Last month the new store & Other Stories opened in SOHO on Broadway. It is an H&M sister brand which focuses perennial closet staples that indulge in a bit of drama; think voluminous silhouettes, interesting pleats and metallic jacquards for every day. & Other Stories' markets the more mature sibling of H&M who is interested good lines, lush materials and subtle details. The merchandising and interiors of & Other Stories has a similar approach to how you would expect a Parisian style store to be merchandised - I can see a Merci influence, with white walls, rolling racks, and bare light fixtures. The signage is minimal, evoking such signs used to identify garments at fashion shows - photos from the season's look books in plastic sleeves. The beauty section is like a European pharmacy, this department is less than appealing to me. I don't think it's necessary for the brand, but perhaps they're Farrow & Ball-esq named nail polishes will in the future, be something I can't live without. Okay, enough about the store.
I'm incredibly interested in their partnership with Iris Apfel, my favorite self proclaimed "Geriatric Starlet." Iris is everywhere right now, her documentary debuted at the New York Film Festival, she's selling up her least favorite collections on One King's Lane and now she's collaborating with new and exciting brands like & Other Stories.
& Other Stories asked Iris to create a styling story, where she pulled some of her favorite pieces from the AW/14 collection. Iris's mantra is for all women to embrace their own personal style. Known for her maximal-ist (not a word) accessorizing, she seamlessly layers on her own personal pieces to these new favorites. I have to say that I find the lighthearted direction of this shoot by Ari Seth Cohen [Advanced Style] with Iris in her own home one of the best parts of the collaboration. How cute is she!
Also opening under the large umbrella company of H&M in less than two weeks is COS, another brand that has a cult following with fashion bloggers and editors. COS lies on the more minimalistic end of the spectrum and from what I can gather is more high end in materials, construction and the price. The latest is that the store will open on December 5 or 8th. I can't wait to get myself to that location when it does!
All photographs by Ari Seth Cohen of Advanced Style