Karolina Kijak's profile

H&M x Karolina Kijak

The Karolina Kijak x H&M collaboration is based on two natural worlds – the land and the sea. For the land-based illustrations, the animals lead the way with zebras, cheetahs, giraffes, flamingos and palm leaves, while the ocean world celebrates vibrant fish, majestic sharks and starfish. The collection includes dresses, denim jackets, sweatshirts, hoodies, t-shirts, trousers, skirts and shorts. Tie-dye, ombre effects and details such as drawstring waists, patch pockets and contrast necklines feature alongside a colour palette of olive green, ocean blue, coral pink, light grey and yellow. Accessories include sunglasses, handbags and headbands.
“With this H&M collaboration, I have the wonderful opportunity to show children beautiful animals in the wild and in the ocean, which is especially important because I want them to be inquisitive and feel inspired about the world they live in. It makes me happy bringing these creatures closer to children on their own clothes and I’m very curious to find out what their reactions will be like.”
Karolina Kijak-Dzikońska
“We were immediately drawn to Karolina’s watercolour illustrations for the way the colours come alive and create a sense of character in the animals. For our collaboration, we wanted to unite the worlds of both land and sea in a playful way. Our hope is that kids – and their parents – will find the adventure in this happy spring collection.”
Sofia Löfstedt, Head of Kidswear Design at H&M
Karolina Kijak’s creative process almost always starts the same way: with a walk in the fresh air. That’s where the creatures of her paintings exist, and that’s where she can find inspiration for her work.

“I love hiking in the woods and meadows near the house with binoculars or a camera, and I often collect forest treasures that I find on the ground, like beautiful bird feathers. It all adds up to a pool of inspiration that I use in my illustrations.”

However, some of the animals Karolina paints — including the ones in the H&M collaboration — don’t have their natural surroundings in the woods of Poland, which is where Karolina was born and raised, and still lives. These sweet jumpers, dresses and trousers are printed with realistic watercolour pictures of baby cheetahs, quirky giraffes, cute sharks and beautiful underwater creatures. For these, she turns to atlases and photographs.
“I study exotic species of animals from books and love to scroll collections from nature photographers from around the world. My dream is to observe as many species of birds and animals in their natural environment as possible, to be able to show people how valuable and beautiful they are, and how much they need our protection.”
Karolina grew up in a small village one hour away from Wroclaw in Poland.
”Growing up in a small village does wonders for your imagination. It might seem like you have limited possibilities, but that’s exactly what develops a creative inner life. I loved climbing trees as a kid. I could sit there for hours, daydreaming, collecting forest treasures and sketching.”

The Karolina Kijak x H&M collection is the first time Karolina’s illustrations can be seen on garments, and she describes the creative process as exciting and fun.
“I can still remember when I was a kid myself, and what I felt when I looked at illustrations of animals in atlases. It was a priceless experience! I wanted the patterns on the clothes not only to have a decorative function, but also to cause a reaction. That’s why I devoted a lot of attention to the eyes of the portraited animals. I wanted them to express emotions. I am incredibly curious about the reaction of children when they see the clothes!”
H&M x Karolina Kijak

H&M x Karolina Kijak