What is it?
As part of my 7003 research exploring the history of democratic fashion and the existing democratic fashion landscape, I came across two companies, which I felt required further research and exploration beyond this 7003 research output, as they clearly highlight how ‘MAKE IT MINE’ and the empowered individual consumer is a market shift, rather than a market trend, which is here to stay. &OTHER STORIES and MONKI are companies both owned by the H&M which have successfully built this postmodern market shift into their brand identities, attracting and engaging the innovative consumer market who wishes to define fashion on their own terms. I have conducted a combination of secondary research through the companies websites and primary research visiting their flagship stores in London to engage firsthand in their brand experience, to profile these brands and highlight how they relate to my 7003 research.
WEBSITE ‘ABOUT US”
& Other Stories is a fashion brand offering women a wide range of shoes, bags, accessories, beauty and ready-to-wear to create their personal style, or story. Our creative ateliers in Paris and Stockholm design diversified fashion collections with great attention to detail and quality at an affordable price.
Today, a woman with a love for fashion creates her own style.
She wears things that feel right to her and reflect her personality. & Other Stories is about bringing everything she can wear into one place, focusing on the whole look. We believe shoes, bags, jewellery, lingerie and beauty are key for styling and just as important as clothing.
Our collections are built around inspiring fashion stories. All our lines are diverse, ranging from masculine tailoring to feminine chic and designed to provide endless styling choices.
Carefully selected materials are an important ingredient in every piece. & Other Stories aims to design lasting wardrobe treasures within a wide price range.
PRIMARY RESEARCH: REGENT STREET FLAGSHIP DISCOVERY WALK
- A deconstructed retail space. &otherstories enabled and encouraged individuality and consumers personal stories through visual merchandising which focused on displaying individual components rather than ‘styles’ or ‘looks’ on mannequins, such as that seen in TOPSHOP’s flagship, Rather than dictating ‘fashion’ to the consumer, &otherstories encourages the consumer to create their own fashion/ ‘story’ through blending the individual garments an accessories on offer.
- Authentically designed products. Although &otherstories does not offer customisation, it challenges fast fashion through offering authentic design ad quality at reasonable prices, rather than catwalk carbon copies or fashion simply mimicking seasonal trends. As a consumer, I related to this authenticity and understand this as a central factors in it’s popularity as a brand.
Monki is a way of doing business as well as a way of doing fashion and living life. Our clothes, our stores, the way we talk and listen, and the way we grow – it’s all based on a few things that we really care about. We’re convinced that we can create clothing collections that enable our customers to express their personality and at the same time care about our planet and our co-workers.
‘The truly strange and wonderful tale of Monki’s birth. It all began on a very ordinary day. Three friends got together to do some Dreaming. And Thinking. And Doing. But what they dreamed up… was a different world.
A world of eclectic fashion, made for you with a store and a story like no other: a place that would be all about expressing yourself. Living life your way. A place where fashion would be fun and there’d be music and parties and laughter.
A place that was all about people like you.
A place that wasn’t ordinary, no way, uhu, not at all.
And somewhere inside that dream, something was born. Suddenly, in that place west of nowhere specialand beyond the horizon tiny monkis appeared, floating like bubbles into a clear sky. A new kind of creatures, made up, not of atoms, but of imagination. And from one second to the next, each of the three friends had a little monki on their shoulder. Whispering. Encouraging. Nagging them! Saying:
“Yes you can! Sure you should! Go ahead!” and “You created this dream. Now make it come true!” (Because that’s what monkis do).
So the friends did something special. They began opening magical concept stores in their ordinary old world, one after another… stores that were portals into the Monki World.
Together, they became the founders of a wild and crazy international retail concept that believes that it needs to fight ordinary and boost imagination with an experience out of the ordinary.
And no days were ordinary anymore, at all.
Monki lore says we all have a monki sitting on our shoulder, whispering in our ear to boost us to dream and think and do the things we really want to do… glowing and growing every time we do.
Because sometimes, if we dare, dreams are just reality waiting to come true.’
HOW THIS INFORMS MY RESEARCH?
- Monki’s brand identity, relates to what I want to create for my FMP brand concept, so is definitely something I will return to as a point of reference. This is particularly in regards to their fun, youthful and quirky fashion photography created by Arvida Byström. Overall, &otherstories and Monki highlight to me that their is a clear market, including myself, ready to embrace democratic fashion.