The Swedes are Coming: Part 1

It’s high time that high street picked up its feet on Australian shores. The H&M Winter collection designed exclusively for its first Australian store opening will hopefully make up for that decade-long sense of #FOMO – and have every Sydney-sider on a flight to the other fashion capital to snap up the best Fall/Winter fuzzies I’ve shot in a long time.


It’s high time that high street picked up its feet on Australian shores. Certainly, ZARA and TOPSHOP have seen their own successes in a year or two of operating in our barren retail landscape, but as is the case with all good things, you don’t know you need them until they’re not around. Down Under, we’ve had the pleasure of experiencing the reverse – cue years of stocking up on fast fashion any time you left the country, green-eying the ironically inaccessible accessible pieces from girlfriends’ such international adventures, and getting Swedish friends to line up at ungodly hours to buy designer collaboration pieces – creative director, Margareta van den Bosch, admitted that this was the only downside for H&M’s hyperspeed rate of store openings in the Asia-Pacific region, when we chatted at a shiny new Australian H&M showroom a few weeks before the Melbourne store launch. It’s not the jetsetters’ special secret anymore, she laughed. Though, the Winter collection designed exclusively for Australia would hopefully make up for that decade-long sense of #FOMO – and have every Sydney-sider on a flight to the other fashion capital to snap up the best Fall/Winter fuzzies I’ve shot in a long time.

Alex and I are seriously considering a Melbourne jaunt in our mid-semester break – and flights costing as little as this checked sweater at the moment, who wouldn’t?

Beyond discussing the eponymous differences between Margaret and Margareta, the latter also reiterated that H&M does not do anything fifty percent. And, anybody who’s been swallowed by the enormity of the new GPO store can attest to its attention to the consumer. As far as I’ve experienced by way of international retailers entering our rolling brick-and-mortar sphere, H&M, by Margareta’s analysis of the Swedish powerhouse’s approach, to a digitally dedicated market and Generation Y, is the only player that has stepped down from being the big guy bringing God’s gifts (loosely translated to dumping overseas sale product in stores for the opposite Southern Hemisphere season), to properly researching what their customer will respond to and broadcast to their own circle of influence, for the highest Seismic ripple effect you’ve seen in a long time.

Of course, Margareta pointed out that her colleagues had been closely monitoring the market and competitor mistakes for years before even committing to the initiating process. And hell, it’s well worth it – right down to the savvy local team employed to manage tailored marketing and awareness campaigns as the company grounds its Australian branches, Margareta visiting emerging Australian designers at our best fashion design colleges to get a sense of the local style aesthetic, and impeccable timing with the consumer frenzy right off the back of H&M’s Alexander Wang announcement.

You have that freedom when your brand identity is as powerful as H&M’s.

It’s just a matter of months before the rest of the pack follow.

Sweater ($59.95), Leather Shorts ($99.95) and Coat ($99.95) from H&M’s Australian Exclusive Collection

Michael Kors Skylar Watch – Sarah & Sebastian Rings

  • sachastrebe

    gorgeous! love how your posts are always a fair balance of brains and beauty! xx

  • Absolutely love H&M! Can’t wait for their first store here in Philippines to open!! I finally need not to travel all the way to HK just for H&M haha. Love the way you styled the pieces, Margaret!

  • monkeyshines
  • thehautepursuit

    such beautiful pictures bebe!!!! and can’t believe that H&M has taken this long to reach your side of the pond! xx

    • pernine jacques

      Lol – totally agree. What would life be without H&M!!?!?!? You guys have been missing out in Australia!

  • Anne

    Really, Really, Really want to know when the Aussie H & M site will be available for online shopping,..
    if I have to spend money on flight and accommodation to melbs, that totally negates the savings and i may as well spend the money on higher end product with a similar look!

  • Our first H&M experience was during a trip to Japan last year where we stumbled into the Shibuya flagship store (we blog about it here). It was insane and, best of all, so affordable. Like ¥400 for that mesh dress kinda affordable, so coming from Melbourne and hearing that a H&M was in the works, we were kinda sceptical. The RRP in Australia can be killer and we’re just poor $tudents. But judging from your assemble, it sounds fairly accessible. UNIQLO just opened its doors today, so it’s getting real.

    Thanks for the read gal!

    The girls of MVD,

  • Great photos! I have visited the H&M store here in Melbourne and I can definitely confirm that it is huge – I got lost in there several times trying to get out. H&M isn’t my favourite high street brand, but it’s definitely exciting nevertheless!

    xx Nicole

  • Mimi E Richardson

    You are one hot woman. So talented to have shot these yourselves too… that white fluffy photo belongs in ELLERY Gazette (is she even still doing that anymore?) X Mimi

  • Angela

    Gorgeous. Love your posts! They are always so visually rich!

  • Sydney Style Opportunist

    Think I’ll be making the trip down to Melbourne also! Love it!

  • Melisa Mills

    amazing.. need that coat for this winter!!

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  • Jeans Please

    Wow! I’m speechless!

  • wow, the sweater and the coat are amazing<3

  • Cannot believe that Australia has been missing out on H&M for al these years! :o

  • Lauren R

    you look stunning! the texture of both knits are insane! :)

  • Laura Lama F.
  • That white coat. LOVE!!! :D

  • Malena

    You lucky people over East. Here in Perth we’ve got nothing. No Zara, no Topshop and No H&M. Boo. Oh, and you look incredible by the way!

    X Malena


  • Chelsea Dunstan


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Margaret Zhang 章凝 is an Australian-born-Chinese director, photographer, consultant and writer based between New York and Shanghai. Since establishing her website in 2009, Margaret has gone on to work with global brands including CHANEL, UNIQLO, Swarovski, YEEZY, Bulgari, Gucci, MATCHES, Under Armour, and Louis Vuitton in a wide range of capacities both in front of and behind the camera, while completing her Bachelor of Commerce/Bachelor of Laws at The University of Sydney. Margaret’s directing, photography, and styling has been employed by the likes of VOGUE, L’Officiel, Harper’s BAZAAR, NYLON, Marie Claire, GRAZIA and ELLE internationally. She has been listed in Forbes Asia’s 30Under30 and TimeOut’s 40Under40, and her work has been recognized as shaping the international fashion industry by the Business of Fashion BoF500 Index for the past four consecutive years. She went on to be the first Asian face to cover ELLE Australia. In 2016, she co-founded BACKGROUND, a global consultancy for which she specialises in Western-to-Chinese and Chinese-to-Western cultural bridging for a range of luxury, lifestyle, and brand initiatives. In 2017, she exhibited a series of 39 unseen photographic works as a solo show in Sydney, and premiered her first short film – a 15-minute exploration of her visceral relationship with classical music on both performance and abstract planes – to critical acclaim.

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