One of the all time great double acts – Mauritz for H&M

3133_w39_01You would have to have been living under a highly unfashionable rock not to know the H & M of H&M, stands for Hennes & Mauritz, but how exactly did this retailing partnership come about ?

Well, back in 1968 H&M’s founder Erling Persson bought a central Stockholm store called Mauritz Widforss which stocked men’s outdoor clothing. It was next door to one of the first Hennes stores, which Persson wanted to expand in size. He called the new store Hennes & Mauritz – or as it’s known today, H&M. For a while the store still stocked the Mauritz clothes, meaning the outdoors look was part of H&M’s first ever men’s collections.

Jump forward a couple of years and H&M designer Petter Klusell saw the name Mauritz Widforss in a book he’d bought in an antiques shop a couple of years prior, putting two and two together. “It was a compilation of old Swedish hunting and fishing magazines, and among the adverts I saw one for Mauritz Widforss. I soon found out that it was the same Mauritz store that was the starting point for H&M’s menswear design.” Petter soon started tracking down old Mauritz Widforss catalogues, some might say slightly obsessed, in libraries and archives to get a feel for the garments as inspiration for this collection.

And so for Autumn 2013 H&M introduces the Mauritz Archive, a capsule collection for men which takes its inspiration from outdoor activities and a little-known part of H&M’s past. The collection features around twenty pieces, both clothing and accessories, many of which are created using specialist fabrics from heritage mills for extra authenticity and a number of which are right here in Blighty, like Abraham Moon & Sons and British Millerain.

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