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Yesterday, the Christian Louboutin sale welcomed hordes of eager editors; today, it's open to the public—albeit only the select few who managed to get their hands on the RSVP address and respond in time. Racked senior sample sale correspondent Fawnia SooHoo is waiting on 38th Street with the crowds as we speak. Stay tuned as her updates roll in...
8:01am: Good morning! Just arrived and of course there is a line. From what I can see, the line starts at the elevator inside and stretches out into the street.
8:04am: I hear excited conversations from the front of the line. The lady behind me really wants to chat. She said she dropped by Rebecca Minkoff yesterday and didn't find anything she liked. She also doesn't believe me when I told her about the Louboutin pricing posted online yesterday. "But that's what you can find at Saks or eBay!"
8:06am: Chatty lady took off for a smoke break. The girl behind her observes, "She's very talkative. Well, at least you won't get bored."
8:16am: A shopper also in line says she misread her RSVP confirmation and came yesterday instead of her confirmed date, today. She waited for three hours and when she was at the front of the line, staffers refused to let her in. So she's back today. She also heard they were only letting in five or six people at a time, and that staffers don't rush shoppers. Although today is for the general public, so maybe the kid gloves are off.
8:22am: The crowd is a pretty diverse mix of women, plus one man who might want to just wait for his ladyfriend at the Starbucks. Most women opted for practical flats, but I do see a couple pairs of heels. Good luck with that—we'll be here a while.
8:33am: A guy in a suit just walked by and blatantly checked out the ladies in line. If there are any single men in midtown trying to find a high concentration of ladies, this is your spot.
8:37am: A staffer in uniform just came over and asked us not to block the doorway. So now four of us have jammed into the part of the line closer to the entrance. I'm pretty much smashed up against the wall.
8:40am: We're moving! What's going on?
8:41am: Oh, false alarm. They're moving the line to wrap around Eighth Avenue.
8:42am: A staffer is warning everyone that if they're not on the list, they shouldn't both waiting in line. A "forward from a friend" doesn't count. A girl yelled out "Is Alex upstairs?" Her attempt at name-dropping was ignored.
8:44am: Chatty Lady is not RSVP'd and I'm trying to gently beak it to her that they will be strict at the door. She is not taking this well.
8:45am: Chatty Lady just asked me if I can bring a guest, i.e. her. I said I only confirmed for myself. She's on the phone with a friend who told her about the sale and she just pronounced Louboutin "La-boo-teen." Lady, I'm not taking you in with me!
8:47am: It sounds like Chatty Lady is throwing in the towel. The girl behind her is RSVP'd under her friend's name. I've been warned that they're checking IDs at the door, so we'll see how she fares.
8:52am: False alarm—Chatty Lady is still here. She's not giving up. The line has only grown maybe 20-25 people behind me. If the max is six upstairs, it'll be a long wait regardless.
9:02am: Staffers keep shifting the line location. Now we're standing on 38th Street, like ON the street behind those big orange barriers used to designate construction zones. This is worrisome because earlier we witnessed a mail truck violently sideswipe a barrier, knocking it about ten feet. I'm a little worried we're going to be maimed.
9:04am: The girls behind me (Chatty Lady and the Misread My RSVP Confirmation Crew have become friends) are joking that if we're hurt, maybe we can sue Louboutin for shoes.
9:06am: A girl about five people in front of me just asked really loudly, "Where did Chatty Cathy go?" Shhh...she's still here. Don't draw attention to yourself!
9:12am: OK, it's 9:12 now and we still haven't seen any movement.
9:17am: So a staffer just walked out to check on the line, and the Misread My RSVP Confirmation Crew asked him for this mysterious Alex (Alexis?) person. He actually said he would call her! Who is she and what are her Wizard-of-Oz–like powers?
9:20am: We're moving! Closer to the door.
9:23am: Now I'm in the exact same place as where I started. Oh man, and now we have to move back.
9:25am: This staffer needs backup. People are not listening to him as he's yelling at us to move back behind the barrier. He just told us they're letting in 15 at a time. That's better than six!
