>> There's been a bit of a quiet campaign in progress for the launch of H&M's new brand & Other Stories. We've not been inundated with lookbook imagery and the exact aesthetic of & Other Stories has been shrouded in mystery with the imagery and video being drip fed slowly but surely. The official blurb is this...
& Other Stories is a fashion brand offering women a wide range of shoes, bags, accessories, beauty and ready-to-wear to create their personal style, or story. Their creative ateliers in Paris and Stockholm design diversified fashion collections with great attention to detail and quality at an affordable price.
Us lucky Europe folk are already more than familiar with the quietly assured and smart design offerings from H&M's other stablemate COS. I personally can't imagine doing a high street haul that doesn't include something from COS as they synthesise the noise of trends to a refined rail of pieces that doesn't scrimp on design detailing, quality and functionality. In fact, when the launch of & Other Stories was announced, I was struggling to see how they could differentiate from COS. Then I chided myself. What a misplaced complaint! There is nothing wrong with a COS-esque womens only store coming our way. H&M recognised the missing gap for fast fashion to appear slowed down, intelligently thought out and giving more bang for your buck. It seems that & Other Stories is of that similar vein of thinking and frankly, a diverse choice of offerings in that H&M/COS price range is no bad thing at all.
As it turns out, as I've been browsing the beautifully laid out & Other Stories Tumblr page and checking out the series of short & Other Stories videos, the aesthetic is definitely distinct from COS. The fact that it's womenswear only already adds a slightly more effeminate (but not overly so) undertone to the imagery. The idea seems to be about integrating pieces from the & Other Stories collection into your daily life. The look feels specific, nuanced and dare I say, expensive. If glimpses of sculptural heels, matte black jewellery and marble print separates are anything to go by, this addition to Regent Street will be welcomed with open arms. Well, at least my open arms.
Similar to the way COS has launched though, sadly & Other Stories is for Europe only for the time being. Physical stores are opening in London, Paris, Berlin, Stockholm, Copenhagen, Milan and Barcelona and the accompanying online store will ship onto to selected countries in Europe. Boo. Still, another reason to lure fashion loving shoppers to our supposedly ailing high street is definitely a plus point.
& Other Stories has given Style Bubble an exclusive peek at their latest video which centres around lingerie. Other than a fetching fleur de lis flocked bodysuit and a sensual multi-strapped balconette bra, they're hardly giving anything away although I am already wondering why I don't own anything with the magnficient fleur de lis pattern on it. No worries. & Other Stories will soon be upon us so that I can rectify that lacking.