Two years ago, COS began shipping to the United States and opening stores on American soil. The European retailer, part of the H&M family of brands, had opened locations in Asia a few years prior, and a stateside expansion was a logical next step. The move has worked out and COS has become quite popular for both in-store and online shoppers across the nation, with storefronts in New York, Miami, Atlanta, Boston, and Los Angeles.
The brand continues to establish itself in the American fashion scene with its newest collaboration, a joint collection with luxury retailer MR PORTER called “The Art of The Everyday.” The two companies have worked together once in the past, and the resulting collection was designed to outfit the “modern traveler” with lightweight materials, playful prints, and plenty of short sleeves. The newest collection leans towards the other end of the spectrum; instead of catering to the frequent flyer, “The Art of The Everyday” celebrates the universal ritual of getting up in the morning and dressing practically. The idea of the collection is to inject some luxury, however subtle, into the things that we wear on a regular basis and not the clothes we save for special occasions.
COS and MR PORTER have hit their mark, too. The 30 or so pieces are all marked by versatility and wearability, but the subtle details in the basics make the collection truly shine. The grid-patterned shirt, for example, might not stand out at first, but up close the beauty of the hand-drawn, irregular pattern becomes clear. Sweaters in boiled wool, alpaca, and cashmere appear with several different collar styles and all come in easy-to-complement, relaxed colors: navy, light grey, washed-out pink, and dark red. The collection has accessories covered as well. The alpaca scarf has a thick, textured knit, and the simple closure and leather trim on the canvas backpack are perfect examples of how there is always room for a little luxury.
Though the company is known globally, MR PORTER has really become a fixture in America, especially since the introduction of same-day delivery to New York City. It is one of the handful of online boutiques whose end-of-season clearances are legendary, especially since its normal prices are seen by some as quite high. The two companies, then, both have much to gain by working together. COS upscales its image by selling through a renowned boutique and MR PORTER attracts a larger group by offering lower prices. The customer wins, too; these basics deliver a laid-back and high-end aesthetic without breaking the bank.
Have you shopped at a COS store or online at MR PORTER before? Tell me about it here or on Twitter @BillChangNY