H & M. Rayne

English shoe brand. Roger Vivier was among its collaborators who manufactured shoes for Dior and Marks & Spencer. Edward Rayne took the firm, which he inherited from his parents, to the top of the British and American markets. Established in 1889 by his grandfathers for the production of theater shoes, the brand was linked to Delman for a short period. It was then acquired by the most important English distribution chains.


(High Bulk). Extremely bulky yarns made up of stabilized fibers and retrieving fibers. They contract because of water or steam and force the normal fibers to arch, undulating or inflating all the yarn.


(Hennes & Mauritz). Swedish company of young, trendy clothing. In 2002 its turnover amounted to 6 billion Euros (5.037 Euros in 2001) with a profit before taxation of 840 million Euros. It employs 34,000 people with 850 stores in 14 countries worldwide. The President and majority shareholder is Stefan Persson, son of the company’s founder. The general manager is Rolf Eriksen. The entrepreneurial rationale of the group is based on selling products at affordable prices with a high fashion content and an extremely high rotation of sales in dedicated brand stores. The company has focused on two different segmentation strategies. For the American market, where there are 45 sales points (20 more added in 2003), its target is young and trendy females. In Europe, it targets the whole family with both trendy and traditional products. The average prize of a garment is very competitive, around 17 Euros. Consequently, H&M’s business is characterized by continual attention to costs, which carries through into the corporate side. The use of taxis is forbidden, cell phone use is limited, and the managers travel in economy class. It is also important for a company that sells 550 millions Euros of products to minimize stock in warehouses. The excellent performance of the Swedish company with its high market quota and elevated profitability is guaranteed by the designers’ ability to detect trends in advance. The style department, located in Stockholm, is comprised of 95 people who are not allowed to copy from other designers. Speed is a fundamental requisite of the group’s strategy; it only takes 20 days from the product’s conception to its arrival in the store. Manufacturing has been decentralized overseas due to cheaper costs with about 900 mini-factories in Bangladesh, China, and Turkey. The company is careful with communications, investing 4% of its proceedings in its image. (The model Imam was the face of H&M in 2003.) The chain arrived in New York with the opening of a three-floor space on Fifth Avenue. In Autumn 2003, it made its debut in Milan in a strategic position (where Fiorucci’s store used to be), just a few meters away from its competitors, Zara and Benetton. The first quarter of 2003 registered a turnover of 1.22 billion Euros, proceedings of 183.3 million Euros with a growth of 43% compared with the same period for 2002. In 2003 H&M opened 110 more stores in Germany, USA, France, Spain, and England. As well as entry into the Italian market, 2003 saw H&M become the main player in three new markets: Czech Republic, Poland, and Portugal.
&Quad;2004, November. The new line Karl Lagerfeld for H&M was launched. The German designer designed clothes and accessories for men and women as well as a unisex perfume, which were on sale in all 20 of H&M’s markets. The collaboration stopped after just one season due to misunderstandings between the designer and the company.
&Quad;2005, April. Elio Fiorucci returned to his store in Piazza San Babila with a beachwear line called H&M Poolside. Highly colored and designed for the Summer season, it was distributed in all stores from June onwards.
&Quad;2005, May. There was another excellent collaboration for autumn 2005-2006. Stella McCartney designed a women’s Collection of 40 pieces, produced and distributed with the brand Stella McCartney for H&M from November onwards.


Voor de Kunsten. Dutch fashion school. It has two headquarters: Arnhem and Utrecht. It runs four-year courses with a compulsory entrance exam. It offers one of the best cultural beginnings for aspiring designers.


Japanese term meaning soft, hairy, and gauzy. It refers to silk fabrics manufactured with short fiber threads that have been twisted slightly.


English brand of men’s clothing and accessories. In 1983 Jeremy Hackett and Ashley Lloyd-Jennings met at the Portobello market where they were both looking for secondhand clothes. They decided to open a store in New Kings Road, London where they sold selected secondhand garments. This store became famous in a short space of time. From this success the idea was born to produce a line with traditionally English images. In 1991, with seven stores in London and good export, the majority share of the company was acquired by Dunhill Holdings. In 1994 Dunhill Holdings merged into the Vend├éme Luxury Group (Cartier, Baume & Mercier).


Elsa (1909-1995). German photographer. She worked especially in Italy. She was the first to set fashion in exotic places. Born in Rottwell, Germany, she attended the Academy of Fine Arts and studied graphics with Willy Baumeister, a follower of the Bauhaus. At the age of 20, selling sketches to a costume company, she moved to Paris and earned her living by selling fashion articles and sketches to German magazines. In 1941 she moved to Italy where she started a long collaboration with the weekly Grazia, writing about fashion and photographing it with a style, which aimed to describe clothing beyond the setting of the image.