The Refined Rebel: Why H&M's Studio AW20 Collection Needs To Be On Your Radar

BY Laura Kell / Sep 8 2020 / 16:40 PM

From David Bowie inspired pieces to bold footwear, the new collection is bursting with raw, rebellious energy

The Refined Rebel: Why H&M's Studio AW20 Collection Needs To Be On Your Radar

Daring and fearless in both attitude and style, the H&M Studio AW20 collection is inspired by some of the most notable fashion pioneers from modern history, as it combines 70’s rock, disco and punk within each piece – truly living up to its name, 'The Refined Rebel.'

“One of my favourites is the candy pink recycled polyester frilled blouse. It’s so joyous!” says Ann-Sofie Johansson, H&M’s creative advisor and former head of design. She also notes that the collection includes a variety of sustainable conscious pieces, along with a great selection of statement jewellery and shoes.

Bazaar asked Ann-Sofie a few questions about the 'The Refined Rebel' collection, which will launch on on September 24. From retro-chic two-piece suits to vampy knee high boots, here’s exactly why you’ll want to add every piece to your wardrobe ASAP.

Harper’s Bazaar Arabia (HBA): The inspiration behind ‘The Refined Rebel’ collection is very intriguing. Why did H&M decide to go with this direction for its AW20 Studio collection?

Ann-Sofie Johansson (ASJ): It began with a trip to Florence. We were so enamoured with the locals and their love for taking a walk in their refined style; they have a magnetic confidence. To bring that idea to the H&M Studio customer we looked to Violet Paget and David Bowie, whose style was equally as confident but boldly experimental and had that raw, rebellious energy that many of us want today.

It’s a collection of juxtapositions where there are refined, rich fabrications and colours but also punky 70’s twists and party-anywhere pieces. We wanted to create a collection that celebrates individuality, that invites courage and fluidity, and that throws the traditional rule book out the window.

HBA: Which pieces from the collection are you most excited about and why?

ASJ: I love the black blazer. It’s softly tailored, so it works well with lots of different looks and has a subtle shimmer throughout it to bring that partywear feel into the day. The winter grey coat is a firm favourite too. Made from Italian wool, the coat feels so luxurious and has a slight masculine energy which I love.

HBA: Why did H&M decide to team up with Barbie Ferreira, Veronika Heilbrunner, Celeste, Alton Mason, Young Emperors and Mia Kong for the campaign?

ASJ: All of these wonderful muses are creators who are fearless in what they do and who have made an impact in the world of fashion. Creating a digital campaign is, admittedly, a little daunting but this new campaign format is a true reflection of the AW20 collection’s message of fearlessness, diversity and experimentation.

We’re handing the styling reigns over to these brilliant individuals, and they will each share their unique and personal results with us and the world!

HBA: Why was it important to have an interactive aspect for customers to engage with, when sharing content across social media platforms?

ASJ: Our customers are just as much a part of what we create as the H&M team. We wanted to invite our customers to show us their take on the collection as well as give them the opportunity to pick up some styling tips and tricks.

The beauty of this collection is that it can be styled in so many adaptable ways, depending on your personality, what you want to say or the occasion. Our Instagram social media filter hope to create conversation and build a creative community that can celebrate individuality together.

HBA: Can you tell us more about the collection’s accessories and how they’ll compliment the other pieces within the line?

ASJ: The collection has a great pair of wide boots in shiny black leather that complement the collection’s tailored culottes brilliantly. As they’re knee-high, the boots look so inviting when worn with the palazzo-printed dresses too.

The ‘party shoe’ – as we like to call it – is a versatile, vibrant green leather heeled shoe, which can easily be dressed-up or down. It can be worn in harmony with the velvety green colours or in contrast against the collection’s red and soft pink tones. Both pairs of shoes are perfect for day-to-night.

HBA: Aside for the above, is there any other way ‘The Refined Rebel’ collection be different from past collections?

ASJ: The H&M Studio collection is the most fashion-forward thinking of the H&M collections. This collection was inspired by two past icons who were making brave decisions with their style.

This is one of our most powerful and inspiring references to date, and the team are proud to have created a collection that invites the wearer to express themselves no matter what and to create positive change.

For more information, visit

Images supplied.