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When Uniqlo launched +J, its sleek collaboration with Jil Sander, back in October, we showed up to find the Broadway sidewalk swarming with fashionable men (and a few ladies.) The +J spring collection debuts today, but conditions are a little bit less favorable for a line: It's cold, and the doors open at 8am instead of 10am this time. Racked correspondent Fawnia Soo Hoo investigates the scene, below.
7:12am: Good morning! There is a small line gathered already. The first in line arrived at 6:20am and there are two people who brought folding chairs behind him. Surprised they don't have a space heater, too.
7:15am: Also, Uniqlo set up rope and stanchion on the sidewalk across from the store, leaving room for foot traffic as if the sidewalks are clogged this early. But it should come in handy later in the day.
7:16am: I'm pretty sure that three ladies in line are wearing Uniqlo puffies. One more just joined the line.
7:17am: A nice staffer just came out and handed people in line look books with pricing. We can take the next 45 minutes to work out a game plan. One more puffy jacket (male this time) just joined the line.
7:23am: Outerwear, coats and jackets are $49 to $149.50; shirts $39.50; dresses $49.50 to $99.50, knitwear $29.50 to $129.50. There are also a bunch of items, notably most of the outerwear, designated "Available from March," which better be a typo. Guess we'll find out.
7:27am: The crowd is more mixed than the last time, meaning that there are way more women. Still a lot of size small guys, though.
7:28am: OMG! I ran into my friends from last time!
7:45am: They're speculating as to why the line is smaller this time, aside from the weather. They think it Uniqlo issued an extra large size, that would help.
7:48am: Staffer just said "About 15 more minutes. ABOUT."
7:49am: There's lots of movement inside the store, too. They have us lining up over a subway grate, so there is this upward draft. Not to mention I have this irrational fear that it will collapse.
7:53am: The line is pretty manageable so I'm hoping that we'll all be able to go in. Seven minutes, according to a staffer.
7:54am: The line-goers with chairs have them all packed up and are ready to move quickly.
7:56am: Since most of the outerwear and the black dress aren't available until March, I'm curious what's inside.
7:58am: There are a few staffers (sans coats! Put on a puffy coat, people!) standing outside the store. Maybe it's almost time.
7:59am: Staffer just took a pic of us in line. Now I know how it feels.
8:00am: Some lady was just escorted out of a big black van (line neighbor caught the plates) and inside the store. Maybe an executive?
8:01am: There are maybe 60 or 70 people here, all told. Oooh! Now we get to follow the staffer in!
8:02am: They're counting us.
8:04am: In! Warmth!