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Margareta van den Bosch

H&M’s creative mind - She is one of the most influential people in the fashion business – yet not many people know her name. Margareta van den Bosch is one of the people responsible for turning H&M into an international trend setting label.

Margareta van den Bosch

It was pure chance that led Margareta van den Bosch to H&M. After studying at the renowned Anders Beckmans Academy for Design in Stockholm, the daughter of a caricaturist began work as an illustrator and designer – which meant frequent trips around the world. Following the breakdown of her marriage, she found herself alone with a young son. To introduce more stability into their lives, she made the decision to travel less. “H&M based in Stockholm was the nearest option for me”. She arrived – and never left. Today, Margareta van den Bosch is affectionately known as “mother of the Swedish fashion industry. 




As head designer at Hennes & Mauritz, she ensured H&M became the number one destination for customers looking for fashionable clothes at a moderate price. A number of other labels including Acne, Filippa K und Minimarket were founded in the wake of H&M’s triumph and have since gone on to find international success. New design talent prospered under the reign of Margareta van den Bosch. Take, for example, Roland Hjort, who worked as a designer at H&M during the mid-90’s. He went on to found the label Whyred with two of his colleagues, which is now sold in more than 16 countries worldwide. Even other Swedish fashion exports such as Cheap Monday and Monki have benefitted from the creative style that Margareta van den Bosch conveyed at H&M.




“Think about your customer” she never tires of explaining, “Be interested in everything that interests your customer. And accept the fact that some trends are just not to their taste. Customers are often conservative. They don’t want sudden changes; to go from skinny to oversized.” Indeed, Margareta van den Bosch is definitely no eccentric designer personality; she is instead pragmatic, modest and grounded. And it is these particular qualities she has used to oversee H&M’s development – from a cheap copycat to a company that interprets forthcoming trends themselves. She has even succeeded in building a bridge to the luxury brand market, a connection which regularly sees H&M collaborating with such world-famous fashion houses as Stella McCartney, Lanvin, Versace, Viktor & Rolf and Marni. If one only stops for a moment to consider how protective these prominent fashion houses are of their image and their name, it is a truly remarkable achievement. But Margareta van den Bosch has never toyed with the idea of grounding her own label. “I want to continue being a part of H&M and working here. My colleagues are some of my best friends – why would I want to give that up? I am very grateful to H&M for the chances it has given me.”




As creative advisor to Hennes & Mauritz, Margareta van den Bosch will continue to influence the company’s public image. And her creative input will drive the designer collaborations ahead. She is also taking some time to focus on emerging designers; visiting the gala shows of a number of fashion schools to scout for new talent. Yet those destined for a career at H&M are not those with their own unique creative handwriting. Those who design for H&M are part of a fashion chain that doesn’t have its own style, but instead interprets trends for the mass market and creates democratic diversity. This is the legacy of Margareta van den Bosch.



19 / 06 / 2012 // by LigaStudios Team


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