H&M’s Balmain collection draws crowds, sparks frustration

6 Nov 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Balmain For H&M Collection Crashes Store’s Site Minutes After Launch, Sells Out At Locations Nationwide.

SAN FRANCISCO — The latest collaboration between a high-fashion designer and a low-price retailer has produced long lines at H&M stores around the world, while online shoppers complained they couldn’t get on the chain’s website before most items from its new Balmain collection were sold out.

Johannesburg – Hennes & Mauritz’s much anticipated arrival in SA – only the third country on the continent to open outlets – has been marred by a social media faux pas.Video posted to Instagram showed shoppers running through an H&M store to buy sought-after pieces from the much-anticipated collaboration with the luxury brand.

The Balmain X H&M collection is a highly anticipated collaboration between the popular Scandinavian high street store French label, favoured by the Kardashian family. “There were a good few people here already and we just sat here. Many of the most eager shoppers from across the globe spent more than 24 hours camped outside their local H&M store in order to ensure that they would have a chance of snagging items from the hotly-anticipated collaboration. That initial tweet only had 38 retweets and 8 likes, but the message spread much further after H&M’s South African Twitter handle responded with what many thought was an insubstantial explanation. Tremaine Coates, 19, from Brooklyn, was at the front of the line when he told FEMAIL that he got in the queue at 10am on Monday in anticipation for the highly-coveted collection. ‘I want the sweater, I want the shirts, the jumpsuit.

We figured the queues in Dublin would be less manic than Birmingham.” Loved by celebrities and the super- rich, the luxurious Parisian designer brand is famous for its detailed embellishments, bold embroideries and sleek modern silhouettes. South Africa, which is still shaking off the vestiges of apartheid, has a population that is mostly black, at almost 80 percent, with whites making up just 10 percent. Popular items for sale include an emerald sequin-embroidered dress, priced at €159, and a black velvet dress with braiding for €199, which many feared would sell out. “It was €399 and I’ve been queuing since 3.30am but I’m so happy,” she said. “I shouldn’t brag though, I rang in sick to work so that I could be here,” she added. In mid-October, country manager Par Darj, told Business Report its target was to provide affordable, high-quality fashion for all. “We call it democratic fashion.” “In South Africa we see a very fashion oriented market… and there is a very big fashion interest, especially if you look at the middle class and the aspirational market,” he said in an interview with the publication. Darj said H&M planned to have as many as 1 500 people employed within 12 months. “We would like to hire people with a good attitude and an interest in fashion,” he said, adding that some 60 associates had already been sent to Sweden for training.

The beaded jacket is all sold out, the phone lines can’t issue purchases and the site is a mess.” The collaboration offered items ranging in price from a $30 T-shirt to a $500 beaded dress. And while some people brought their own seats, others relied on the public chairs in Herald Square, pulling them into the line until they were asked to return them at 6:45am.

Peigy Thedore, one of the first customers to be let into the store, revealed to FEMAIL that she had spent upwards of $5,000 on garments from the collection, which was ‘half of what she expected’. When asked if he thought it was worth it, Clark said: “It all comes down to branding and if you are enthused by that brand, I don’t see why not.” Meanwhile, some of the pieces purchased have already ended up online. Among her many purchases, the stylist, who runs the fashion vlog Crop Tops and Denim, said she snagged the ‘blazer that Kendall Jenner wore’ in the ads, and the ‘rope sandals’. Asha said she used New York-based company Same Ole Line Dudes to keep her space in line secure and estimated that she spent approximately $250 for the service because she was looking to buy a $649 dress featuring black, white, and gold beading.

Ironically, Asha recalled people spending larges amounts of money on the Lanvin For H&M collaboration in 2010, noting that if she was willing to spend $1,200 on pants, she would buy original runway pieces. Sunny explained that he was looking for hoodies and jackets for himself, while his girlfriend sent him to get her a particular dress and jacket in a size two.

Kenard Holmes admitted he traveled to New York on a bus from Virginia Beach, carrying an empty suitcase to load up with merchandise – most of which was for his sister Sydnisha Hepburn, who just started a new job in Jacksonville, Florida, and couldn’t come to the city. Meanwhile, other men and women were seen leaving the store with dozens of large black Balmain bags stuffed to the brim with Olivier Rousteing’s designs. Habakkuk and her friend teamed up and took on different areas of the store, and while she grabbed her a shirt, her pal was able to score her a pair of heels in her size.

Jade Cerasoli, 19, said she spent the night talking to the people she met next to her while they listened to music and took turns going on coffee breaks. Jade ended up spending $1,672 in the store, although she admitted that she will most likely be returning an item that she picked up in the heat of the moment. ‘It was so hectic – just mad dashes for things. It was just everyone trying to get around each other and see what was there.’ Andrew said he only spent a ‘little over $100’, noting: ‘I only found two things in my size – one of them I don’t even like – but it was either that or nothing. The scene could not have been more different at the VIP shopping event held in Los Angeles on Wednesday night however, where a select group of celebrities and fashionistas were invited to shop the range hours before it was made available to the public. Supermodel Cindy Crawford attended the event with her model daughter Kaia Gerber, both of whom were already wearing designs from the collaboration, which features more budget-friendly reimaginings of Olivier’s red carpet designs.

But despite the VIP nature of the event, shoppers still cleared the store’s racks of all items – with images from the event showing rails left totally bare, and shoppers with their arms full of the glitzy garments. Shoppers at London’s Regent Street store were surprisingly patient as they waited for the doors to open; one fashion student, Daniel Murphy, 18, from London, told FEMAIL he had been queuing for nine hours to get his hands on the new range. I am already wearing one of my purchases and feel good because people are selling the clothes for double the price already.’ While in Florence it was also a docile affair until the shop opened this morning and people appeared to push through the crowds to get the prestigious pieces. There was plenty of haggling taking place outside the London establishment, with one mother handing over wads of cash to buy her daughter exactly what she wanted. Many shoppers appeared to have loaded up on items during their allotted shopping time, with one man struggling to walk down the street with four large bags.

In-store purchases of each item are limited to two per person but many shoppers are picking up so many different styles, it’s likely there will be lots of disappointed fashionistas still lining up when the collection no doubt sells out. The pieces, which are reimaginings of his red carpet classics for fans on a budget, are structured and tailored to enhance the feminine form – something that makes him so popular among young Hollywood.

When you wear the clothes, you’re going to feel powerful and strong.’ The popular designer, who often arrives to award shows with Kendall Jenner on his arm, says he spent as much time designing this high street offering as he does on his main collection because he wanted everything to be ‘perfect’. The first released image from the new campaign show Kendall, Gigi, and Jourdan striking poses on a subway alongside male models Hao Yun Xiang and Dudley O’Shaughnessy. And the models are no strangers to working with the designer, as Kendall and Gigi also star in Balmain’s Fall 2015 campaign alongside their sisters Kylie Jenner and Bella Hadid. H&M’s designer collaborations are eagerly anticipated every year, and the company has previously worked with many beloved designers including Alexander Wang, Stella McCartney and Karl Lagerfeld.

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