When I learned that I am going to Sweden to visit H&M‘s headquarters, of course I was ecstatic to see the flagship store, be awed by the wonderful collection, shop and take home as much clothes that my luggage can fit but, I had to admit, I was more excited to meet the bright minds behind H&M. It doesn’t take a genius to know that behind every successful company or brand, are its talented and dedicated people working behind the scenes and off the spotlight. I wanted to listen and learn from these people who managed to make H&M what it is today–a global lifestyle brand catering to millions of people!
We met up with H&M’s Creative Director–Margareta Van Den Bosch, Head of Design Development–Ann-Sofie Johansson and Head of Menswear–Andreas Löwenstam one sunny afternoon in Stockholm. They were nice enough to meet us at our hotel despite their busy schedule. And as expected, they arrived in their head-to-toe H&M ensembles. Ann-Sofie arrived in a beautiful khaki coat paired with a grid sweater, pinstriped trousers and a pair of sneakers, while Andreas was in a black H&M leather jacket, a grey wool sweater, grey tapered jeans, a pair of sneakers with his bike. Easy dressing yet very stylish.
The conversation which lasted for a few hours was very interesting. They shared that they get inspiration from travelling. They attend fashion shows, music festivals, art exhibitions, browse fashion blogs or simply observe people. As if they needed to get away from Stockholm! It is easy to be inspired in Stockholm, it’s so beautiful there. No wonder this place gave birth to H&M!
They also taught us the importance of styling, setting trends, playing with textures, taking classic clothing and making them contemporary, mixing of different styles, how picky they are with fabrics, how long it takes them to come up with a collection, the process that takes place when they invite designers to collaborate with them, I can go on and on. I learned so much from them! Thank you H&M for letting me experience this. I have never been so inspired in my life.