On Tuesday evening, Chicago-based Kathryn Swartz Rees, who, according to her website, "produces custom print and digital news media content," notified her Twitter followers that she had posted 99 images of the much-anticipated Balmain for H&M collaboration on her Instagram account @kswartz83. The photos showcase apparel, outerwear, footwear and accessories for men and women that fit the Olivier Rousteing aesthetic, including the items worn by Gigi Hadid, Jourdan Dunn and Kendall Jenner in the collection's ad campaign.
In an interview with The Cut, Rees explained how she found the still-life images of the collection, which were not to be released by press until an Oct. 19 embargo. "H&M's site was indexed by Google and I happened to search at the right time using the right parameters," she said over email. "All images were taken from that H&M URL. No surprise, that site is no longer live." Rees was also quick to the tell The Cut that although the images are a "vast majority of the collection," there are more items that will be available (in different colorways, for example) once the collab hits stores on Nov. 5. A rep for H&M provided the following statement:
Images from our Balmain x H&M collaboration have surfaced. We are pleasantly surprised by our fans positive reaction to the collection and we look forward to share more from the #HMBalmaination in the coming weeks.
From a quick sweep of the images we saw on Rees's Instagram, the offerings are pretty much what we expect from Balmain's Olivier Rousteing, in all their beaded and Baroque-like glory, along with a few items that we're already adding to our wish list. (Hello, moto jacket.) It's been a sleepy afternoon in the fashion news world, so we're glad a happenstance-hacker like Rees kept us on our toes today.
UPDATE: Bummer. On Friday afternoon, Rees took to Twitter again to mention that Instagram took down her account. "Working for restoration," she said. Although, we have a feeling we won't see these photos again until Oct. 19.
This article was updated to include a statement from H&M and to mention the disabling of Rees's Instagram account.