Over the years, 23 Wall Street has hosted newsworthy shows for Donna Karan and Diesel, but last night, the buzz reached a deafening roar when H&M x Balmain, in case you haven’t heard, held a two-story fashion show in the former J.P. Morgan building. After unforgettable and OTT events for their Versace and Alexander Wang collabs, could the Swedish retailer top themselves? A resounding ja. Things kicked off around 7 p.m., when guests including Diane Kruger, Alexa Chung, Zach Quinto, Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, and Kylie Jenner (with bodyguard in tow) arrived for a cocktail hour (Kylie wasn’t drinking!) before being ushered into an adjacent show space. At 8:25 p.m., a dance troupe warmed up the crowd before Kendall Jenner opened the show; she was followed by Jourdan, Toni, Gigi, Joan, Bella, Alessandra, Joan, Constance, and male mod du moment Jordan Barrett. How nerve-wracking was walking down a staircase with all eyes on you? “Very!” exclaimed Dutch stunner Daphne Groeneveld. “My dress was really tight, so I was a bit scared.” But she loved every minute. “It was super incredible,” she added. “This runway was huge. The lineup of supermodels was insane. It was such an honor to walk with them.” Haitian besties and (relative) runway newcomers Ysaunny Brito and Lineisy Montero echoed Daphne’s sentiment. “It was a really long walk, but I enjoyed it after,” said Montero via Brito, who served as her unofficial translator. Montero would know a thing or two about walking—she appeared in a whopping 68 shows during the Spring ’16 collections. Is that roughly 25 miles? “More!” Brito chimed in. After the last look, the Backstreet Boys stormed the runway, and performed hits like “Backstreet’s Back,” which brought the crowd to its feet. “This is one of my favorite shows to do, because it’s like a giant party,” said Barrett. How did he feel about the return of a Nineties-era boy band? “I’m really young. That was something from when I was like 5 years old,” he said. Ouch. The collection will be available in 250 H&M stores worldwide on November 5.
Got a spare 25 minutes? Watch the entire thing!
Photos: Matteo Prandoni, Ben Rosser, David X Prutting/BFA.com