As always Metrovelvet, is covering the latest and most fashionable events all over the nation. What a better way to start the summer with an invite from H&M – Hennes & Mauritz, the popular international retailer known for offering fashion-forward apparel and quality basics, to attend to the grand opening of the first ever location at greater Houston’s Baybrook Mall. H&M was established in Sweden in 1947. Currently there are 237 stores in the U.S. and more than 2,500 H&M stores in 44 markets worldwide.
H&M at Baybrook Mall will give shoppers in the Houston area access to the brand’s latest summer fashions and updated basics at the best prices. This location offer collections for the whole family including ladies, men, young ladies, and young men, with separate “store within store” sections for accessories, lingerie, and sports apparel. H&M at Baybrook Mall also carry H&M’s new plus sized line, H&M+, as well as the Swedish retailer’s fantastic children’s collection, which features quality garments for kids ages newborn to eight.
Our Co-Editor Luis Soto / Mr.G and fashion photographer Jay Marroquin, had the chance to attend to an exclusive breakfast, that H&M gave to a few VIP’s and members of the press before the grand opening to the public. During this time Mr.G, had the chance to do an exclusive interview with H&M buyer and spokeswoman – Nicole M. Christie, which we all know from NBC’s latest reality competition series “Fashion Star”.
First of all Metrovelvet, would like to welcome H&M, as well as you Nicole to Houston.
NC: Thank you Luis! We just happy that we found a great location here in Baybrook Mall, we are also happy to finally open in the Houston market.
Mr.G: Nicole, what can you tells us in general, about the H&M store… what can people find when they come here?
NC: What I think is beautiful about the store is that every department is a shop within a shop, right now we are standing in our men’s department and the feeling is so different here we have really cool black wardrobes and oriental rugs on the floor, then if you go to the kids department next door and is bright, airy and colorful, where we have really cool kids graphics on the walls, so when every time you come to the store every department have a different feeling.
I think what everyone is going to love is that we have lingerie, accessories, swimwear, denim, our H&M plus size line and we have our active sports apparel for men and ladies. So we try to give something for everyone here in the H&M house, over 21,000 square feet of collections and that’s probably one of the reasons it took long to get here, because we wanted to find the right location.
Mr.G: What is so special about H&M that makes everyone go crazy, there were people that came from other cities, others that waited over night just to be here today…?
NC: It so simple, is what we do, is our business concept, is fashion and quality at the best price; we have designers, designing our in house collections and we want to bring the best of fashion for the whole family to the stores, I think we do a really good job at it. So we think that’s probably why we have over 1,000 people in line right now, is incredible the demand for H&M.
Mr.G: Now let’s talk about quality, there’s something about the textiles that you guys use in the products that last for a long time and even better at prices that are so affordable.
NC: Well I think the key is that we are a global company and we have 2,500 stores and in most of all those 2,500 stores the majority of the collections are the same, so when we order the fabulous blazer you have on Luis…
Mr.G: Thank You!
NC: We order that same item for all of the markets, for example in 44 countries across the world. So we are able to buy and make orders that are so large, that we can get it at a reasonable price and pass down the savings to the costumer.
Mr.G: Let’s talk about trends, there’s a lot of bright color going on… I see lots of neons, what will you recommend for people to purchase this summer?
NC: Color is the number one trend, bright color and not just what you will expect of a strong color, but summer version of them, blues, candy colors, red, bright yellow and neons, neons are huge! What I think is the most important change in the trends this season, is that we see these color performing really well on men’s department, in the men’s collection and I think historically that hasn’t always been the case, but this summer men are going… all men are going crazy for the colors we have in the men’s department.
Mr.G: We all know that this is not going to be the only H&M store in the Houston area, can you tell me more about how many more stores H&M is planning to open and when will be the next grand opening?
NC: We have a really beautiful store coming up in Willowbrook Mall that is coming on, later on this summer and you know we always want to surprise our customers, but we are expanding and we really believe in the potential of this market. I have a feeling that there’s going to be more stores popping up in the Houston area, maybe even closer to downtown one day, but we are not done yet this is just the first of hopefully many other stores.
Mr.G: Well thank you so much Nicole for being here with us!
NC: Thank you so much Luis, you look amazing in your Fashion Star blazer, you look so handsome! I love it!
Metrovelvet will like to give special thanks to all the H&M-Houston team, by making us feel so welcome, as well as Laura Schottland of Paul Wilmot Communications.
Mr.G / Luis Soto
Co – Fashion Editor
Photo of Hogan McLaughlin by Jay Marroquin