected to how we think about menswear” in 2017.
H&M has worked with quite a few established designers including Isabel Marant, Versace, and Balmain. What was it like working with The Weeknd on this project?
An absolute pleasure. I was really nervous to begin with when we started to show the collection, but after having gone through all pieces carefully, Abel [Tesfaye, The Weeknd’s real name] turned to us and said: “You really nailed it, this is what I hoped from a collaboration with you guys.” We finished off the meeting by listening to “Starboy” which he had just completed in the studio before coming to our meeting, so we were the first to hear that song.
What surprised you the most while working with Abel?
He is such a great guy, a complete gentleman who is friendly and with a cool attitude. He was also very knowledgeable about where he wanted to go with this collaboration.
How can music be felt in this Spring collection?
We love how menswear is becoming cleaner in its design, bringing casual together with formal to make a new mood in men’s fashion, sort of like what Abel is doing with his music.
H&M tapped a few musicians to front their campaigns such as Chance the Rapper for Kenzo and Lana Del Ray’s capsule collection. What are your thoughts on the intersection between music and fashion? Where do you think this trend is going now that more brands are asking musicians to front their respective campaigns?
Music and fashion are two creative ways of expressing yourself, and they very much inspire each other. When you look at the modern musician in the street anywhere in the world, you see that they care so much more about their appearance. They are using their clothes to express themselves and their identity. It’s a very exciting trend to see, and H&M is happy to be working with such people.
What are the three must-have pieces from the collection?
The key is to mix something casual with something slightly more tailored, like wearing the [black] pleather jacket ($69.99) and oversized T ($14.99 and available in six colors) with the chinos ($24.99 available in four colors).