Swedish giant H&M is the latest overseas retailer to come to our fashion loving shores. Launching in April in Melbourne followed by Sydney in 18 months, H&M is also bringing with it, its COS brand. An acronym for Collection of Style, COS is aimed at an older clientele, offering a more classic interpretation of trends.
After taking over Melbourne’s historic GPO for it’s H&M flagship store, Cos will be located in The Strand next-door on Elizabeth Street. H&M are clearly going for global fashion dominance with an astounding 375 new stores planned to open in 2014 along.
While the arrival of overseas retailers such as Zara and Topshop have brought criticism from local retailers, they have brought much need foot traffic into otherwise struggling locations. Already graced with the presence of Zara, Melbourne’s bustling Bourke Street Mall will no doubt be swarming with customers looking to get their hands on a piece of the Swedish retailers offering.
To celebrate their official launch into the Australian market, H&M have launched a collection of exclusive pieces, just for the Australian market. This comes of the back of the company announcing Australian supermodel Miranda Kerr as the new face of the company, with the model already starring in the retailers latest campaign.
The Australian exclusive collections will land just in time for Winter fashion, with the key trends coming across for women being thigh-high boots, tartan print and a rockstar bohemian vibe, all based on a palette of ox-blood, black, navy and cream. Men can expect to see in the collection, bold print and tailored basics, with the key colours being green, brown and navy.
With the company taking out long term leases at both its Melbourne and Sydney site, it’s clear they are hear to stay. While this may put a spanner in the works for Australian retailers, it means they have to beef up their offering to ensure they can compete with these big retail giants. With Uniqlo on the way and Forever 21 opening its first store in Brisbane, the overseas retailers aren’t going to stop coming, so we will be watching the Australian fashion landscape with interest to see how local companies respond to the challenge.