It looks as if Versace’s long-awaited collection for H&M could be the Swedish retailer’s most successful designer collaboration yet. The collaboration follows previous pairings with Lanvin, Sonia Rykiel and Stella McCartney to name a few. The full collection was revealed at a launch in New York, featuring a catwalk show and performances from Prince and Nicki Minaj. With top models like Natasha Poly, Abbey Lee Kershaw & Lindsey Wixson hitting the runway, it would have been easy to forget that this collection was going to be available on high streets all over the globe. The collection, while not for the faint-hearted (particularly the menswear), is pure Versace – think clashing prints, gold studded leather and brightly-hued dresses. Even if you’re not quite brave enough to try items like the floral leggings with contrasting coloured prints on each leg, it’s possible to add a touch of Versace to your wardrobe with the covetable black studded leather pieces or the metallic silver sandals.
Anticipation had reached fever pitch by the time the collection launched in the UK & Ireland last Thursday November 17th. The queues began early on Wednesday evening as shoppers desperate for a piece of Versace on a high-street budget were prepared to camp overnight to get their hands on items from the collection. H&M had put in place strict rules to prevent bulk-buying – shoppers could only purchase one of each item and only in one size. Those hoping to buy online were left frustrated when H&M’s website was overwhelmed and crashed on several occasions through the launch day. Within an hour of stores opening reports came in that stocks had sold out, with Beijing and Dubai stores reportedly selling out after 30 minutes. A quick visit by yours truly to the South King St., Dublin store at 5pm on Thursday evening confirmed that the collection had largely been snapped up by the early birds. All that remained were some handbags, shoes and a single rail of clothing items, mostly comprising of the more difficult to wear pieces.
Although H&M has confirmed, to some disappointment, that stores will not be receiving any more deliveries, there are still opportunities for those who missed out this week to nab something from the collection. Over the next few days it’s possible that returns of items purchased in the heat of the moment will result in some pieces making their way back to the stores, but don’t expect them to stay there long. Also, there’s always ebay – as often occurs with these designer collaborations you can find almost any item from the collection on the online auction site. There may be a jump in price from what they were selling at in stores but, if you consider the normal retail price of Versace designs, these mark-ups might not deter you from splashing out.
By Jenny Quigley