H&M's Arket gives collection clues on Instagram, reveals new store locations
The brand profile of Arket, the H&M group's new lifestyle retailer, is gradually taking shape, without recourse to press releases or large-scale advertising. Arket is a lifestyle brand, featuring fashion for the whole family, home decoration and cafés, and is painstakingly micro-managing its launch on Instagram and its own website.
A few days ago, the Scandinavian group's seventh brand, whose focus is on "essential, quality and sustainable" fashion, has revealed on Instagram that its creative teams have been delving into the archives of Lyon-based French silk specialist Ducharne. Arket's first womenswear collection will feature an array of original Ducharne designs from the 1920s to the 60s, bursting with printed flowers and geometric motifs.
The new brand, whose name in Swedish means 'sheet of paper', will follow the example of & Other Stories and extend its reach into skincare, fragrance and cosmetics. It has announced on Instagram the creation of its first three fragrances, each developed around a natural ingredient: geranium, lichen and vetiver. Arket's Stockholm-based creative teams have drawn extensively on the French fragrance tradition, and the collection's inspirational source was the International Perfumery Museum of the city of Grasse, in Provence.
The Arket website now features the brand's pared-down, discreet logo, its name very lightly embossed on a sandy beige background. The website presents all of Arket's product categories: ready-to-wear apparel, lingerie, accessories (footwear, handbags, jewellery, and more), plus home decoration lines, stationery, toys and even gourmet food.
Not unlike US concept store Anthropologie, Arket will also sell selected products by other labels and, depending on their locations, the stores will feature a café offering contemporary Scandinavian food, including birch sap juice, according to the label's Instagram account. As for furniture, Arket has started to produce again in Sweden an oak chair designed in 1933 by Carl Malmsten, further proof of the label's commitment to a more responsible consumption cycle.
The brand's first store will open on London's Regent Street at the end of summer 2017 with a second one planned in Covent Garden, and its e-store will go live in 18 European countries at the same time. Further openings are currently planned in Copenhagen, Brussels and Munich, while Paris is for now conspicuously absent.
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