The melee inside the VIP shopping party for H&M's new Marni collection.
Last night, H&M hosted an invitation-only shopping event for editors, stylists, and insiders to snap up the collection a day before it launched to the public this morning. While the party was scheduled to start at 7 p.m., the VIPs took a page from the casual fans that lined up this morning for the collection's official launch, forming a queue starting at a little after 5 p.m.
By the time we were let in a little before 7 p.m., the line had wrapped around the block, and there was an absolute frenzy to storm the store and snap up some of the collection's more covetable items. Quick sell-outs included the statement necklaces from the collection (from $39.95 to $49.95) and the polka-dot suiting -- from skirts to cropped jackets. By 7:30 p.m, the majority of the best pieces were gone, and by the time we left the party a little before 8 p.m. the section of the store containing Marni looked like a carcass stripped to the bone -- bare racks and bare shelves everywhere.
Incredibly, the store was re-stocked and ready for shoppers this morning when the store opened to all shoppers at 8 a.m. We actually met the first shopper on line at the Fifth Avenue flagship last night: She had lined up at 8 a.m. on Thursday morning in order to be the first in line, and watched the entire VIP party on Thursday night holding her fold-up chair, ready to get back at the front of the line for this morning. (Racked NY interviewed her and it turns out she's a Russian fashion student.)
According to Racked NY, the line this morning was several hours long, so if you're looking to score pieces from the collection, we'd recommend going late this afternoon (they're already handing out lunchtime slots on 51st), or swinging by a store sometime this weekend, as the store managers told us that folks -- especially those who line up early and buy a ton of pieces -- often return goods in the days following the launch.
Then again, there are already 559 results for a "Marni for H&M" search on eBay, so there's always that option.