The night before the launching of Marni for H+M I had an anxiety dream. I saw myself dashing into the store and grabbing a bunch of items, but by the time I reached the cashier, I realized that they were all in the wrong size. And for some reason the store was no longer H&M but an antique store in Tokyo. I hear that successful leaders and athletes visualize events (and the finish line) before any big event. Me? You might say I do the “visualizing” in my sleep, but usually there are unhappy endings. I woke up and checked my phone. It was only 2a.m. Sigh.
The good thing about being on the road by 5:30am is that there is zero traffic. The bad thing about being on the road by 5:30am is that it’s 5:30am. I arrive at Northpark Mall in Dallas ten minutes before 6 (which makes it barely 4am by my internal clock) and pull up to a very empty parking lot and park next to a car. I get out and motion to the driver inside her car to roll down her window. I ask if she’s also here for Marni. She nods and smiles in relief. We are both happy insanity is not a solo sport. We wait by the mall door and someone lets us inside around 6. It’s dead here except for some mall security and walkers. As we near the H&M door, we see 6 mall cops standing by the roped line. Is it possible that we’re the first to queue up?!?
Sorry the photo is fuzzy from my phone. But I think that’s how everything looks that early in the morning anyway! The cops tell us the line is actually outside another door. Rats! We hustle outside but it’s not too bad. I see lots of men and a few kids in line. I’m not worried about the guys, and surely I can outrun those little children, right? I’m quickly scoping the women to see how many are approximately my size.
It’s not too long till they let us inside the mall, ten at a time, to queue up in front of the store’s entrance.
There are still two hours left to wait, so some of us step out to look for food, restrooms, check out the window display…
or just crash on the floor and see what’s already turning up on eBay:
The DJ shows up to set up, then the manager comes out to read us the rules. All I register is that we’re given 15 minutes to shop and try on clothes. Yes, 15. Then we’re each given color coded wristbands.
Just around 8am the first group is let inside the store. Once you’re inside, there’s another line:
It’s all very efficient and much like a spectator sport. You can watch the first group of athletes grabbing things and dashing to the dressing room while you are counting down their 15 minutes. Someone yells out “5 minutes left” and I see a few shoppers freezing in their tracks like deer caught in a headlight. People in line also shout out things asking about fit and fabric. None of the shoppers want to respond. Except with dirty looks. Stress is not a pretty sight.
So, how did I perform? Let’s examine the evidence and recap.
This cardigan with matching skirt was a favorite of mine based on how they were edited in the look book, but it’s too big and rather dowdy looking if worn alone:
Love these fun tees…
and these cotton polka dotted jackets (cute fit but very snug armholes)…
Love these very typical Marni prints but they are huge on me even in the size 2…
A few more things…
Not everything works on me, and I’m particularly disappointed that these leather panel sweaters are cut too generously:
Don’t think it’s worth the hassle of sending them to alterations, so I’ll try them on again this weekend to see what makes the final cut. H&M is giving us only ten days to do returns so that helps with faster decision-making.
I think I may not have won the gold medal on this day since I didn’t score any accessories except for this hat…
In fact, I was really struggling to even carry all those things to the dressing room. The bulky but cute hangers were weighing me down. When the floor manager called time for my group as I exited from the dressing room, I realized I’d left myself no time to run back out for a second sweep. What a huge amateur mistake. Trying on clothes is for chumps. Just grab then sort while waiting to pay, like what everyone else was doing. Ugh.
Now I know that for the next mad collaboration such as this, I’d better have an anxiety dream where I reach the finish line with the whole collection in my basket. In the right size.