by Stephen Garner

H&M has teamed up with Tokyo-based independent luxury label TOGA. Founded in 1997 by Yasuko Furuta, TOGA has gained critical acclaim and a devoted international fanbase for its experimental takes on wardrobe classics, defined by a genderless, fiercely individual approach to fashion. The collection comprises exciting contemporary twists of TOGA’s archival hits for men and women.

Furuta has built her brand on playful but cool pieces that explore sensuality in unusual ways, and this collection is true to her founding mission of exploring new ideas that become future standards. TOGA favorites — hybridized trench coats, deconstructed striped shirts, plissé skirts, dresses with clever cut-outs, and exacting tailoring — are all at play in the TOGA Archives x H&M collection. For men, eye-catching scarf prints appear in reversible bomber jackets, on loungewear, and on a hybridized trench coat, alongside reworked sweaters and shirts. For women, classic tailoring in navy, grey, and black features dashes of eccentricity, such as bead-embellished pockets or silk scarf cape detailing; meanwhile dresses and skirts in bold floral and gingham prints pair cleverly with deconstructed knitwear.

“Fashion is a great way to express your interests immediately and non-verbally,” said Furuta. “It’s much faster than a conversation about the artwork you are interested in, or the music or books that you like. When I first launched TOGA, I wanted to make clothes for people who are filled with curiosity and who are unafraid of change. With this collection for H&M, I am excited that a broader range of people will be able to discover and enjoy TOGA designs,”

“At H&M, we have always admired Yasuko Furuta for imbuing her clothes with a very strong sense of personality,” added Ann-Sofie Johansson, creative advisor at H&M. “She enjoys the challenge that comes with creating an avant-garde look that is also easy to wear. It was a pleasure to spend time with her and her team, being inspired by designs from the TOGA archive. I can’t wait to see how customers all over the world style these playful but cool pieces, particularly the sensual TOGA signature cut-outs.”

The TOGA Archives x H&M collection is now available worldwide in selected stores and at hm.com.