Like many a fashionista, I was overly excited to be at Soho's own H&M Thursday November 10th for the launch of the Stella McCartney for H&M collection. I woke up early, assuming (as New Yorkers do) that there would be a slight line, and the H&M staff would allow people in gradually. Having missed my 9 o'clock goal by about 5 minutes, i strolled up to the store at 9:05 to find a line extending almost to the corner-I must have been about 60th in line. Not seeing this as a red flag, I waited the hour with the rest of the fashion addicts in line, as girls did at EVERY H&M in Manhattan.
10:00 November 10th is my hour of woe. Instead of allowing the line to file in (My suggestion, you ask? Allow 10 people in at a time, and allow each person only one of each item), the H&M employees allowed the line-and anyone who happened past the door at that moment-to huddle in. What ensued was utter debauchery. Grown woman-supposedly dignified fashion lovers-crowded in, pushing, pinching, hair-pulling and acting generally frenzied. Cat-fights and spitting matches. Women grabbing everything they could and running-except you couldn't actually move as it was a mass of people, shelving and clothing.
In the mayhem, as I reached for the trench coat I so desired (yes, I ranked the pieces I wanted-more on that later) another girl shoved me from behind, lurching for the same trench-the last small available. As she tried to jar the hanger from me, the rack above came crashing down, hitting my head. Needless to say, I let her have the coat. The thing is, I wasn't alone. In the store down the block, the mannequins were ripped apart and dismantled for their clothes. At 51st street, women ran to the merchants like rabid dogs, hunting their prey. Rumors circulated about people pulling knives and fist-fights. And I remind you, we are talking about clothes.
As I checked out the lone dress I managed to salvage from the mess, I asked the cashier why hadn't I seen the zip jacket and jumpsuit I had wanted? Turns out the only store to carry the entire collection was 51st street-not only did I wait and almost get a concussion, but I wasn't even where I should have been. If I had not had a massive tangle of humanity envelope me, I still wouldn't have had a chance to get what I wanted.
Next time, I am just going to pay double and shop from home on eBay. I would rather get only a couple pieces-the ones i absolutely adore-than get a massive pile of clothing and a head wound.