Netizens cannot stop talking about the collaboration of Sabyasachi x HM, whether it is on Clubhouse, Facebook or Instagram. I have heard many opinions of people deep into the fashion biz, discussing whether they would choose to buy from the collection or not. Surprisingly, there was a strong 50-50 divide with people wanting to buy, and not. The biggest reason for buy was, that they would never be able to afford Sabyasachi at this price and the biggest reason for not buying was not being aware about how sustainable the clothes are and the quality.
Well, whichever way you thought, in the end we all got nothing!
It was 11:00pm for me in the US, while Sabyasachi X HM was all set to launch on August 12th, 2021. I waited for a good 30 minutes to be one of the first to get onto the HM website and shop. I kept refreshing my screen plenty of times to check whether or not as soon as the clock struck 11:00 am IST, they would launch. I was naive to also spend some time prior to the launch, and look at what clothes were available, so as soon as the clothes were out, all I had to do was put it onto my cart.
It was 11:01 that I had all my items in my cart and I even had auto-fill for all my personal details. By 11:02am all items were sold out. Hmm… this got me wondering, and of course I kept trying thinking I stayed up just for this. Lucky enough, the second time it went through till payment and then, MY CARD WAS NOT WORKING. I remembered, I had to block my card a few days prior to that because of fraudulent transactions. So yes, if it was not for that, I would have been able to get it by 11:03am.
It is a Sabyasachi lehenga that I wore as a bride for the most special day of my life, my wedding. And of course, I wanted my hands on these products and there was a huge build up about it in every way on social media. So, what makes me write this today, is my opinion about the entire process and it’s just the way I think about it.
Starting off with what I would have bought from that collection, here are my favorite pieces!
Moving on to the part that’s the real controversy of the entire campaign, where some people made comments about how they felt like the entire launch was a sham, and how it was easier booking a slot for the covid-19 vaccine. Well, as I think of it we cannot blame the customers for this, significantly because of the over-blown and flamboyant campaign they carried out. We spotted plenty of influencers, and some of them are even questionable choices. However, some influencers that wore the “Wanderlust” collection well in my opinion were:
Customers, saw influencers and their social media blow up with photos like these, giving you an opinion that “coming soon” and in a few days you can wear it too. However the reality was quite different. As soon as customers started to notice how nothing was in stock and started to create a big backlash, which lasted for a few days until Sabyasachi responded to it on his Instagram page by saying:
I want to focus on a few interesting things in this message, where Sabyasachi’s statement says there were no VIP previews and no exceptions. Well, when customers see 100’s of influencers wearing the clothes they want to buy, and celebrities stepping out in the latest collection it does not match this statement even closely. We saw Alia Bhatt, an Indian actress wearing a kaftan top from their latest collection and I felt like it did not seem fair to make a statement of that sort. Also, not such a fan of the Madonna comment either. Does it really give the end consumer a sense of how this was carried out without any hierarchy?
That being said, there were some inside sources that shared with us how most of the influencers on the campaign were not getting paid for the posts on social media. And that is why you have people saying #suppliedby on their posts. Nevertheless, the hardest part for customers to fathom was the marketing on social media for days after the collection was sold out. That is the part that I didn’t understand, because it felt like advertising non-existent products. And, guess what, they still continue to promote it on social media, despite having no products to sell. That seems beneath the quality of HM and Sabyasachi as we know it.
To add, they also had very interesting marketing strategy calling it “BIG LOVE” and sharing photos of gay and lesbian couples, and a way to say this is for all? I guess?
Unfortunately, in the end this only seemed like a campaign for A list celebrities, influencers and the brands themselves, because 99% of the people it was marketed to, ended up with nothing. After I ran all these thoughts through my mind, I thought to myself whether I wanted to buy something or not, it didn’t matter since they are unable to sell products, and still continue to market them like they exist!
All my opinions
Road Dress Travelled x