It's not peak holiday shopping season in the U.S. yet, but Swedish "fast fashion" retailer H&M is battling wrap-around-the-block lines in retail locations across the country. Not because of crazy good deals, but because the highly-anticipated (and expensive!) Balmain x H&M collection finally hit stores on Thursday.
In fact, Balmain fever has caught on all around the world. In London, a fight broke out in front of an H&M store, as overzealous shoppers clamored to get their hands on one of the collection's pieces. More than 1,000 shoppers waited outside an H&M store in rainy Sydney, and in Singapore, the collection has already sold out.
Why the craze? The collaboration by H&M and Balmain, headed up by 29-year-old fashion darling Olivier Rousteing, has brought some of the designer's most stylish, exclusive looks (infamously donned by the Kardashian clan and their peers) to everyday Americans.
But just because the collection is now available in stores and online doesn't mean just anyone will be able to walk in and grab the high-fashion-meets-commercial $549 dress of their Balmain dreams. Just over 50 American stores carry the collection (only a fraction of the 350+ H&M stores in U.S.) and H&M has outlined a strict policy for how many items shoppers are allowed to buy.
According to H&M's website, you can only purchase "one item per product" from the collection online (so, one pair of shoes or clothes, one accessory, etc.) What's more, as of 10:30 on Thursday morning, it appeared as if every item was completely sold out online.
In stores, you can (theoretically) walk away with more of the goods, but not much, with no more than "two items per product" allowed.
If you're brave enough to risk battle over the embroidered garments in stores, go in knowing that you won't be able to walk in and peruse freely. Per H&M:
While H&M locations around the world have been dealing with crazed shoppers all day, American stores are just opening up. Let the Balmain x H&M games begin.