Racked is no longer publishing. Thank you to everyone who read our work over the years. The archives will remain available here; for new stories, head over to Vox.com, where our staff is covering consumer culture for The Goods by Vox. You can also see what we’re up to by signing up here.
This Saturday, the country was a witness to the near-apocalyptic Lanvin x H&M collaboration launch which took place at selected H&Ms across the country. While New York was besieged by Twitter rumors and an incognito Alber Elbaz safely hiding out in a Town Car to observe the madness, our fearless West Coast correspondent, Christianna Ablahad, took an early morning drive to experience the retail insanity at the San Diego mall H&M locale.
No, it's not a candlelight vigil, but it's some serious dedication for Lanvin x H&M
5:30am: I start driving to H&M. In the dark.
6:05am: Arrive at the mall after driving into the parking structure, prematurely congratulating myself when I see no cars, then remember the H&M is on the second level, where people of the logical variety parked.
6:07am: Walk up and see a line of approximately 100 people and curse the unexpected Lanvin obsession that’s taken hold of laidback San Diegans.
6:08am: Wait. Those are French people in front of me. OK, I feel better now.
6:40am: Another 20 people have formed behind me.
6:48am: Starbucks sets up in front of H&M and they come around taking orders and handing out free coffee! Wow! Feeling the solidarity now.
The sun begins to rise
6:52am: A cool girl next to me suggests I ask the people at the front of the line how long they’ve been waiting.
6:53am: Answer (behind blood-shot eyes): since midnight! And they had to dodge mall security and sleep in their cars for a bit, since you’re not allowed to be on the premises at that time.
6:55am: It starts to rain on our H&M parade!
7:00am: Starts raining harder.
7:11am: People are walking around with Lanvin canvas tote bags with red fabric flowers attached! What are they, prizes?
Cute, right? They're already on eBay
7:13am: Find out the totes are for the first 100 people in line. I’m not sure I made the cut-off, so I keep anxiously peering over to see if anything’s coming my way.
7:18am: The wristbands are coming! And bins with the tote bags!
7:22am: I got my purple wristband, meaning I could come back and shop at 9:25am-9:40am, and the second to the last tote bag, meaning I was 99th in line. Tote bag was in canvas with cute graphic on front, a mag and pink wool Lanvin for H&M scarf inside!
7:25am: Head back to my car to attempt to sleep for two hours. Fail.
8:30am: Ask Twitter follower who had a wristband with earlier shopping time about inventory. Answer: All of the accessories are gone already! Damn.
9:15am: I walk inside H&M to wait in line for my wristband color’s group turn and notice there is only one rack left with four dresses.
The remnants of the collection once we were inside
9:17am: A salesperson appears from behind the blocked off area with one Lanvin lipstick and announces, “I have a lipstick!” and places it on the top of the rack. Someone in the roped-off line emits a half-hearted, “Yay.”
9:24am: My group finally gets the go-ahead in and the first two girls grab all four dresses!
9:25am: Everything’s gone, gone!
9:30am: Dejected, I head to the fitting room where strategic shoppers are waiting for go-backs.
9:35am: One girl comes out and decides against the bronze ruffled number, so I grab it, even though it’s too big (that’s what tailoring is for), and head straight to the register.
· NYPD Busts the H&M Stabbing Rumor Currently Burning Up Twitter [RNY]
· Lanvin (Hearts) H&M's Shopping Frenzy [WWD, subscription only]