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H&M christens the states with it’s new brand.

Fast fashion lovers heaved a collective swoon this morning after learning that H&M’s sister brand & Other Stories had arrived stateside, with it’s first NY brick-n-morter store opening tomorrow and it’s e-commerce website opening for business today (the influx of traffic has already crashed the site once, so it may be best to cool your jets.) The Swedish megabrand is branching out all over, with it’s more sophisticated older sibling COS appealing to the haute fashion set, and now & Other Stories gets to play too.

& Other Stories was initially conceptualized as a premium beauty brand with clean lined Swedish packaging and an affordable price point, but the store has since bloomed to carry other closet staples and accessories. The Cotton Care line is a big hit, with it’s all-purpose, fragrance-free Plush Balm already sold out worldwide, and the body care line alone is the worth celebrating, with a body scrub, hand soap, and body and hand lotion.  BONUS: remaining true to H&M’s commitment to eco-friendly fare, empty & Other Stories beauty products can be returned to the store for an additional 10% off your next beauty purchase. So if you’re in NYC this week, you can pop in and re-curate your cosmetics case. And if your not, you can just pretend by ordering from their website here.

 

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Fall’s best sweaters are tricked-out in navajo-inspired prints

Cowl necks, nubby knits, classic cardigans and western blanket wraps — fall 2014 is a virtual sea of sweaters, and if you’re one step ahead of the style set most of those sweaters will be decorated in navajo-inspired prints. Offered by the likes of Marc Jacobs, Sacai and Karl Lagerfeld, and taking up real-estate in fast-fashion joints like Topshop, H&M & Zara, zigzags, geometrics and different colored piping are all making bold statements as the colder weather rolls in. Here are some of our favorite navajo-inspired sweater prints for fall and a too-cool-for-school pair of printed socks for good measure.

Topshop

Sacai

Zara

Missoni

Free People

 

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H&M’s eco-chic take on denim

We can’t think of a more versatile or more beloved closet staple than denim, which is why today’s reveal of H&M’s Conscious Denim Collection has us pining for the official release date — Oct. 2. Chock full of uber-chic fall essentials like overalls, boyfriend jeans and a quilted jean jacket, as well as more urban takes on color and style with indigo t-shirts, sweatshirt, sweaters, and a slim-fitting denim pencil skirt.

What’s more, the fast-fashion giant’s commitment to sustainability is apparent, as the collection is a partnering between H&M and Spanish-based denim consultants Jeanologia, who help brands assess the environmental impact of the washes and dyes used, including the energy and water use as well. All this research ensures that H&M stays true to it’s eco-conscious mission.

So say hello to what is likely to be your fall/winter wardrobe for 2014 — and likely beyond. Viva la denim!

 

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Mint-spiration: Spring’s freshest new hue

Making a fashionable case against pinks domination of the pastel craze, mint is taking over runways, style blogs and nearly every starlet manicure this spring. From Zoey Dechanel’s mint tipped French manicure to the flowy arrival of  countless mint green gowns at 2014 awards shows, it’s little wonder that the shade is coloring seasonal sweaters, skirts, shorts and accessories, making that mint manicure pop just a little bit more. So here’s a little mint-spiration—we’ve rounded up some of our favorite mint green looks, from haute couture to fast fashion, all perfect for the warmer season’s obsession with the fresh and flirty hue.

Rachel Zoe SS14

Game of Thrones' Massie Williams

H&M Cropped Mint Sweater

Burberry Prorsum SS14

Paige Mint Denim

 

 

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Mark Your Calendars: Alexander Wang x H&M

Today’s big news jolted us out of our fast-fashion exhaustion and left us lunging for our calendars to mark the exact day that the Alexander Wang for H&M collection hits store shelves. That is correct, Alexander Wang is pairing up with H&M—*squee!

The heavy-hitting designer is arguably one of the most innovative and urban names on today’s scene, dolling out downtown cool with his namesake label, and ruling the roost at Balenciaga, so news that Wang would take a stab at a collaboration collection with the affordable H&M is… um… kind of a big deal.

Announced to the cool kids at a special Coachella party and via two Instagram teaser videos, the pairing promises apparel and accessories for men and women and will feature Wang’s “irreverent approach [that] will propose a new take on the lifestyle product offering that goes beyond fashion.”

“I am honored to be a part of H&M’s designer collaborations.” the designer told the music fest party-goers. “They are very open to push boundaries and to set a platform for creativity. This will be a great way for a wider audience to experience elements of the Alexander Wang brand and lifestyle.”

Look for the collection to hit 250 H&M stores and online on November 6th.

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Isabel Marant For H&M Lookbook Leak

The highly anticipated lookbook of designer Isabel Marant’s collaboration with H&M has finally leaked revealing a slew of covetable separates for men, women and even two looks for teens. Think Moto jeans, jackets, skinny trousers, thin tees, fisherman sweaters, and pretty draped dresses.  “The collection is totally Marant, which means that the trousers are quite skinny and outerwear makes a statement,” Marant said in a spill to GQ UK.

