Can We Talk About Balmain for H&M and Why Designer Collabs Should Die?

Posted On Monday, November 9th, 2015
Filed Under: Deals & Steals, shopping, Style Guide


Sigh. I hate doing rant posts and I’m going to do my best to not turn this into just that. But can we talk for a minute? Like, a real talk.

I’m so over affordable retailers and their designer collaborations. And last week’s Balmain for H&M disaster was my final straw.


Last Thursday was the release of the highly anticipated Balmain for H&M. Balmain is a favorite among celebs and known for embellished, structured garments. Though I don’t really get into designer collaborations, I was excited for this one and considered buying the faux fur coat above…but then I came to my senses.

I decided against attending last week’s press event for the release because I knew it would be insane. Like I said on Snapchat {follow @PatriceJWill}, if you think shoppers go crazy for these collections, you don’t want to see how a room full of bloodthirsty bloggers, stylists and editors behave. And when the line was released to the public last Thursday, it was no surprise everyone went crazy. Just check out the video below.

For the people who thought they’d avoid the chaos of the store in favor of online shopping, that was also a fail. The H&M site crashed and when it was back up and running, everything was sold out. In minutes! It’s no wonder Balmain for H&M is currently being sold on eBay, with some items priced at $4,000. No, that’s not a typo. Four. Thousand. Dollars. For that price you can buy the real deal Balmain!


I was scratching my head at the people who were surprised the H&M site crashed. Of course that was going to happen. Or those disappointed at how aggressive shoppers become. It typically happens when a big designer is attached to a collaboration.

So my question is: why do we/people keep devouring these collections?
Another question: when does enough become enough?
Oh and another question: how much are people really willing to pay for these designer collabs?


A few of the Balmain for H&M clothes were $600+ in stores. Sure, it’s way cheaper than buying Balmain, but is it ever reasonable to pay $600 for any single item at H&M? And isn’t the point of these fast fashion retailers to make style accessible to everyone? Well that’s definitely not the case with these limited, pricey lines.

Between the pushing and shoving in stores to eBay markups that should be illegal, I increasingly find myself rolling my eyes at the mere mention of the latest designer collaboration. I love making fashion {even designer labels} accessible to everyone, but going to extreme lengths to get it just seems crazy and even dangerous.

Did you shop Balmain for H&M? What was your experience? Are you over designer collaborations and the price tags attached to them?


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16 thoughts on “Can We Talk About Balmain for H&M and Why Designer Collabs Should Die?

  1. Agree with every single word. Beside the fact that they were literally killing each other for H&M overpriced pieces, it made me wonder: those who waited there all night (!) prior to the launch and missed school/work, they spent crazy amount of energy & time on fighting for some “fake” luxury to pretend a certain lifestyle. Then they return to their lives which they hate, they go back to their relationships which don’t make them happy anymore and they continue hating themselves, no matter how many sprakling pieces that jacket has. I just wish they spend the same time & energy to work on themselves and improving their lives, starting from the inside.

  2. Interesting points.
    Thought in my opinion it is not about killing the collabs which remain a fun concept and a great way to afford some exclusive pieces , It’s more about the costumers and THEIR relationship with namebrands and designer labels and how they need to reevaluate their behavior and attitudes in such cases.
    As far as the prices go they ranged from 14 e to 499 which think is a pretty broad really, We also know about the collabs months in advance so I personally saved up for the piece i really wanted .
    I went to the press event several days before the release and everyone was civilized and everyone actually helped one another find sizes and pieces.

    So yeah to make it short maybe let’s stop accusing the brands and big companies and look into our actions for a change ’cause i didnt see Olivier stampede anyone.

    • Great points. It’s solely not about blaming brands. It’s up to consumers how they act, respond and if they’ll even resell items online. But do you think retailers should put measures in place to prevent certain actions, like the stampede in the video above?

      • I sincerely still don’t understand why H&M chose to handle things so poorly and just open the gates to the store like it was that rhino scene from Jumanji!
        I’ve often shopped the collabs and it was so organized and civil: you were given a bracelet and time slot to shop in and that was it. It was peaceful and fun. Sure u had to hurry to get what you wanted but most people already knew what the were gonna get anyways. This year organisation was a mess for sure.

        • also we were going in by groups of 10-15 definitely not more. As far as resellers i wish there could be a way to control it. it drives me crazy that some people really wanted the clothes but couldnt buy anything because resellers got there first.

  3. I totally agree with you. It’s getting ridiculous! His designs are nice but I wouldn’t spend no $600-$4000 on clothes especially if my money ain’t long like that. I can go to Michael’s and buy some sequins and stones add them to a shirt, then I’ll have my bootleg version of Balmain. And I would probably get a lot of compliments on it too.

  4. Don’t get me wrong ,I love clothes as much as the next woman but I’m not about to beat the crap out of somebody over a skirt and certainly not a frugal fashion thing either.I stay away,clothes ain’t worth it.

    • I totally agree. I’m always for a great deal, but when I feel I might not be safe in a shopping experience, I won’t bother!

  5. I completely agree with you! If I am going to splurge on a designer item than I will and typically it is a special experience. I feel that it in a way taints the designers name with these different collaborations. I went to shop Forever 21 online the other day and was scrolling though and saw a $150 item. I at first thought it was a typo!

    • I can see where you’re coming from. And yes, some Forever 21 prices are insane for their “higher end” pieces.

  6. I honestly wish that major retailers such as H&M would go the opposite direction with these collaborations, and use them to highlight up-and-coming designers. Then it would a) probably be less nuts and shove-y and b) be more interesting. We all kinda know what Balmain looks like already, right? So let’s see something FRESH.

    • That’s a great suggestion. Everyone loves the big name designers, but it would be refreshing if a brand did a campaign with a new designer. Sure, it wouldn’t have the same fanfare, but it would be interesting to see how the collaboration would work.

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