After much contemplation, the final shopping list (must-haves are outlined in gold):
Some of these may switch around, depending on what’s still in stock. Fingers crossed that 4AM is early enough; yes, I know my friends and I are insane.
Update: Unfortunately, I didn’t get any of the gold-outlined items above, but I still grabbed some choice items from the collection without breaking my wallet. After the break, a breakdown of events (accompanied with a dash of sleep-deprived delirium):
3.10 AM: Roll out of my apartment to catch a cab to H&M near Union Square. Thankfully, there are plenty of cabs as folks are returning home after last call.
3.25 AM: Get dropped off at the front of the store and walk almost the entire block of O’Farrell. A little worried about the length of the line – looks like there are at least 200 people already waiting. On the bright side, we have Macy’s Christmas display to keep us company.
(Apologies for grainy photos from my 3GS)
3.30 AM: H&M worker (poor guy, probably thinks we’re all insane) comes down the line with the click counter. We ask how many people are in line, and he says less than 200, whew.
4.00 AM: Befriend gals behind us in line, and begin plotting strategy for dividing and conquering the women’s section to ensure successful acquisitions.
5.00 AM: Starbucks is open! Rush to get warm caffeine.
5.30 AM: Cheerful girls from H&M’s PR agency start distributing instant Starbucks Via coffee and snacks to help alleviate our slightly frozen selves.
6.00 AM: T minus 2 hours. Fervently hope that many of the guys ahead of us are just boyfriends who’ve been dragged along for the ride, and aren’t actually going to use their wristbands to buy anything.
7.40 AM: People start packing up their camping gear and stand up so the line shrinks and moves us forward. Fingers crossed.
8.00 AM: Doors open, and line starts funneling into the men’s collection, which is placed right near the entrance. A DJ spins as the usual madness ensues. We hear about Ebay-ers at the front of the line who just scooped handfuls of jackets (especially the one Kanye wore at the VS Fashion Show) into their shopping bags.
8.30 AM: After milling about upstairs, H&M employees direct us to line up around the perimeter of the floor according to our wristband color.
8.45 AM: There’s a commotion as 16 people missed their time slot due to color confusion (there are 3 shades of blue wristbands) and inattention to the rules.
9:30 AM: We’re herded into the holding corral as the group before us shops. Thankfully, we’re at the head of the line and can scope out where items are located. Slightly anxious as we don’t see any of the leather pieces, and then we’re told that they sold out within the first hour, jeebus.
9:45 AM: After watching employees shift the locations of certain pieces, we’re let loose. No running allowed – one of the security guards jokingly (or maybe not so jokingly…) threatens to tackle us if we run in. Everyone power walks to their area of the room, with dresses going the fastest. The studded yellow and pink dresses are half sold out, and luckily Sharon grabs me one of the cut-out sleeve black silk dresses before those disappear, too. There’s only one black double-strap dress left in size 10, so that’s a no-go also.
10:00 AM: After our 15 minutes are up, we’re herded into the cashier area. Lots of people grabbed two sizes of each item, since there wasn’t enough time to try anything on. Overhear a lucky guy who managed to snag a men’s leather jacket that the jackets are already selling for $600+ on eBay.
Aftermath: The Haul
- Black cut-out sleeve silk dress
- Black studded tank top with Greek motif (opted for this rather than the silk cap sleeve top, which was a looser fit than expected)
- Black leggings with studded Greek motif
- Gold shield bracelet
- Pink archive silk scarf – Gifted to mom for her birthday
- Blue & green archive silk scarf – Gifted to mom for her birthday
- Gold diamante chunky ring – Returned since Size M was too large
- Black long silk dress, similar in style to the one above – returned, due to wonky fit