A few weeks ago, I was invited by H&M to fly over to Sweden and visit the brand's headquarters in Stockholm. In celebration of the H&M arrival to my hometown, Cyprus, the brand selected a lovely group of people (thank you for the awesome time everyone - we definitely laughed our hearts out) who work in media for a press trip to the Swedish capital in order to meet the H&M team and gain a better understanding of the company's processes.
To be honest, Stockholm was never in my go-to list; and to my pleasant surprise, I was apparently so very wrong for not thinking about visiting sooner - a stunning city, an unbeatable vibe, lovely people and enviable minimal chic aesthetics everywhere. If you are following on Instagram, then you've seen it all up close and personal!
We arrived at the 19th-century built 5 star Nobis hotel to find a wonderful home away from home! My room was gorgeous; design furniture, stunning views to the country yard, magazines for my almost no free time and a gorgeous all marble everything bathroom - #helloIlivehere.
Food wise; they took us to the very best - Fotografiska Museet (ph. below) in my highlights is not to be missed if you ever visit the city; phenomenal food (I would go back just for that, trust me), beautiful canal views and amazing exhibitions to trace the edges of your art consciousness.
Pardon, but I need to reference the gram once again; stories went giddy up with black pepper cream raspberry desserts and vegan platters you never thought could look and taste so well.
Another must-go is the Moderna Museet (ph. below) - you have the cafe for extraordinary lunch offering with a view and the museum for awesome art exhibitions; I was so lucky and beyond ecstatic to have had the opportunity to see Yayoi Kusama 's work (more on that soon but for now enjoy the silver mirrored silver balls below) !
Ph. taken with iPhone via Instagram
And now let's talk about why we are really here - H&M.
Our day-to-day plan consisted of visits to the HQ, presentations from the H&M team - (from design to the HR and more) - I need to pay my respects to Ann-Sofie Johansson, the Head of Design at the company. Wow, just wow.
We talked about inspiration, how the trends are set and how they work with colour and texture. We saw the vintage room (hashtag If I die bury me in here please, gritting teeth and heart-shaped eyes emojis), talked about copywriting and saw the process for their first sample making up close. We attended one of their shoots and the ahhhs, hmms and arghhs from each one of us were on a non-stop basis. Astonishing studios!
We all know that H&M is a retail giant but what you don't know is how 'big' they are on the inside. I strongly believe that the key to their success is their people - friendly, fun, extremely creative and very very (I could write a page of very's) stylish. They encompass the word TEAM like no other. Most of them work at the company for more than 25 years - that should say enough.
Let's take a tour.. x
Ph. by Mattias Bardå | *click to expand
Overall, Sweden is capital - A Awesome. It was a 10 out of 10 trip. Stockholm, you should be expecting me again pretty soon!
Tack H&M, Maria Kokkali and Hacan Andersson for an unforgettable experience!