Sunday, August 19The Voice of London

Balmain X H&M – Was It Really Worth It?

Olivier Rousteing is the mastermind behind one of the most highly anticipated collaborations of the year. It hit the shelves yesterday and with it came fighting, police supervision and a complete sell-out.

Words: Christie Bannon, Subeditor: Michelle Whitney 

When the Parisian fashion house decided to collaborate with popular high street store H&M, fans everywhere instantly became excited, expecting reasonable prices for quality designs. However, this wasn’t the case for many who turned up at the Regent Street store hoping for a bargain.

Dedicated shoppers camped outside the flagship store only to be greeted the next morning by hefty price tags and flailing arms. Many of the collection’s staple pieces were well into the three-figure price range, which was definitely a turn-off for many student shoppers.

The collection sold out instantly in stores and the website crashed for hours due to the high demand from hopeful buyers. Even if buyers were lucky enough to get on to the site, they were limited to buying just one item! Many customers complained to H&M about the website being down before the collection was even released at 9am. The lack of organisation was disappointing for many shoppers who also tried ringing the store to complain.

Taking into account the amount of excitement surrounding the release, H&M seriously underestimated how popular it was going to be. Or maybe they were completely inadequately staffed and unorganised? Many pieces are now being sold on eBay by tactical shoppers wanting to make a profit, some items are even going for four figures!

The dress was originally priced at £399.99. Source: eBay
Gigi Hadid wearing the dress that was originally priced at £399.99. Source: eBay

Balmain is renowned for being very pricey so it poses the question of why H&M was chosen as a suitable partner – to appeal to a younger demographic, maybe? The Kardashian’s in particular have a lot to answer for they were spamming Instagram in head-to-toe Balmain. H&M are aware that impressionable young women will jump at the chance to copy what the Kardashian’s are wearing.

But was the collection really worth all the queueing, fighting and bidding? Many of the items were undoubtedly overpriced, such as the £119.99 suede waist belt. Especially for a high street store like H&M. For a high street/designer collaboration to work, it needs to be very well thought out in terms of accessibility.

It didn’t seem very fair for the many people who couldn’t get to the Regent Street store as it was virtually impossible to purchase anything online. So, if you’re planning on buying anything from the next inevitable collaboration, make sure you actually go down to the store, camp out for at least 48 hours and wait it out in the cold.