9:30am: Chatty Lady is back again and everyone is avoiding eye contact with her. Seems like she's trying to sneak in as someone's plus-one.
9:33am: A van just sideswiped a barrier! Not cool.
9:40am: Wait, where did the Misread My Confirmation Girls go? I think the omnipotent Alexis let them in before everybody else. Not fair.
9:45am: Another group was sent in. The staffer just said, "Once you're in, you have 15-20 minutes. Get your shoes and go." That's more like it. But I haven't seen anyone walk out with bags yet.
9:48am: The staffer is cracking under the pressure. A line-goer just alerted him that people are just walking up to the door to line up, ignoring the massive line on the street. His response: "I am watching the front! I know how to do my job!"
9:50am: "Behave, ladies. Come back later—the line dies off in the afternoon," begs the beleaguered staffer. He said they restocked from yesterday. Yes! Oh, looks like he's a comedian now. He just asked a line-waiter, "What size are you? You look like a 7."
10:10am: Uh oh! Girls are getting their claws out already and we're still outside in line. One is contemplating bribing a staffer with a crisp $50.
10:14am: Yes! We are at the entrance. Looking inside, there is still a significant crowd waiting in the vestibule.
10:16am: Several girls have emerged with shopping bags, having bought one pair each. The line goes wild: "Show us what you got!"
10:18am: Necessary update on Chatty Cathy: she never returned from her snack run, so perhaps that was her graceful exit? There is also the possibility that she snuck in with the Misread Confirmation Crew, who were brought in around the line by the mysterious "Alex/Alexis."
10:25am: The line seems to have reached its terminal length. Perhaps 50-75 people are in "the pen" while 30 are absolutely crammed into the vestibule. All still moving very painfully slowly.
10:29am: Yep! The Misread Confirmation Crew did indeed get to jump the line. One of them has already left with a single pair of shoes and this important information: the majority of shoes are priced at $250.
10:35am: We are now approaching the 3-hour mark, and we've only just made it into the vestibule. Two women in front of the elevator just gave up and left! But they were so close! Oh well, more space for the rest of us.
10:40am: There's some smack-talking going on at the front of the line for sure, and one of the girls in front of us is so prepared that she's printed out pictures of the styles she wants. We doubt she'll have time and sanity enough to cross-reference the sheets once she's in the sale though.
10:44am: We may have spotted the Holder of the Name List Clipboard. She stands near the elevator, checking both names and IDs, and it is entirely possible that the two women who "gave up" earlier were actually rejected.
10:50am: Standing in line with strangers for 3 hours means we've made some friends, one of whom points out that the Holder of the Clipboard is wearing her stunna shades indoors. To look cool and authoritative, or just so that she doesn't have to look straight into the eyes of the those she ruthlessly rejects?
10:55am: Now staffers are paging a "Michelle Lee" to come in. Congratulations, Michelle Lee, you are now both admired and loathed by about 80 women.
10:57am: Five women just left the sale with bags full of shoeboxes. There are still 15-20 women in front of us. We overheard a staffer say that some girls who entered the sale earlier this morning still haven't left. What happened to the time limits?
10:59am: And just like that, we've overheard that staffers are going up to put the hammer down on shoppers who've been in the sale since 9am. There can't be that many shoes up there to warrant two hours of trying them on. Or can there?
11:01am: We're officially at the three-hour mark, guys. Thanks for sticking it out with us!
11:05am: Our ID has been checked and we're hopefully in the next group to go up in the elevator. You can almost hear the blood rushing to the heads of the girls around us.
11:13am: Believe it or not, we're actually in the elevator and heading up!
11:14am: First thing you hit inside the sale is not a slew of red soles, but the dreaded bag check. Another small queue.
11:19am: WE. ARE. IN.
11:20am: First impressions: way calmer than we expected. But a huge disappointment is that all shoes are in their boxes, so you have to open each box to see what's inside. They couldn't have done it the Payless way with a single sample on top the pile?
11:22am: Prices have not changed from yesterday, and yes most shoes are $250. Now we have to put down our phone and use both arms to get digging. Expect a full report soon!
Head this way for the full run-down of prices, styles, and local color.