9 Things I learnt from attempting to buy something from the H&M Balmain Collaboration

Yesterday morning, I sacrificed my beauty sleep to get out of the house at 6:15am to trek to the Bullring for the H&M Balmain Collection. There were a few things I wanted, a dress, a top and a T-shirt, and a few more things my sister wanted me to get. We had a plan of action, she would try and get something online for herself, I would tackle the shops, and if I couldn't get stuff from the women's pieces, we had some back-up options from the men's that we wanted. I even managed to drag a friend out to accompany me, and bought him breakfast for it.

So here's how my day panned out.

6:45 - We get there and see that the queue is not so outrageously long, definitely within the first 100 people. Really not that busy, I expected a lot worse.

7:00 - We start seeing H&M workers arrive into the store... with suitcases. Yes that's right, with suitcases. Are they allowed priority shopping as much as they want?! I don't know, priority shopping seems fair enough, they're working early and for a more chaotic shift, but if they get to load their suitcases with everything, that seems slightly unfair, especially for a limited collection. If they get a staff discount on top of that, I may rip my hair out.
Too many privileges here.

7:30 - H&M workers start speaking to customers in the queue, telling them how this works and hands out coloured wristbands to everyone, indicating a time slot. This is also when I "school" my friend, who is a boy, about what I need him to grab while I get the other half. This is when having friends is handy. 

8:20 - We get our time slot for 10:05-1015. Yes that's right, 10 minutes. Ten minutes to shop for it all. We also get told that we cannot buy more than one size, which was a problem, as there a couple of things that both my sister and I wanted. The simple solution was to get my friend to buy those and reimburse him.

8:30 - We go get breakfast from Boston Tea Party, and head back around 9:30ish

10:05 - CHAOS. Remember in Friends, when Monica and the girls go on a mission to get her wedding dress from a sale? (S07E17: The One with the Cheap Wedding Dress... Yes I'm that much of a Friends addict that I remember the title of the episodes.) It was just like that, with the whistle blowing, everyone rushing in, stampeding in, except more chaotic than that because there was ONE RAIL OF CLOTHES and one little accessories stand. There was hardly anything left, a few stuff that I thought looked alright, but nothing that we wanted. I decided, to leave them, they weren't worth getting. I asked about if we could go straight up to the men's section, as there was no queueing system for that, but it turns out that got pretty much sold out too.

I leave, sad and depressed, ready to do some major retail therapy to make up for it. My purse says "ouch".

It was quadruply frustrating to see all the pieces being sold on ebay at outrageously hiked up prices. I hate people. So unethical. The purpose of these collaborations is so that the average person, who cannot afford to buy designer clothes is able to feel special and fashionable from being able to attain one of these gorgeous pieces at high street prices. It's sad to see this gesture exploited.

So the few things I learnt from this experience:

1. Going the night before isn't a bad idea.
2. Company is definitely a good idea.
3. Have a tactic of getting through the manic crowd.
4. Try the mobile website. My sister was struggling with the desktop website, but one of my friends said he managed to get a T-shirt by using his phone.
5. If you don't get anything, and are sad about it, get as FAR away from the store as possible. There is nothing more depressing than seeing people with their massive shopping bags or getting out the dress that you wanted, and seeing it look even better than you imagined it to be.
6. Be prepared for retail therapy if you don't get anything from the collection.
7. Don't be too upset. There will be a way to get them eventually, somewhere online, some sort of fashion outlet, someone will be selling them once they've worn it a few times. If you really want it, you will one day be able to get it. One day...
8. If you don't get anything, you're with the majority of the people in the world, so really, it's not that bad.
9. There's always the next year to attempt.

That's all I can think of for now.

Until next year...

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