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Long lineups forming for H&M x Balmain in Toronto

As international retailer H&M gears up to release its latest designer collaboration with Balmain tomorrow, Toronto fashion lovers are already lining up in the hopes of snagging a piece (or two) from this coveted collection.

H&M x Balmain will be available at three Toronto locations: the CF Eaton Centre, Yorkdale and 15 Bloor Street West. Naturally, there are already lineups at all of them. In an effort to stay organized, H&M will hand out colour-coded wristbands to those waiting and they'll then bring in 30 shoppers at a time for 10 minute periods.

I walk over to the Eaton Centre just before noon today. The modest lineup is well hidden on the mall's second level, but as I chat with eager fashionistas, it starts to swell.

Many come equipped with lawn chairs. However, they may not get to use them; mall security is forbidding anyone from sitting down until after regular business hours. Although, no one seems dissuaded by this.

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"I don't have class for the rest of the day," says Ryerson business management student Niki Patel. "I have a midterm this weekend so I'm like, 'I might as well just stay in line and wait and study.'" She's there with fellow student Sarv Dhillon and they both plan to spend the night in the mall.

One woman, who's seventh in line, showed up this morning around 5 a.m. She took two personal days off work and is prepared to stand all night if she needs to.

Wes Sung is fifth. He arrived yesterday morning; this University of Toronto life sciences student is a designer launch veteran. He remembers braving freezing cold temperatures for last year's H&M x Alexander Wang collection and is happy he'll be waiting inside tonight.

He sees H&M's collaborations as a way to get high-quality, designer items at an accessible price-point - to him, that's what makes the lineup worth it. When he finally gets his pick tomorrow morning, he's hoping to snag a Balmain jumpsuit . "No one's going to have the courage to wear the jumpsuit out," he says. "So I would like to rock it."

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H&M x Balmain goes on sale tomorrow at 8 a.m. Balmain's creative director Olivier Rousteing designed a heavily marketed collection, whose ads featured models Kendall Jenner, Gigi Hadid and Jourdan Dunn. The line includes an array of sequinned, metallic and jewel-toned items such as dresses with plunging necklines, leather jackets and more than one jumpsuit.


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