With high praise coming from the likes of Kim Kardashian, Kendall Jenner, and Daisy Lowe, it’s no surprise that the highly anticipated H&M X Balmain line sold out in many locations just hours after the stores opened.
— Kim Kardashian West (@KimKardashian) November 4, 2015
Although not available for purchase until Thursday, November 5, some customers in Singapore lined up outside H&M as early as Monday evening, as reported by Cosmopolitan. Hours before the first stores in the United States are even opened, every last item in Singapore has been purchased. People in Sydney were lined up more than twenty-four hours in advance, coping with rain and cold weather. Around 1,200 people were reportedly waiting for the store’s opening. The same swift extinction of available H&M X Balmain products was the result.
And once you were finally inside H&M, it was a little different than your average trip to the mall. In Sydney, there were some fairly convoluted shopping rules. Before the store opened, everyone waiting in line was given a color-coded bracelet. There were twenty bracelets in each color. Then the store would let in one color at a time, so that there were just twenty shoppers in the store at once. But you had to be quick: each group of twenty had just ten minutes to pick out items to try on. After being sent to the dressing rooms, each shopper could buy just one of any specific item, and no more than five items total.
— H&M United Kingdom (@hmunitedkingdom) November 5, 2015
But that’s not even the worst part. As quoted by the Daily Mail, one dejected shopper’s Facebook post reported that “…the whole collection was sold out hours ago and staff are still letting people wait in line knowing full well there is nothing left. They are even letting them into the sectioned off collection which is literally a white space full of empty racks.”
Not everyone is out to update their personal wardrobe, however. Many of the people waiting in line have purely entrepreneurial ulterior motives. Since the stores sold out so quickly, many of the limited edition items are being sold on eBay. As with any limited edition product that is in high demand, buying it second hand through a site like eBay could mean you’re paying up to $1,200 more than the item’s original price. At the time of this writing, the most expensive H&M X Balmain item listed on eBay is this pearl encrusted blazer, with a starting price of $1,999:
— HEELZiggler.com (@HEELZiggler_Com) November 5, 2015
As noted by Daily Mail, the H&M X Balmain line isn’t without its fair share of celebrity and fashion endorsements. For example, H&M X Balmain is a favorite of Kendall Jenner and Gigi Hadid. Daisy Lowe — fashion model and daughter of Gavin Rossdale — really turned some heads at the launch party two weeks ago, wearing the black and red optical illusion dress shown below. Quite the popular dress, Italian actress Giulia Elettra Gorietti wore the exact same dress. As did Leigh Lezark of the New York City-based The Misshapes.
— Jenny (@j3n11f) November 5, 2015
If your plan was to just sit at home and place your order online, you may be just as disappointed as those who waited in line and left the stores empty-handed. When the online sales were flooded with shoppers, the mobile app and website went down as well.
There are still plenty of H&M X Balmain items currently listed on eBay, but shoppers can expect a huge mark-up.
[Image credit Nicholas Hunt / Getty Images]