Balmain and H&M tie-up a hot seller

Freelance fashion designer Bi Yue (above) with her buys totalling more than $8,000. Customers were let into the Orchard Building store (above) at 8.02am.
Customers were let into the Orchard Building store (above) at 8.02am.ST PHOTOS: LAU FOOK KONG

Most of the items from the collaboration collection were sold out by noon yesterday

After queueing for 38 hours and spending more than $8,000 on the Balmain x H&M collection, freelance fashion designer Bi Yue still left the H&M flagship outlet in Orchard Building yesterday feeling a little disappointed.

All five of the beaded embellished jackets she had been eyeing were gone before the 28-year-old could get to the rack.

Ms Bi, who started queueing on Tuesday at 6pm with a friend, was among the first 30 people allowed into the store.

She left the shop with almost 10 bags, including some purchases for friends and family.

H&M collaborations with luxury brands such as Alexander Wang and Isabel Marant have always inspired long queues ahead of the official launch date, but the celebrity-endorsed Balmain collection - featuring the high-end French brand's form-fitting dresses and structured blazers - has caused the most extreme behaviour.

The 109-piece collection, designed by French designer Olivier Rousteing, was launched in Singapore yesterday at the H&M outlets in Orchard Building and Ion Orchard.

Freelance fashion designer Bi Yue (above) with her buys totalling more than $8,000. 

The queue at Orchard Building started at 7pm on Monday and more than 500 people were in line early on Thursday.

Ms Bi, who is a fan of H&M's tie-ups, has been collecting clothes from various collections since the Swedish fast-fashion giant collaborated with French label Lanvin in 2010.

Wearing a short-sleeved T-shirt dress from last year's Alexander Wang x H&M collection, she says she starts saving for these annual capsule collections early in the year.

"I spent about $2,000 on the Alexander Wang collection, but I knew it would be more this time because Balmain is more expensive."

Prices in the Alexander Wang collection ranged from $59.90 for a T-shirt to $599 for a down jacket. In comparison, while a Balmain T-shirt also costs $59.90, the priciest piece in the collection - a black, white and gold sequinned dress - costs $899.

Even with the higher price tags, many were eager to get their hands on the pieces worn on the red carpet by the likes of model Kendall Jenner, her sister Kim Kardashian and pop star Rihanna.

Website editor Ridwan Sesapar, 27, and manager Dinie Rahman, 26, say they spent about $4,000 on clothes and accessories for themselves and a friend. They had been queueing since 10am on Wednesday.

"Our initial budget was $5,500, but we couldn't get everything that we wanted," says Mr Dinie.

Some customers were seen holding print-outs of the collections catalogue, their eyes darting in a panic from the sheet to the racks as they tried to collect everything on their list.

Some even had one or two helpful H&M staff members trailing them to help carry their picks.

Most of the collection were sold out. As of yesterday afternoon, only tube tops remained at the Orchard Building outlet, while the Ion Orchard store was left with tube tops, a few pieces of the men's tops and a few pairs of boots.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 06, 2015, with the headline 'Balmain and H&M tie-up a hot seller'. Print Edition | Subscribe