Thierry Mugler x H&M flirt with the art of dupe to conquer Gen Z

After Karl Lagerfeld, Stella McCartney and Balmain and Margiela, it is now Mugler’s turn to collaborate with one of the giants of fast fashion H&M. Inspirations, collaboration or imitations, we don’t know, we’re lost. Like no other before, this exclusive collection opens the debate on reproductions of luxury products and the reinterpretation of fashion on a global scale.


Today, luxury attracts everyone. On social networks, in magazines or on the Internet, you can see everywhere and all the time. But it is often difficult to afford premium coins, when you know that a Prada bag (for example) is the equivalent of a minimum wage (see even two).


In order to meet a very wide range of customers, more and more brands are looking for more low-cost alternatives to seduce all ages, and especially millenials. Because yes, they are the ones who are most present on the web and elsewhere, and constantly looking for trends.


What are simply called “dupes“, multiply on social networks. Cosmetics, fashion, but also food, it affects all sectors, much to the chagrin of brands. What we call dupes are sometimes imitations and…very often counterfeits. Can’t you afford the latest Cagole from Balenciaga? In two clicks, you have the same at less than 100 euros on many sites.


This emerging trend appeared on social networks a little while ago, giving birth to a hashtag. The simple word Dupe has generated over 3 billion views on Tik Tok, and the numbers are only going up.


Some brands try to find alternatives, to counter this new phenomenon, not in the background -because imitations and counterfeits exist since the dawn of time- but in form.


This is the case of the Swedish chain of stores H&M, which diverts to its profit the art of dupe to renew itself and conquer all the targets of the current market, from the generation Z, to the older ones, including the young.


Mugler x H&M: reinvention or imitation?


This is one of the most anticipated collaborations of the year. The pieces were finally unveiled last Thursday, during the launch of the collection. Between a tribute to the Mugler House, reinterpretation of the archives and renewal, Casey Cadwallader, the House’s creative director, delivers a collection combining trends and couture.



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Une publication partagée par H&M (@hm)


Knitted bodysuits, sculptural mini-dresses and corsets, the whole Mugler identity of the years 80-90 is felt and found here.



Among the flagship pieces and true Mugler identity, we find the tight and transparent combinations, stars of the last show spring-summer 2023-2024, pants and jackets in bi-material jeans and perfect cuts, or even dresses with tangy colors and eccentric cuts, up to the vinyl trench with broad shoulders. Designed to suit everyone and for everyone, the sizes range from XS to double XL. A rare fact for exclusive and premium collections.



Another point, which focuses on diversity and diversity, even if there is a woman’s collection on one side and a male on the other, the pieces are made to mix and become unisex. Ensembles, trenches or sweatshirts and costumes, there is something for everyone.


In addition to cuts, mix and sizes, all Mugler styles are included in this collaborative collection. Evening dresses, cocktail dresses, costumes, leather pants for a rock look, extravagant but elegant combinations for a note of madness or hoodies and oversized pants for more casual and sportswear looks.




The accessories, real plus values of the outfits, are just as original as the rest of the collection. Silk scarves, leather bags, jewelry or belts and caps will accompany the total Mugler x H&M look.


Prices start at 24.99 euros (for a swimsuit bottom) and go up to 599 euros (for a leather trench coat). Unfortunately, four days after the collection was released on the H&M website, all items were already out of stock. It is possible to find them on resale sites, but this f0is at astronomical prices. Whether it is with the dupes who compete with luxury brands with imitations of identical models or with resale platforms, the upscale is not at the end of its surprises!


An increasingly evolving market


This craze for exclusivity and limited editions is increasingly common. It started in the United States with the drops Supreme, Adidas or Nike, to quickly arrive in Europe and spread around the world. Today, it is difficult to distinguish between a “real” buyer, a fashion lover, who follows trends and exclusivities in order to shop the latest pieces to add them to his collection and “other” buyers, in other words resellers, who only buy for the purpose of making a profit on rare and exclusive coins.


Out of curiosity, we went to Vinted, the world’s first second-hand platform, which has over 10 million users in France, with 400,000 new articles added every day. By typing the keywords Mugler and H&M, we immediately come across dozens and dozens of articles of the collaboration. Prices have doubled or even tripled compared to the original labels. For two-material and two-tone unisex jeans, you have to pay 500 euros on the second hand site against 149 euros on H&M. The most expensive piece, the leather trench coat, initially sold at 599 euros, is 1 200 euros on Vinted.


Between counterfeits, imitations, collections renewal or resale, luxury and fast fashion mix to the delight of millenials.



Featured photo : ©H&M

Apolline Prulhiere est une jeune journaliste en herbe. Elle se passionne notamment pour la mode et la culture, et s'est récemment découvert un intérêt certain pour l'automobile. Sa plume enjouée se caractérise d'une grande richesse lexique, d'un ton direct et spontané. Son glossaire précis élimine l'incertitude.


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