Who were those diehards lined up for hours to get the first pick of Marni for H&M, yesterday morning, you ask? What does it take to queue overnight for a designer collaboration? In the wee hours of the morning, I visited five of the Manhattan H&M locations that carry the collection, from Midtown to downtown, to find out. I talked to the determined individuals who secured the coveted No. 1 spot on the cold concrete outside each store. Could I learn from their true grit? Their strategies did have a lot in common: Make yourself comfortable, bring snacks, and of course, have a bathroom plan.
Click through to see what these brave souls were gunning for, and how they got through the night.
Arrived: 2:20 a.m. on the 8th.
What do you do?
"I’m a writer and filmmaker, and an actor."
What did you pack?
"I actually walked by at 11:15 and tried to scope it out, and then I went home and changed and packed some provisions and took a shower and came back. I wanted to make sure I’d have something to sit on, so I brought the largest plastic bag I could find, and a yoga block. And then I brought some ginger-lemon cookies, some M&Ms, some jellybeans, a chicken-and-cheddar sandwich on a hero. I brought a camera, a notepad, some things that I’m writing, a couple books, and I think that’s it. I made sure not to bring any liquids with me, because I was afraid if I had them, I’d drink them. And even though I hadn’t had anything to drink for two hours, and I still had to go pee twice before 4:00 a.m. At 3:30 I had a total crisis of faith, and I thought: 'This is ridiculous. What do clothes really matter, anyway? What’s the real meaning of life? Isn’t it sleep? Shouldn’t you just go home? Just go home now. If you take a cab home to Brooklyn, even if it’s $25, you’ll still save all of the money you would have spent on Marni.' And then I said, 'I’m going to go back, and if somebody else comes, then maybe I’ll stay.' And I came back, but I was still really embarrassed that I’d been here so long and so early, so I sat across the street in front of Guess."
Can you tell me one thing that you’re definitely gunning for?
"The necklaces, the bracelets. That’s more than one thing. I want the black-and-brown leggings. There’s some short silk dresses. The sequined collar that everyone wants."
The pretty detailed shopping instructions posted outside the shop in Soho.
5th Avenue and 51st Street
Arrived: 8:00 a.m. on the 7th.
What do you do?
"I’m a student at FIT."
What did you bring?
"Just a chair, some water, and a blanket. It’s actually not my first time. It’s my third time here in front of the doors. My first one was waiting for Lanvin for H&M, then Versace for H&M, and here I am—Marni for H&M."
So you’re a veteran. You just brought water?
"I mean, when you are waiting for a whole night, you make friends here, so we can hold a spot for a while—for example, go somewhere, grab a coffee, or use the bathroom, you know."
Do you know what pieces you want?
"I will try to focus, not to lose my head inside, but it will be extremely hard. I’m in love with the accessories, like bracelets and necklaces, so we’ll see. I like the white flower necklace. Well, everything’s pretty awesome."
At the 7th Avenue and 34th Street location, first-in-line, Shimpei, shows off the shopping list his mother passed to him.
Arrived: 8 p.m. on the 7th.
What do you do?
"Freelance designer of accessories and ready-to-wear for smaller companies that are just upstarts right now."
Do you know what pieces you specifically want to get?
"Okay. All the jewelry, and there’s this pajama silk set and the dresses. I mean, pretty much everything, honestly."
I see you and your friend have matching pink…are they Snuggies?
"This is a Snuggie. She went home and brought some blankets."
What else did you guys bring to fortify yourselves for the night?
"Snacks. And we’re wearing our Uggs and our comfy wear."