H&M Marni collection: H&M strike gold once more with designer collaboration

Sold out AGAIN H&M strike gold once more with Marni collection shoppers say is the 'essence of the brand'

Hundreds of shoppers spent the night on the street outside H&M yet again as the Marni collection went on sale today.

Queues snaked down the nation's high streets ahead of the nine o'clock opening time, and coloured wristbands were doled out in ten minute time slots to the first 250 to arrive at each store.

Moments after the doors opened at nine o'clock, key pieces – a blue Bauhaus-inspired
spotty jacket and skirt, a print maxi dress and Marni's classic resin
bangles – were sold out. But by 11am, there was still plenty of choice for those who had arrived at a more sociable hour than those who
had set up camp in the wee hours.

Delighted: Shoppers Christina Lundberg and Mawi Keivom are laden down with their purchases

Delighted: Shoppers Christina Lundberg and Mawi Keivom are laden down with their purchases

First in the queue was 39-year-old mother and housewife Sarah Templeman, 39, from Barnes, London, who arrived at 3.30am.

'It was very dark and very cold when I
got here,' she said. 'I love Marni and wanted quite a few
things. I had to come in person – I'd tried buying H&M's Lanvin
collection online but the site was dopwn for the entire day. /03/08/article-2111995-1214D6A3000005DC-245_306x512.jpg” width=”306″ height=”512″ alt=”Early birds: Mothers Sarah Templeman, 39, left, and Fenia Nisbet, 57, were first in line” class=”blkBorder” />

Satisfied customer: Sarah Templeman managed to pick up all the pieces she had her eye on

Early birds: Mothers Sarah Templeman, 39, left,
and Fenia Nisbet, 57, were first in line, having arrived at H&M on
Kensington High Street at 3.30am. Right, Sarah left the store a very
satisfied customer

Pick of the bunch: The key items from the collection, including the blue spotty jacket and skirt and the silk spotty dress, sold fast

Pick of the bunch: The key items from the collection, including the blue spotty jacket and skirt and the silk spotty dress, sold fast

H&M's latest designer
collaboration, coming just five months after Donatella Versace's
collection caused scenes of such hysteria nationwide, was met today with an altogether more dignified reception.

There was no red carpet, no glitzy celebrity appearances – and no fisticuffs over the last studded leather dress.

Where the shoppers in the queue
for Versace were teens and fashion students with blue-tinted hair and
directional outfits the majority of those at H&M today were an entirely different demographic.

It was mothers, barristers and
teachers wrapped up in parkas who queued patiently outside the store in the dark, clutching Thermos flasks of coffee.

The designer behind the
brand, Consuelo Castiglioni, had said ahead of the launch that 'everything has the
same level of quality, craft and attention to detail Marni’s known
for’ – and she was not wrong.

Up close, the high quality of this
collection was obvious. Generous hems and seams, thick, lined cotton and
floaty silk (washable in the machine, crucially) made this excellent
value for money.

Essence of the brand: Shopper Simona Macca buys her selection of the collection, which was rich in the bold prints of the main Marni line

Essence of the brand: Shopper Simona Macca buys her selection of the collection, which was rich in the bold prints of the main Marni line

Pressure: With just ten minute slots for shoppers to collect their purchases, the atmosphere in the store gets quickly heated

Pressure: With just ten minute slots for shoppers to collect their purchases, the atmosphere in the store gets quickly heated

Limits: Shoppers load up their arms with clothes and accessories - although each person is only allowed to buy one of each item to prevent mass-buying for resale on eBay

Limits: Shoppers load up their arms with clothes and accessories – although each person is only allowed to buy one of each item to prevent mass-buying for resale on eBay

But
then this collection, by Italian fashion house Marni, was an altogether
different kettle of fish from H&M's last designer offering.

