Balmain x H&M: Creative Director Olivier Rousteing Wanted to Create Pieces You’d Stand in Line for (Like He Did)
The countdown is on to November 5th. That’s when the Balmain x H&M collaboration drops in select stores and online, and we can pretty much guarantee it’s going to to be a sell-out collection. We foresee anxious shoppers waiting hours to get their hands on these items thanks to the pages and pages of attention they're getting already on these here Internets. Seriously, it already has a trending hashtag: #HMBalmaination, which had over 22,000 posts on Instagram the day after the runway show on October 20.
Turns out, that’s just what Balmain designer Olivier Rousteing wanted to create—a gotta-have-it collab. The 29-year-old Frenchman himself used to wait in line for hours to score the retailer’s designer capsules as a teen. Now it's his turn to draw crowds. "I really was an H&M kid, always waiting for the next collaboration,” he told InStyle for the November issue, on newsstands and available for digital download now. "Doing this collaboration reminds me of how I started in fashion, and how I used to go to H&M to buy my clothes and create my own look. This is my chance to remind myself how I felt. I’m thinking both as a designer, and like the kids who want it so badly.” (That’s us, kids!)
Therefore, he opted to deliver the French label’s greatest hits—beaded jackets, jewel-toned sequined dresses, black-and-gold tops, and cage heels—re-created with the retailer's lower-price magic. For example, an embellished top in his main line goes for $6,825 whereas a beaded top from the H&M collab is a fraction of the price at $499. Similarly, a ribbed stretch mini—one of the designs Balmain is known for—is usually around $3,190. In the H&M capsule, a cotton dress is $299. While the prices are still in the hundreds, they’re not in the thousands. That’s the joy of H&M.
H&M's creative adviser Ann-Sofie Johansson agrees. "At H&M we love giving people the chance to wear clothes that might normally be out of their reach,” she told us. "We may be from different worlds, but we have so much in common. We both believe fashion should be inclusive of everyone. It’s great to have a designer with such a positive and optimistic message, one that will hopefully be an inspiration to young people all around the world.”
So fake sick that day or get someone to be in line early for this collab at one of the 250 brick-and-mortar stores where this will be available. Or, painstakingly refresh your browser when it hits online at hm.com. We suspect it’ll fly off the shelves—both real and virtual—and you’ll definitely want a piece. Scroll down to see a few of our favorites.