In my latest monthly retail round up, celebrating experimentalism and new season 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.
H&M Studio Collection drops with retro mood
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 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.
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, launches haircare
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 jewellery and ceramic artworks 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.
This retail column is a guest post for DisneyRollerGirl. You can shop the brands mentioned here via a shopping gallery.