Test your fast fashion knowledge.
Founded in 1947, Swedish clothing retailer H&M has become one of the most recognizable brand icons in the fashion industry. In case of a surprise outing or spontaneous rendezvous, fast fashion will always have our backs. But despite H&M’s booming popularity and countless brick and mortar stores, we don’t know what those renown initials actually mean.
If you have never really considered the meaning behind the acronym, you’re definitely not alone. There are some stores that seem to have existed since the beginning of time. In fact, most retailers have a very interesting story behind their names, and H&M is no exception. There is a lot of history behind the name itself.
H&M was founded in 1947 by Erling Persson as Hennes, which translates into Swedish as “Hers.” At that time, Hennes only sold women’s clothing.
In 1968, Hennes acquired another brand, Mauritz Widforss, a Stockholm-based retailer that sold hunting and fishing equipment – a dramatic shift from his previous exclusive women’s department.
Having dabbled in another realm, Persson decided to venture into men’s and children’s fashion as well. Due to its complete inaccuracy, the name couldn’t last, so he changed it to Hennes and Mauritz.
Nevertheless, it wasn’t until 1974 that Hennes & Mauritz finally shortened their name to the more familiar H&M. In addition to rebranding all of their shops, the brand expanded beyond its Scandinavian territory once its name was abbreviated. It was on Fifth Avenue, New York, in 2000 that the first U.S. store opened, eventually spiraling into the global phenomenon we know today. (Interested in knowing more about America’s most trusted brands? Check out the Trusted League.)
Scandinavians and many other countries still refer to the store by its original brand name: Hennes.
Did you know that? Next time you’re strolling through the mall, you’ll feel a little smarter.