By  on March 23, 2007

Madonna certainly has her legions of obsessed fans, but when it comes to fashion, she's not quite Karl Lagerfeld, Stella McCartney or Viktor & Rolf.

After an initial rush of crowds through the doors of Hennes & Mauritz stores around the world, where fans sought the first installment of M by Madonna merchandise, the fast-fashion chain said it was pleased with sales.

But the activity and crowds seemed to flow in a less frenzied way compared with the mania that stretched over several days for Lagerfeld's H&M collection. The pop star's collection was introduced Thursday at H&M stores in 26 countries.

Some dedicated fans lined up in the darkness of the early morning hours outside stores from Berlin to Los Angeles.

"I think I'm going to faint," said 19-year-old student Marie-Line Panycz, clutching an autographed Madonna trenchcoat at H&M's Haussmann flagship in Paris. Panycz's mother drove her to H&M at 4:30 a.m. so she could be one of the first in line.

The retailer announced it would give the first five customers a trenchcoat with a message from the star, "love, Madonna," scrawled on the lining. Panycz plans to frame hers. She also bought an unsigned trench, sunglasses, a scarf, black trousers and a white leather bag, for a total of 200 euros, about $267 at current exchange. Each year, she spends about 2,000 euros, or $2,670, on Madonna memorabilia, CDs and tickets to see the pop diva.

Unlike the rush for H&M's previous designer collaborations, there were fewer than 100 people lined up before the doors opened at the flagship.

"This is very different from our past collections," said Jennifer Ugliaro, a spokeswoman for H&M in the U.S. "It's a broader, more classic collection."

M, which is aimed at a wide audience, is being sold in all 118 H&M units in the U.S. Viktor & Rolf, H&M's last designer collaboration, was sold in about 10 to 12 stores in the U.S.

"There's nothing so trendy in M," Ugliaro said. "The shelf life for M is longer than it was for Karl and the others."

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