The Marni brand itself is more niche,
more chic, than Versace. With its often voluminous cuts – cocoon or egg
shapes, skirts cut from swathes of rich fabric, bold spotty poplin –
its target audience tends away from the teens to the style-assured
fashion follower in the know.

Given
that this was a youthful High Street brand though, this collection
though had been tailored to suit a younger market. Cuts were slimmer
than the main Marni line, and many of the colours were bolder and more
vivacious.

One
shopper, Natalia Raffaello, 33, from Milan, said that while she finds
full-price Marni depressing and prohibitively expensive (600 for a
cardigan, for instance), this H&M line was brighter.

Swamped: Those hoping to dodge queues by shopping online were left disappointed after demand meant they were made to wait - even when they attempted to purchase items at 9am sharp

Swamped: Those hoping to dodge queues by shopping online were left disappointed after demand meant they were made to wait – even when they attempted to purchase items at 9am sharp

All
were impressed. 'It translated so well,' said 50-year-old Mona Zoghbi, a
teacher. 'I waited three hours for the Versace collection and ended up
disappointed with the two T-shirts I bought. This time it's been
excellent. I buy a piece of Marni every year – I have a special budget
for it.

'Now I've bought half a dozen items for the price of my one annual purchase – and the fabrics are good too.'

'It's
perfect for summer,' said Phillipa Boyce, 31, from Streatham. 'I have
just spent my entire month's rent on about 20 pieces. 'I can't wait to
see who they partner up with next. 'I'd better start saving now!'

Online, those who were ready to click to buy at nine o'clock sharp when the
collection went live online were met with a dreaded 'thank you
for your patience' message, which stayed up until well past 11am.

When it finally came down at noon,
there were few pieces left for those who hadn't stood in line at the
store meaning that for those who did brave the sub-zero temperatures
last night, it was well worth the wait.

Top quality: The men's collection was deemed by shoppers to be excellent quality, with a leather bag and cashmere jumper stand out items

Top quality: The men's collection was deemed by shoppers to be excellent quality, with a leather bag and cashmere jumper stand out items


Long wait: Many shoppers stood int he cold night for hours to be first in line for the coloured wristbands that would allow them to be first into the store

Long wait: Many shoppers stood int he cold night for hours to be first in line for the coloured wristbands that would allow them to be first into the store

Waiting patiently: Shoppers on Oxford Street clutched coffees as they waited for the store to open

Waiting patiently: Shoppers on Oxford Street clutched coffees as they waited for the store to open

Sold out: /03/08/article-2111891-12119596000005DC-272_634x826.jpg

Sold out: The blue Bauhaus-inspired skirt and jacket were among the first items to sell out – the shelves were bare by ten past nine this morning


THE COLLECTION:

Vibrant: Colours were brighter than the regular mainline Marni collection

Jacquard weave top, 59.99

Youthful: Colours were brighter than the regular mainline Marni collection, while fabrics – silk and cotton – were excellent. Silk top, 39.99, left, and right, jacquard weave top, 59.99

Bangles, 24.99

Bangles, 24.99

Classic Marni: Chunky plastic bangles at just 24.99 were sold out within minutes

H&M: Marni

H&M: Marni

H&M: Marni

Fine threads: All of these print dresses are 100 per cent silk and priced at 69.99

H&M: Marni

H&M: Marni

Casual chic: Shoppers can pick up these bright tees for just 19.99

H&M Marni

H&M Marni

From left: The leather platform heels 69.99 and leather sandals 39.99 were still available at noon today

Hordes of shoppers queue outside H&M Regents Street in London waiting for doors to open

Hordes of shoppers queue outside H&M Regents Street in London waiting for doors to open

Mary Charteris

Yasmin Le Bon

Mary Charteris, the niece of fashion muse Daphne Guinness and model Yasmin Le Bon picked up some treats at the Marni launch party last night

Gemma Cairney

Jade Williams

Stylist Gemma Cairney (left) and Sunday Girl Jade Williams showcase pieces from the collection