The company that gives us H&M is Swedish label Hennes & Mauritz AB and they are launching a new fashion brand – Arket, but currently only for Europeans. The focus will be different from H&M, thus catering only European markets for the time being.
The initial brick and mortar location for Arket is set for London, to be followed by Brussels, Munich and Copenhagen. The online offerings will be sold only in European markets with the CEO of H&M stating that “the overall direction and focus is quality in simple, timeless, and functional designs … a broad, yet selected range of essentials for men, women, and children, as well as a smaller, curated assortment for the home.”
But again – only for European markets at least for now. A comment by Cosmopolitan.com calling in a comparison between Arket and Ikea seems right on the money, especially considering the café setting that will feature “new Nordic” cuisine. We’ll see how Arket does with retail pricing set to start at 39 euros and climbing up to 114 euros (or if it gets here $42 to $124).
The emphasis is reportedly on materials, function and fit, and hence a higher price segment than H&M. I personally like Ikea, so we’ll see how the Ikea of clothing stores does before it trickles to America if it ever does.
If it is of any interest, the name of the new store – Arket – means ‘sheet of paper’ in Swedish. The full offerings seem to be evenly spread out between departments rather than focusing on just clothes or mostly menswear or womenswear, which is encouraging.
In an official statement by the brand Ulrika Bernhardtz, the creative director of Arket said: “It both relates to our origin in the Nordic tradition of functional, long-lasting design and symbolizes the blank sheet, the sense of optimism and possibility we felt creating this new brand.”
The Arket team is based in Södermalm, Stockholm and has pattern makers and buyers, designer architects, writers and chefs – making their team very well rounded. In a comment on the team, the managing director of Arket, Lars Axelsson stated: “A fantastic team with diverse backgrounds and areas of expertise have come together to build Arket. We’re very excited to soon reveal the brand and share our collections with customers.”
The Regent Street location will be the first flagship and we will see what happens as they kick off. The website for Arket will operate within 18 European countries. For those who can access Arket’s offerings this fall, give them a good run through and post your finds for those who cannot. It will be interesting to see how such an optimistic and apparently well planned new fashion brand will do, though it is hard to expect anything but success for them.
Photo courtesy of @arketofficial