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If you thought the lines for the Lanvin x H&M collab were long and the frenzy insane in the States and Europe, then just wait until you hear the following tale from the front lines of the launch in Hong Kong. Racked tipster Allison writes:
After longingly following your Lanvin H&M stateside reports, I decided to give it a go here in Hong Kong. I braved the chaos knowing full-well that is was pretty likely there would be nothing in my size even if I got in, but as a long-time veteran of NYC sales, was curious to see how things would play out here. Seems it was a much different story than NYC. The attached pics show the essential plot points. Got there at 6:40am (opened at 8). There were all sorts of barricades set up and people in sleeping bags. This was my first sign I might not be getting in. The line snaked up a side street, up flight of stairs and down another long street.
On my quest to find the end of the line I did manage to spot the "wristband girl," who was not wearing anything that said H&M on it, or had any kind of clue that she worked there. So even though I was pretty sure my eventual spot in line was past the 320 mark, I decided to wait and see. It was a gorgeous sunny morning which is about the only thing HK has over NY in this case. As it turns out, I was 326 in line. The girl handed the last 2 cards to people a few feet in front of me and then just kept on walking. No apologies, no information. NOTHING. So random. And, since this is Hong Kong, everyone around was talking on their phones (in Cantonese) so there was no one with whom to commiserate or get any kind of clarity.
It still wasn't 8am yet, so I decided to stick it out until they opened and see if I could stalk some cast-offs once inside. A few minutes before opening, another girl (also not wearing anything H&M but a bit more official looking and bilingual) came along and told us all that we could shop the mens or come back after 12.
I went in but got nothing. All in all I noticed quite a few differences from NYC, and not just that Alber wasn't lurking nearby:
· There was no lovely H&M coffee man like in NYC. No free Starbucks like in CA. Nothing but lots and lots of security guards, steel barricades and dirty looks.
· There were no goodie bags for the first 100 people in line. Not even sure how they would have determined who those people were. The whole front of the store looked like a big sit-in, with people on the ground, trash everywhere and general chaos.
· The appointment times were only 10 minutes!! There was a lady with a bull-horn, waving around a sign with enctrance times on it?full-on Norma Rae style.
· You could only buy ONE of any item. Not two.
· They "cleverly" put the Lanvin roped off area in the corner where the dressing room was, so there was no chance to snag discards form other people.
· Which really didn't matter because everyone was just buying everything they could get their hands on. The crowd was at least 1/3 male and almost everyone had print-outs in their hands of the collection. And sale hoarding is taken to new extremes here. Women were literally having trouble walking with all their loot, piling it in corners, etc.
I left emptyhanded and not at all sad about it. Because if I've learned anything over the last few months of living here, it's that HK is surprisingly small. And I know I'm going to be really tired of seeing those one-shoulder ruffle and tulle frocks by next week.
Okay, wow. Thank you Allison for braving the front lines and convincing us to make a personal note to never be in Hong Kong during collaboration launches (especially if we want to get our hands on some).
· Lanvin for H&M [Racked National]
· Rain, Sleeping in Cars: It's Lanvin-Insanity West Coast Style [Racked NY]