H&M presents a men's collection: Selected by Emre Can - filmed for H&M by DONALD SCHNEIDER STUDIO

For the 'Selected by Emre Can' collection, Emre Can put together an exclusive selection of suits. The German national soccer team player with Turkish heritage grew up in Frankfurt and plays for Liverpool in the Premier League. Emre Can is considered a role model for young men who want to realize their potential both in sports and personally.

The 'Selected by Emre Can' collection is comprised of a variety of styling and combination options for suits on different occasions.The focus for both H&M and Emre Can in the collaboration is on creating a very unique, personal style. The campaign was realized by DONALD SCHNEIDER STUDIO/Berlin. Creative Director Donald Schneider, who has produced global celebrity productions for H&M for several years also stood behind the camera as director. The print motifs were photographed by Frederike Helwig. GoSee member STRANGE CARGO FILM took care of the production.
04.09.2018 // show complete article

Donald Schneider, Global Creative Director of H&M, on his work with Beyoncé, Gisele Bündchen, the H&M designer collaborations with Alexander Wang or Balmain, and as a juror at the GoSeeAWARDS 2015

We are very pleased to welcome Donald Schneider, Creative Director with his own studio in Berlin, as a juror at our GoSeeAWARDS, who is looking forward to submissions in the categories fashion, reportage, and art projects. He has inspired international fashion designers in collaborations with H&M for over ten years. It all started with Karl Lagerfeld followed by collaborations with Versace, Marni, Margiela, and Isabel Marant. Most recently, he took it in a new direction with Alexander Wang.

As we have heard, we can look forward to the results of a collaboration between H&M and Balmain this fall?
Yes, November 5th is the start date for the BALMAIN x H&M campaign, worldwide in selected H&M shops and online. We are very excited about the collection designed by Olivier Rousteing... and hope customers will be too.

How do you pick the designers at H&M and how does collaboration for the collection work? Did Alexander Wang have complete creative freedom or does the collection concept have to fulfill specific criteria and guidelines? The main goal is for each of our designer collaborations to be surprising and create a buzz. Most important is, of course, choosing the right designer to work with... trusting your gut feeling and, with a little luck, having a nose for where fashion is going. The collection idea always comes from the designer, which is the only way to create something magical! Alexander Wang’s idea was to create a collection inspired by sport. The idea is then developed in close cooperation between the designer and the specialists of the H&M team.

After the collection is designed and produced, it's time to realize the print and film campaign. What was the idea in the case of Alexander Wang? The campaign and the collection are developed in parallel. The campaign is created by a team put together by me, which is made up of international talents. We work together very closely and are extremely creative. The ALEXANDER WANG x H&M campaign was inspired by the collection idea and based on a kind of computer game with models as superheroes. All touchpoints for it were developed synchronously with the idea: social media, digital, online, TV commercial, print, out of home, PR, events, visual, shop windows, packaging etc.. We booked photographer Mikael Jansson for the print campaign and Tell NO One to direct the films.

From a family lead clothing manufacturer in Sweden to a global brand – how do you explain H&M's success? Pionier spirit, courage and an ingenious businesss idea: “Fashion and quality at the best price, in a sustainable way”.

In addition to the economic success, the brand also manages to maintain an extremely good image. ALl H&M has to do is knock, and designers open their doors. Is it always that easy or what is your secret? The secret? You can only maintain a good image by working with the best talents in the world, promoting them and trusting them. For me it's always important to support new concepts and ideas. No risk, no gain. It is, of course, an interesting opportunity for almost all top fashion designers, when they are asked if they want to collaborate with H&M.

You probably still have a lot of contacts from when you worked as an Art Director in Paris for VOGUE France and VOGUE HOMMES International. How important are contacts in your job as a CD? I am always on the road and hardly ever longer than 2-3 days in the same place... for shoots, meetings, and research. Constantly exchanging ideas with all kinds of interesting people – while looking for new strategies, ideas, and ways to collaborate.

You not only realize campaigns with designers but also with international stars including David Beckham, Lana Del Ray or Beyoncé. How much say do they have in the campaign and the imagery you wish to convey? Each and every project is unique! What interests me most is creative teamwork, and the same goes for stars. Getting people excited for our ideas, but it is just as important for us to give them room for their own input... is the only way to achieve perfect results.

You said once that 'You can get a foot in the door with anyone. Even if it's only for 15 minutes, you have to make the best of it!' What is your strategy in such a case? A charm offensive? I learned back then while I was in New York that anyone, not matter how important they may be, is no more than three phone calls away. You always know somebody, who knows somebody else, who knows who you are trying to contact. If you get the chance to meet, you have to be very well prepared... and yes, I try to inspire with charm but also determination and simply by being natural.

How did the collaboration with Beyoncé come about? How did you manage to charm her in the first 15 minutes? I just called her up... No, seriously, you have to prepare a project like that long in advance, be in contact with the manager for years and find an idea that is interesting for both sides at the time.

After the "Beyoncé as Mrs. Carter in H&M" campaign with the singer, you said ''It does not get bigger than having Beyoncé on board". We have read that Beyoncé especially enjoyed the interplay of fire, water, earth and wind - the commercial was more like a video shoot for her. How do you remember the shoot and collaboration? That was exactly the idea; making a TV commercial as a music & dance video to a new song from Beyoncé's album. For the shoot with her in the Bahamas with director Jonas Akerlund, we ultimately had very, very little time. For the campaign photos with Inez van Lamsweerde and Vinoodh Matadin even less time, only two hours! But the energy was fantastic, and that's what counts at a shoot.

But after that it continued right where you left off: big. And you got Gisele Bündchen as the campaign testimonial. Who are you interested in now? After Beyoncé, the singer as a model... we turned it around, and for the first time, had a supermodel sing in a campaign. Surprising people is exciting for me! Combining things and talents in a new way. A few exciting and new surprises are in preparation!

Your specialty is fashion photography. Do you have any other perhaps still secret talents, which you would like to live out as a CD? At the moment, I am particularly interested in the multichannel aspect and how to implement an idea in all channels simultaneously in a super-innovative way. Teamwork is more important than ever for that. The fashion and communication industries are in transition, and developing new strategies and concepts has always interested me, particularly the interdisciplinary aspect and thinking outside the box... and now is exactly the right time for it. And yes, I love photography, besides fashion photography, by the way, also art and reportage photography. I also do book projects once in a while; I am planning one right now with a legendary war and reportage photographer.

You are a Swiss-American, who has lived in New York and Paris, and now you have moved to Berlin with your studio. What are your plans? In the near future, I will activate my own studio in Berlin more again next to my projects for H&M. We are in the process of preparing the first major projects for various clients.

You are in the GoSeeAWARDS jury (we are very happy to say!), which is looking for inspiring entries in seven categories this year. What inspires you? I am excited! I am interested in the newest talents and their work. And I am mostly interested in Berlin since I usually work with photographers in NYC, Paris and London. I am excited to see the submissions.

Where do you like to go in Berlin, what bars, restaurants or galleries can you recommend us?
I like Berlin's Mitte district, the gallery neugeriemschneider, Gallery Neu, Michael Fuchs etc.. The restaurants Grill Royal, Dudu, Mamecha, etc. ... unfortunately the Alt Berliner (legendary Berlin bar, editorial comment) in Münzstrasse was closed, I miss that one.
24.08.2015 // show complete article