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At 5:30pm, the brand-new Esprit flagship in Herald Square will hand out 50 wristbands to 50 lucky people, making them eligible for a free outfit of their choosing. Will it be chaos? And why are there naked people in the store's windows? We sent Racked correspondent Cynthia Drescher to find out.
4:57pm: There's at least 100 people already in line. It's obvious that people are saving spots for their friends too. We could have some drama later.
5:00pm: I'm definitely too far back to get the deal, but I'm hoping people don't have the printout. Esprit better have conciliatory gifts, like a 20% off coupon, for this.
5:02pm: People are here in groups of six and stuff so of course me being alone means I'm the weakest spot in the line. But to get the giveaway you have to donate clothes and have the invitation printed out, so I'm hoping some people don't.
5:04pm: Now they are starting to switchback the line without stanchions. This is asking for trouble.
5:05pm: Yep, there are definitely people here who don't know the deal. Just hopped in line cause they heard "free."
5:06pm: People might freak if they find out they have to donate something. I hope Esprit sticks to it.
5:11pm: When the line switchbacked, people were shuffled and now two girls from behind have managed to skip some ten people. Maybe cause they're about 4'5"?
5:14pm: So they've already given out the 50 wristbands.
5:15pm: They're telling people to just go in, try something on, and you'll get a $20 card. But this woman saying this is just some lady, not an official Esprit employee. She's filming the line with her iPhone and she's about 60. A lot of people left at that. Maybe 30. I am sticking it out.
5:21pm: There are girls screaming at the windows where models are undressing. I suppose the male model has just re-bared his abs.
5:26pm: I may just go in. The line has lessened, but I think they have given out the numbers. Still, if you just go in the store right now and try anything on, you get $20 gift card.
5:41pm: Updates: They've definitely given out all the wristbands. People here who weren't in the top 50 are already planning to be here really early tomorrow morning. And the deal with the window displays is that while the models are on break, anyone can change in the front windows.
5:45pm: Every item of clothing here seems to be $70. Sizes SM and LG going wayyy too fast.
The promotion happens again tomorrow at 9am, noon and 5:30—full details plus the print-out invitation can be found