Lines…. I despise them and have a hard time justifying spending my time in them when I could be doing something more valuable with that time. However, there are always exceptions and this past weekend I chose to partake in an adventure like none I had ever experienced in my life. I joined fashion enthusiasts from all over Chicago and nearby states to be one of the first to get our hands on designer Versace pieces at very reasonable prices.
Saturday morning (November 19, 2011) at 8am, H&M opened it’s doors to fashion followers awaiting the much anticipated Versace launch. Guests lined up long before the official 8am opening. Some folks were there as early as 1 o’clock in the afternoon the day prior (Friday, November 18, 2011). For months, I had this date on my calendar waiting in excitement for the day to finally arrive. Never having participated in an event like this in the past, I was not too sure what to expect. Trying to plan ahead I contacted friends who had previous experience for some tips.
The best advice I was given: Get there EARLY if you want a wristband, dress warm, and pack snacks. My alarm went off at 1am, I hopped in the shower, and threw on several layers of clothes ready to brave the cold for hours. I arrived at H&M on Michigan Avenue just before 2am to a line full of people waiting with chairs, blankets, boxes, etc. There were about 90 people already lined-up and they were prepared. I made my way to the back with only my purse and a few key items inside – some 5-hour energy and a couple of flasks – no snacks, no chair, no blanket… this was definitely going to be interesting.
I sat on the cold ground and within less than ten minutes my backside was cold and sore. Thank goodness for the next patron to get in line who came with a blanket large enough for two to sit and was more than willing to share. Quickly we became friends along with the fellow in front of us who clearly planned ahead with survival kit in hand – lots of layers, chair, blanket, a book, refreshments including a bottle of vodka, and noise/confetti poppers to celebrate the special occassion. The three of us quickly bonded over our common love for fashion and shared an equal level of energy and enthusiasm while most people in line chose to sleep. I was glad I sat next to such friendly fun folks since none of my friends decided to brave the cold with me.
As time wore on, though, I began to feel the cold and started to wonder if I was actually going to make it through the entire night when to my suprise, a special friend showed up with a blanket and hot chocolate in hand and then decided to keep me company through the night. How lucky for me! Around 5am, Starbucks also passed out gratis coffee and croissants courtesy of H&M.
To keep from getting too cold and bored, we all took turns scoping out the line viewing the masses of people slumped over in chairs, curling up in cardboard boxes beneath blankets, and watching the clock anxiously awaiting morning to get a wristband. People came from all over Chicago, Indiana, Minnesota, and other neighboring states. The night went by surprisingly fast in such great, fun company and finally it was time….. just after 7am wristbands were passed out to the first 240 people in line with groups of 20 in each time slot from 8am until about 1pm. We made it into the 10am group which meant almost three more hours to wait, but at least most of it was inside.
Huge props to H&M store and security staff for doing an incredibly phenomenal job of keeping everyone organized and preventing any incidents from occuring. The Versace for women was set-up in the back of the store and was roped off so only the designated group could shop at once. The men’s line was on the thrid floor and no wristband was needed to shop but you had to wait in line up there for your turn. Several passers-by stopped in thinking they would just be able to shop the Versace line completely oblivious to the fact that people waited in line ALL night for this experience. By the looks on their faces and their reluctance to walk away when they were told they must wait til 1pm to shop, they clearly didn’t get it. One woman even tried to pass off a fake wristband but security was on it and had her quickly escorted out of the store. From start to finish it was a smooth operation.
Finally 10am arrived and it was my turn to shop… I was so excited but I was also so delirious from lack of sleep. I had my eye on a few key items – mostly leggings and jewelry. The one item I wanted the most wasn’t what I expected – the fur vest – which worked out fine because there was only one left in a size too small for me during my shopping spree. I grabbed my items and a few extra for friends, tried a few things on, then headed to the register. It was almost noon and time for me to head home and catch some z’s! All-in-all, it was a positive and fun experience for me. Would I do it again??? Hmmmm…. probably only if it were a designer that I am head-over-heels crazy about. Otherwise, I would choose sleep and shelter.
Did you attend the Versace for H&M launch in Chicago or another city? What was your experience like? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or comment on this post to let us know.