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Good vibes abound in the graphic Yay Abe x H&M collection

The fashion brand celebrates life, people and local talent in its latest collab

26 May 2022 - 17:27
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The gender-neutral Yay Abe x H&M collection features an array of casual basics embellished with graphic illustrations.
The gender-neutral Yay Abe x H&M collection features an array of casual basics embellished with graphic illustrations.
Image: Supplied/H&M

The much-anticipated Yay Abe x H&M collection is sure to bring a smile to your face – and a touch of fun to your wardrobe.

As the first H&M collection to be screen-printed in SA, it features an array of playful motifs by Russell Abrahams, founder of the local multi-disciplinary illustration studio, Yay Abe.

Abrahams is known for the graphic style of his work, which is characterised by the bold use of colour. Inspired by the people and cultures of SA, he tells interesting and vibrant stories though his quirky illustrations.

The tale behind the prints he’s created for his H&M collab is all about celebrating people, life and good vibes.

“Each piece has a unique illustration that has been designed and drawn with love. The overarching theme has been the idea of giving people their flowers. This idea is to show people love and appreciation in the now. Celebrating everyday life now rather than later. Because we all deserve to get our flowers,” Abrahams explains.

Yay Abe founder Russell Abrahams, pictured here with a model, says 'the idea of giving people their flowers' was the overarching theme behind the playful graphics he created for his H&M collab.
Yay Abe founder Russell Abrahams, pictured here with a model, says 'the idea of giving people their flowers' was the overarching theme behind the playful graphics he created for his H&M collab.
Image: Supplied/H&M
The pieces in the Yay Abe x H&M collection are available in an array of colourways including fashionable faded pastels.
The pieces in the Yay Abe x H&M collection are available in an array of colourways including fashionable faded pastels.
Image: Supplied/H&M

Gender-neutral and versatile, the Yay Abe x H&M collection comprises nine casual basics in various colourways and sizes spanning from XS to XL. This includes hoodies, zipped hoodies, sweaters, short and long sleeve t-shirts, joggers, shorts and bucket hats made from “more sustainably sourced” materials such as 100% in-conversion cotton.

The colour palette is clean and modern featuring a selection of faded pastels (think pistachio, sky blue and stone) as well as grey mélange, off-black and white.

Abrahams says the chance to collaborate with H&M is something that had long been on his bucket list. “This opportunity is very important; it creates access and representation. I think representation is so important in today’s climate. I’m forever grateful and I hope that my face being shown and celebrated directly inspires other young people of colour to chase their dreams and to just do their thing.”

Caroline Nelson, country manager for H&M SA, says: “H&M’s previous local partnerships with Mantsho and Neimil have proven that supporting South African creatives and empowering them will build and develop their brand further, which is why we are so excited to see this collaboration with Yay Abe come to life.

“We are also very proud to have worked with a local screen-printing supplier on this collection to further support local business.”

The Yay Abe x H&M collection features an array of versatile, casual basics ranging from sweaters and t-shirts to joggers and shorts.
The Yay Abe x H&M collection features an array of versatile, casual basics ranging from sweaters and t-shirts to joggers and shorts.
Image: Supplied/H&M
A closer look at one of the feel-good, flower-inspired illustrations featured in the Yay Abe x H&M collection.
A closer look at one of the feel-good, flower-inspired illustrations featured in the Yay Abe x H&M collection.
Image: Supplied/H&M

The Yay Abe x H&M collection drops on June 2. It will be available at H&M stores in the V&A Waterfront and Canal Walk in Cape Town, Sandton City and Menlyn Park in Gauteng, and Gateway Theatre of Shopping in Durban.

This article was paid for by H&M.


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