Saturday, November 20, 2010

Lanvin x H&M - The road to a shopping experience from hell is paved with good intentions...

I assume you all are aware that today at 8a a few select H&M store locations made the Lanvin Collection available to shoppers.  Finally here in D.C. we got to experience a designer collection at the F Street NW location.

I had been reading up on this collection since the news broke and when I found out it would be available here I knew I wanted to be a part of the action.  Thankfully Nikkia is always down for the cause so she and I braved concrete beds (not really, we had portable chairs), near freezing temperatures and numb fingers and toes to wait in line for our chance at the coveted collection.  We passed the time by getting to know our line neighbors, a lively bunch of characters who made the experience way better than what I imagined.  It just so happened that one of them worked at that location to help set up the collection so we had great insider tips...cant say they helped much but at no fault of her own, more on that later...we contemplated what we would purchase, talked about beauty products (of course) and checked in on Twitter along the way.

The hours eventually ticked down to minutes and we were pleasantly surprised when H&M gave everyone croissants from the newly open Crumbs Bakery and hot coffee.  Even with no sugar that coffee was a welcome sight and I drank just about all of it.  We were about 22nd and 23rd in the line that was now wrapping around the old Woodward & Lothrop building so we were lucky to get a free Lanvin for H&M totebag which contained a Lanvin scarf.  We also received the golden ticket...our color coded wristband.

H&M made a plan to give everyone in line color coded wristbands which in turn corresponded to the time that you would be able to shop the women's collection (the men's collection was free and open to whomever, no red tape required...) for your 20 minutes in heaven - yes you were only allowed 20 minutes but that was fine.

Doors were set to open at 8a...which came and went - at around 8:05a doors opened and we inched our way to the front of the line thinking ok they are letting the first group in so we are up next, well when we got to the door security just let us in - YAY SCORE!!!  Yeah, not so much...security let EVERYONE in the store, uh, color me confused but I went with it because it was still fairly calm.  So we get in and they direct us to follow this imaginary path of wait instructing that only those with the blue wristbands could continue on to the extra tiny space allotted for shopping the collection.  Ok fine, still calm....oh but if you want to shop elsewhere in the store you can because that is just open.  Meanwhile I hear behind me, just go ahead and let everyone in the store...WHOA WHOA WHOA WHAT?!?!?!

In zero to 60 people began running up the escalator down to the other side of the store, bumrushing past the ONE security guard assigned to keep the peace on the side we were told to stand on, while the other side remained completely unmanned.  Just pure and utter chaos.  After my mind is processing this in slow motion we decide to make our way to the collection undeterred.  The crowd of people were "pushing and shoving, tryna be the next in line, the turn was mine..." (J. Scott) only not so much.  Yes we were next but we couldnt focus on that because we were fixated on the 1st group of shoppers grabbing every box they could fit into their grubby little hands...meanwhile back at the ranch you are only supposed to be grabbing no more than 2 items per piece boo!  So what exactly are you doing?  CLEARLY you are mistaken and/or cant count...So then we all become infuriated.  If you follow me on Twitter you would already know that the security and managers got cursed every which way from Sunday.  Move this way, no go that way, no more people can come in, ok only five at a time, ok now whoever ok I know we told you to wait there and I know you have been standing here patiently but go over there but then I am going to open the gate at the place you were standing all this time.  Why would you make a plan and then choose NOT to follow it?  Why would you create a wristband system with time slots then just let EVERYBODY in the store?  Why would let EVERYBODY in the store and then not have more security to keep the line in check...or the collection area in check...or to monitor how many pieces people were grabbing...I could go on and on.

FINALLY we get let in and beeline it for the lipsticks.  We both got Red, Rose and Hot Pink but everyone must have wanted Burgundy because there was only one left.  Initially we though two because Nikkia had the box and I took the single lipstick with no box...come to find out I had the lippie that went in her box.  LOL  I let her have it in the end because I know she will use it for real and or give it to a loving home whereas it may just sit in my box of giveaway that my family and friends love to raid.  By the time we got in and got a chance to look around everything was just about gone and we were over it.  We got a few other items and then went to check out the men's collection which we just knew would be fully stocked...laughable...they were wiped out too.  And I wasnt paying $70 for a cardigan anyway...OH!  I almost forgot, we wanted the sunglasses so bad...how about they werent even out for purchase.  They had them on the mannequins and in the display windows so you had to put your name on a waiting list and they will call you for pickup.  *blink blink*  Store will open at 7a on Sunday and it is first come, first served so if they call you and you dont get there in time to pick them up then oh well someone else could get the glasses.  Aint that bout a B?!?

In closing, I just feel like if they would have stuck to the original plan and implemented the appropriate processes to follow through with such plan then MAYBE they wouldnt have had to endure the tongue lashings they received.  Anyway, on to the goods:

The Free totebag - Love the flower

The free scarf that came inside the free tote bag

 The shopping bag

 The earrings - they are really heavy but I love them

 The boxed goodies - earrings came in that bigger box
 The lipsticks - Red, Rose & Hot Pink
Lipsticks - uncapped, full frontal beauty

 The swatches - Red, Rose & Hot Pink

All set with my layers!

In all I am happy with my purchases.  I originally wanted all the lipsticks ($9.95 each), the sheer jacket ($59.95), the skirt with the big ruffle/bow on the side ($59.95), the earrings ($19.95), the black shoes ($99) and the sunglasses ($19.95 I think??) - but of course I had to make some concessions either for lack of availability or lack of cash flow.  

Would I do this again?  Sit outside in the cold from 2:15a until 8:05a?  Maybe...I mean this is the second time this year Ive done something of the sort (1st time was running of the brides).  I did it more for the experience than anything else and because of that I did enjoy myself.  And of course I met some great people as I mentioned before - in fact, check them out for yourself when you get a chance - Bianca, The Bag Ladies and there was another friend who had a wicked sense of fashion knowledge and the knack/gift of finding obscure timeless designer pieces for the lowest prices ever heard of.  Her blog was titled something along the lines of The Closet Full Of Someday Clothes but I cant find it.  I hope she does indeed reach out to Nikkia so we can reconnect and go shopping together.  

Did you get to experience Lanvin x H&M?  Tell me about it! 

UPDATE!!!! - Just got a call from the store manager saying my sunglasses are ready and they will hold them for me until 9p this evening.  :) 

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