Here at Grazia Daily we have been waiting patiently for the launch of H&M’s new brand & Other Stories for nigh on six months now, so we were more than a little excited to get a preview of the first UK store on Regent Street last night.
In celebration of the label’s launch today, the 'Stories' team threw a hell of a party in the new flagship complete with hip tunes and more-ish canapés. The 'Stories' team were all in attendance, talking guests through the collections and the store design. With an industrial, warehouse feel, the fixtures and fittings in the huge shopping space set across two floors all had a make-shift temporary feel, tuning into the low-fi appeal of the brand.
The best way to describe & Other Stories is a high street concept store. With a huge beauty department complete with sinks to try skin products and endless rows of nail polishes, a sizeable footwear zone – think edgy summer flats, innovatively designed heels and a host of cool Nikes – and directional magazines on sale, 'Stories' feels like much more like a style destination than a store.
What is particularly striking is that the pieces are independently designed – so there are no catwalk knock-offs. The names of designers along with their style CVs are printed next to their collections, offering a personal touch. Garments are merchandised by style tribe rather than ‘trend’ so feminine and flirty pieces sit next to each other, while fiercer, urban styles are grouped elsewhere. This makes the store very easy to shop. Bags and jewellery are littered in amongst the rails, while mini postcards of design inspirations are fastened to pin boards.
The best bit about 'Stories'? It has to be the value for money. We are talking proper high street prices – perhaps a little more expensive than H&M but in line, if not cheaper than Zara et al. Quality cool has never been more accessible.
The store opened to the public at midday today, so if you are looking for a new stop on your weekend shopping route, make sure you check it out – we promise you won’t be disappointed. To whet your appetite, click through our gallery of favourite spots from last night.