When I first started seeing images of the limited edition Hermès-Apple collaboration watch on social media this summer, I was just ho-hum about it. There was no other watch I wanted to get at that point except for a certain signature piece whose name I dared not even whisper since the universe had been overly generous with my wish list (see my last post, for example!) lately. But curiosity got the best of me and I queued up the first day the Hermès-Apple watches were released to the public. I’d snuck out of work to one of the few Apple stores in the world that would be offering this watch and there were already some 20 people ahead of me in line for it. The gal who stood behind me did the math with me, and assuming each person ahead of us took the maximum 2 watches allowed per person, we weren’t quite sure if we were lucky enough to score just the one that we each wanted. Who knew just how limited this edition would be? We weren’t greedy…but we weren’t sure if some of the other fools ahead of us weren’t greedy re-sellers, sigh. The store still had fifteen minutes to go before opening their doors and we were all abuzz with anxiety/excitement:
She and I literally worked ourselves into a frenzy, then texted our respective peeps to let them know the level of our insanity, and kept waiting. Finally, the Apple team came out with their iPads to tame the restless natives (well, perhaps it was just I who was restless as work emails continued to pop up on my phone while the clock was ticking away) and to direct us inside the store a few at a time. Did I say there was a heavy showing of Hermès bags at this event?
When oh when will the ghillies Kelly show up for me? And did I say that my new BFF in line asked to take photos of the bag I was carrying? People, this is how women bond! We may not have found the solution for world peace that day, but it sure felt like we could have saved the world the way we were talking about the miracle of bringing the house Hermès and Apple together. But I digress… Unfortunately, by the time I made it inside the store, I was told that the styles I wanted were actually not available for sale to anyone that day…but that there were samples for me to preview should I decide to stay. WTH. F@$%#$#XXX$#$#$, I screamed in my head. Sure, I’ll wait, I said out loud. WTH!
So imagine an entire two hours wasted that morning on a very hectic Monday for me, only to be turned away. What exactly is the point of making your loyal customers queue up and not have inventory to sell when the store opened? If I had waltzed in at the end of the day and got rejected I would understand. My bad for not showing up earlier. But if the first person who waited perhaps an hour or more before the store opened couldn’t even get the watch, then I do not know how this could bring goodwill to any brand. Then again, we are talking about Hermès and Apple, possibly the two biggest gorillas out there who could easily toy with our emotions and money on a whim. And we’d let them. For a few days. A week even.
Yes, a week. Each day I would make my round of calls to the various NY locations at 6am to see if any inventory had come in. Then around 9am I would call the stores on the west coast. I’d do the rounds again in the afternoon. Day after day I was told they had either sold out or did not receive any new shipment. No, I had not lost my mind. I was merely following the Apple team’s advice on calling each day because if I called when there was one in stock, they would hold it for me until I could show up to pick it up. Or in the case of NY, until my sister could show up to get it for me.
Let’s just say by Thursday I was talking myself out of the damn watch all together. It stopped being fun. The unicorn was slowly turning into a toad. Except this one photo on my phone kept me beating my head against the door. I’d snapped it when I tried it on on Monday, and it kept haunting me:
Finally, the door cracked a little. Maxfield, a quirky (and obviously super connected) boutique on Melrose gave me my first real shot at this unicorn. They told me that if I showed up and prepaid it, I would be guaranteed one. Whenever it showed up, that is. That was about as good of a guarantee as I could get at that point. So that Saturday I drove straight to Beverly Hills and since Maxfield wasn’t open until 11, I decided to kill some time at the Hermès boutiqe on Rodeo Drive…
The store had just opened for the morning so there were quite a few (still) peppy sales associates at the door, ready to welcome
fresh meat new customers. When I mentioned the watch, I was introduced to an Apple specialist. I tried to remain indifferent but I could swear I heard some of the warts falling off my toad. Then when I specified that I was interested in the double tour in etain or the large cuff in fauve, both the sales associate and the specialist smiled. My toad sprouted a horn. You are in luck, they almost said in unison. We just received a shipment of the cuffs late last night. Poof, the toad disappeared. My unicorn had arrived.
This just felt too easy. Redemption, yes. Success, yes. Perhaps not as much of a nail-biter as the delivery at Knokke, but alas, just as exciting! Unicorn hunting is a sickness saved for overly competitive and ridiculously twisted shoppers, but what can I say, I am both competitive and twisted. So that’s one unicorn down, one more to go.
This is the courtyard in front of the Maxfield entrance:
And in front of the main door is where you’d find this enormous statue:
Through that front door I went in to pay for my unicorn and then took delivery of it two weeks later. Let the reveal begin…
My loyal readers know that I have two bags in the etain color and that I went to great lengths to adopt my etain Kelly. So perhaps that explains why I continued the chase as long as I did. Had they not released a strap in etain at all, perhaps I would have sat on the sidelines to see if Hermès would do a round 2 with Apple. Now that my bags have a matching watch, it all (kind of) makes sense.
At least that’s my excuse for the double tour watch. I’m still not sure what my story should be for the cuff…. except that maybe one day I will find a Birkin in the fauve color…
Looks like my next unicorn is a gator.