Belfast Telegraph

Expect a scrum as Italian chic goes off the peg in Belfast

By Victoria O'Hara

Fashionistas across Northern Ireland are expected to swarm to Belfast today as H&M launch a new designer range from Marni.

The exclusive collection is the latest collaboration between the top design house and the High Street chain.

Doors will open at 9am at the Royal Avenue store and it is expected to attract hundreds of customers hoping to purchase a skirt, jacket or accessories from the distinctive Italian label.

Last November, women gathered in their droves outside the store in a bid to buy an item from the one-off launch of its much anticipated Versace range.

Today, customers will again only be allowed into the store in small batches, given wristbands and allowed a short period of time to make their purchases of the capsule collection described as “arty and ethnic”.

Entitled Marni at H&M, the bold patterned and innovative printed collection is a favourite among stars such as Milla Jovovich and Drew Barrymore.

Belfast will be just one of hundreds of branches across the UK facing huge demand for the clothing range.

The H&M Versace collection sparked pandemonium in London as security guards tried to control heaving crowds outside the Kensington store.

Previous H&M/Luxe label collections have included Karl Lagerfeld, Stella McCartney, Comme des Garçons and the David Beckham bodywear collection.

Fashion lovers, however, have been left disappointed before when many of these collections, including French label Lanvin, were not stocked in Northern Ireland stores.

Katrina Doran, founder of website Sugahfix.com, said this was “fantastic” news for fashion fans.

“Many times when a designer collaboration has been launched, people have had to go to Dublin or fly to England for it, so this is really good news,” she said.

“Marni is one of my favourite labels that when you see the catwalk collection you think wow, if I could afford it, I would shop in Marni.

“To be able to get it at H&M is just amazing.”

She added: “It’s brilliant that they’ve obviously seen that Belfast and Northern Ireland is an up and coming place that is really into its fashion.

“I think there will be massive queues.”

Cathy Martin, Belfast Fashion Week organiser, said the new range is good news for the Northern Ireland shopper.

“I think H&M’s collaborations with top designers has been so popular over the years and it’s great to see that they’ve now gone with Marni,” she said.

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