June 12, 2012 / 6:38 AM / 6 years ago

UPDATE 1-H&M to launch collection by Maison Martin Margiela

* Collection to be sold online and at 230 stores worldwide

* Follows collections by Versace, Comme des Garcons, others (Adds background)

STOCKHOLM, June 12 (Reuters) - Swedish budget clothing retailer H&M said on Tuesday French fashion house Maison Martin Margiela would design a collection of men’s and women’s clothes to go on sale in its stores around the world in November.

H&M has a tradition of getting fashion houses and designers to produce collections for its shops and although volumes are small, it hopes the gloss of names like Madonna, Stella McCartney and Karl Lagerfeld will rub off on its business.

“We will bring together the contrasting universes of the two houses in ways that will surprise all.” Maison Martin Margiela said in a statement.

H&M said the Maison Martin Margiela collection, which includes accessories, will be sold online and in around 230 H&M stores worldwide from November.

H&M, launched in 1947 and now run by the grandson of its founder, has been struggling to cope with rising cotton prices and labour costs over the last couple of years and has been overtaken by arch-rival Inditex in terms of sales.

A decade ago, Inditex was smaller than H&M, but its sales have grown fourfold, to $17.6 billion last year, while H&M’s sales have tripled to $15.5 billion.

H&M has around 2,500 stores in 44 countries. (Reporting by Simon Johnson; Editing by Mark Potter)

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