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I’m not going to lie, I shrieked with delight when H&M unveiled Kenzo as their next designer collaboration back in May. I LOVE Kenzo. No prizes for guessing that I was eager to buy the collection.
I’m no stranger to designer collaborations with H&M. Over the years, I’ve purchased items from their lines with Alexander Wang, Isabel Marant, Maison Martin Margiela, Marni, Matthew Williamson, Sonia Rykiel, Stella McCartney and Versace. You can read about last year’s Balmain x H&M collection here.
Back to Kenzo. Why do I like it so much? There’s something so exciting about the French fashion brand. Heavily inspired by Japanese style, it’s definitely a staple in my wardrobe.
Needless to say, I had high hopes for Kenzo x H&M. I’m not embarrassed to admit that I booked flights to Ljubljana, Slovenia shortly after the collaboration was announced. I had so much success for Balmain x H&M in Ljubljana last year that I thought I’d try my luck there for Kenzo.
My fashion partner in crime (my wonderful mum) and I arrived at CityPark shopping centre in Ljubljana at 5.30am on 3rd November. I’m not sure if Kenzo is as well-known in Slovenia as it is in other countries because the queue was nowhere near as large as it was for Balmain x H&M.
I was surprised that by 9am the queue didn’t exceed 60 people. Then again, the collection might not have appealed to everyone’s tastes. I love tigers, bold colours and prints so for me, it was a match made in fashion heaven.
Wristbands handed out, people cheered as the shutters went up. I made a beeline for the structured dress that I’d had my eye on for months (spoiler alert: sadly, it was far too huge for me!) and worked my way around the rails.
I must admit, that although they were polite, I found Slovenian press a little distracting. They filmed and photographed everyone entering H&M and continued their coverage inside, which at times felt a bit intrusive.
It must have looked hilarious watching someone who’s 5’2″ carrying four overflowing shopper bags. I ended up wearing one of the striped Kenzo x H&M bags because I didn’t have any space left in the bags. I’m not even sorry.
When I picked up three of the aforementioned dresses (I’m between sizes), I was approached by a member of staff who abruptly told me I couldn’t take them into the fitting room. As an experienced H&M designer collaboration shopper, I’m fully aware that you’re only allowed to buy one of each item in an attempt to stop items ending up on eBay. I only ever buy things for myself anyway. However, you’re always allowed to try on different sizes.
For Isabel Marant pour H&M (which I attended in Newcastle, UK, a store that unfortunately hasn’t stocked any more collaborations), I ran out of time to try everything on so I bought my items and tried them on in the shop later. I returned anything I didn’t want and got a full refund.
Unfortunately, Slovenia has such a shockingly bad refund policy, I wasn’t able to do the same in Ljubljana. Hence why it was crucial to try everything on.
In Slovenia if you can return an item, you’re only given a credit voucher. I’m sure you can appreciate that if you return expensive items from a designer collaboration, you don’t want to be stuck a with a credit voucher for hundreds of pounds. Pretty ridiculous, right?
Overall, I’m super happy with my purchases. I say the same thing every year: as much as I hate the chaos and stress at these collections, I love buying a piece of fashion history.
What ruins H&M designer collaborations is that people continue to sell items on eBay for extortionate prices. I’m sure that you’ll agree that it ruins the fun for genuine fans doesn’t it?
The funniest part of this fashion story? While waiting for my flight home, I was stopped by a fellow passenger who said she recognised me from TV footage from the collection. Oh my!
Here’s my haul…
Update: I added a couple of extra Kenzo x H&M purchases to my haul. I bought a cap and scarf online at H&M a few weeks after this original post. They weren’t on sale in Ljubljana and I’m thrilled I was able to buy them!