I DO LOVE the chic boho style of ISABEL MARANT so I could not resist taking a peak in H&M on High Street Kensington today for the launch of the Isabel Marant for H&M range. But arriving at midday I had already missed the first (…and second and third…) boat. The cordoned off Isabel Marant collection had already been cherry-picked by customers who’d lined up all morning (some since 1am) for a wristband to secure a ten minute time-limited perusal. Latecomers like myself were told to come back in an hour when the barriers would come down for ‘open access’ to the scarce remaining items.
Isabel Marant for H&M
I returned an hour later, more than a little intrigued. Staff were piling up remaining boxes of stock ready for the grand finale. After a health and safety warning and with security men at the ready, we descended (in an orderly fashion) on the remaining stock.
Now you see it...
...now you don't
It flew off the shelves. But I found a pair of very cool white jeans with Aztec stitch seams – in my size! But here’s the big disappointment – I’ve just got them home, the fit is awkward, the thick fabric resembles cheap stiff denim and they just look, well, cheap. Nothing bares the quality craftsmanship you would expect of a premium designer label. I have not bought a pair of second-skin jeans to cherish and wear into the ground – all I have is a pair of cheaply made jeans for 3 times their usual H&M price tag.
I’ll return these and no doubt they won’t last more than a few minutes on the shop floor. But their limited shop-time will, I imagine, be matched by limited wear. Another cheap pair of jeans to last one season before being cast aside for the next cheap replacement.
This morning I bought into a false economy. Cheap fast fashion results in high wardrobe turnover and regular replacement purchases to fill the gaps – adding up to about the same cost as a few annual purchases of quality investment pieces to last for years and years because of an inherent quality – Isabel Marant, Karl Lagerfeld or otherwise.