H&M’s much anticipated Balmain collection launches in stores and online tomorrow, but I would suggest you temper any excitement now because it’s probably going to sell out immediately.

Another reason to not get your hopes up is because, like past collaborative collections, Balmain x H&M is very expensive for clothing produced by H&M. If you’re someone who is used to buying real Balmain then no, $500 for a dress like the one above won’t bother you too much. However, if you’re a regular H&M shopper, $400 for a pair of leather biker pants might not be your speed—even if this collection looks nearly identical to clothes Olivier Rousteing has already designed.

Right, Balmain Fall/Winter 2014; Left, Balmain x H&M

Right, Balmain Fall/Winter 2012; Left, Balmain x H&M

Right, Balmain Spring/Summer 2012; Left, Balmain x H&M

Right, Balmain Fall/Winter 2014; Left, Balmain x H&M

Right, Balmain Spring/Summer 2012; Left, Balmain x H&M

Right, Balmain Fall/Winter 2014; Left, Balmain x H&M

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Which I suppose is sort of the point? The Balmain x H&M collaboration is a great opportunity if you happen to be a rich person who somehow missed out on past Balmain collections. Everything looks great and the garments clearly required much more work and craftsmanship than the average fast fashion dress.

Still, for me, there’s a mental roadblock against spending more than $100 on a single item from H&M. I understand what’s going on here, but I’m not sure that my mind would actually let me swipe my credit card.

The other rub in all this is that if you’re someone who doesn’t ordinarily wear (or can afford) Balmain and you pop up in one of these outfits, people will probably know you’re wearing the “knockoff” version of the “real” thing. But maybe you don’t give a shit because you look good and are happy to spurn the elitism of fashion.

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If you want something from Balmain x H&M and don’t want to spend more than $100 on a single item, your options are limited. There’s a $69 turtleneck dress, a $34 leather clutch, a $17 ring, a $79 cuff bracelet and a $34 logo t-shirt, among other similar items.

At this point, I would argue that the stigma around high-end brands collaborating with mass market retailers has largely been erased if for no other reason than they happen constantly now. On top of that, this collection very much keeps Balmain’s brand intact.

The ad campaign features “it” supermodels like Gigi Hadid and Jourdan Dunn and the prices and what I’m sure will be limited availability alone will maintain the air of exclusivity. Balmain x H&M may be fashion for the people, but, as always, it’s only for certain people.


Contact the author at kara.brown@jezebel.com .

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Images via H&M; Pascal Le Segretain/Getty; Nicholas Hunt/Getty.