As predicted, just hours after the Balmain x H&M collaboration was released on Thursday, items were selling on eBay for staggering prices, some of which, surprisingly are surpassing Balmain's much pricier mainline.
People wait to enter H&M before the Balmain X H&M Collection Launch
Stores across the world saw customers queuing up from the early hours, with many camping overnight to get their hands in the collection. Shoppers camped for two nights at London’s Oxford Street shop, and some queues had reportedly started as early as Monday night in Singapore - that’s three nights of sleeping on the street.
Customers were allowed in 20 at a time and were given only 10 minutes to shop. So yes, having snagged a piece or two was a smart move, whether you’re into fashion or not.
Such was the excitement for the eagerly anticipated designer/high street collaboration that once the store had opened, whilst some shoppers were queueing, those who got in earlier were offering the limited edition garments for double the price straight out the shop. That’s fast fashion for you.
However, it’s on eBay where sellers are really making the big bucks. The pearl beaded jacket, worn by Gigi Hadid and Kendall Jenner, retailed for £399.99 in store, was sold later for £3,300 - and that's after 29 bids.
The limited edition items have continued to flood the online shop, all priced at double or three times the original retail value. Some of the garments are even more expensive than Balmain’s mainline items. For example, the £199.99 suede thigh boots from the collaboration are now going on sale online for £1,200. A similar version from the luxe French house's mainline is available on The Outnet for $963 (£636).
And, well, if you couldn’t snag a piece, then at least you can own the black velvet hangers from the collaboration to hang your clothes. Funny enough, they’re now on sale for £5 each. Someone really wants to make the most of the overnight camping, eh.
Buying and reselling pieces from H&M's collaborations isn’t a new phenomenon, though. The Swedish high-street giant is aware that reselling on eBay is part of the outcome from its success - despite letting customers buy only one of each item.
Daniel Kulle, President of H&M North America, told Bloomberg on the day of the release “There's both. I saw customers that got items they wanted and I saw customers who say I want to sell it on eBay.”
Balmain x H&M lookbook: All the prices
Last year the Alexander Wang for H&M collaboration sold out within hours, too, followed by the items being sold for double the price on eBay. A silver puffa jacket, for example, which had a retail price of £249.99 in store, was sold for £599.99. Prices seemed absurd, but they don't get close to the latest collaboration.
But why such a fuss? With Creative Director Olivier Rousting, 30, pushing the luxe French house brand through social media, and getting famous faces to front his campaigns, including friends Kim Kardashian and Kanye West, as well as sisters Kendall and Kylie Jenner, Balmain (with 2.8m Instagram followers) has become the “super cool” fashion house of the moment - though its prices are pretty much exclusively for the rich and famous gang. This collaboration would give fans the opportunity to grab a piece from the designer at a rather affordable price tag (well, sort of).
Now, what's confusing is why pay more for a garment from Balmain x H&M than for a piece from Balmain's mainline (which you could shop, taking your time, at one of its glam boutiques, perhaps with a glass of champagne in hand).