Scenes From The Front Lines At This Morning’s Balmain X H&M Drop

Photo: Kay-Paris Fernandes/Getty Images.
Shoppers waiting to enter H&M on Boulevard Haussmann in Paris on November 5, 2015.
Whenever H&M drops a new collaboration, there's bound to be pandemonium. People line up for hours (or manically refresh the brand's homepage), in hopes of getting their hands on high-fashion goods with a fast-fashion price tag. The Swedish retailer's latest project with Balmain has been particularly buzzy, thanks in part to designer Olivier Rousteing's social media clout and his star-studded #BalmainArmy. We've had November 5 marked on our calendars for quite some time now, and we clearly weren't the only ones. The #HMBALMAINNATION really went for it this time around.

Shoppers in Paris started lining up at H&M's Champs-Elysées location at 2 p.m. yesterday, according to WWD. (Rousteing paid them a visit early this morning.) There were "scuffles" this morning at the retailer's Regent Street location in London, The Guardian reports. (The New York Times also painted a not-so-pleasant picture of the scene.) Racked is on the ground stateside in New York, Miami, San Francisco, and other U.S. cities providing live dispatches from the lines — which are prolific — and in stores.
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However, if you want the most up-to-date info about what heavily embellished or velvet-y items are still on the racks, all you need to do is refresh Twitter and Instagram: The #HMBALMAINNATION hashtag, which has been promoted by both H&M and Balmain since the collaboration was first announced, has been blowing up with tales of success, heartbreak, and general disbelief at the whole thing.

'Twas the night before #HMBALMAINNATION when all over the world, shopping enthusiasts were lining up, in the hopes of scoring some fast-fashion gold.

Some lines were long, but quiet and well-behaved...

Other crowds looked much more frenzied.
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Once people made it inside the store, it was every shopper for herself. One widely shared video shows shoppers rushing into an H&M and gunning for the racks — any racks — as well as two women arguing over a jacket in a dressing room.

Shoppers at some locations, like this Luxembourg outpost, behaved better (although they were clearly psyched to have made it in).
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So, you thought lining up was the hard part? This is what being the first group allowed into H&M on a collaboration release day is like...

For some, the wait was worth it. Many shoppers emerged tired but stronger — and with multiple boxy, black H&M x Balmain bags in tow.

@balmainxhm @balmainparis My early Birthday Gift to myself 😍😍😍

A photo posted by Subi (@subi_bambi) on


The smell of victory? It has musky, woody notes.
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By noon, most items have already sold out online, though you can certainly keep refreshing the H&M site just in case. Here's how Drake would probably deliver the bad news...

But I found my dress🙋🏼👍🏽 (thanks to some sweet followers) #HMxBALMAIN

A photo posted by Shirley van Deene (@shirleyvandeene) on

Hey, there's always next year's big designer pair-up to look forward to, right?
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