I have to admit: I haven’t heard of all the fuss and buzz before the day & Other Stories was about to be launched on Regent Street here in London.
It seemed like everyone was running wild the days before from complaining about the order problems the online store was having (and therefore shutting down at some point) to pre-opening events and the final day of the store launch.
I’m not a very frequent H&M or COS customer (although I still am to some extent) for different reasons and I have to say that I kept myself quite critical at first.
But thanks to a friend, I was encouraged to join and take a look on the new daughter of the Hennes & Mauritz AB.
As Scandinavian rooted as its parents, & Other Stories seemed crowded by the big blogger diversity (or those running randomly around with Canons and Nikons and taking pictures after pictures) and a North European mix I’ve lastly seen in the courtyard of Somerset House (maybe I’m doing something wrong to see them only during these few days in a year!?).
While I caught myself out of rolling my eyes when spotting girls all over the place taking pictures and going absurdly, over excitedly crazy for the prey they hunted down (you couldn’t describe it in any other way..), I thought I should stop with that attitude, go back to real and look at the concept, idea and final outcome without being snobbish and unreflective (something I recently absolutely hate on other bloggers on the web).
It took me more than 1 hour to go through each rack, think about everything, see how people react and look at the whole interior.
But if you really want to see what they offer, you just have to take your time. & Other Stories gives a multitude of different pieces on the basis of Scandinavian minimalism.
The racks are partially marked with thoughts and information of the different selected designers. As said in a previous interview (on ELLE UK online I think), & Other Stories aims to collaborate with different up-and coming designers (no big names but those to watch out for), which include Abigail Lorick Im, Alison Fox and Clare Vivier for this season.
Snapshots of models hanging behind the racks give an an idea of how it COULD look and provoked, together with the different information & thoughts of the designers, an atmosphere of going backstage somewhere and looking at the clothes before they get presented.
While many things left me with question marks and the cuts partially appeared very COS-like (therefore not wearable for me), others surprisingly impressed.
It’s that mechanism of “finding your own” pieces and afterwards pull them together that make it quite fun after a while (!) (but as that’s every store’s partial goal, you shouldn’t be too surprised, right!?).
My preferred part of this store somehow became the beauty area (although I’m the biggest make-up fail existing), which is unusual for a high street store.
They offer stuff I haven’t even heard of – but they must have heard of these beauty uneducated people like me. That’s why they described the different creams, make ups and other beauty instruments clearly with big signs and somehow gave an idea what to do with it.
( I’m just an absolute beginner).
The logical way of splitting everything up and describing the different things gives a nice overview and encourages people to take a closer look, test and try. My favourite part is the fact that they provide tissues EVERYWHERE in this area together with mirrors, which makes it easy to get rid off tested stuff.
Overall, I can tell that I was positively surprised and will therefore go in time after time.
A nice new high street shop provoking an international girls hysteria with a great offer uniting ready-to-wear, lingerie, beauty and accessories. La Pulcinella approves.
Other stores opening this spring in Barcelona, Berlin, Copenhagen, Milan, Paris and Stockholm.
While waiting for the changing rooms or the cash point, you received lipsticks or body wash stuff as a little excuse. Not too dumb these &Other Stories people…