H&M unveiled their newest venture into high-end fashion on Friday, to awaiting fashion press at their debut store in Regent’s Street. The well known high street retailer, who have called the new high-end label, & Other Stories, opened the store on Regent Street, and members of the press were given a preview tour of the two-floor space.
The store is meant to represent the current attitude of women to fashion and shopping, as seen and influenced by social media and blogging. It is a fashion brand that intends to offer women a much wider range of shoes, bags, accessories, beauty and ready-to-wear, in an effort to help them create their very own personal style, and not become one of the many, but stand out from the crowd.
& Other Stories realises that todays women want to wear clothes and make-up that accurately represent her personality, and this store aim to bring all these items, whether they be clothing, footwear, bags and accessories, or beauty products, under one space.
& Other Stories are different from other high street retailers in that they want to focus on a women’s whole look, and not just parts of it. They want to help women achieve a total style, and believe that ‘shoes, bags, jewellery, lingerie and beauty are key for styling and just as important as clothing’.
The store does not have a signature brand per se, but build collections of lines which are inspired by trending fashion stores. They also do not only focus on one particular kind of styling, and range from masculine tailoring to a more feminine girly look, in an attempt to provide as much styling choice as possible.
In deciding to reinvent the classic high street store, Creative Director Sara Hilden-Bengtsson said: “We went to different cities and looked at how the impact of social media, street style and bloggers has made women more fashion savvy,” she added, “Women create looks differently than they did 10-15 years ago. They create their own stories through their personal style and they know fashion.”
As the inspiration for fashion has changed over the last few decades, with women taking styling tips to create their own personal style from many different sources, such as ebay, thrift and charity shops, the media and celebrity trends, H&M decided to launch this brand new concept.
Three years ago they hired a group of designers and other individuals involved in the fashion industry, and set out to create these “stories” which now serve as the collections for the store.
The stories are there to help women achieve a simple ‘look’ or style, such as “Contradiction and Minimalism”, and the edits all include which type of dress should go with the shoes, the bags and even what nail polish and lip colour to wear with the whole outfit.
This new store is a little like the stylist pick stores that sprang up over the last couple of years, in which celebrities such as Kim Kardashian and Cheryl Cole picked out their favourite items of clothing and footwear, for fans to buy online. These types of stores did not do well however, mainly because although the online sites did have a virtual stylist on hand to help consumers, a lot of the stores had a minimum spend amount per month, and you also had to like what the stylist picked for you.
The clothes featured in the press release pictures show that they are of a higher quality than your typical high street store, think Whistles or Hobbs rather than Miss Selfridge or Topshop, but they are still relatively affordable.
And for the woman who desperately wants to create a unique style, you could well be tempted to spend that little bit extra for the collections alone.
For more information, check out the website at www.stories.com
All pictures: PR