HEAT WAVE: Sweden’s Hennes & Mauritz on Friday reported September sales rose 10 percent, below analysts’ consensus forecasts of 16 percent growth. The fast-fashion giant blamed a weak first two weeks, when the weather was warmer than usual across much of Europe. H&M said sales accelerated in the last part of September. The firm last month reported strong third-quarter profit growth of 18 percent. — Robert Murphy
TAILOR-MADE TOPSHOP: Britain’s iconic fashion emporium Topshop will add an atelier service to its ever-expanding portfolio of creative customer services, starting Oct. 23. Customers at the Oxford Circus flagship in London will be able to work with the store’s seamstresses to design their perfect dresses. Choosing from five styles, including a flapper dress and an Empire-line gown, customers can choose the length, bust-line and fabric for their frocks. The silk, satin and chiffon fabrics — which come in a rainbow of jewel tones — can also be trimmed with beads, sequins and vintage brooches. The whole process, from the initial consultation with an in-house style adviser to the final fitting two weeks later, will cost between $216 and $343. — Ellen Burney
MAXMARA’S MOVE: MaxMara has moved into the former Dunhill space at 19/21 Old Bond Street. The new, 6,422-square-foot store is just 100 yards from MaxMara’s previous New Bond Street premises, and had a soft opening last month. “It was more economically viable to have a larger store, which could carry all the MaxMara lines under one roof,” said a company spokesman. MaxMara acquired the lease from Dunhill in a seven-figure deal that involved the acquisition of the remaining three-year lease and the negotiation of a new 20-year lease with landlord Buckingham Management Services Ltd. The flagship is London’s second MaxMara store, in addition to the brand’s Sloane Street location. — Nina Jones
ENGLISH CHANNEL: Sidney Ingle-Finch has joined Louis Vuitton as communications director for the U.K. She reports to Sue Whitely, the former chief executive of Alexander McQueen who joins Vuitton Nov. 8 as managing director for the U.K. and Ireland. Previously, Ingle-Finch was vice president of p.r. for Paris-based Emanuel Ungaro. — Miles Socha
This story first appeared in the October 18, 2004 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.