Frenzied customers rush to grab designer rags

Frenzied customers on Thursday thronged Swedish fashion giant Hennes and Mauritz's Stockholm stores to sample the group's latest collection of low-cost luxury designer wear, this year created by Dutch duo Viktor and Rolf.

The pair’s “Love comes and goes, but style is forever” collection hit selected H and M stores throughout Europe, North America and Asia on Thursday.

Swedish H & M stores launched the collection at 10am to thousands of customers of all ages hoping to pick up catwalk designs at budget prices.

At one of the group’s largest stores in Stockholm hundreds of eager shoppers rushed security guards and sprinted into stores to start spending.

“Viktor and Rolf! Of course I know them! If you follow fashion you know them! They are amazing, don’t you think? Those guys will be very famous in a few years,” 17-year-old Karolina Larsson and self-confessed fashion victim told AFP.

“I arrived at 07:20, I skipped class for this”, Ylva Lundberg said.

The “Love comes and goes, but style is forever” collection combines evening and casual wear for men and women inspired by the theme of a love story.

“It’s fantastic, we can’t say how many people are here, hundreds… It’s like during Christmas. We couldn’t give you figures but I can say that it was a real success last year and the year before and again it’s fantastic,” H & M spokeswoman Kristina Stenvinkel said.

In November 2004 the retailer launched a concept of hiring household names from the fashion world to design affordable collections.

First was Chanel fashion legend Karl Lagerfeld. The idea proved an immediate commercial hit and a year later H & M repeated the success with a more casual collection created by trendy British designer Stella McCartney.