Balmain-ia hits the capital.
Thousands of fashion fans queued for up to 48 hours outside H&M’s flagship London stores today in an attempt to get their hands on its long-awaited collaboration with French fashion label Balmain.
Despite the heavy rain yesterday, thousands of frenzied fans lined up outside the Oxford Street and Regent Street stores, some venturing into sleeping bags or using camping chairs to give their weary legs a rest, in order to buy items from the Balmain collaboration at H&M, which quickly became the high-street store’s most successful designer tie-up yet.
Scenes of total carnage in the H&M queues were broadcast online, with women engaging in tug-of-wars over single pieces, others being trampled in-store, and one woman attempting to climb a display to remove a dress. Meanwhile, H&M’s site went under, unable to cope with the flood of traffic coming into the online store, leaving hundreds of customers unable to make purchases. “The interest for this launch has exceeded all previous collaborations, both in-store and online,” Hacan Andersson, a rep for H&M told Bloomberg.
The collaboration was heavily promoted, with teasers being released as early as May this year. A team of high-profile models were involved in the campaign, including the likes of Jourdan Dunn, Gigi Hadid and Kendall Jenner, who have over 50 million Instagram followers between them, casting an intense spotlight onto the collaboration.
The range was made up of 110 pieces, including tuxedo jackets, a monochrome jumpsuit, furry coats, military jackets, satin trousers and loads of Balmain’s trademark embellishment at prices of up to £399.99. It’s not the first time H&M collaborations outstrip their usual prices; the 2013 Isabel Marant collaboration had an average price of £106.49, Comme des Garcons averaged 112.76 per piece, and Roberto Cavalli £110.
Moments after the H&M stores sold out, many of the pieces from the collection quickly started to appear on eBay, with extortionately inflated prices. Items that sold for £399.99 in store sold for over £3,000 on the site, a price that would easily get you a main line Balmain jacket. Many fans were left disgruntled at not having been able to purchase any of the much-awaited collection; the lucky ones who managed to buy a piece of the Balmain collection were physically wounded after bruising exchanges over the most desirable pieces.