My Balmain x H&M experience:
As what first appeared to be an ordinary evening for me with last minute internet surfing before getting to bed, I found myself exploring twitter and discovering that international shoppers were buzzing about the H&M x Balmain collection launch. Fans of the brand were sharing their shopping experiences on the H&M website and soon after reading their stories, I found myself also attempting to get on the international version of the website. Since the official launch time in the U.S. was marked for 8 AM EST, I thought skipping the lines in the U.S. meant more sleep for me and happier dreams knowing a Balmain piece would soon be arriving in my closet. Furthermore, my wake up call was much earlier with being 5 hours behind in Hawaii.
To my dismay, the success of loading the international H&M webpages were a failure. After hours of failed attempts to load and reload the webpages, I set my alarm for the official U.S. launch time, 3 AM PST and immediately upon waking up, I begun refreshing the H&M website on my laptop and iPhone simultaneously. After an hour of nonstop refreshing, to my surprise the H&M webpage loaded and I immediately directed to the Balmain collection. The availability of most items were sold out except for jewelry, various handbags and a few blouses. The emerald green colored blouse was actually one item listed as a favorite for me and undoubtedly added the item to my cart. As I was checking out and filling out my personal information, my cart miraculously was emptied. H&M had a policy that stated items in your cart would not be reserved. This was a bitter feeling of defeat which prompted me to set another alarm to ensure an early arrival to my local H&M store.
My fellow fashionista friend and I arrived at the store an hour before launch start time and to no surprise, we discovered a line.
We were signed entry times based on wristband color and I loved having my favorite color as my wristband assigned color. It certainly made the wait better! After a couple of hours in line, we entered the store and allotted 15 minutes to shop. Below are visual displays of other Balmain items, unfortunately only two items per person was allowed. This caused the decision making more difficult, because there were many beautiful pieces to choose from. However, this allowed for H&M to ensure those in line would all have a chance to shop the entire collection. The selection was fully available even 2 hours into a line, which was exciting considering my previous experience shopping on their website.
Below are the two items I purchased, one featured above and the other will appear in an upcoming blog post. Overall, I was very satisfied with my in store experience and pleasantly surprised by the high quality of the Balmain collection at H&M. Both of my dresses showcase the quality craftsmanship and detailed stimulating. When a high end designer collaborates with an affordable fashion company, the quality of the items is questioned and from personal experience, I have seen collaborations far short of original designer craftsmanship. However, in regards to the Balmain x H&M collaboration this is certainly not the case and I am very impressed with the entire collection.
Did you miss out on the collection? or Want to find an inspired Balmain design for less? Then shop through the items below that I put together for you.