The New York Times has the lowdown on the actual cost of Helen Hunt’s Oscar dress, designed by H&M. This was no under $200.00 USD off the rack gown that you could buy at your local H&M store. The was a custom made gown, despite that fact that it was made by a fashion retailer. “This is a way for us to show we can do so many more things than what we have in our stores,” Ann-Sofie Johansson, H&M’s head of design, told The New York Times in a phone interview.
The dress was extremely effective marketing for a new “red carpet” collection H&M will sell in some stores, beginning April 4. Some of you may recall that H&M had a similar red carpet collection last year called the “Glamour Collection” that was well timed for the prom season. The Glamour Collection was made from recycled materials and was surprisingly good looking. Since Ms. Hunt is a supporter of Global Green it makes sense that she would help H&M promote their continuing efforts to produce sustainable fashion. What better way to promote a reasonably priced red carpet collection than getting some Oscar buzz? Very smart marketing from H&M on this.
So how much would the dress Ms. Hunt wore have cost if it was for sale at H&M? Ms. Johansson estimated it would’ve cost $650.00 USD. That’s a fraction of what the couture dresses from designers like Armani, Valentino, Reem Acra, Dior and others would charge to make a red carpet worthy gown. So, if the dress was actually for sale, it would be a good deal considering the cost of comparable red carpet gowns.