Saturday, November 20, 2010

Lanvin for H&M - How to Survive.

this season's new "it" bag
Today's the big day; after several months of epic promotion Lanvin for H&M has hit the stores. Here in NYC, hundreds of people have lined up, many overnight to be among the first to get their hands on the highly anticipated collection. 

Those of us who have braved these frenzied launches in the past know it can be a harrowing experience (I was nearly killed in a stampede at Commes Des Garcons in 2008!), so here are some tips that should help you get out alive.

The H&M website has published a tutorial detailing the rules they have setup to try to control the crowd. Basically, it goes like this: 

  • The first 320 shoppers in line will be split into 16 groups of 20. 
  • Each group gets a different color bracelet with a corresponding time slot and will be allowed into the store at the designated time, to shop for 15 minutes. 
  • There's no queue system for men. (tip: some of the men's items are unisex enough to work for women, so don't overlook them)
  • There is a two-item maximum per product
  • After the first 320 are finished shopping, the doors will open for the rest of the public. Do the math here - 16 groups at 15 minutes each works out to 4 hours of waiting minimum.
Just like sample sales, there are a few basic other tips to consider in order to score the most stuff.
  • Wear something comfortable that you can quickly throw the clothes over, such as leggings and a thin top. Wear shoes you can quickly kick off and step into, without wasting time lacing up. Don't wear belts or jewelry because they will just get in your way
  • Ditch the purse if possible. You really just need id, your credit card, phone and keys. Remember that H&M does not take American Express!
  • "Discarded" items can be your best scores! Don't overlook the stuff thrown on the floor of the dressing rooms, the staff won't have time to restock during the frenzy. 
  • Be nice to your fellow shoppers, if they change their mind about something, they may pass it off to you. Be even nicer to the staff, they are totally miserable right now. By commiserating with them, you can get the inside scoop on any plans to restock or they might hook you up.
  • Gather first, edit later.
  • Eat something before you go. Low blood sugar is not your friend in this situation.
  • A few days after the first opening, people often return things they didn't have time to try on or think about carefully, so its worth going back for a second look.

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