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.
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.
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).
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...

First group! Havoc!! ??? #avenuek #hennesmauritz #hmxbalmain #balmaination #crazy #collabration #madness #05nov2015 #congrats

A video posted by Mudzriena Amiera (@mudzrienaamiera) on

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.
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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