MILAN — Hennes & Mauritz and Love Stories are renewing their partnership.
After debuting a joint lingerie capsule collection last summer, the fast-fashion giant and the Dutch brand have teamed to launch a swimwear-centered line. The announcement came just a few days after the introduction of the Giambattista Valli x H&M collection previewed at the AmfAR gala in Cannes last week.
“It’s a dream to be collaborating with H&M again, offering customers a Love Stories aesthetic at H&M prices,” said the lingerie label’s founder Marloes Hoedeman, adding that the lineup has been designed “for fun summer holidays — whether you’re relaxing with a cocktail or surfing the waves.”
Hitting select stores of the Swedish chain globally on June 13, the “Love Stories Swim Club x H&M” collection will comprise 26 items including T-shirts, sarongs, loose beach tunics, bags, bucket hats, flip-flops and towels, in addition to swimsuits and wetsuits.
Working with H&M’s in-house design team, Hoedeman translated her brand’s signature mix-and-match approach into interchangeable items blending candy colors, animal prints and sporty details.
She was inspired by Seventies-era Slim Aarons photographs of poolside scenes and her own holidays spent in Ibiza to conceive the offering, which is fit for both sunbathing and surfing.
“I had just got back from Ibiza when H&M got in touch. I had been driving around the island in a pink Love Stories truck and at one point during the trip I had stayed in a wonderful boutique hotel called Los Enamorados. The colors were amazing, a moody palette of pinks and oranges, and I loved the hotel — you can dive and swim in the bay,” she recalled, adding that she wanted the collection to echo that active vibe.
As a result, the line features retro bandeau and triangle bikinis, off-the-shoulder and belted one-piece swimsuits and sporty wetsuits, available in combinations of dusky pinks, vintage greens and tangerine tones. Animal prints and the brand’s monograms also define the feminine lineup.
“’The perfect mismatch’ is our mantra and it’s great to be able to bring our philosophy to a wider audience together with H&M,” said Hoedeman, underscoring that for her the collaboration is an opportunity to further increase Love Stories’ brand awareness worldwide.
Among all the items in the lineup, the designer’s favorite piece is the wetsuit. “I wear a lot of wetsuits for surfing and body boarding and I can never find wetsuits that come in cool color combinations and aren’t super thick. So we designed this style in a cute mix of pastel pink and burnt orange and I know I’ll wear it all summer for surfing, and with jeans on the weekend.”
Maria Östblom, head of women’s wear design at H&M, praised the collection as “breezy and elegant, with a dusty color palette and body-flattering cuts.”
The capsule will be available in 700 doors globally, in addition to H&M’s e-commerce. According to Hoedeman, it will perform best in “Spain, France, Italy and other countries with coastlines.”
To promote the collection, a dedicated campaign was shot in Morocco. Lensed by photographer Greg Harris, the images portray models Raquel Zimmermann, Alanna Arrington and Sabina Karlsson sporting key pieces while surfing.
Founded in 2013, Love Stories staples are comfortable lingerie designs in eclectic prints, which favor a fun approach to the category. The brand’s signature piece is the bralette, but the offering soon expanded to include pajamas — to be worn also as daywear — swimwear, bikini briefs for girls ages 2 to 8 years, bridal pieces and a sport line, among others.
“We branched out into swimwear in 2016 because I noticed on Instagram that lots of girls were swimming in our lingerie. We weren’t using the right fabrics for saltwater or chlorine, so I knew I had to make some proper swimwear inspired by our lingerie styles,” explained Hoedeman. The brand’s Instagram account, which currently counts 191,000 followers, is considered a key tool by the designer as “it’s the best trigger to get loyal customers to our web site.”
In addition to its own e-commerce, Love Stories is available in 2,500 doors globally, including department stores and some larger e-tailers, such as Net-a-porter.
Counting the Netherlands, Belgium and France as its best-performing markets, the company operates 20 boutiques in key cities such as London, Amsterdam, Paris, Berlin, Madrid and Sydney, among others. Units in Munich and Knokke, Belgium, as well as a shop at Le Bon Marché in Paris, are among the most recent openings. The retail network will be further expanded with four additional locations in Rotterdam, Milan, Stockholm and Paris next year.