PARIS — Almost a year after being denied permission to open on the Champs-Elysées here, Hennes and Mauritz has obtained the right to open a branch on the famed street.
Last December, a Paris commission blocked H&M's plans to hoist its flag on the high-traffic thoroughfare by citing concerns the Swedish fast-fashion giant's presence would "banalize" the street.
"We are very happy that we've finally received a trade license to open," said an H&M spokeswoman. "It's a positive development."
The previous decision to ban H&M on the street was prompted by officials' fears that the Champs-Elysées was becoming too monolithic a shopping destination, to the detriment of its cultural prestige. It was a controversial move that bred confusion among many, especially since the likes of Zara, Gap and Mango already have stores on the street. While Louis Vuitton and Cartier are among the Champs-Elysées' more prestigious tenants, popular destinations abound, from a Disney store to McDonald's.
Earlier this year, Louis Vuitton won a drawn-out battle with a labor union to keep its flagship on the street open on Sunday, when most French stores are forced to close.
H&M plans to make a splash with the new unit. For the store's design, it has enlisted high-profile French architect Jean Nouvel, who recently created a spectacular angular structure to house a primitive arts museum in Paris.
“Azzedine has been one of the biggest influences in my life. He has always been such a strong, loving, fatherly figure to me. I call him Papa. His designs are indescribably unique, they are pieces of art. He knew how to make the female form look its loveliest. I have so many memories of him; my favorite might be during my first show with him in Paris. He liked me and he wanted to help me get more work. He called all his friends at Kenzo and Comme des Garcons, and asked them to book me. They said, ‘But she can’t walk!’ And he said, ‘but she has such a great ass!' His friendship and support has been the great privilege of my career. I can't imagine life without him. Repose en paix mon Papa.” - @stephanieseymour tells @wwd. #wwdfashion (📷: @steveeichner) #alaia #azzedinealaia
Azzedine Alaïa, flanked by two of his closest friends, models Stephanie Seymour and Naomi Campbell.
He designed Seymour’s dress for her 1995 wedding to Peter Brant, and treated Campbell (who famously called him Papa), like a daughter. For more on the legendary designer, tap the link in bio. #wwdfashion #alaia #azzedinealaia
Azzedine Alaïa's “I-did-it-my-way” ethos stood out starkly at a time when brands are experimenting with consumer-facing fashion shows, coed formats and trans-seasonal collections – anything to perk up lackluster sales of ready-to-wear in an age of Insta-everything. “It’s not creation anymore. This becomes a purely industrial approach,” the late designer told WWD in an interview last year. “But anyway, the rhythm of collections is so stupid. It’s unsustainable. There are too many collections.” Read more about the iconic designer’s life and work on wwd.com, link in bio. #wwdfashion #azzedinealaia (📷: @WWD Archive, 1986) #alaia
Sneaker reselling app @goat’s latest exhibit, "The Greatest: New York," tells the story of New York's sneaker culture. To celebrate the exhibit, an intimate crowd gathered on Thursday night at the pop-up gallery space, located at Platform in Culver City, to hear guest speaker and illustrator @esymai talk about her own rise in streetwear and women in the business. "For me I'm just someone who is creative. I like to create things," said Chang. #wwdfashion
Azzedine Alaïa, one of the most iconic couturiers of the modern era whose body-con designs defined Eighties fashion, has died in Paris. The diminutive Tunisian-born designer, known for his structured knitted dresses with fitted waists and impeccably cut, figure-hugging second skin silhouettes was deeply admired by his peers, and counted supermodel Naomi Campbell - his adoptive daughter - among his inner circle, one of a gang of glamazons including Farida Khelfa, Carla Bruni and Stephanie Seymour who became ambassadors of his style. (📷: Alexandre Guirkinger) #wwdblast