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PARIS — If any stylish young women are late for work come Nov. 10, they just might be queuing up at H&M.
The Swedish fast-fashion giant expects an extra rush that day, when its one-time Stella McCartney for H&M collection arrives in some 400 of its doors.
The launch, an encore to last year’s collaboration with Karl Lagerfeld, will be backed by a major advertising campaign starring Kate Moss wearing items like a hand-embroidered jacket that will be produced in limited quantities.
“If you get your hands on one of those, you’ll be one of the happy few,” said Jörgen Andersson, marketing director at H&M.
Still, H&M plans to fine-tune its encore foray into so-called “masstige” in order to avoid the hysteria and rapid sellouts when Lagerfeld’s coveted threads hit the racks.
Andersson said the McCartney label would be stocked in selective locations —only one-third of its vast network — with better quantities of some items mixed in with exclusive pieces like the embroidered jacket. “It should sell out, but not too quickly,” he said of the line. “We believe it should be democratic and available to everyone.”
To that end, shoppers in 22 countries will be directed via ads or the Internet to locations that stock the collection — with few mall-based locations among them. “The fashion-interested woman tends to buy her fashions downtown,” Andersson said.
McCartney’s 40-piece collection will be displayed in designated shop-in-shops within H&M stores. Inspired by previous McCartney collections, the greatest hits line will span such items as ankle-zip skinny jeans, tailored suits, gem-toned evening dresses, slouchy sweaters and T-shirts with quirky prints. Prices will be toward the upper end of H&M range, with blouses around 30 euros, or about $38 at current exchange, and coats running up to about 149 euros, or about $187, Andersson said.
“She did a Stella collection. We didn’t interfere with the design,” he noted.
H&M also sought to make the McCartney effort different from Lagerfeld’s last November. While his line was skewed to holiday and cocktail attire and included men’s wear, hers is for women only, spanning daywear, lingerie and handbags. And that’s why Moss will be the face of the campaign rather than the designer herself.
This story first appeared in the September 7, 2005 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
“Last time, it was more the image of Karl, his appearance, his personality,” Andersson said. “Now we felt we should focus on the collection.”
Besides the advertising, shot by Mario Sorrenti and breaking in November issues of fashion magazines, H&M is planning a party in London Oct. 25 to celebrate the launch.