Mad About Balmain x H&M
Last week Balmain x H&M’s limited edition collection dropped causing Balmania! People all over the world camped out and damn near trampled each other to get their hands on SOMETHING designed by Kim Kardashian’s favorite designer and I was one of them… sort of. I didn’t camp out or fight anyone but I did line up a few hours before the store opened to make sure I got my hands on what I wanted!
Despite the long lines – of mostly men oddly – and this being H&M’s most successful designer collaboration yet, I noticed a lot of people were less than impressed calling the line trash and judging people who actually wanted to buy this or any designer collaboration. What’s all the hostility for?
I happen to love designer collaborations. I don’t know i
f when I’ll be confident enough in my finances to purchase $1000 dresses so if high-end designers are meeting me halfway now why not take advantage?
I get it, not EVERY collection is worth it. A few end up being too expensive or plain ugly, and I’m not the person who wears something just to tell people it’s designer or designer adjacent – but I will buy if I think the collection is good or I have a moral reason for supporting the collaboration. Even though a lot of the pieces in the Balmain x H&M collection were pricey and more lurish than I usually prefer I made it a point to be online by 6:30 to grab what I wanted for one reason in particular – supporting Olivier Rousteing.
Why Rousteing? Because he’s black. We talk a lot about supporting minority-owned businesses but not nearly enough about supporting minorities in high ranking positions at major companies. I get the difference – buying Duro Oluwu puts money directly into the Nigerian designer’s pockets and while supporting Balmain under Rousteing’s direction adds to his reputation, he doesn’t directly profit from my spending the same way. Besides supporting Rousteing because he “looks like me” I also really love his commitment to stand by Kimye.
Sweater ~ Balmain x H&M | Skirt ~ Peter Pilotto for Target | Booties ~ Nine West
Hear me out – Kim Kardashian is a polarizing figure and even though working with the power couple cost him a lot of relationships, he still stuck by his decision. Rousteing likes Kimye because they represent him. Born to a mixed race couple and raised by white parents, Rousteing never had an example of a mixed-ethnicity couple and it’s clear that lack of representation has affected how he views himself and the world to the point that he’ll make efforts to address it publicly. I have a soft spot in my heart for any fashion-oriented person who isn’t afraid to voice their opinions on social issues and doesn’t mind losing a few fans along the way.
Personally I say to each their own. If you like designer clothing that you’ll never be able to afford buy the affordable versions. If you think mass retailers make crappy quality clothing don’t buy it – and know that you don’t have to critique others who do. As for me, I’ll still be checking out every designer collaboration I get wind of and evaluating which pieces, if any are worth my money.
What Balmain x H&M too gaudy for your taste? Do you have designer collaborations in general? Let me know in the comments section!