Pin It
Gigi Hadid, Kendall Jenner, Jourdan Dunn Balmain
Gigi Hadid, Kendall Jenner and Jourdan Dunn for H&M x Balmainvia @BalmainParis on Instagram

It’s confirmed: Balmain x H&M was a total knockout

The collection was the most successful designer collaboration in the Swedish retailer’s history

Considering the scenes of total carnage that made their way onto social media come Thursday, the fact that the Balmain x H&M collection was the store’s most successful designer collaboration won’t come as much of a surprise. “The interest for this launch has exceeded all previous collaborations, both in-store and online,” Hacan Andersson, a rep for H&M told Bloomberg. While H&M didn’t reveal exact sales figures, the proof of the collection’s success is on Instagram, where there are just under 80,000 posts tagged with the line’s official hashtag. 

Queues for the collection reportedly started in Seoul over a week before the launch, while in London police were called in to deal with the baying crowds. Scenes included women engaged in a tug of war over one piece, and another having to be restrained by security as she attempted to climb a display and remove a dress. Meanwhile, unable to cope with the flood of visitors, H&M’s site went under, leaving frustrated customers unable to make purchases. Unsurprisingly, the collection is now selling for vastly inflated prices on eBay.

Balmain was up against some pretty tough competition for the top spot – previous designer collabs have included Versace, Margiela, Comme des Garçons and, most recently, Alexander Wang – who debuted his collection with a fashion show that saw performances from Missy Elliott and a team of parkour athletes. Since H&M’s first partnership with Karl Lagerfeld in 2004, the production of these launches has certainly got bigger – Balmain’s collection was debuted to months of hype, lookbook ‘leaks’, fashion show performers, celebrity endorsements and supermodel cameos. With that much press (and social media power) behind it, this collection was never not going to sell out. 

The fervour that these ranges inspire don’t seem to have changed since that first collaboration, though. “I'm buying a lot so I can sell it all on eBay,” one shopper said at the time.

No word on who’ll be next to team up with the megabrand. Our bets are on Moschino, where Jeremy Scott’s pop-culture inspired designs and gang of famous friends would make for another sell out collection.