H &M’s new format & Other Stories has opened its first store in the U.S., in SoHo, as well as a U.S. e-commerce site.
The 6,400-square-foot store located at 575 Broadway, has two entrances: on Broadway, which attracts a mixed audience, including tourists, and on Mercer Street.
The brand is built around a cross-merchandising concept that brings together items across categories in vignettes throughout the store. Customers can see a display that features Cordovan nail polish, wine-colored suede shoes and a burgundy-and-black clutch; on the table, a photo shows a model wearing a black sweater and holding the clutch in one hand with Cordovan-painted nails.
The store is “all about personal styling,” said Sara Hildén Bengtsson, the Stockholm-based creative director of the brand for H&M. “We create with a strong woman in mind. That’s a very fundamental idea. To make your own personal styling, you need different directions and universes. We created four.”
There’s an industrial, raw and comfortable collection, which has shirts with raw edges and a plaid silk dress; another collection features sophisticated dresses; the third collection is more minimalist and androgynous, and the last collection has bohemian and vintage influences. An elaborate sweater with different stitches and colors is $130. The collections range in price from $9 for a nail polish to $300 for outerwear.
& Other Stories does not do traditional advertising and marketing campaigns or fashion shows. Samuel Fernström, marketing director, said, “We try to bring creativity by bringing in interesting people. We try to do it not from a supercommercial angle.” For example there’s & Other Stories’ collaboration with Lykke Li, a Swedish pop singer who is friendly with two designers at the retailer’s Paris atelier.