Hennes and Mauritz reveals drug-free model

Swedish fashion retailer Hennes and Mauritz said on Wednesday that it had picked Italian model Mariacarla Boscono to launch a new collection, after dropping Kate Moss over her reported use of cocaine.

“We picked her (Boscono) because she is an experienced and skilful model who portrays the collection in a good way,” H and M spokeswoman Liv Asarnoj told AFP.

“We have received assurances from Mariacarla’s agent that she lives a healthy life,” she added.

The youth fashion chain last month decided to drop Moss, 31, from an already shot campaign for a special autumn-winter collection designed by Stella McCartney after grainy pictures were published apparently showing her snorting cocaine.

Moss, who has lost several other large contracts following the media reports, has not admitted to taking drugs but has apologized for her behavior and checked herself into a US clinic for “medical treatment and therapy”.

The one-off Stella McCartney collection is scheduled to hit about 400 selected H and M stores across 22 countries worldwide on November 10, and the Swedish company said it had not had time to replace the entire advertising campaign with pictures of the 25-year-old Boscono.

“The main medium is television, and (Boscono) will be used in the TV ads,” Asarnoj said, adding however that the company had decided to use graphics in all of its printed ads in papers, magazines and on posters.

“There was simply not enough time for us to retake all the pictures in the campaign after we cancelled the campaign with Kate Moss. It’s a lot faster to reshoot a TV commercial,” she said.


H&M competitor to sponsor Sweden’s Olympic team

Six months after establishing itself in Stockholm, Japanese clothing brand Uniqlo has announced it will sponsor Sweden’s athletes at the 2020 Olympics.

H&M competitor to sponsor Sweden's Olympic team
Anna Hasselborg of Sweden's curling team tries out new kit supplied for the country's athletes by Uniqlo. Photo: Henrik Montgomery/TT

The clothing chain, one of the world’s fastest-growing retail companies, is also set to open more stores in the Scandinavian country.

“Swedes are so sophisticated and warm-hearted,” Uniqlo Europe CEO Taku Morikawa said, stressing how welcome his company has been made to feel.

Morikawa was in Sweden to present the partnership between Uniqlo and the Swedish Olympic Committee at an event at Uniqlo’s store on Hamngatan in Stockholm.

Sweden’s athletes wore teamwear supplied by H&M at the last two Olympic Games.

The Stockholm store, Uniqlo’s first in the Nordic region, opened its doors in August 2018. An expansion is now planned on the Swedish market, although Morikawa declined to reveal where.

“We definitely have plans to open more stores here,” he said.

A store will also open in Danish capital Copenhagen in the coming spring as Uniqlo’s holding company Fast Retailing continues its global expansion.

Sales figures in Sweden’s clothing retail sector have seen a downward trend in recent years, with an exception in 2015.

H&M is usually cited as one of Uniqlo’s main competitors.

The impact of a new player on an already-competitive market is difficult to predict, according to the Swedish Trade Federation (Svensk Handel).

“Locally, competition is sharpened, but competition is already fierce. I would be inclined to say that this type of partly new concept store can, instead, help to revitalise the physical retail sector for clothing,” the association’s head economist Johan Davidson said.  

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