H&M Brings Philippine Contemporary Art to Streetwear in an Exciting Triple Collaboration

Street art meets fashion

H&M joins forces with streetwear brand DBTK and renowned artist behind Garapata, Dex Fernandez, for an exciting new collection drop

Local artistry is undoubtedly filled to the brim with creatives that deserve to be celebrated in mainstream media with the same passion and gusto as international names. From people of different walks of life, the creative landscape in the Philippines is nothing short of excellent. This is why H&M is excited to announce their partnership with not one, but two powerhouses in the local art scene that boasts a whimsical and playful take on streetwear.

Following the success of the first-ever Filipino-designed collaboration with Don’t Blame The Kids the previous year, H&M invited the streetwear brand once more for a thrilling triple collaboration with Dex Fernandez, a widely known and respected figure in the industry and the creator of Garapata.

Three worlds colliding

An interdisciplinary artist based in Manila, Dex Fernandez’s works have been presented in numerous exhibitions both locally and internationally including Taiwan, New York, and Paris, to name a few. Akin to Stan Lee’s clever cameos during Marvel movies, Garapata also embodies that same scavenger hunt-esque vibe as Dex’s creation is known for its unexpected and cheeky appearances wherever the artist may have been. 

Garapata is a whimsical representation of social psychedelic landscape that observes the intertwined experiences of human behavior influenced by the other with bizarre context in which it occurs. In other words, a socio-political mind trip,” Dex Fernandez explains. 

His addition to the collaboration amplifies H&M’s commitment to inclusivity and DBTK’s mission to celebrate all walks of life. He also believes that streetwear is an expression of individuality with no rules to stick by.

“You can wear whatever you feel like, mix and match and feel satisfied about it. It gives the wearer a sense of freedom.”

Dex Fernandez on the significance of streetwear in the industry

“[Art] is an artist’s expression through making visual objects. Both streetwear and art are extensions of our DNA, it manifests our style, taste, narrative, culture, background, and the way we think in life. Our body is like a blank canvas, and the blank canvas is like ourselves,” Fernandez says passionately.

Through this collaboration, H&M aims to unfold a sense of unity and inclusivity with the community. “While DBTK and Garapata took the reins design-wise, H&M worked closely together to make sure this collection would be a visual representation of our shared philosophy. Its ambition is to connect with the community and bring this essence to the pieces, hence creating an exciting blend of fashion and innovation,” says Dan Mejia, Regional Head of Communications and PR of H&M.

For artists and streetwear enthusiasts alike, a collaboration this holds deeper magnitude especially with the inclusion of two of the most respected names in streetwear and street art. 

“Collaborating with a renowned artist creates a sense of pressure for us to create something distinct and original that will deeply connect with the people. Working with H&M as our platform adds excitement to the prospect of creating a collection with Garapata as it brings together two influential names in art and fashion. Incorporating DBTK adds a vibrant and meaningful narrative that resonates with young audiences,” DBTK brothers Emil and Vince thoughtfully shares.

The scope of this collection ranges from simple to ultra-dynamic design that concentrates on a more spirited market. By bringing together local street art and fashion, this H&M collection is poised to attract a diverse audience as every piece serves as a wearable canvas for self-expression and storytelling.

The streetwear collection featuring exclusive designs from DBTK and Grapata drops in select H&M stores starting September 21. Get to know the amazing artists featured in this exciting collection by visiting DBTK’s and Dex Fernandez’s Instagram. For other future releases from H&M, you may check out their Instagram.