Thursday, 2 April 2009

H&M is Europe's No.1 brand

Despite recently reporting a fall in profits, H&M has topped Interbrand's list of Top 25 European Retail Brands 2009 as Europe's most valuable retail brand. In a list dominated by supermarkets, the Swedish fashion giant topped the leader board, with Spanish rival Zara in 5th place, M&S in 6th place, and Mango further down the list but nevertheless featuring at number 17 on the list.

Interbrand suggest that H&M's popularity could be due, in part, to the designer collaborations the company enters into. The current capsule collection comes from Comme des Garçons. Previous very successful collections have been designed by Stella McCartney and Karl Lagerfeld, and next month will see the launch of Matthew Williamson's collection for H&M which, for the first time, will be available in all H&M stores - proving the popularity of the designer collaborations with the high street favourite.

Fashionista agrees that such collaborations are likely to greatly enhance a high street fashion brand's value and marketability, distinguishing it from other high street brands (of which there are so many). Such collaborations serve as a badge of distinction. After all, the "big name" designers have invested a great deal to establish their reputation in a tough industry and they will not want their name and brand associated with any retailer. Equally, the high street retailer is a fantastic advertising and marketing vehicle - exposing the designer and his or her brand to a far wider consumer group than normal, simply by being available on scale which is considerably larger than a select few boutiques, and generally at more affordable prices. Fashionista suspects that such collaborations may even act as feeder ranges - securing new customers for the designer's own collections as fashion-savvy young high street customers look to more adult ranges in the years to come.