Marni x H&M and just stayed in Malacca, quietly working my arse away while people are rummaging for best buys. Instead, I took a day off to drive to Singapore, and for the first time, queued up in line like some rock concert fanatic waiting for their tickets. Well, maybe I should be categorised as a designer label fanatic then? Because I rarely follow Marni shows and more embarrassingly just knew about the label around 2 years ago. But such a powerful fast fashion big kahoonas like H&M is - they are able to commercialise niche labels like this one, and project the idea of how 'democratic' fashion is by launching this collaboration, so people who are not regular Marni's artful print customers can taste a slice of this high fashion pie. Consequently, I'm sure we are all aware that past H&M collaboration with designers yielded an almost sure-fire successful outcome: all the pieces are sold out within a day, at most.
So when I followed the crowd of eager shoppers (Arman and I came at 11.30 pm), I was not surprised by the fact that already at least a hundred people were lining up before us. And the first in line were the dynamic team Dinie Rahman and Ridhwan Sesapar from Onesixtynotepad, who came to book their spot as early as 12 noon! The queuers were an eclectic mix of students, young professionals and even middle-age ladies, some of whom were seemingly clad in Marni head-to-toe outfit and with a 'real' Marni laser-cut holed totes.
I never imagined that lining up for something big like this is difficult at all, but given the situation that night, I might think twice. We were sitting on the pavement with very little, or no space at all from the next person, my arms and legs get cramps from sleeping in an odd position (yes, I managed to sleep for a bit, but with a lot of fidgeting, tossing and turning). In addition the night shift security was super strict, not allowing people from other part of the line chitchatting with people way at the back, and cumbersomely warned people to stay in line. To top it off, it unexpectedly RAINED later that night. Luckily the management was smart/ generous enough to divide the centipeding line into two so both halves would get an equal shelter. Free bottles of mineral water and loafs of breads were handed out, much to my appreciation.
As it approached a couple of hours prior to its official launch, a group of H&M staff, clad in Marni polka-dot prints t-shirts which were specially made for the staff, were seen walking about and began piling up boxes of accessories, styling the mannequins and arranging the hats. This was when reality began to creep up every body's mind - the collection would launch in less than TWO hours. People started to inch towards the display windows to have a peek at current progress, and perhaps, mentally strategising their moves for the big day.
As time flew by, and the crowd was becoming anticipative of the event, the staff began handing out different-coloured bracelets, dividing customers into groups of thirties. I don't know about previous hyped designer-high street collabs but here the game show-like strategy is quite systematic - to control the flow of customers, those first thirty people will go into the store first, and they had only ten minutes to choose the items, but they must be of one style / colour per piece. So you could not pick two yellow shirts of say, a small and a medium sizes. When the ten minutes were over, the next batch of thirty people will go in, and the previous one would have to head to the check-out counter or to the fitting rooms. This cycle would go on for 14 groups of customers. We were lucky to get the yellow bracelet, which meant that we would be in the FOURTH slot (8.50am to 9.50am).
The groups before us darting towards the racks, and swiftly picking up their items efficiently (this efficiency is supported by two reasons: 1) People had done their analysis prior to shopping and they already knew which colour or what size they wanted, and 2) The sales assistants were so helpful, quickly asking whether they could help or which size the customer preferred. Seeing all this gave me palpitations as I was worried whether there would be anything left of the size / colour of my choice...
But luckily, I managed to grab the items that I have been eyeing, and went back a happy camper...
Continue reading Dunia Fashyon to see what I have acquired from Marni at H&M launch.