Balmain’s collaboration with H&M was highly anticipated, and that’s the understatement of the year. For six months, we’ve waited with bated breaths, while Kendall Jenner and Gigi Hadid walked the runways in the clothes, while Olivier Rousteing shot a futuristic music video featuring Kendall J and others as robotic dance masters, and while H&M released its “ground rules” for shopping the collection.
Since the collection was only available in select stores in the United States, the best place to shop, for me, was online. In-store, you could only choose 2 styles per customer; online, only one.
There was more. According to Fashionista, the “first 420 shoppers in line for the Balmain x H&M collection will be given a colored bracelet — there are 14 colors with one for each group of 30 people. Each group will have 15 minutes to shop the collection. After the last group, whatever is left will be available to everyone in the store.”
Both the e-commerce site and the physical stores opened at 8 a.m. EST. Last night, I opened a browser tab to the H&M/Balmain landing page, and set the computer by my bed. At 8 a.m. I was up, on my computer, and furiously refreshing.
It took me 24 minutes of constant reloading to actually get into the site. The H&M site was so severely overrun with traffic that I was delayed by a precious half hour, the half hour that cost me my clothes. And it took some other people over two hours to get onto the site, according to some exasperated tweets.
When I finally got into the site, I found that most of the products were completely sold out, while others were sold out in sizes 2-8, or 4-6, or had a “coming soon” tag on them. Womp womp.
I had planned on buying at least one piece (and then maybe going back for more?), but alas, all dreams must eventually come to an end.
Meanwhile, elsewhere online, pieces from the collection are already hitting eBay, Poshmark, and other clothing resell sites, for an extreme markup. The black pearl-studded blazer famously worn by Kendall Jenner costs $456 on the H&M site (now sold out) is listed on eBay for $1679.
And it’s not just digital traffic that this collection is receiving. Around the world, eager shoppers have lined up overnight, camping out for the chance to get those 15 minutes of shop time, and leave with two precious items. H&M hasn’t seen this level of madness since last year’s Alexander Wang collection, and it looks like Balmain’s has far surpassed that collection in rabid popularity.
Check out some photos from H&M locations in London, Australia, and elsewhere, and the best internet reactions to the Balmain frenzy!
— Kierra Liew (@KierraLiew) November 4, 2015
Oxford Circus in London was where most of the madness happened:
These women got into a fight, and the police were called…on a line for clothes.
— Lady Nadia Essex (@LadyNadiaEssex) November 5, 2015
Only Adele truly understands this shopper’s angst and heartbreak:
— F (@abcdefilipe) November 5, 2015
What I definitely looked like at 8:12 a.m.:
— Abu Al Baik (@M_Ullah) November 5, 2015
This guy who knows that sleep waits for Balmain:
— l a r a (@_LarAlayne_) November 5, 2015
And this woman who did her best to channel her inner supermodel, to no avail:
— Steph (@stephpathak) November 5, 2015
I guess it’s to eBay I go…