Balmainia at H&M

When word got out that exclusive Parisienne couturier Balmain would be collaborating with H&M, the fashion world had a social media meltdown. The news broke on the Billboard Awards red carpet when designer Olivier Rousteing stepped out with Kendall Jenner and Jourdan Dunn, both of whom were dressed head to toe in the collection.

Made famous by Kendall Jenner and Gigi Hadid, the collection’s music video went viral within an hour of release. Picture long legs, pearls, velvet, gorgeous men and some interesting dance moves; all on a New York subway.

In a clever marketing move the collection was seen on some of the world’s most prominent models and celebrities in the weeks leading up to the release. The New York launch was followed live by teary-eyed followers on Snapchat and Instagram worldwide.

On Irish soil, Dublin’s Thalia Heffernan showed sneak peeks on her Instagram with the captions, “Yea, I’m obsessed, sorry not sorry.” She wasn’t the only one.

Hundreds queued overnight for the release at 9am on November 5th. The Irish preview in H&M’s flagship store on College Green was held the evening before. Press, bloggers and various invite carrying celebrities were let passed the hundreds queuing around the block at 6pm the evening before to shop the collection early. One blogger, Suzanne Jackson, managed to get in at 6:10pm to find the items she wanted were already gone.

Some shoppers flew in from Birmingham, others rang in sick to work. A wristband system was put in place that morning for the early queuers. They would be let in for 10 minutes and allowed to purchase a maximum of 5 items.

Days before the collection even hit the stores items were being put on eBay for ‘presale’. What seemed dodgy to me did not to others as online biddings on some items reached almost £700.

Alana Laverty

Image credit: Chai Brady

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