It was the collection heard round the world.
H&M debuted its capsule collaboration with Balmain this Thursday morning, and shoppers literally clawed for the long-awaited items that sold out within minutes. The French haute couture house has seen a rise in its status and popularity in the past few years under creative director Olivier Rousteing because of its famous admirers. Street style icons and starlets like the Kardashian clan, Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, and Gigi Hadid are close friends with Rousteing. H&M capitalized on the public’s obsession with these stars in its efforts to make haute couture accessible for the masses.
Models Jourdan Dunn, Kendall Jenner, and Gigi Hadid in the ad campaign for the collection
The collection is comprised of menswear and women’s apparel and ranges in price from $25-$649. Despite a massive crash of the H&M website, all pieces sold out online in minutes. Only a few lonely bandeau tops were left. There were a few lucky shoppers, however, who snagged some beautiful pieces at H&M stores around the world. One of the most coveted pieces is the long-sleeved mini dress, which is adorned with 250,000 hand-sewn beads.
The dress was originally sold at H&M for $649, but is now on Ebay for over $6,000. (See a recently published Elle feature on real Balmain items that are cheaper than the H&M items on eBay for a good laugh.)
Shoppers waiting outside H&M in London, photo credit Vogue.com
There has been no word from H&M’s directors or from Olivier Rousteing as to whether or not the collection will be restocked, much to the disappointment of fans who waited in lines for hours in anticipation on Thursday. These same fans have flooded Rousteing’s Instagram with disappointed comments, begging him to release more. It looks like everyone is longing to be a part of the #BalmainArmy.
The BalmainArmy term was originally coined as Rousteing’s entourage of his favorite customers and models who accompanied him to the Vogue Paris Foundation Gala in June of 2014. Members of this clique include models Binx Walton, Ysaunny Brito, Issa Lish, Amanda Wellsh, Kendall Jenner, and—of course—Kim Kardashian.