Thursday, November 17, 2011


Posted by Bethan Holt, Fashion Junior at Large

The amount of hype surrounding Versace's collaboration with H&M has been nothing short of immense. There was the the elaborate launch party in New York last week, posters all over the place and a commercial featuring Donatella herself which has been showing during prime time slots like The X-Factor. The point of all this was quite blatantly to make sure that there would be queues of people lined up this morning to get their hands on a little bit of high street Donatella. The Queue has become a phenomenon of the H&M collaboration story, but The Queue is not a singular thing- it is made up of individuals who all have their own reasons for being a part of it. This morning I went along to the Oxford Circus store, just down the road from the Regent Street opening where Donatella and Lady Gaga made appearances. Despite the lack of celebrity, The Queue still stretched right around the block. I was really interested to find out who was in The Queue and why... I expected a variety of reasons but was completely fascinated by the broad appeal which this collaboration seems to have. Readers, meet The Queue...

1. Hikaru, 24, Works at CyberDog in Camden

Hikaru's J.W Anderson-esque boots are from Japan
'I've been here since 8 this morning. I think the clothes are gorgeous- this will be my first piece of Versace, I love that they're making it accessible. I also came and bought the Lanvin collaboration last year, but I've never queued like this before. I want to buy the black and white zig-zag t-shirt. I look really bad today but I had to get up early to come here, I even dragged my friend along'

2. Joan, 60, Local Authority Commissioner.

'I've come to buy Christmas presents for my daughter and my son's girlfriend- they're both 23/24 but it's a bit OTT for me so I won't be getting anything for myself! My son's girlfriend is at Manchester University and students get to know about these things. I don't know much about Versace, I know the emblem. I didn't get here too early, about 8.40, but my son is up ahead of me in the queue. He's going to buy something for himself. His style is usually quite retro and all this is a bit glittery for him but I think he's going to get a shirt. We're getting the leggings and some jewellery for the girls. I've taken the day off work especially to come!'
Luis in the bomber he hadn't planned to buy
I found Joan with her son, Luis, a bit later. He'd already been allowed in for the menswear and had got himself the bomber jacket 'because everyone was going for it- it was such a cattle rush'. He was waiting to go in again with his Mum to get their hands on the womenswear.

4. Akosua, 21, Freelance Photographer and Brenda, 19, a Footwear Student at Cordwainers.
Akosua (left) and Brenda
 Akosua: 'I thought the commercial was amazing- that completely drew me here. It made me want to get my hands on MY designer piece- I really want the leggings and the bomber jacket. I find most collaborations rubbish- they look so high street but to me this one seems outside the box. It looks like authentic Versace. I know that dress that Liz Hurley wore and the one Jennifer Lopez wore- they're what you think of when you think of Versace and this collection actually looks like that. I really didn't like the Lanvin collaboration'

Brenda: 'I want the leggings and the bomber too. I won't be buying the boots- I've got such high standards with shoes I don't think they'd be right but I'm just excited to be here. We got up at 5 but had loads of stress so didn't get here til 8'

5. Ardy, 38, Head of Jewellery at Phillips Auction House

Former model Ardy
'This is like going back to my roots in the 80s. I was a model in Paris and Versace was everywhere so this is really nostalgic for me. This collection looks really fun but it's also reasonable. I think it's going to be more collectible than your average Versace as well. I used to go to Miami a lot and I would see Gianni around a lot so this is really like going back to my youth and the Versace brand was a big part of that. I think everyone's done so well sleeping out, I wouldn't have done that.'

6. Cornelia, 23, Merchandising student at London College of Fashion

'I wanted to experience the H&M queue. I've lived all over the world in Australia, Thailand, South Africa and have never been anywhere where there's an H&M when these things happen. I'm not mad about the clothes- they're not really my style, it's more about seeing it all. I'm going to get the scarf because then I have something and it'll be a wardrobe staple but I think the clothes will date really quickly. I know a bit about Versace, about Gianni being shot. I think this collection is showing what the brand is all about. My friend is in Switzerland trying to buy it online and it keeps crashing apparently'

7. Tobi, 21, English student at Goldsmiths

 'I heard about this about a month ago and I could see it was like the Classic Versace. I'm really into 90s hip- hop and this has all those classic emblems. I'm really here for the style. I didn't know that much about Versace but I've been learning more recently- it's such a powerhouse. All the clothes are just like what everyone in the hip hop and urban community wears. It reminds me of Biggy Smalls (The Notorious B.I.G) and recently people like Lady Gaga and Kanye West have been bringing it all back. I never usually get up before noon so this is a big thing for me- nobody thought I could do it!'

8. Rhandes, 25, Runs a Fashion Marketing business

 'I just wanted to come along and check it out and take some pictures. I will be buying a few pieces too- I really want the pink dress with stars on. I'm going to buy my husband some shirts too. He's at home sick in bed and he keeps calling me every five minutes to see if I'm in yet. I think Versace clothes are so original and vibrant and vivid. I don't know loads about the brand's history but I'm interested in art and I can see how they use that. My favourite designers are Marc Jacobs and Tom Ford which I guess are a bit different. I tried to queue for the Cavalli collection but that was just too manic'

9. Jay, 20, Business Management Student
 'I love all the H&M collaborations. I completely loved the Lanvin collection. It's not so much about the designer for but the fact that it's in H&M so it's a good price. I have some Prada clothes but I mostly just think of myself as a normal girl who likes to be on trend. I know that if I buy some dresses from the Versace collection then I'll be trendy. I really trust H&M'

10. Leonardo, 23, Italian and Spanish student and Eva, 30, Fashion Design student

Leonardo: 'I always, always come when a new H&M collaboration launches. I was here for Lanvin, Sonia Rykiel... alll of them! I just love fashion and this makes it so accessible. I'm definitely here to buy the name. We've been here since 11 last night. I'd been on the Vogue website and planned everything I wanted to buy- I made a list. I got everything I wanted apart from the boxers so we're off to another store now to find those. My favourite designers are McQueen, Galliano and Marc Jacobs- I just love fashion'
Leonardo was wearing his Lanvin t-shirt (along with McQueen scarf and Vuitton bag)
 Eva: 'I checked the clothes and the fabrics are nasty, so synthetic. But I don't mind that . We buy this high street crap all the time but it's special if it has a designer name on it- the label! I usually despise loud prints but Versace has a way of making me love them'


Everything seems to be sold out now on the H & M site, but as some commenters have said, there's plenty available at inflated prices on ebay. Here's what everyone I spoke to wanted to buy (or had bought)...

Furry waistcoat £39.99

Bomber £69.99

Palm print leggings  £24.99
Pink dress £129.99

Earrings £19.99
From the men's collection...

Black/ White optical illusion jumper £49.99