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How to Shop H&M x Balmain in NYC This Week

Driely S.

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The collaboration between H&M and Balmain has been a long time coming. Since Olivier Rousteing first confirmed the collection six months ago, details and dresses have slowly trickled out about H&M's priciest collaboration to date that's full of heavily embellished pieces. And now, we're just around the corner from its release: The collection lands in stores and online at 8am on Thursday, November 5th.

To make sure that you're ready for launch day, we've prepped this handy guide that contains everything that you need to know about it if you're in New York City, like which stores to shop, what time to get there, and which items will fly off the shelves first (hint: anything that Gigi, Jourdan or Kendall has worn publicly). Plus, know that if you want to return it, the grace period for getting your money back is a lot shorter this time around.

Where to Shop It

Below are the New York City H&M locations that'll be carrying the collaboration, listed by neighborhood:

Brooklyn: 497-501 Fulton Street

Bronx: 200 Baychester Avenue

Soho: 558 Broadway; 515 Broadway

Flatiron: 111 Fifth Avenue

Midtown: 435 Seventh Avenue; 1328 Broadway; 1472 Broadway; 589 Fifth Avenue; 1293 Broadway (Herald Square); 10 Columbus Circle; 731 Lexington Avenue

Upper East Side: 150 East 86th Street

It's likely that the biggest locations (Fifth Avenue, Times Square, and Herald Square) are going to have the biggest selections — but maybe the biggest crowds, too. Weigh the pros and cons of each location carefully before heading out to secure a spot in the early hours of Thursday, keeping in mind that traveling farther to a less-popular store might end up saving you time in the long run.


When to Go

Head out early and expect long lines. As in previous years, H&M stipulates that the first 420 people in line will be given a colored bracelet — 14 colors for each group of 30 customers. The color will determine when it's your turn to shop the designated area, where you'll have 15 minutes to make your selections. Make the most of that short window by knowing what you're going to buy beforehand; check out the full lookbook (with prices) right here.

If you're not in the first 420 people in line, you can still shop in stores (the bracelet system only applies to Balmain x H&M) but will not be allowed to enter the designated area with the collection until the last group is finished shopping, right around around 11:30am.

How Much You Can Buy — And When You Can Return It

If you're shopping the collection in the store, you will be limited to no more than two items per per product. And this is important: Should you decide that you want to return something, H&M will only offer a return or exchange until November 8th, with your receipt, in the original form of payment. That's just three days to decide whether that $549 beaded dress is worth keeping, rather than the week-long grace period we've come to expect with these collaboration.

After November 8th, with or without a receipt, refunds will be issued as a store credit at the current selling price, in the form of a merchandise credit card (which can mean a lot of fast fashion items). If you don't have a receipt, you'll need a valid photo ID to make a return.