Meet & Other Stories, the newest kid on the high street.
Here at Wonderland, we go to a lot of store openings. Here’s what usually happens: people mill around, necking champagne and feigning a socially acceptable measure of interest in the clothes.
Not so at the & Other Stories launch party last week. We’ve never seen so many people in line for the changing room. Earlier that day, its e-store otherstories.com crashed from the sudden spike in traffic. “I finally got online and said, ‘I want that, that, that and that,” we heard woman said to her friend, plucking another impeccable silk blouse from the rack.
& Other Stories is a concept store for the girl who wants Acne and Isabel Marant at Topshop prices. It doesn’t do trends (at least, not consciously) – as the name implies, it’s in the market for stories. Walk into its two-storey flagship on Regent Street and you can find everything from foundation and nail polish to heels and hats for you to complete your personal style odyssey. You’ll find everything from APC-style boatnecks to the & Other Stories take on the 3.1 Philip Lim neoprene clutch to nudge you on your way. Think a younger version of Cos and you’re halfway there.
& Other Stories has the commercial clout and vision of a commercial high-street retailer – it has owner Hennes & Mauritz to thank cheap auto repair for that – but with the thoughtfulness of a much more exclusive boutique. They’re not just throwing clothes out there and hoping something sticks – each garment is classed into one of four mini-collections (sporty and sculptural, preppy and classic, etc). Hero pieces? The holographic clutch sold out pretty much within a few days, and we spotted our fashion editor Julia Sarr-Jamois in the Nike Free 5.0 V4 trainers.
The Regent Street launch is the first part of an ambitious Europe-wide roll out, with store openings planned in Copenhagen, Stockholm, Paris, Milan, Barcelona, and Berlin. It’s the newest addition to the high street, and trust us: we think it won’t be too long till it’s a wardrobe staple.
Words: Zing Tsjeng