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Welcome to Nyden, H&M’s new tribal-led, Millennial-focused fashion brand

It’s called Nyden (made up from Swedish words ‘ny’ (‘new’) and ‘den’ (‘it’)) , it launches in both e-tail and pop-up formats early next year and, if you haven’t already guessed, it’s the latest banner to come under the prolific H&M retail umbrella.

Designed from its Los Angeles studio, the Millennial-focused brand is expected to be different from its sister labels, too. It’s led by Oscar Olsson and comes in at higher prices with a focus on co-creation, limited-edition drops, data insights and input from “tribe leaders”.

The launch reflects Olsson’s vision that fashion’s future lies with targeting “tribes” who aren’t interested in designers dictating what they should wear. So it will engage with those tribe leaders (or influencers as many of us know them) selected by Olson to “co-create” collections.

Those data-driven insights will also make heavy use of influencers, including social media stars, other major name celebs and others with a more “esoteric appeal”. The differences between this brand and H&M’s others are also clear given that philosopher and writer Alexander Bard is its “in-house philosopher”.

Olsson said in an interview with The Cut that the first tribe leader collabs will be with Instagram star Doctor Woo and Swedish actress Noomi Rapace, who will see pre-approved looks and materials at the LA design centre and will make quick selections, resulting in lead times of just a few weeks. The products will be available online (the website is in place but has little on it so far) or at “mixed reality” pop-up events.

Olsson has a background at H&M in data analysis and moved to the firm’s Innovation Lab earlier this year, reporting directly to CEO Karl-Johan Persson. But as well as data, the insights that went into creating the Nyden concept also came from philosophy and sociology, we’re told.

What it has all resulted in is an interesting label that seems unlikely to achieve the size of, say, the H&M chain itself, but which has huge potential. Its Millennial target market (or “Netocrats”, as Olsson calls them) is a huge consumer group always looking for something new and different.

“In this future society, as any brand or any kind of provider of anything, you need to embrace the fact that the power is not in your hands,” Olsson told The Cut. “The power has shifted to what we call tribes [who are] more sensitive than ever to credibility, authenticity and personality,” as well as “exploitation of themselves or other people”.

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