The frenzy ended almost as quickly as it begun.
The latest H&M designer collaboration hit stores overnight and much like the crazy crowds who queued and stampeded the shop floors for previous collections, there has been similar scenes all in the name of Balmain.
After building anticipation since May when the Balmain x H&M collection was announced, demand has been overwhelmingly high. Within hours (in some cases, minutes) of the collection landing, all styles were sold out completely in-store and online. Things got particularly heated in London, where scuffles broke out outside the brand’s Regent Street flagship. Meanwhile, Sydney’s new Pitt Street Mall store – which opened only last weekend – had thousands of wannabe shoppers queued up outside in the rain.
Online shoppers had an equally frustrating experience, with the website apparently unable to handle the increased load in traffic, and many items selling out while users encountered error messages.
While previous designer collaborations have been popular – such as those with Isabel Marant, Versace and Alexander Wang – demand for the Olivier Rousteing-designed Balmain pieces has been unprecedented, says H&M.
“The interest for this launch has exceeded all previous collaborations, both in-store and online,” said Hacan Andersson, a spokesman for H&M. “Many customers started to line up early in all markets to be able to shop from the collection. In those markets that have launched the collections, the major part of the items are sold out, but there can still be returns in the following days.”
The collection were priced between NZ$27 for smaller jewellery pieces to over NZ$980 for the more embellished dresses and jackets. Many items are already appearing on eBay, with opportunistic resellers creating auctions with starting bids of up to $1500.
Watch as shoppers make a mad dash into a Paris store:
Photos: Getty Images