On Wednesday evening, a lucky few VIPs with a coveted invitation to preview and, more important, shop H&M’s Moschino collaboration a full 15 hours ahead of the general public were busy hoovering up every last logo-branded accessory at H&M’s Sunset Boulevard store, oblivious to the envious looks of the passersby peering in through the windows, desperate to catch a glimpse of what was on offer.
The line at the cash register was consistent, and among the first items to sell out were the novelty purses, including a $129 patent shoulder bag that looked like a condom wrapper boasting the slogan “Ready to Wear” and a purse shaped like a leather jacket that is almost an exact replica of a shoulder bag from the mainline Moschino collection but, at $149 and barely bigger than an iPhone, a fraction of both its price and size.
Spotted in the crowd were actress Jaime King and comedian Ali Wong, both of whom arrived clad in items from the Moschino X H&M collection. Also among the attendees was 29-year-old John Alexander, who works in luxury retail. He immediately slipped on the sweatshirt he had just purchased from the collection, which featured an applique Mickey Mouse wearing streetwear and leaning against a speaker. Like many in the crowd, Alexander was there because he is a fan of Jeremy Scott, Moschino’s brash, pop-culture-loving creative director.
“We’re a big fan of what he does, we’re a big fan of his pop culture references,” said Alexander, who was there with a friend. “And now it’s great that he’s teamed up with H&M to bring his quirkiness to the masses. And it’s a little more affordable for everybody now to own a piece of Jeremy Scott.” Whereas a sweater from Moschino’s mainline collection will set you back $595, a piece from the H&M collaboration sells for $69.99. Alexander, who also bought an oversize fanny pack with an MTV logo and a T-shirt with a condom print, said he recalled watching MTV in the mornings before school. “It’s a little bit of that nostalgia that Jeremy Scott brings to everyone to enjoy.”
Model and social media star Jasmine Sanders, better known to her 3.2 million Instagram followers as @golden_barbie, snapped up some pieces from the collection, despite turning up at the event already clad almost head to toe in Moschino x H&M items, including a cropped T-shirt with a trompe l’oeil chain print, sweatpants, a Moschino logo belt and a purse.
“I just love the collection because it’s very edgy but it’s also super, super comfortable and you don’t have to worry about, like, not being able to transition from night to day,” she explained, adding that she had purchased “a good amount of stuff” including a pair of thigh-high boots, jewelry and purses. “I kind of went crazy.”
Although the launch didn’t have the frenzied air of H&M’s designer collaboration with French fashion brand Balmain in 2015, the combination of glamorous streetwear and 1980s icons such as Disney and MTV seemed to be a hit with the VIP crowd inside while fans outside were already lining up to ensure they would be the first to get their hands on the collection the following morning.
Among them was Clara Clark, 26, who had arrived armed with just a chair, blanket and some pistachios to get her through the night. She was hoping to buy an off-the-shoulder printed dress and a choker. What was it about the collection that had inspired her to camp out? “Moschino is what I used to wear when I was a kid,” she explained. “My mom dressed me in a lot of Moschino.” Although Clark said her job involved “selling stuff online,” she said she was not there to bag items for eBay.
It would have been understandable if she was, of course. As is par for the course every time H&M collaborates with a big-name designer, by Thursday morning the first items had already changed hands on the auction site, including a black leather bustier dress for $700 (plus $17.30 shipping) — almost double its original $399 retail price. While perhaps that’s not in the true spirit of the collaborative collection, it is certainly a byproduct of the 1980s consumerism that inspired it.