How did it start? Erling Persson founded H&M in Vasteras, Sweden, in 1947. A salesman, Persson wanted to develop a retail idea he'd come across during a trip to the US, focusing on high turnover and low prices. H&M was originally named Hennes (Swedish for 'hers') because the store only carried women's clothing (right). Hennes expanded into Norway in 1964 and Denmark in 1968. Later that year, Persson decided to open in the Swedish capital, Stockholm. He acquired a hunting and gun store called Mauritz Widforss on Sergelgatan. The store carried a range of men's clothing that was absorbed into Persson's inventory and he renamed the store Hennes & Mauritz. This was shortened to H&M when the company expanded into children's clothing, baby clothing and cosmetics. By its 50th anniversary, H&M stores had opened in most major cities in Europe. Persson's son, Stefan, oversaw the rapid expansion of the company and was appointed chairman of the board in 1998. H&M came into the fashion spotlight when it recruited high-profile designers to create limited-edition collections for the mass market. The company teamed up with Karl Lagerfeld (2004), Stella McCartney (2005) and Viktor & Rolf (2006), starting a trend that would be copied by other fast-fashion stores such as Mango and the Gap. Its first stint with Lagerfeld wasn't without controversy, however, and the collection was criticised for catering mainly to small-sized women and for the designer's aversion to seeing larger women in his designs. More recently, H&M designed a line of tracksuits for Madonna's Confessions tour, and a new tailored line of 30 garments and 10 accessories called M by Madonna that are on sale in stores this month. The look H&M is known for its cheap but chic pieces that copy looks straight off the catwalk. Creative director Margareta van den Bosch heads a team of 100 designers. Its spring/summer 2007 collection takes its inspiration from the 1950s, 60s and 70s. It focuses on comfortable glamour, with the likes of kaftan dresses, lounge suits and high-waisted jeans. This season, H&M has also designed a collection that uses only organic cotton. Did you know? H&M was one of the first fashion companies to drop Kate Moss from its advertising campaigns when she was shown taking what appeared to be cocaine in 2005. The contract was worth an estimated #4 million (HK$60.37 million) a year. The company released a statement saying that Moss' alleged actions were 'inconsistent with H&M's clear dissociation of drugs'. Who wears it? Hilary Duff, Madonna and Carmen Kass. What else can I buy? Cosmetics, athletic wear, lingerie and costume jewellery. Where can I buy it? 68 Queen's Road Central, Inquiries: tel: 2110 9546, or go to www.hm.com .