In KL, some queue over 50 hours for Balmain x H&M launch (VIDEO)

Crowds use umbrellas to shield themselves from the heat while awaiting the Balmain x H&M launch collection launch scheduled for tomorrow outside the H&M store at Lot 10 in Kuala Lumpur, November 4, 2015. — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa
Crowds use umbrellas to shield themselves from the heat while awaiting the Balmain x H&M launch collection launch scheduled for tomorrow outside the H&M store at Lot 10 in Kuala Lumpur, November 4, 2015. — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa

KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 5 — Ahmad Badri Zulkifli has been keeping vigil outside Lot 10’s H&M outlet since 2am Tuesday in anticipation of the launch of its Balmain collection today.

When doors open at 8am this morning, the 24-year-old fashion forecaster would have waited a total 54 hours just to get first dibs on H&M’s rare collaboration with the French haute couture label.

Some might describe the wait crazy but Ahmad Badri disagrees.

The youth is no novice to such queues at H&M too, having been in line for every annual collaboration the brand has had with designer labels since it first opened its doors in Malaysia in 2012.

This time, however, Ahmad Badri is psyched at being first in line.

“What motivates me [to queue for this launch]? [Balmain] is not available in Malaysia, plus it’s a luxury brand that is collaborating with a mass market company, so the price is very low,” he told Malay Mail Online when met at the front of the queue with 12 hours left to endure.

Ahmad Badri is far from being alone in his fandom.

Nightclub deejay Jonathan Charles, 24, said he was thrilled at finally being able to afford an item of clothing bearing Balmain’s signature prints and designs, especially when he rakes in an average-level salary.

“Usually you would have to pay between RM4,000 or RM5,000, but this line is between RM200 to RM2,000. It makes a big difference,” he said 14 hours before the start of the sale at H&M’s Avenue K outlet.

H&M, a fast fashion brand, is known for offering latest fashion trends at reasonable prices.

Every year, the brand collaborates with top luxury designers and fashion labels for an exclusive limited collection. Last year’s launch was a collaboration with in-demand American fashion designer Alexander Wang.

This year, the brand has collaborated with luxury brand Balmain, which itself does not even have a store in Malaysia.

Melissa Lau Jayne said buying from the Balmain range would still be a big purchase for her, although she considers it a steal at the prices H&M would be offering.

“I’m looking to get four items if I can get my hands on them, so in total it’s about RM1,500 to RM1800,” she said of her budget for the day.

“I would never spend this type of money, usually. I would rather spend it on holidays. I know it is a lot of money, but this is a must have, a must do, it’s once in a lifetime.”

However, despite the relatively low price point targeted at average-folk, some waiting in line noticed those “above average”, were paying others to wait in line as proxies.

Amanda Chin, celebrating her 24th birthday today, felt it unfair that people were sending their “minions”.

“Really rich people that have enough money to spend on anything they could ever want, send minions,” she said.

“They basically do nothing but sit around for them so just when the store opens, the people who sent them come instead and buy whatever they want, and they won’t have to endure the queue.”

But Chin has good-naturedly decided to let the matter go, saying she was looking forward to treating herself to a birthday present in the form of a dress in the collection that she has been eyeing.

The Balmain x H&M collection launches at 8am today and will only be available at H&M’s Lot 10 and Avenue K outlets.

To curb over-enthusiastic early-birds, H&M has put out a disclaimer on its website to say that both stores will only allow customers shopping the collection to purchase one of each item.

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