After months of anticipation the madness of HMxBalmain has come, and gone in a matter of hours. This was one of the most successful collaborations between high fashion and fast retailer. It's not the first one, but honestly HM had never done something of this magnitude, and even though people went crazy I am glad top fashion designers do these kind of projects.
In an interview Olvier Rousteing, creative director for Balmain, said he really wanted to do this collaboration with HM because he grew up not being able to afford those top brands. And I just loved that!! So many designers now forget where they come from or just forget about us mere mortals who can't afford to dress like Kim K. on a daily basis. And this was also the reason why the pieces of this collaboration were so well made. He also said he wanted buyers to have "Balmain quality pieces" and we'll yes I was actually shocked that some of the dresses cost up to $650 (usd) which for H&M is just absurd but then again you compare it to what the French line's dresses go for (thousands) then you're like "huh it's a steal"
I honestly believe that not even HM could have predicted the response this collaboration had! I mean the morning of November 5th (release date) the website crashes within minutes of opening its virtual doors. And when user (ehem me) were finally able to get in everything, and I mean everything was completely sold out!
Now this same morning I woke up and the first thing I see on my IG and Facebook was a video of an HM store in Europe and how people ran (sprinted) very titanic like to get to the HMxBalmain section. And this really scared me and made me not wanted to even go near one of the stores (ok I admit I couldn't stop laughing at these people going crazy) I do believe that no matter how amazing something is it is never worth behaving like this (this includes Walmart on Black Friday) people get seriously injured and for what a dress or an XBox. But oh well after a bit I got curious to see what the store was actually like here and maybe just see the pieces in person. When I finally got there at 10:10am (stores open at 10) we were a bit shocked that we didn't see any lines outside the store or anything. Until we moved into the back of the store. There it was racks wiped clean, fenced and a line of people still waiting, that's when we actually found out the store opened at 8! And people had indeed camped out! (Sneaky) the system was quite smart, wrist bands that had a time frame for when it was a group's time to go in. And really huge props to the employees at HM they had to deal with some crazies! Like people lining up with one wrist band and then right before trying to get 5 other people into the line. The crew really held their ground and controlled the masses.
So now on to what I actually got, like I said most of the racks were already wiped clean but I was lucky enough to still get some really good pieces, like the tuxedo style vest/coat and a satin jacket, and I don't regret going and lining up for them, the quality is amazing!! They feel and look like the real deal, I do however believe it is not worth being trampled over.
(Check MY STYLE for how I styled them)
For those of you wondering I did ask if they were going to be restocking and I am sorry to say they will not, once it's gone it's gone for ever (or gone to eBay and Amazon for double the price) they said that these collaborations are made like this, only a certain number of pieces are made and that's it. Hope that in the future HM does anticipate how many people want to get their hands on this kind of fashion and prepare for it. Shoppers were and are very upset that the ones who bought most of the good pieces are those people who only bought them to sell them online, and I AGREE it is not fair that for those of us who really want these garments to wear and for our own, we end up losing this opportunity to people who only want to profit from them. Olivier R. and HM both recieved nasty messages on social media because of this, and also because of the website issue, I know its hard to control, and honestly Olivier has no say on how exactly HM ends up selling, but like I said before I do hope they can control these types of issues because limiting people from buying more than one style of each apparently is not enough.
Didn't get anything? Don't worry here are a few pieces to build your own Balmain style outfit (without fearing for your life)
From left to right (click to shop)
1.- Bag from HM
2.- belt From HM
3.- Sequined dress from HM
4.- Tux style velour jacket from HM
5.- Balmain T-shirt by Balmain via Saks
6.- Balmain Jumpsuit via Saks
7.- leather style pants from ZARA
8.- Navy blazer from Forever21
9.- Black & white cape from Forever21
10.- White cape from Forever21