Here’s ALISON FARRINGTON’S latest monthly retail round up, celebrating experimentalism and innovation on the high street. H&M Studio drops with strong retro looks, John Lewis is all about Instagram influencers for its own-label brands, Sezane opens in London’s Notting Hill and & Other Stories gives us luxury hair vibes.
There’s more than a hint of cult TV series Twin Peaks’ 50s vintage wardrobe aesthetic for H&M Studio’s AW18 collection. The retailer calls it ‘Neo Noir Chic’ with looks inspired by a hybrid of 50s movie icons ‘with their era-defining looks’, and grunge-infused indigo precision denim jackets (we think they’re more of a nod to Calvin Klein by Raf Simons). As ever with H&M’s Studio collection, pieces are trend-led and in limited supply – so we’ll be shopping for the denim ‘is it a shirt or jacket’ before checking out Twin Peaks dream sequences on Netflix for our retro inspo.
JOHN LEWIS UPS ITS INSTA GAME FOR OWN LABEL BRANDS
John Lewis has been quietly focusing on growing its portfolio of own-label brands and this autumn, the UK department store is investing in a team of Instagram influencers for highly personalised content campaigns across its Modern Rarity, Kin and And/Or labels. Why is this news? Despite the brouhaha earlier this year around Instagram’s shifting focus on algorithms and what it means for the influencer-economy, there seems to have been a tipping point in 2018 of consumers accepting and embracing social-shopping via this cohort. So, it’s props to our friends and colleagues including @FashionFoisGras, @DoesMyBumLook40 and @StyleMemos for their #sponsored Insta-wardrobes.
Meanwhile we’re counting down the days until John Lewis & Partners (above) launches on 4 September. With its seasonless style approach and grown-up wardrobe mentality it’s ticking a lot of boxes for DRG’s #TheNewGarconne aesthetic. (UPDATE: It’s launched. Buy it here.)
SÉZANE OPENS APARTMENT STORE IN NOTTING HILL
As more contemporary fashion brands switch to direct-to-consumer (DTC) retail strategies and department stores like Nordstrom are forced to embrace DTC trailblazers such as Madewell, Everlane and Reformation, it’s no wonder digital-first labels are opening physical stores themselves. French brand Sézane is leading this trend with a new apartment-style outpost in London’s Westbourne Grove alongside its other trademark home-tail locations in Paris, Provence and New York. Talking to Vogue, Sézane founder, Morgane Sézalory says the brand is having a refresh to coincide with the new focus on retail. ‘It’s a better reflection of the adult me, more grown-up, I wanted the typography to feel modern, so that people understood I wasn’t doing vintage any more, but now I’ve realised – that’s not really me. I love timeless things! I want to spread the French charm.”
& OTHER STORIES DEBUTS PARIS FLAGSHIP
With design ateliers in Stockholm, Paris and Los Angeles, & Other Stories (above and top) has chosen the Marais area in Paris to open a new retail concept. Located in contemporary fashion hotspot Vielle du Temple, the 880 sq m store will see the H&M-owned brand start experimenting with additional product categories as well as putting more of a focus on customer experience. One of these experiences will be an artists’ residency, with local artist collaborations showcased in a dedicated community store area. Artist and fashion stylist Camille Bidault-Waddington is the first collaborator, whose selection of jewellery, art and ceramics are on display in-store with a sale that runs until September 16. In other news, & Other Stories has recently launched a haircare range, featuring premium packaging with high-street prices and products – including shampoos, scalp scrubs and targeted serums – that are inspired by Los Angeles’ biggest hair trends.
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WORDS: Disneyrollergirl/Alison Farrington
IMAGES: & Other Stories; H&M Studio AW18; John Lewis Kin; Sezane, & Other Stories
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