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H&M Planning Luxury Brand?

Swedish high-street retailer neither confirms nor denies reports that it is looking to go upscale.

ON THE UP AND UP?: Following its recent foray into red-carpet dressing, Hennes & Mauritz is rumored to be planning a luxury brand that would be more expensive than its high-end COS brand. Contacted on Monday, H&M neither confirmed nor denied a report in the Swedish financial daily Dagens Industri (DI) that it was working on the new concept. “We are constantly looking at new ideas; it’s a natural part of our work. However, there is nothing new that we can [talk] about for the moment,” spokeswoman Charlotta Nemlin said.

The project is said to involve designer Behnaz Aram, who previously designed women’s ready-to-wear for Swedish brand Whyred. In August 2011, Aram joined the design team at H&M New Business, the division in charge of the COS, Monki, Weekday and Cheap Monday brands.

This story first appeared in the March 27, 2012 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.

Michelle Williams wore a custom-made H&M dress to the British Academy of Film and Television Arts awards in London, and the retailer will make its red-carpet creations available to the masses with the April 12 launch of the Exclusive Glamour Conscious Collection in around 100 stores worldwide. The line is made using more sustainable materials, and features items worn by stars including Amanda Seyfried, Viola Davis and Kristin Davis.

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