Photos: & Other Stories

If you haven’t already heard, & Other Stories—the quirky-meets-cool-girl label owned by the H&M group—is opening in Singapore.

Launched in 2013, & Other Stories offers diverse fashion and beauty collections designed in its Paris, Stockholm, and Los Angeles ateliers. Come August 19, you’ll be able to shop the Swedish brand’s wide range of shoes, bags, accessories, beauty products, and ready-to-wear for women in its first brick-and-mortar store at ION Orchard. The store will, in fact, be sister brand COS‘ immediate neighbour.

We caught up with Olivia Bavencoffe—she cut her teeth at brands such as Chloé and Kenzo before joining & Other Stories as Concept Designer (Paris Atelier) in 2015—who spills all about the highly anticipated launch and what to expect, how she sees the different atelier designs working for the Singaporean woman, and how the brand strikes a balance between being sustainable and on-trend.

Related article: H&M’s Sister Brand & Other Stories Is Coming To Singapore

Olivia Bavencoffe & Other Stories
Olivia Bavencoffe
Photo: & Other Stories

We’re so excited to be in the vibrant ION Orchard shopping centre. Measuring 560m², the interior acts as an extension of our ateliers in Stockholm, Paris, and Los Angeles. We constantly draw inspiration from the creativity in these cities even when designing our stores. The store will be a one-stop styling destination focusing on the whole look. And with our diverse collections of loveable circular fashion, we hope to be a great match to the way Singaporean women create their personal style.

How does having design ateliers in Stockholm, Paris and Los Angeles with very different styles/energies work for the brand? What is it like at the Paris atelier where you are based?

Being part French, part Scandinavian and part Californian brings a genuine diversity to our expression and collections. The fashion perspective and context from each city shines through. Where I’m based, the Paris Atelier collections reflect a feminine and eclectic expression, reinventing the romantic essence of the iconic French girl.

Related article: 7 Under-the-Radar French Fashion Brands You Need To Know About

Where do you find your inspiration?

My daily and constant source of inspiration are the Parisian ladies that I spot on the street. I’m also inspired by several French women on Instagram such as Leia Sfez, Camille Charriere, Emmanuelle Koffi and my talented friend Alice Roca. Otherwise, I have a country house near the beautiful Monet Garden in Normandie, where I take pictures of the amazing flowers for colour and print inspiration. Lastly, I love vintage magazines, especially from the ’80s.

Who is the & Other Stories woman?

She’s a woman who loves fashion and doesn’t go unnoticed. She has strong personal style and expresses it in her own unique way.

Related article: Rejina Pyo Launches Collection With & Other Stories

How do you see the different atelier designs working for the Singaporean woman?

We believe that personal style is all about diversity and telling a story of your own. The Singaporean woman can pick from our three ateliers and create looks that reflect her personality and mood—they can explore the minimalistic and edgy collections from Stockholm, our core denim and the feminine and romantic designs from Paris, and finally, the free-spirited style, stand-out looks and party dresses from Los Angeles.

How does storytelling come into play in & Other Stories’ fashion collections?

Stories have been a part of our brand since day one—we purposely chose a name that would reflect our ideas around storytelling. ‘& Other Stories’ is also an old way of saying short stories and the ‘&’ makes it easy to say something in connection to our brand. Like ‘Singapore & Other Stories’ or ‘MINJUKIM & Other Stories’. It’s adaptable to every story we want to tell.

Related article: Winner Of Netflix’s ‘Next In Fashion’ Minju Kim Reveals Her Future Plans

How does & Other Stories strike a balance between being sustainable and on-trend?

Our core belief is to work with long-lasting design, along with extensive product care advice and in-store recycling initiatives that includes textiles. We’re also constantly working on finding more sustainable options and solutions, sharing the progress with our customers along the way.

How have fashion and consumer trends evolved since the pandemic, and how have you adapted your designs/collections to resonate with customers?

It’s been an ever-changing situation the last couple of years, and we’ve reflected on our customers’ desire and needs. Now that the restrictions have been lifted in many markets, we see a big demand for excitement again, and for our treasure pieces. There’s a strong desire to shine and celebrate being together again.