I decided that today would be a good day to go out and buy those pants I’ve been eying for a week at H&M so I can wear them with my white v-neck shirt and lovely Aldo shoes for the Boytech show at The Social tonight. I also thought it would be a good idea to get there early because I knew that the crowds were going to be in full force for the launch of the Comme des Garcons H&M collection. I arrived at around 10:45am and God knows why I decided to use the front entrance instead of entering through the mall because I almost got stomped on by shoppers huddled in the corner eager to get their hands on the designer pieces.
I quickly went to the other side to grab the pants, which, of course, were not available in my size so I sized up. I started observing the crowd and thought to myself, “wait a minute, barely anyone knows about Comme des Garcons (except the Japanese of course), so why are they all mad over this stuff?” Yes, many Japanese people were grabbing pieces, but people who I think took time off work (people between 25-40) were getting their hands on a collection that well, isn’t all it’s cracked out to be. I saw the previews and some pieces were great but I didn’t see any of those pieces on the rack, nor did I see any pieces that were must haves. Maybe they were all gone but seriously, it was 11am and the collection launched at 10am, where did they go? They weren’t all gone, they were simply in the hands of the shoppers – like dozens of pieces in each person’s hands. There wasn’t even that many pieces in the whole collection!
I heard one security say to another, “they are insane!” I noticed that people were grabbing pieces just to have them (such as a plain navy shirt à la American Apparel), and then I saw various people (mostly men) leave the store with almost 6 bags stocked with Comme des Garcons stuff. There were also people huddled near the change rooms exchanging pieces with strangers in order to get the right size or piece. I was flabbergasted.
I spoke to a few employees and some shared my view about the collaboration. One employee said that half these people don’t even know the designer, they just read all the press and well since it’s an H&M designer collaboration, let’s go nuts. I wonder what it was like when the Karl Lagerfeld or Roberto Cavalli line launched. I’m sure that was way worse.
My question: Are people going to go this nuts when Alexander McQueen collaborates with Target?
My advice: do not attempt to go to H&M when a designer collaboration launches, or even on a Saturday (if you must go to the one on Queen Street West, it’s less busy).