At 8am on Saturday morning, my friend Susan and I braved the opening day crowds just so we could add a little bit of Stella to our closets. Dressed in our sneakers and jeans, ready for any kind of crazy activity, we stood in a long line that was already around the corner, and halfway down the block. We were discouraged at first but then decided we were already here, we might as well stand in line. Apparently the first people in line were there at 1:30am with sleeping blankets. I guess they really wanted that 20% off discount for the first 200 people. By 10am opening time, the line had made its way full circumference around the block. See all the photos here.
I thought we'd be bored in line but it was really fun. The H&M employees would walk over and scream and make us all yell. Then they passed out TONS of free goodies. I mean TONS! I got H&M playing cards, a notebook, lunch box, fold up bag, and tote bag. All I missed was the cute zip up sewing kit, which is kinda ironic since I'm all about crafts. At 10am the line started moving and soon we began to see line cutters emerge. Susan would not have it. "No, No, No! The line is in the back," she said to the trio of hipster girls who tried to blend in and move with the line while holding their little handbags. "Oh we aren't shopping at H&M," one girl snapped back as they crossed the street. Um, yeah right. It's Sat morning at 10am, where else would you go? For most of the morning it was us and the crazy homeless people. The girls ended up watching the line from the corner across the street. Another girl tried to pretend she was on her cellphone and made her way up in the line as we turned the corner. She really had nerve. A few people were yelling at her including the girl in front of us. "No Cutting!!" She just turned around like she had no idea what we were talking about. I can't even believe she turned around and acknowledged the people yelling at her. Finally up close to the front door, everyone yelled to the security guard and Miss Cellphone Primadonna had to leave under the velvet ropes. Everyone clapped, and laughed at how agro we were. But we had all waited 2 hours in line and we were not going to let anyone get ahead of us! Thank God for some justice in the world!
When we got to the 2nd floor where all the Stella stuff was I couldn't believe my eyes. I didn't even see any clothes but just a swarm of women. A huge sea of grabbing and I didn't even know what they were grabbing at. I walked through into the crowd and was moved by it. People were all around me and as a person who hates crowds, this was my worst nightmare. TV cameras and photographers were all around (very annoying) so I just moved with the crowd and tried to move to the end of it all to catch my breath. Well it turned out I was standing by an empty rolling rack where moments later they were re-stocking all the things. So as the guy put all the clothes on, I'd grab two of whatever from the middle (hoping it was our sizes) and figured we could sort it all later. Some girl behind me was jealous and wanted me to move, but I just stayed there till I couldn't grab anything anymore because my hands were full. I lost Susan for those 20 minutes and then we found each other again. Her experience was even crazier. She found a dress and grabbed the hanger while another girl grabbed the bottom part of the dress from her. Susan says to her, "I have the hanger," and the girl replies, " Well I have the dress," and proceeds to snag it off the hanger from her hands!!!!! After our hands were full, we went around the corner and made a huge pile of all the clothes we snagged. Of course most of them we realized later were way too big, size 12 or 14. You could see other girls, also in pairs, sorting their clothes in piles. A photographer shot a bunch of pictures of them but they were too busy to notice.
We would switch off and go back to the racks to see if there were smaller sizes or if there was anything new coming out. Each time we did rounds, each of us would find a few new things. It was too crowded for dressing rooms so you'd see girls just huddle with piles of clothes by a mirror. We both ended up buying way more and double sizes because we weren't sure if some of the things fit. And we had assurance to return goods till Jan 30th because of the holidays.
One of my prized finds was this tulip dress. I can't believe I snagged it. I also got the skinny jeans I wanted! I got them in blue and grey denim. The fit and design of the clothes is just so amazing. After about an hour of shopping, we were spent. It was like a workout braving the crowds. (I had to take a nap later that afternoon.) Susan heard from the cashier that one girl actually hit her head on the racks and was bleeding because she was pushed by the crowds. Ahh!! My worst nightmare. I hope she's ok. It took about a half hour for us to wait in the long line to pay so we were done finally at around 12:30pm. By then we were tired, hot, and thirsty. When we left there were still people waiting in line to get in. Just about the most insane experience of my life but it was really exhilarating and fun too! And of course the best thing is that we both came out with the Stella goods we wanted.