What REALLY happened during the Balmain x H&M launch

Kendall Jenner arrives at the Billboard Music Awards Picture by Eric Jamison AP Press Association Images

Yesterday, November 5, saw the launch of the long awaited Balmain x H&M collaboration, and it was like Black Friday on steroids!

With people queuing for up to three days outside some stores around the world to get their hands on the Parisian fashion house and high street collection.

Creative director for Balmain, Olivier Rousteing, has successfully transformed the fashion house into one of the most sought after and trendiest brands thanks to the 30-year-olds celebrity friends and social media domination, after replacing Christophe Decarnin back in 2011.

A favourite of Kendall Jenner and Gigi Hadid, the Balmain launch was expected to cause fashion havoc, but no-one anticipated what was really going to happen!

I logged onto H&M at about 8:30 yesterday morning (November 5), thinking that was early enough considering the collection launched at 9am, but was I wrong!

The website was already crashing and showing an error message that the website was struggling to handle all the visits to the site. Angry customers took to twitter to vent their anger and frustration about the site crashing, with some even saying that they had managed to get items into their basket only then for it to crash again when they went to check out.

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By 11:30, and probably one hundred website refreshes later, I was in! My heart literally skipped a beat and I frantically started selecting the one item I had been lusting after; the Black Top with braided embroidery at £79.99. Those two dreaded words angrily stared back at me in red and laughed; “SOLD OUT!”

In three hours everything, apart from a pair of mens brown boots at the time, had sold out! By that afternoon, pieces from the collection were already on eBay, some for thousands of pounds! The signature monochrome blazer Kendall Jenner wore at the Billboard Music Awards back in May appeared on the auction site for £1,180, when it was originally £299!

Consumers who hadn’t managed get their hands on the collection online were angry at auctioneers for ‘ripping’ them off as items were prices at triple and quadruple the original H&M online price.

Many of those who had managed to get hold of the pieces were selling them for nearly three times the price online. Picture: SCREENSHOT

However, I spoke exclusively to one lucky lady, Alex Laws, who managed to get her hands on two items from the collaboration.

The 20-year-old from Sunderland said: “I was refreshing the page since 9am when it launched and I managed to add the two items to my bag and then it crashed again. So it was a case of refreshing until about 2pm on and off and I went onto the main HM site and I was able to access the items in my bag and onto the checkout.

“The whole process was quite stressful but it felt worth it once I got the confirmation email through. I kept checking twitter and seeing everyone else’s frustration and tweets so I felt bad that I’d complained, considering I eventually got onto the site when some people couldn’t even manage that!”

Alex, who managed to purchase the Black Velvet Long Sleeved Top at £59.99 and the Silk Blend Trousers at £79.99, also noticed that people were selling pieces from the collection on eBay, she told us: “For those who couldn’t get the clothes on the H&M website it does give them another opportunity [to purchase]. However, the whole collaboration is based on the hype of Balmain being a luxury brand and allowing those who normally can’t afford it to access it. So to then alter the price points makes it a bit unfair and against everything Balmain x HM is about”.

We are all green eyed with envy at Alex’s latest wardrobe editions!

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