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At 9am, sale site Soiffer Haskin will open its doors to hundreds of shoppers eager for up to 70% off leather goods, clothing, and scarves from Hermès. Intrepid Racked correspondent Fawnia Soo Hoo is embedded in the crowd as we speak. Watch as the lineblog unfolds below...
8:11am: Good morning! I just arrived and this line is a monster. It starts on 33rd Street almost at Eighth Avenue and stretches across almost to Ninth Avenue. There are breaks in the line to allow for proper entrances and exits, of course. The first girl in line arrived at 5:30am.
8:15am: A couple words of advice for people on their way over: It's supposed to hit 82 later, but it's chilly over here in the shade. Also, I saw a lady with a toddler and from what I remember from the Cole Haan sale, Soiffer Haskin does not allow kids under 12 inside. Not sure if anything has changed.
8:22am: I'm chatting with the lady behind me, and she said on her way here she noticed signs on the PATH train advertising Soiffer Haskin as the permanent home of the Hermès sale going forward. (Or something like that.)
8:24am: Staffers just brought out another set of rope, stanchions, and traffic cones to extend this line further. It's now at B&H and still growing.
8:27am: I see a stroller. If memory serves me correctly, there were quite a few babies at the last Hermès sale. I'm predicting some unhappy ladies come 9ish. If Soiffer Haskin didn't suspend the no-kids rule, they really should tell people. But I guess we'll find out soon either way.
8:30am: A couple skinny-suited no-nonsense security guys just stomped towards the end of the line, which is near Ninth. Disturbance?
Above, the line hits B&H
8:32am: OK, maybe the security guys were just going on a deli run. I went back there to see what's going on, and everything seems peachy.
8:35am The line is moving a little, but I'm not sure why. Maybe they moved some people inside?
8:38am: Line check: Majority female as usual. Lots of cardigans. I see six (not including my own—damn it!) within ten feet of me. Also one Gucci tote and three LVs—two speedies and a tote.
8:40am Moving up again. Not sure why, but at least now I'm closer.
8:43am: Non-security staffers keep walking up and down the line to check on us.
8:44am: One line-goer is watching a video on her iPhone. Genius!
8:45am: We just moved up a lot. Wow, the staff here is on top of things. As our line section moved past the garage entrance, a line-goer stepped back into the line. A staffer came up to me and discreetly asked, "Was she in line before?" Guess they want to nip any line-cutting scuffles in the bud and prevent anything like the last sale's pregnant lady incident.
8:46am: A husband just joined the line (where's the anti-cutting staffer?) and exclaimed, "Hey, this is crazy." At least you're near the entrance, buddy. You could be at Ninth Avenue.
9:01am: A lady behind me is carrying a medium-sized baby blue Birkin and she has a pair of dirty heels in the bag. No shoe bag, not even a plastic Duane Reade bag—nothing. Does she realize what's on NYC streets? And that she's putting it in a $8000 bag?
9:05am: Actually, is a medium Birkin $8000? I'm not sure. Maybe it's a fake. When are they going to let us in? It's 9:05 and cold out here.
9:12am: We're slowly moving towards the entrance.
9:16am: They're slowly letting people in—we just moved up a few feet. A little evil part of me is hoping for some no-baby drama inside, just because this line has been so tame so far.
9:22am: So Birkin lady is wearing a Chanel necklace and her daughter is wearing an Hermès belt and carrying what looks to be a Balenciaga. OMG: What if the Birkin is real? I hate to say it, but this is one time I'm sort of hoping her bag is a fake.
9:24am: Aw, man. We were almost at the first section of the line, and of course they cut the line off at me. And a staffer just came out to tell us that the showroom is "maxed out" and that they'll let people in as others leave.
9:29am: The wait at the end of the line is now two or two-and-a-half hours long. But a nice staffer just let me inside to use the ladies' room, so if anyone is in line and in need of, uh, freshening up, just ask the staffer at the door.
9:32am: Inside, there's a line of about twenty people, a bag check and a coat check, and a sign that does in fact say, "No children under 12 and no strollers allowed." But there was a lady with a toddler waiting in line inside and no one said anything. Maybe they don't want to alienate their core customer?
9:36am: They just let the whole first outside section in, so we're moving up. A staffer just directed us to "head to the next enclosure, please." I feel like an animal being herded about.
9:40am: Birkin lady just dropped her Birkin bag (shoes and all) into the open window of a parked car. It looks like there's a driver waiting in the front seat.
9:43am: Oh man, a garbage truck just pulled up.
9:46am: Staffer is announcing that check-out will probably take an hour or an hour and a half, so "allow yourself a three-hour window." That is some serious commitment.
9:50am: At this point, the wait from the end of the line is THREE hours and there was only one shipment, so no replenishment from yesterday and none going forward.
9:55am: One lady just exited with a small white shopping bag. She's the first one I've seen coming out. At this rate, we'll be here till 5pm.
9:57am: Two shoppers just climbed out of a cab at the main entrance to Soiffer Haskin. Should have had the cabbies drop you off at Ninth Avenue, ladies. Sorry.
10:00am: Someone just came up and asked "Is this line for a job fair?" Honestly, at this point you'd think all New Yorkers would realize a line of this magnitude signals only one thing: Sample sale. Or free stuff, I guess.
10:06am: I've only seen five people exit with bags so far. Painful!
10:14am: Yay! I'm inside and just checked my bag and scarf. I'm cold again. Now we're all waiting to go upstairs.
10:15am: I'm on the stairs now. And it looks like babies are allowed, just sans strollers, which are parked downstairs.
10:16am: Hats need to be checked, too. Leave the fedora at home, folks.
10:18am: A girl with a handkerchief-style LV scarf was just sent back to the coat check. She's like, "But it's Louis Vuitton."
10:20am: I'm in! And only took just shy of two hours. Stay tuned for a full report.
For an exhaustive look at what you'll find inside the sale, head over here.