SWEDE SHOP: The first of Hennes & Mauritz’s & Other Stories shops has opened its doors in London, and the new retail brand has a couple of surprises up its silken sleeve. It has forged temporary partnerships, called C-labs, with labels and designers including The Lake & Stars lingerie; Clare Vivier’s bags and accessories; Alyson Fox’s jewelry and fashion designs by Abigail Lorick Im. “We like working with people who we like,” said Anna Teurnell, & Other Stories’ head of design of the C-labs hook-up. “And these labels complement what we have already.”
The beauty department, which has a built-in sink, offers several external brands on offer alongside the & Other Stories bath and body, skin care and makeup. They include This Works, Dr. Bronner’s, L:a Bruket and W3ll People.
London is the first of eight European openings set for spring; the next store will open in Copenhagen on Friday, followed by Stockholm later this month. Whereas the 10,760-square-foot London store has white concrete walls, an industrial-looking metal staircase and the raw, temporary feel of a big sample sale, every store will be different, respecting the original building’s characteristics.
The brand is already garnering praise among industry observers: “& Other Stories will widen H&M’s appeal to consumers in their 30s and 40s — better competing with Zara’s mix of fashion and strong tailoring,” said Kirstin Stocker of Verdict Research.