H&M's high-end spin-off brand, COS, is reportedly aiming to compete with an array of high fashion houses, ranging from Prada to Jil Sander, as well as with rival Inditex, the parent company of Zara, the world’s largest clothing retailer (and key appropriator of Céline's minimalist wares). The Swedish fast fashion retailer launched "Collection of Style", COS, for short, in 2007, opening stores across Europe, Asia and the Middle East, and is slated to introduce the brand via pop-up stores in the U.S. this week. According to the brand, a "wide breadth of inspiration defines our collections," which may or may not be a diplomatic way of saying that the brand aims to mimic the look of in-demand fashion brands. And it seems this may be the case. Sources have described the brand's offerings as: "Much more inexpensive adaptations of Jil Sander and Céline," "to be mistaken for real-deal Céline or Marni," and as having "shapes that give a nod to both Céline and Balenciaga." Even Vogue chimed in on the brand, saying, "Even the most trained eye could mistake a clean COS look for Céline or Stella McCartney."
The company is scheduled to open full stores in Soho and Beverly Hills later this year, with U.S. e-commerce also in the works.