& other stories is basically the middle sister store of H&M and COS; three years in the making and much anticipated hype to live up to around the collection that debuted on Regent Street, London last weekend. I wasn’t brave enough to visit on opening weekend; I didn’t want claustrophobia to taint my first experience of the 1200 sq feet boutique which would no doubt have been full overly ‘focused’ fashionistas and media a rife so I managed to pop in this weekend to check it out.
My initial verdict? I am a fan and my wallet has an unhappy feeling that I’m going to be a big fan. I’d personally describe & other stories as the adoptive child of design led COS (ok so it’s getting incestuous) – due to the clean lines and minimalist shapes and Topshop Boutique – driven by the edgier fashion forward shoes, accessories, patterns and feminine prints. Now I say ‘adoptive’ child because the concept of & other stories is meant to be like no other: It is not inspired by the latest catwalk inspired trends but rather influenced by the notion of personal style of everyday individuals (like us), bloggers and women who create their spontaneous ‘thrown together’ individual looks through multiple avenues (thrift stores, online shops, eBay, vintage stores etc). For three years, 70 designers were split between Stockholm and Paris (including designers from ACNE) to create ‘stories’ for the collections and the influence is highly visible in store by both the indoor merchandising and clothing designs.
What I loved about the concept of the store was that there seemed to be a subliminal stylist following you around everywhere. The pictures of coordinated outfits were surrounded by a series of subtly suggestive edits which encouraged you to compile a thrown together look, very much popularised by bloggers and street style you see today.
Styling is about expressing personality from head to toe so I love that the wide rimmed racks (spacious finger spacing) and suggestive accessories help customers to experience mixing and matching pieces with make up to create a look of their own.
These are the items I picked up in store and tried on. I suspect due to the mad Saturday rush and the fact that it was only the second weekend since opening, there weren’t any small sizes available to try on so I left empty handed. The size ranges from 34-44 (UK6-UK16 equivalent) and the pricing is fairly reasonable but on the pricier side compared to what we high street shoppers are used to.
I personally loved the shoe and accessories in store more than clothes but that’s just me in general. It’s difficult to tell how comfortable the leather of the shoes are but I definitely like the metallic cut out sandals and heeled brogues. I can see the heels being a hit in London as well with the younger crowd however the prices are definitely premium compared to younger sister H&M.
If you’re lucky enough to live in a city where one of these stores will open, I’d highly recommend you visit for a browse (There are stores opening in Paris and Copenhagen). The stores have a cool Scandavian feel to them and there’s an eclectic mix of vintage tones, clean silhouettes and retro styles that will strike a cord with everyone and especially if you, like me, love blogger fashion! Check out their online store and find yourself browsing for hours just like I did in the actual store on weekend.
Thanks for reading – Have a great week!