Olivier Rousteing launches Balmain x H&M
Olivier Rousteing helped launch his collaboration with H&M at the store's Paris flagship on Thursday (05Nov15), with the line already sold out in many shops.
The Balmain creative director is the latest of a string of high-end designers - including Karl Lagerfeld and Stella McCartney - to team up with the budget retailer and he celebrated the partnership with a surprise appearance at the Avenue des Champs-Elysées shop. Rather than arriving with a huge fanfare the star chose to take the back entrance, with an H&M spokesperson saying this was due to security reasons.
Once he was in the shop he spent time talking to fans, some of who had been lining the streets since 2pm on Wednesday (04Nov15) in a desperate attempt to get their hands on some of the pieces.
"It’s hard to say if it’s a record waiting time,” the representative added to WWD. “We are seeing a special enthusiasm for the collection."
Store bosses took the unusual step of offering those queuing coffee and croissants, but the treats weren't enough to stop a scrum when the doors finally opened.
At a party on Tuesday (03Nov15) Olivier explained how significant the collaboration is to him. "It’s important to be in a store because it’s important to be close to fans, the people who stand in line for Balmain," he said. "I remember a few years ago, I was the first in line for Karl Lagerfeld’s collection for H&M. Ten years later, I’m launching my own."
The line has also gone down well in Australia, with it selling out in many stores within a matter of hours. Only 20 shoppers at a time were allowed into the area where the collection was displayed, where they had to make their choices within ten minutes. Each was allowed just five items, and they couldn't take multiple sizes of one look.
The strict security measures weren't enough to stop pieces cropping up on eBay though, with Blamain x H&M clothing flooding the online auction site. At least one beaded dress, a monochrome number made famous by Gigi Hadid, was listed at 1,800 Australian dollars, even though it was snapped up in store for $599.