During Paris Fashion Week, pop icon Cher, Swedish singer Robyn and South Korean DJ Peggy Gou performed at Silencio nightclub to a crowd of actors and models including Jared Leto, Elle Fanning and Irina Shayk.
All were wearing shimmering outfits from H&M’s latest collaboration, a collection with the brand of late fashion designer Paco Rabanne, who pioneered the use of metal chainmail and sequins in fashion in the 1960s.
The star-studded event hosted by the Swedish fashion retailer is an example of its pitch to more aspirational shoppers as it tries to build back profit margins and move away from direct competition with fast-fashion giant Shein.
The rapid growth of the China-founded online retailer, which sells US$8 (approximately RM37.40) dresses, US$5 (RM23.40) T-shirts and US$2 (RM9.40) jewellery, is upturning the industry.
According to Coresight Research, Shein, which plans an IPO next year, is now the world’s biggest fast-fashion retailer with an estimated 18% market share, followed by Zara owner Inditex with 17% and H&M with 5%.
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What’s more, Shein is threatening those players in their core region: its app has more European than US users, according to data.ai, and has more than doubled its number of monthly active users in the region to 65.5 million since January 2022.
“There’s no doubt that Shein is a disruptor. They have come into the market and grown very fast, which I’m sure has surprised H&M,” said Adil Shah, portfolio manager at Storebrand in Oslo, which holds H&M shares.
H&M said on Friday its strategy to offer customers “the best combination of fashion, quality and sustainability, at the best price” remains unchanged.
The company’s sales fell 4% in its fourth quarter, losing ground to Zara, whose parent company Inditex