H&M's new millennial-focused brand is taking a page out of Kanye West's playbook
- H&M's new millennial-focused brand, Nyden, launched its first collection online this month.
- H&M CEO Karl-Johan Persson wants to create the brand of the future - one that he believes does not follow trends or churn out endless different styles, but sells a limited selection of "affordable luxury" clothing.
- The brand shares several things in common with Kanye West's Yeezy brand.
There has been plenty of buzz around H&M's new millennial-focused brand, Nyden, in the past few months.
This is mostly because it's stayed quiet about what to expect, releasing teaser videos and posting black square photos on Instagram. The information is as minimal as the branding.
But after finishing a pre-launch in April, Nyden finally rolled out its first collection of men's and women's clothing this month. Called /Nyden drop 1, it features products like studded leather jackets that cost as much as $2,000.
This new brand seems very much to be influenced by Kanye West's label Yeezy, not only stylistically but also in its approach to fashion marketing.
The premise behind Nyden is to predict how people will shop in the future, using market research and partnering with sociologists and philosophers.
In an interview with The Cut, the head of Nyden, Oscar Olsson, a 35-year-old, tattooed Swede, said that he believes in the future, brands won't exist in the same way that they do today. They might not have one main designer but could instead be influenced by many different people, he said.
Nyden's current collection has been co-created with three celebrities: singers Dua Lipa and Justine Skye and German soccer player Jérôme Boateng.
The clothing has an air of Yeezy to it in that it's both minimalist and androgynous. For both companies, the focus is not on following trends but on creating their own.
West has been hailed as a marketing expert in the past.
"He's used his personality, plus smart scarcity and exclusivity models, to build a cult brand," Katy Lubin, a communications director at Lyst, told Business Insider in April. "He is a master of social-media hype."
His direct-to-consumer advertising model is not only efficient, as it meets consumers where they want to shop (like on Instagram), but it also saves marketing dollars.
"Yeezy's marketing approach is effective because it balances exclusivity (art, celebrities) alongside mass (Instagram, movie theaters). His campaigns are creative artistic expressions while his distribution strategies are mass," Quynh Mai, founder of Moving Image & Content, the digital agency behind the official films created for the launch of Yeezy's Season 1, 2, and 3 collections, told Business Insider.
Nyden seeks to do just this. So far, the launch has only been advertised on social media, and the co-creators of its first collection are featured in videos on its Instagram page, explaining the inspiration behind their designs. The products will be sold exclusively online and in pop-ups.
Ultimately, Nyden is everything H&M is not, and by taking influence from West's brand rather than its parent company, it's sending a message about the direction fashion is headed.