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After reading Racked NY's coverage of the tamer-than-expected Isabel Marant x H&M release, we rolled up to the Powell Street H&M at 7:40am expecting a relatively civilized scene. What we found was a line wrapping around the block, and a group of die-hard shoppers who had been in line since 7 and 9pm the night before, making New York's 1am early bird look like an amateur (or slightly more clear-headed). By 7:45am, six groups of wristbands had been distributed, and at the back of the line, we were given a yellow wristband for 10:05 AM entry.
At 8am the doors opened, and everyone who had a wristband—regardless of the color—was let inside, where we could shop the men's and children's collections, but not the women's. Women's was barricaded off and the wristband groupings were being strictly enforced. The first group of shoppers really stocked up. In fact, we saw those first-in-line early birds proceed to check-out with five full bags of merch, plus multiple shoeboxes and items on hangers. (You can probably expect to see all of that on eBay in a few hours!)
The real surprise was the men's. Open to anyone with a wristband starting at 8am, the XS and S sizes were completely wiped out by 8:15am. We found at least 10 women at mirrors scattered throughout the store trying on men's items—and frankly, they looked great. Women were also (smartly) pillaging the unisex items like scarves.
Thinking of running over there right now to shop the men's? Not so fast. By 8:30am the mens stock had been demolished, and we were told by staff that it would not be restocked, except for the peacoats. The women's, on the other hand, was indeed being restocked after every group, and we saw staff pushing rolling rack after rolling rack of additional merch out to the floor even as we took off. We were also told that there's a basket full of wristbands left, so women – it's not too late to go grab one if you want to shop this afternoon. --Mallory Farrugia