INTRODUCING ARKET: THE NEW MARKET FOR ESSENTIALS CREATED BY H&M
ARKET, H&M Group’s newest descendant, is ready to step to the fore now. The brand’s name harks back to its core idea of being a modern-day market for essentials, but actually means “sheet of paper” in Swedish. The first ARKET brick-and-mortar opens on London’s Regent Street on August 25, coinciding with its online launch. Eighteen new European locations will open up all through the following weeks, with locations in Brussels, Munich and Copenhagen slated to open first. A debut AW17 campaign – styled by Jodie Barnes and shot by Zoe Ghertner, Chloe Le Drezen and Paul Wetherell – unveils a sleek, warm array of well-made wardrobe classics with sportswear stylings. So what’s tea? Or as Google Translate puts it: vad är teet? (Don’t come for me, Swedes).
ARKET has actually been in the pipeline at a dedicated Stockholm studio since the winter of 2015 and the entire range will include womenswear, menswear, children’s apparel, accessories, homeware and interior objects as well as a healthy café concept. So why is it named after a piece of paper? This is a reference to Nordic traditions of simple, long-lasting design as well as the “everything is possible” kind of optimism the designers felt at the prospect of this project.
What this newest Scandi surefire hit aims to do is provide a timeless “archive” collection of everything from cashmere knits to close-fitting denim that will be repeated throughout subsequent seasons with variations in colour, material and proportion. Thus creating a family of everyday uniforms. That actually sounds perf because picking a #mood on a dark winter morning could stand to be made easier, and we’ve known forever that we need to call our closet “The Archive”.
The way products are described and the website is set up has a slight Margiela ring to it, with product codes, suppliers and material combinations adding dimension to each piece of apparel. This is no cagoule, it’s “142006-518 – Department 1 Men Type 42 Outerwear” if you must know.
Pricing will be set slightly higher than at H&M (ranging from €39 to €115) because material choice and social responsibility are a main factor at ARKET. The choice of suppliers and consumer information on product care will reflect that strategy. First proof of that are the short Instagram clips personally introducing manufacturers from China to Romania and Sweden and showing their contributions. Increased transparency in fast fashion can only be welcomed. ARKET will also be selling other brand items including Nike, adidas and Diemme – according to TextilWirtschaft.
You can join the ARKET mailing list to pre-shop from August 23 (at a reduced rate) via arket.com
ARKET Brussels will open at Avenue de la Toison D’Or 15 later this year.