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Balmain x H&M: How and Where to Shop the Collab in SF

Photo: H&M

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Holy-moly! It's just 48 hours-ish until the collab du season arrives. Good news is, you've already seen the star-studded runway show, the entire 100+ piece lookbook (including cool looks for the guys), and the collection's stunning details. Balmain x H&M officially hits the Bay Area (and everywhere) on Thursday, November 5th.

We're certain that the same madness that ensued during the Swedish fast-fashion retailer's Isabel Marant and Alex Wang collab releases is going to happen again with this launch. In other words, be prepared, plan ahead and set your alarm for an ungodly hour on Thursday. How to make sure to survive the shopping frenzy, frazzle-free? Just read these helpful tips.

Where to shop the collab

  • 845 Market Street (Westfield San Francisco Centre); 415-543-1430
  • 150 Powell Street; 415-986-4215
  • 334 Santana Row (Suite 1095), San Jose; 408-246-7682

Stores will open at 8am

Head out early and expect long queues. The collab will be available online starting at 5am PST ( hm.com/us/balmain). Racked.com offers great tips for e-shoppers including this one: for the best chance to actually score what you put in your cart, be sure to set up an account on hm.com before Thursday, and make sure to save your shipping and billing details (this step is huge).

The wristband system is back

Per the H&M microsite: "The first 420 people in line will be given a colored bracelet—14 colors with one for each group of 30 customers. Your color determines when it's your time to shop in the designer collection area."

You have 15 minutes to shop

After your group is finished shopping, there will be a five-minute break so staff can tidy up the floor before the next wave. H&M notes: "If you are not in the first 420, you can still shop in the store, as the bracelet system only applies to the Balmain x H&M collection. After the last group shops we'll open the designer collection area to all customers."

Yes, There's a purchase limit

Shoppers can buy up to two items per style in-store, and one item online. Choose wisely.

Returns are accepted, except on accessories

Straight from the microsite: "On items from the collection, purchased in our stores, we offer a return or exchange until November 8th, with receipt, in the original form of payment. After November 8th, with or without receipt, refunds will be issued as a store credit at the current selling price, in the form of a merchandise credit card. Note that accessories are not returnable for hygiene reasons. All merchandise must be returned in original selling condition. Valid photo ID required for returns without receipt. On items from the collection, purchased at hm.com, we offer a return or exchange, in the original form of payment, on returns that are postmarked within 3 days of package receipt. Accessories are not returnable for hygiene reasons. All merchandise must be returned in original selling condition."

More key intel

We repeat: arrive early, and make sure you know exactly what you're looking for. If you can't make all your purchases in 15 minutes, you can go back inside although you'll have to hit the end of the line (sad but true). Also, take into account that you probably won't have any time to try anything on, so sharpen your stylist's eye and bring your good-luck charm.

Note: We'll be reporting live from the scene on Thursday morning.