H&M shoppers go crazy over Kardashian-famed Balmain

H&M's Balmain launch draws crowds
H&M's Balmain launch draws crowds

Masses of fashion fans flocked to H&M stores Thursday, camping out in front of high-street shops in hopes of getting their hands on a French clothing line famed for dressing stars like Kendall Jenner and Kim Kardashian.

H&M announced that it would be collaborating with Parisian fashion house Balmain for an autumn guest collection back in March. The months-long hype ensured thousands were waiting to snap up the limited stock of high-end dresses, coats and accessories at one of the 250 H&M stores offering the line.

A high-street shop in Sydney, Australia reportedly sold out of line within hours, and a spokesperson for H&M said that stores across Asia, which were the first to open on Thursday, were selling out as well.

European stores, including London, were seeing similar demand.



Online shoppers flooded the website, which couldn't be accessed for a large part of the day.

"We have a lot of visitors on the site right now. This is due to the high level of interest in our latest collection," the error message read.



"It seems like so far the response have been overwhelming," Hacan Andersson, an H&M spokesperson told CNBC by phone. Reports from their stores also suggested a significant proportion of shoppers were men, he said.

But it isn't the first time H&M has seen this level of excitement over their clothes.

"There's always a lot of interest in designer collections. For example, when we hosted Alexander Wang last year, we had great interest from customers, so it's not like this is happening for the first time," Andersson said.

However, that hasn't stopped people from buying into the hype, with some crafty customers already hawking their Balmain clothes online at an impressive mark-up.


A women's leather jacket which originally sold for £199 ($303) was listed on eBay for £1,100 ($1679), while a beaded jacket priced at £299 ($456) going for resale at $1,600.

The sold out line will undoubtedly be a boon for both H&M and Balmain, though the retailer said it wasn't able to provide estimated sales figures, explaining individual collection sales are not usually broken down for the public.

Tiffany Hogan, an apparel analyst with research group Kantar Retail, told CNBC that while the collection's sales won't necessarily provide a revenue boost immediately, the brand attention is what counts.

"Honestly the PR around it was even bigger than it was with Alexander Wang, which was more understated in PR terms. This time they played up to millennial cohort, really appealing to the fact that Balmain is a younger brand," she said in a phone interview.

"It's more media attention. People are lining around the block, and the hype itself is worth it," Hogan added.