Photographer: Linus Hook/Bloomberg
Fashion

H&M Is Working on a Mysterious New Brand

CEO Karl-Johan Persson says it "will be completely different from H&M"

H&M is looking into new store concepts and may introduce an all-new brand that’s nothing like its flagship label. 

The upcoming concept could be launched in 2017 and “will be completely different from H&M,” Chief Executive Officer Karl-Johan Persson said in an interview. It won’t be similar to H&M’s sister brands, either, he said.

H&M already boasts a hefty stable of lesser-known, complementary brands. COS is H&M’s slightly more expensive, minimalistic counterpart beloved by fashion editors. & Other Stories started as a beauty shop before expanding into clothes, shoes, and bags. Monki aims to attract young women with eclectic tastes. Weekday fancies itself a purveyor of modern Scandinavian style. And Cheap Monday is an edgy fashion label with roots in denim. They exist to allow H&M to “offer a variety of different styles and trends at different price points,” according to Persson.

The last time H&M launched a new type of store was in 2013, when & Other Stories opened its debut shop filled with maxi dresses, high heels, and satchels on London’s Regent Street. & Other Stories now boasts more than 20 stores in 10 countries and has featured collaborations with such designers as Clare Vivier, Vika Gazinskaya, and Sadie Williams. 

The company doesn’t break out sales numbers for its individual brands. On a conference call with analysts on Thursday, Nils Vinge, who heads H&M's investor relations, said the retailer has plans to expand its smaller labels. “It’s primarily Cos, & Other Stories this year,” he said. “But we’re also looking to speed up Monki ... and Weekday.”

As for the potential new brand, Vinge said there’s a department within H&M that’s “looking into new things all the time.” He also acknowledged that there are “some concrete things” currently under consideration.