Thursday, 8 March 2012

MARNI FOR H&M Shopping Preview: "Portuguesas: How Deep is Your Love?"

Dear Letter Lovers,

The Marni for H&M collection was made available to the public this morning at 10 a.m. 

Thanks to Miss Pu, from Fashion Rules, and a little green invitation, I managed to make my way into the Shopping Preview, at 8h30 a.m.

Of course being latin as I am, I arrived at 9h10 a.m, exactly 20 minutes before our shopping privileges were to be revoked
This was not an intelligent move from my part.

"Catarina Valente", said Inês Fontoura, "move quickly"
Lesson to be Learnt:
Don't ever underestimate the punctuality of shoppers, even if they're Latin and known to disrespect time frames.

Why? Because when I waltzed in at 9h10, there was virtually  
N-O-T-H-I-N-G left. And this was a P-R-E-V-I-E-W

 Well, of course there were still many items to be bought, but the ones I had had my eye on were making themselves incredibly scarce. 

 Accessories: "Forget it CLV."

And I really did have to forget about those Domino-Art-Deco Reminscent Marni Earrings that I hoped to call my own and fell in love with just last week at the showroom:

And that goes for the bracelets too:

!I did however, manage to lay my hands on this  
Marni-plastic-rhinestone-bow pair!

...They were the last ones...

Reflections from the preview:

I was under the impression that Portugal was facing one of the worst financial crisis' the country has ever seen.

Especially after Moodys rated the nation's financial debt as "Trash".

In any effect, I thought we were in the Gutter.

And then I observed as the lady in front of me spent over €500 on items from the collection. 

And she ventured to asked if I was going to take the earrings I had in my hand: 

"If you had put them aside, I would have snapped them right up!"


I'm a believer of the epic quote  stated in Sex and the City:

"I like my money right where I can see it, in my closet".

But just how deep is the Portuguese woman's love for Marni?

The strategic partnerships H&M has been benefiting from for over the past 6 years really are wonderful. They make luxury available to the masses

And this really is commendable & profitable.

But one can only wonder how many consumers really appreciate the pieces and connect with luxury brand in question ?

 And how many are pure and simply Fashion Victims aka Firm Followers of the Fads?

The collection Consuelo Castiglioni designed for Marni's partnership with H&M is an extremely difficult one. 

 It does not easily fit the body of the average woman.  

Much less the average Portuguese woman. 

Not to mention the fact that the prints are frightfully intimidating to the everyday consumer

...Inês Fontoura, head of PR and Communication for H&M Portugal, confided  she got her Marni outfit straight out of a lookbook...

Marni is a brand for the brave, the very brave

You have to have an inherent confidence that 90% of consumers don't. 

Final Conclusion

At the risk of sounding cynical, I can only conclude that shoppers who spent more than the national average minimum wage can only be classified as Fashion Victims who purchase purely for the purpose of "status"

 Nonetheless, Hats Off to H&M and to Marni for the creation of a truly original collection, that makes the average fashionista think outside-of-the-box.


And a second Hats of to H&M for having understood that "quirky" & "weird" are in fashion and for making the most of the current Hipster Artsy trend.

Food for thought

 How many of you would like to bet that more than 50% of the Marni collection is going to be sported by fashion victims at Lisbon Fashion week over the next few days?


If you like what you read, or hate it for that matter, email us a

The photographs from this post taken at the H&M showroom are property of Fabulous Letters from Lisbon.  Credits: Francisco Steinwall

Marni for H&M.

Visit an H&M near you. 

Lots of Love From Fabulous Lisbon,



  1. I love your blog!
    I sauntered into a H&M on London's Oxford Street at about 2pm today and found it busy but not at all frantic.
    Obviously the gorgeous bracelets I wanted in chunky green were long gone, but I bought the dress (close-up of bow at the back in your blog) with the blue circle pattern in the front and beige print in the back. It's lovely, kind of smock-ish, and nerdy-chic. I'm surprised it's not modeled in the look-book. I plan to wear it with leggings and a super-thin turtle-neck tomorrow. I also got the green ethnic print skirt. It's well-cut with pockets, and will brighten up the winter neutrals.

  2. So glad that you enjoyed the post!

    I love Marni's nerdy,librarian concept. So different from other brands that go for low-cuts and tight waists! You're incredibly brave to have bought that particular dress! It's incredibly difficult to pull off, but you're right, with leggings will look good.

  3. I really liked this post. I'm a Portuguese blogger too but hey, I never get invites for anything so I waited in line like everybody else :-P (and I just wanted one piece, the top with caramel leather front)

    There was no bracelet system like in other launches, so when the doors opened everybody stormed in and everything flew out of the shelves in two minutes. I got the top I wanted, but only the last 36 on the rack, there were no more sizes 34 (I have to take it to the seamstress for alterations now).

    I can tell that H&M received very little stock of this collection and the preview didn't help. I'm NOT censoring the people who got access to the preview (OK, maybe the ones that spent € 500... ohmygod) but I think H&M made a few tactical errors with this launch here in Portugal, especially when it comes to underestimating the Portuguese interest in Marni...

  4. I think H&M underestimated the national interest in this collection. But this doesn't go without saying that many consumers bought pieces due to the status of Marni and that fact that quirky chic is now in fashion. It remains to be seen how many will actually wear the pieces next season.

  5. Hi, really loved this post and I'm going to share it in my blog, if you don't mind. Personally, i think these partnerships are amazing and a way to democratize fashion and give the people the chance to have something that could only dream of.... But in these circumstances, only the "VIPs" got something..... what a sad outcome...

  6. I loved this entry! I also believe H&M underestimated the love from Portuguese girls in Marni. A few friends went to Madrid and snapped a few necklaces and earrings but the shop was also a mess with no bracelet system. Nevertheless, we shall wait and see who truly will wear Marni next season after the hype is gone.

  7. Claudia: I'm glad you enjoyed the most, share away! Szofi: I'm dying to see just how long this Marni fad is going to last...


The CLV Essentials


Lisbon Lovers.