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.

Introducing ARKET

arket regent street store

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.

arket interior regent street
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.

The Product

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.

Arket menswear

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.

arket menswear

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 lifestyle

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.

As I sit here watching the rain lash against the window and see people’s umbrellas blowing inside out, a shudder runs down my spine with the thought of the dirty miserable and generally crap old weather we’ve had, for what seems to have been an eternity. As a result of this and as somewhat of an escape from, I thought, right, the shops are full of Spring product and trends. So let’s cheer ourselves up by having a look at what some of our favourite brands on the high Street have on offer for us and what we can wear once the weather, finally, takes a turn for the better.

image

Not particularly known for their use of colour, look who’s got a Spring in their step this season, none other then Marks & Spencer, no less.

image

A brand who seem to be putting more and more emphasis of their menswear season after season, and it’s really showing, is Next. Showing how to put off the Floral trend for the more reserved male out there.

Screen Shot 2014-01-30 at 23.07.54

 

Spring can be unpredictable, weather wise, at the best of time, but Banana Republic cater for those layering moments which you need to prepare for every eventuality.

image

Next up a brand and an image who are HOT right now, River Island, if this floral ensemble doesn’t put you in the Spring mood and warm you up then nothing will. I maybe would wear from head to toe Floral but this image just shows what a big trend this flowery delight will be this season.

image

A man who’s well and truly making his mark at Debenhams is Patrick Grant with his Hammond & Co range for the brand. He’s totally bringing his design flavour to Debenhams and not diluting it at all. Offering excellent quality and cut at great prices, keep it up sir !

image

Errr a brand that we totally need to keep an eye on is New Look, their suiting range for Spring is sublime, mature, contemporary and sharp. Next time your lady asks you to come shopping with you where to go.

image

Adding a little seasonal colour to our life’s is TOPMAN, always highly directional ditch those pinstripes and shades of grey and embrace coloured suiting for Spring.

Screen Shot 2014-01-30 at 23.13.14

 

Showing us that the Floral trend needn’t be restricted to casual attire, H&M once again show us how it can be done in a more formal setting.

 

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.

Beckham 1Regardless of whether you’re a Manchester United Fan, Paris Saint Germain, LA Galaxy, Arsenal or even Melchester Rovers, you can’t dispute the fact that Mr Beckham is a rather sickeningly good looking man. So when I was asked to attend a screening

Messers Beckham & Ritchie

Messers Beckham & Ritchie

of his new TV Ad campaign, directed by none other then Guy Ritchie, yes the ex-Mr Ciccone, I kinda had preconceived expectations as to it was going to be like, Black & white, arty angles and in all honesty well and truly up its own arse, if I be so frank. Now what I didn’t expect was a great classic Ad, showing Beckham’s true self deprecating side and essentially well and truly taking the Michael out of himself (please judge for yourselves below). Now, all this is to promote, as though it needed it, the new Spring collection of David Beckham’s Bodywear range, or to us mere mortals, underwear, in partnership with H&M launching today. New colours added to the collection including more utility tones and the range will be sold in around 1800 H&M stores in 40 countries around the world plus on hm.com, so I think you might be able to get them. But if you are in doubt, we at Clothes make the man have managed to get a hold of 10 pairs of these underwear, kindly modelled by young Dave above, for the first 10 lucky people to sign up to follow Clothes make the man

All you need to do is follow us here at Clothes-make-the-man.com by –

1) Returning to our home page and in the subscribe to Clothes-make-the-man.com box on the left of your screen

2) Input your email address

3) An email from the blog will be sent to you and you MUST open and confirm that email.

Vile, there’s no other word to describe the weather at the moment and because Summer, and hopefully nice warm weather, seems such a long way away at the moment. I thought I would cheer us all up by taking a look at the best of what the big High Street names have in store for us over the coming months, when we don’t have to wrap up in layer after layer.

 

Proving that they are more then a one season wonder, boohoo.com the new kid on the block is proving that they can play, nicely, I hope, with the big boys.

Proving that they are more then a one season wonder, boohoo.com the new kid on the block is proving that they can play, nicely, I hope, with the big boys.

 

Burton

I always feel Burton struggle a little with catering for their customer in the Spring season but they haven’t done too bad at all with this collection.

 

Camouflage is a massive trend for SS13. Before, you say anything, I'm not even contemplating advising going for a drink in head to toe camp. Well unless it's for a TA meeting. But believe it or not this highly directional look is from no other then Debenhams.

Camouflage is a massive trend for SS13. Before, you say anything, I’m not even contemplating advising going for a drink in head to toe camp. Well unless it’s for a TA meeting. But believe it or not this highly directional look is from no other then Debenhams.

 

I have to say, H&M for SS13 have really got their stuff together. They are offering us guys a greg selection from casual to more formal and as always at their unbelievable prices.

I have to say, H&M for SS13 have really got their stuff together. They are offering us guys a greg selection from casual to more formal and as always at their unbelievable prices.

 

I can't believe these images have come from no other then, get ready for it, JOHN LEWIS !!!! They've blown me away for SS13, it was a tough call to choose just one image from their selection for this season. Well done guys, please keep it up

I can’t believe these images have come from no other then, get ready for it, JOHN LEWIS !!!! They’ve blown me away for SS13, it was a tough call to choose just one image from their selection for this season. Well done guys, please keep it up

 

I know this is kinda stating the the obvious but M&S are amazing at suiting and SS13 certainly isn't an exception. Their casual wear for this season isn't bad either, but if your looking for a suit over the coming months, you'd do a lot worse then starting here.

I know this is kinda stating the the obvious but M&S are amazing at suiting and SS13 certainly is no an exception. Their casual wear for this season isn’t bad either, but if your looking for a suit over the coming months, you’d do a lot worse then starting here.

 

 

See what I mean about Camo, its everywhere, but thought New Look had captured the trend in a very wearable way. This brand both seem to be started to get their menswear and its improving season on season. So keep it up New Look you can't afford to rest on those laurels.

See what I mean about Camo, its everywhere, but thought New Look had captured the trend in a very wearable way. This brand both seem to be started to get their menswear and its improving season on season. So keep it up New Look you can’t afford to rest on those laurels.

 

Holy froly, Reiss are bloody good at what they do. What they do is produce GREAT trend driven clothes that are easy to put together and wear. My only criticism, maybe do them is slightly larger sizes, thats all.

Holy froly, Reiss are bloody good at what they do. What they do is produce GREAT trend driven clothes that are easy to put together and wear. My only criticism, maybe do them is slightly larger sizes, thats all.

 

River Island are on it when it comes to translating trends at affordable prices. What more can I say.

River Island are on it when it comes to translating trends at affordable prices. What more can I say.

 

No mean, moody, gothis images this season. Here come the sun and TOPMAN is awash with colour and celebrating all things surf. I'm starting to warm up now.

No mean, moody, gothis images this season. Here come the sun and TOPMAN is awash with colour and celebrating all things surf. I’m starting to warm up now.