Racked is no longer publishing. Thank you to everyone who read our work over the years. The archives will remain available here; for new stories, head over to Vox.com, where our staff is covering consumer culture for The Goods by Vox. You can also see what we’re up to by signing up here.
This morning at 8am, the Lanvin x H&M collection officially hits the market. Special correspondent for retail insanity Fawnia Soo Hoo is embedded in the line at H&M's Fifth Avenue flagship on 51st Street; follow along below as she keeps us updated on the state of the line. Heading over yourself? Consult our handy survival guide for maximum buying power.
The line circa 7am
7:00am: Good Lanvin x H&M morning! So there is indeed a line, but it's not a complete monster. There are probably about 250 people here, which means the next 100 still ought to be able to get in with the first wave for semi-private shopping. There's a craft services truck and staffers are handing out croissants and coffee served out of a backpack dispenser.
7:02am Staffers are making their way down the line with wristbands. There are actually a bunch of guys here (lucky bastards) and everyone is pretty well-dressed for a 40 degree morning. Former Kelly Cutrone assistant and man-about-town Andrew Mukamal is here wearing skinny leopard pants.
7:04am: Oh no! Apocalypse is nigh! They ran out of coffee!
7:05am: A guy who just joined the line did some quick recon and discovered that 34th Street only has like 100 people in line.
7:06am: He just hightailed it out of here and down to Herald Square. The guy behind me wants to stay, though, because it's the flagship and the men's floor here is supposed to be the biggest. He has the lookbook printed out and items circled and he's reading to start grabbing.
7:10am: I've seen at least three girls so far in chic black fur coats of various lengths. This isn't your regular H&M line. Forgot to mention the first arrivals told me they started camping out at 4:30am.
7:15am: The line hasn't grown much in the last 15 minutes. I'm curious to find out how other H&Ms are doing.
7:18am: Staffers are handing out the rules now and the guy behind me is like, "I memorized it already." Breaking: Coffee has been replenished.
7:20am: We moved up a bit. Wonder what that means.
7:22am: A guy behind me says, "I've actually never heard of Lanvin, but I'm here for the hype." He probably shouldn't say that too loudly.
7:28am: Wow, this little info sheet really covers it all. I love how the first question is "What do I do if I arrive before opening hours." Answer: If there is a line, please wait in it.
7:32am: We're moving way up the block. What's going on? Did they open early?
7:35am: People are walking out with really cute canvas Lanvin x H&M totes. I think they did open early!
7:37am: OK, now I'm thinking those totes are free gifts because they're small and not filled with puffy one-shoulder dresses like they should be. But how/why did those girls get them. And they just joined the line. How do we get one?
7:40am: Along with real fur, there is a ton of leopard print all up in this line.
7:42am: Oh wow, the coffee backpacks dispense coffee already mixed with milk. Nice touch.
Note the coffee backpack
7:44am: The line has grown by maybe 50 people. The staffers with wristbands have not yet made their way to us, but someone told me earlier that I'm around number 250 or so.
7:46am: A news camera crew is filming the line. We're getting close to Fifth Avenue now.
7:48am: OK, a couple more girls just walked by with totes. Now I'm thinking maybe they did shop and only bought jewelry?
7:49am: Still a mystery. I asked a staffer if they opened already and he said negative. Also there's a construction crew drilling on the street now. Great for everyone's hearing.
7:52am: Ooh! Wristband guy is coming!
7:54am: A staffer is now walking the line explaining that while women are given fifteen minutes to shop, they have as much time as they want to try on. So "shopping" really means "mass grabbing."
A window display
7:57am: They have got to be kidding me. So I got my wristband and my shopping time is 11:40am. Is that even worth a wristband? There is a collective hush of disappointment behind me. Since the guys don't have the same wristband system, they're all leaving the line to head up front.
7:59am: So apparently I can go into the store, just not into the designated Lanvin area. Hopefully I'll at least be able to get photos from my segregated area.
8:00am: I just heard a bunch of screaming from inside the store. I bet it was the guys. Lucky bastards.
We decided to infiltrate the premises. Scenes from inside start right over here.