My experience with H&M Balmain collection.

This was one of the most anticipated collections of the season for the fast fashion brand H&M and little did I know that demand was going to be this high.  This is a snapshot of my day, woke-up at 6:30am CST, logged-on H&M and I was ready to buy an item, I was hoping to get at least 3 items but I would be fine with one if I was lucky..
I still had second thoughts about the correct size that would fit me but that was nothing to be concerned about  then, I had to make sure the item was securely in my shopping cart.

At 6:55am,  I refreshed my browser and that was when my day went down the tubes. I could not connect to the site, demand was higher than anticipated and H&M servers could not keep up.  I sat by the computer for 45 mins refreshing the browser and I could not connect to H&M e-commerce, I finally gave up around 7:45am CST.  I had a very important meeting right after lunch that day. Some clients I’ve been working with for the last 15 years were in town and I could n0t miss this face to face meeting.

So, with the meeting after lunch in mind. I made the decision to stop at the H&M store not far from my meeting spot at 10:00am and I was hoping I would be able to get an item then after that grab an early lunch. So finally, at about 8:15am CST I was finally able to connect to H&M online and everything I clicked on except for the red and black leather biker jacket had a SOLD OUT listed under the price.

The only available item
The only available item

You’ve got to be kidding me, I was not going to settle for the MJ thriller Jacket. I had my mind set for the Leather Jacket with Embroidery. That was my persona not the MJ jacket as a backup plan. So, now I really had to make it to the store.

9:00am CST one hour before the store opens, I checked my email and I could not believe what I was reading. Something urgent just got dropped on my lap and I needed to focus on that ASAP, clients are the most important thing anyways. That means pushing my store visit out with no early lunch for me, this had to be taken care of.  Before I knew it was 11:15am CST I finally finished what I needed done, someone was happy. I made my way to the H&M store and I was shocked at what I came across, there was a line. This was not just any line, this is the kind of line you see at the Apple store when a new iPhone launches. This was the same kind of  line that was at this H&M on opening day. I saw a guy with duct-tape across his chest with Missouri written across, my thoughts were “ARE YOU FREAKING KIDDING ME” this guy came all the way from Missouri to Austin, TX for Balmain? now ,I’m thinking If I got in line there was no way I was going to make my 1:00pm for the face to face meeting I had to make. With my luck, I would probably get to the front of the line and it would be time to for me to leave.

I could not risk missing this meeting, so I made my peace with H&M Balmain went to lunch then my meeting. After my day was finally over, I made my way to the H&M store at about 5:00pm. The store looked normal, no crowds visible, I made my way to the section of the store with the display. It looked like a tornado had just gone through, they had barricaded the section and the only thing visible were empty racks and a few items from the collection still in the display case.

To be honest, I really think the collection pieces were great at the price being offered.  It would have been nice to get an item that I could actually wear but now that I look back at the whole experience, it would have been close to impossible for me to snag a piece. I did not know reception in the U.S would be this high and I was not committed to seat in line for an unknown amount of time only to be disappointed in the end. I have already had this experience before on a black friday sales event, since then I have refused to stay in line for the madness inside the store.

So, that was the good part. The sad part of this whole experience was when I got home and checked eBay, I had a feeling most of the people in line were not there shopping for themselves. WOW, I guess this is capitalism at it’s finest, items were marked up 3X the regular sales price, they were no longer affordable. Was I wrong about the whole positive reception towards the collection? Profiteers were out in full force to take advantage of this event.  That is the world we leave in.

words by Akin Abayomi for more you can find me at instagram