Words by Charlie Britton
When it comes to clothes shopping, a favourite and must-visit store on the majority of peoples lists is H&M. The Swedish clothing giant operates in 62 countries, with 6 other brands operating under the H&M group umbrella. These are COS, Monki, Cheap Monday, & Other Stories, Weekday and its newest member, ARKET.
As the second largest clothing retail company worldwide just behind Spain-based Inditex, who are responsible for the likes of Zara, H&M group has well established its name in the industry and is showing no signs of slowing down any time soon. The introduction of ARKET proves that the fashion brand still has more to give and we’re excited to see what the future holds for the Swedish clothing company.
ARKET, meaning ‘sheet of paper’ in Swedish, has launched it’s first store at 224 Regent Street in London, next door to H&M group’s first British based Weekday store which also opened its doors just weeks ago. ARKET’s offerings include menswear, womenswear, kids and home products, tailored towards the modern-day individual. It’s mission is to ‘democratise quality through widely accessible, well-made, durable products, designed to be used and loved for a long time.’
To fully understand the brand, we went down to the ARKET store in London to view the store concept and products offerings. The store looks great and strongly represents a Nordic style of living. The minimal colour palettes used throughout the interior work well by giving the products the limelight and the shelving and furnishings are well fitted, contemporary and functional.
The new Regent Street store occupies 2 stories of an old department store corner building, incorporating womenswear and kids on the upper floor and menswear, homeware and even an ARKET cafe on the ground floor. The character of the building only complements the brand, reinforcing a Scandinavian style of living. This is again exaggerated in-store with the use of lifestyle elements, design details and products that fit with the brands unique selling point.
With offerings from other brands such as COS, H&M and Weekday, we were keen to see what ARKET could bring to the table in terms of originality and design. Weekday tailors towards the younger generation, with a focus on modern and mindful fashion. COS heads upmarket slightly, offering modern, functional and considered design. Both brands are heavily influenced by Scandinavian design, so we expected to see a similar approach with ARKET.
The product is very much similar, but different, in respect to COS. Its almost as if COS have taken its more formal collections and products and expanded this into its own brand. The price point is again very similar to COS, however ARKET stocks several other brands and produces slightly more expensive garments, especially in regards to outerwear.
The majority of the mens, womens and kids collections are very simplistic, minimal and contemporary in design. The clothes work well as essential pieces, however it would also be very easy to build a wardrobe from the brand. Block colours, tailored fits and on-trend details run throughout the menswear collections, making it easy to build stylish and flattering outfits that’ll work well through the seasons.
The homeware products are what we would expect from a Scandinavian brand. Functional, aesthetically pleasing and well designed are words that come to mind, with colours, materials and silhouettes strongly representing a Nordic style of design used throughout. There are definitely some homeware products we would love on our shelves at home and in the office, so it’s worth checking them out if you’re planning on redecorating anytime soon.
ARKET plans to expand its store offerings across Europe, with another UK based store opening in Covent Garden in the coming months. Here at Clothes Make The Man, we’re excited to see how this brand moves forward and encourage you to check out a store soon. Alternatively, the brand is of course available to purchase online at ARKET, so pay it a visit to check out the collections for yourself.