Kenzo x H&M sale attracts queues of 350

A shopper at the Kenzo x H&M collaboration sale at H&M Orchard Building.
A shopper at the Kenzo x H&M collaboration sale at H&M Orchard Building.ST PHOTO: NIVASH JOYVIN

The tie-up between the two fashion labels saw the first shopper queueing two days before the sale

The Kenzo x H&M sale opened to the public here at 8am yesterday, but for the first shopper in line outside the fast fashion chain's Orchard Building store, the wait started days ago.

Housewife Sherry Kuhara, 43, started queuing at 8am on Tuesday - equipped with a picture spread of the items she wanted to buy printed out on a sheet of paper.

Her friend, 22-year-old Maria Jessica, who secured the second spot in the queue, joined her the next day.

The pair, who became fast friends after meeting at last year's Balmain x H&M sale, started early this year to avoid disappointment.

They had joined the queue last year at 3am on sale day and found that they were way back in the line.

"By the time it was our turn, almost everything was gone," says Ms Jessica, an Indonesian student at Singapore Institute of Management.

Their efforts paid off. Mrs Kuhara, a Singaporean housewife, bought 18 items, spending $2,400 in total. Ms Jessica spent $1,200 on 12 pieces of clothing.

"I managed to get everything that I wanted," says Mrs Kuhara, who has no children. "I feel happy and overwhelmed - who doesn't love shopping?"

The much-anticipated tie-up between Swedish fast-fashion label H&M and French luxury house Kenzo attracted a queue of slightly more than 250 shoppers at its Orchard Building outlet and another 100 at its Ion Orchard outlet - the only two stores here selling the limited-edition 111-piece collection.

The same sale was launched in more than 250 H&M stores worldwide, as well as online, from Nov 3.

However, though the queues this year stretched far and popular items - including an off-shoulder crop top and reversible dress - were sold out by 1pm yesterday, shopper numbers were just a fraction of last year's H&M collaboration with high-end French label Balmain, which drew lines of 740 shoppers in total at both outlets before doors opened.

H&M started collaborating with designers in 2004, beginning with German fashion designer Karl Lagerfeld, which was a huge success, with stock that was supposed to last two weeks sold out within half an hour.

This spurred the continuation of such collaborations, which became a regular event, with at least one tie-up yearly, or sometimes, two or even three.

This partnership with Kenzo - H&M's 19th - resulted in one of the more colourful and print-crazy collections - not unexpected given that Kenzo is well known for its use of bold animal prints.

Items in the collection include tiger-print turtle-neck tops, faux fur bomber jackets as well as a multi-coloured floor-length dress made from 300m of ribbon.

Prices range from $17.90 for a pair of socks to $699 for the ribbon dress.

Mr Neo Jin Han, a 22-year-old fashion student, who bought a sweater, a bag, a T-shirt and a hooded jacket for $700, says the colours were what drew him into the fray.

"I like Kenzo because of its originality and the prints. I'm definitely not going to sell these," he says, referring to how some shoppers are known to "flip" the exclusive items on online marketplace Carousell at marked-up prices.

However, he thinks that past collections may have been more popular because the clothes were more versatile. The loud prints and colours of the Kenzo collaboration, he says, may not have appealed to Singaporeans who are conservative.

When contacted, Ms Abby Wee, PR manager for H&M Singapore and Malaysia, noted that queues were not as long this year compared with last year's.

However, she says that there was "still a strong demand for this collection". "As every single designer collaboration is unique, we see no need in comparing our different collaborations," she says.

H&M has yet to announce who it will be collaborating with for its next designer tie-up, but fans are already making plans.

Says Ms Jessica: "We'll try to be the first again next year."

For a video of long queues at Orchard Building and Ion Orchard, go to str.sg/4YCx

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 04, 2016, with the headline 'Kenzo x H&M sale attracts queues of 350'. Print Edition | Subscribe