Circumventing a trend was what designer Isabel Marant claimed was behind her recent collaboration with fast-fashion giant H&M.  “I thought this was a good opportunity to say, ‘That belongs to me’,” Marant confessed to British Vogue as opposed to seeing her designs knocked off, as other designers have, by other retailers.  “It was my chance to claim certain ideas,” she said to GQ UK.

And thank goodness.  The collection debuts on H&M shelves on November 14, but here’s a little visual for you to pine over.

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TRENDS: Love Is In The Air

Earlier this week we offered up Orla Kiely’s heart-infused Resort 2013 collection as evidence that “love” was in the air and would likely see its way into the back-to-school season as well.  We were right.  In fact, heart-shaped graphic are just a small part of 2013′s Fall/Winter trend hot for the “heart on your sleeve” theme.

Burberry Prorsum, Lanvin, Milly, and Honor all peppered their F/W 13 runway collections with variations on the season’s affection for affection with graphic heart-shapes and lip prints adorning dresses, coats, sweaters, and shoes, and cursive love print showing up on chunky necklaces and rings.  Fast fashion was also quick to jump on the “love” bandwagon, offering up their own take on accessories like an H&M’s heart-stitched purse and Urban Outfitters gold cursive ring.  The look is surprisingly more playful and less girly, with urban prints and quirky accessories taking center stage — so leave any sugary sweet notions of “love” you have behind and belly up to what is stacking up to be 2013′s hottest fall/winter trend.

Lanvin F/W 13

Burberry Prorsum F/W 13

Milly F/W 13

Honor F/W 13

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H&M Finally Launches A Shoppable E-Commerce Site For US

We have to agree that it’s a little early to incite a shopping riot, but the “unicorn” has finally arrived — and by “unicorn” we mean a shoppable H&M site for US customers.  Rumors of the fast fashion titan’s e-commerce launch have been running rampant for so long it was anyone’s guess if it was actually going to happen.  But it has and you can log on right now!

We assume that H&M launched their US shopping site now, in anticipation of the frenzy that will ensue with the online release of their upcoming Isabel Marant for H&M collection in November — gotta work the kinks out now.  But today’s “grand opening” also includes a bevy of bonuses to entice online shoppers to log-on, including offering maternity wear and special sizing (sizes 12 – 24) that isn’t available in the brand’s brick-and-mortar stores, which only carries up to as size 14.

The launch also coincides with the US debut of the beloved brand’s home collection, so you can spruce up your digs as well as your wears and still look your bank account in the eye.

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H&M Annouces Commitment To Ladies Of All Shapes And Sizes

In a win for ladies of all sizes, H&M CEO Karl-Johan Persson has admitted that the model’s chosen in past H&M ad campaigns have been overly thin. In a recent interview in the daily newspaper the Metro, Persson owns up saying, “Some of our models have been too skinny. That’s not OK.”

Speaking for the mega-brand, the CEO went on to admit that a spate of conscience was involved in this new take on what’s beautiful, saying that the influence and size of H&M gives the company a responsibility to the industry and women everywhere.

“We have a huge responsibility here. We’re a large company, many people see us, and we advertise a lot… I believe that the models in our advertising should look sound and healthy. There are models who are too thin or obviously underweight, but there are also those who’re just thin, and they’re the ones we should keep working with, as long as they look sound and healthy,” he said.

Sound and healthy sounds more than reasonable to us, and also to the famous face of their latest summer model, Beyonce, whom Persson pointed to as an example of the healthy body image H&M has now chosen to strive for.

“We want to show diversity in our advertising and not give people the impression that girls have to look a particular way. By and large, I think we’ve succeeded: we’ve many different kinds of models from different ethnic backgrounds. In our last campaign we had a somewhat more buxom model, and now we’re using Beyoncé, who’s a bit curvier as well.”

And with Bey-Bey’s “no Photoshop policy — as reported by Vogue UK —  it looks like the super-star and the fast-fashion giant are finally on the same page.

“It’s not just about maximizing profit; you have to do it in a fair way, too,” he says. “I want to feel proud today and when I leave H&M and look back at what we’ve done. I want to feel that we were the just company regarding our social responsibilities: caring about the environment, choice of models, social issues.”

Now that’s a welcome change from the heated comments of Abercrombie & Fitch’s CEO. Let’s hope H&M stays true to their word on this one — a big win for ladies of every size, shape and color.

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H&M’s Ponys Up A Model Off-Duty Look

Those of you who gawped at yesterday’s party-perfect H&M Consciousness Exclusives collection needn’t worry that your casual wear needs won’t be addressed. Fast-fashion is just that — F-A-S-T — so it seems timely that news of another H&M collection would hit the blogosphere. This time geared towards that “model off-duty” look.

Dubbed “New Icons” the collection is a street scene homage to some of the hottest catwalkers around — Joan Smalls, Daphne Groeneveld, Lindsey Wixson, and Liu Wen. Naturally the fearsome foursome star in the accompanying campaign with stock sound bites like Smalls, “It’s super cool and for your everyday girl who wants to look great and feel comfortable at the same time.”

You can expect H&M’s “New Icons” collection to include tees, embellished vests, faux-leather biker jackets, tote bags, maxi skirts, and ankle boots — in the particularly palette of black, white, and beige. Look for the goods to hit stores sometime in April.

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