H & M saw all these things come to pass with the opening of & Other Stories on 8th March 2013. NEVER one to turn down the chance to see how the next big thing is fairing after the initial hoopla of the opening events, my partner in style and I ventured into the City to have a gander and what they had on offer.
And on first glance it came across a little unfinished. Air conditioning pipes weren't overly active (though were highly visible) and the fitting room signs seemed to be made up of 4 pieces of card stuck together . And then it hit me, this is the look. Were I a fresh faced 22 yr old fashion student I'd have seen it straight away but I fear time is turning me into my mother and I had to control the temptation to call a plumber and electrician in to fix the place up. Now firmly in the zone I could see that & Other Stories was going for a creative conceptual vibe, it felt like you were in an undiscovered designer's studio, where the clothes were being created there and then.
While the prices were higher than H & M's stores and some of the items were of a good quality, their sizing is a little off. A size 12 person (ahem!) would be forced to part with their hard earned cash on a size 14 pair of shorts (and that's something no girl likes to do). They also seemed to considerably struggle with stocking the obviously popular items. There was only one of their edgy black mesh tops available (and that one had a pull in it.) That said the jewellery, accessories and make up were appealing and the shoes with their concept heels made for a nice change of pace from the usual high street offerings.
& Other Stories know their target audience, their purchaser would likely be slight of figure and line free of face, and while I fear I may have missed the boat here, for this generations young, thin fashionistas, the next concept in high street designs has arrived.