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Unlike some of its competitors, H&M always launches its collaborations on Saturday mornings in the United States. That's both good news and bad news for people who work during the week: It means you don't have to call in sick in order to shop, but it also drastically increases the number of people who will be waiting in line. Here's how to face down the crowds and walk away with your very own piece of palm-tree-print heaven when Versace x H&M debuts this Saturday, November 19.
1.) Get there early. We know: Duh. But H&M's shopping system makes it especially crucial to beat the rush, since they're giving special access to the first 280 women in line. For last year's Lanvin collab, we arrived at the Fifth Avenue flagship an hour before the opening, only to find that there were already around 250 people waiting. So you might want to show up at least 90 minutes in advance just to be safe.
2.) Consider the math. To get early access, you'll need to have a color-coded bracelet. H&M staffers will be handing out bracelets in 14 different colors, with each color corresponding to a time slot. When your time is called, you get 15 minutes to shop. That means that for at least the first three and a half hours, nobody will be allowed in the women's section other than people with bracelets. So if you're not one of the lucky 280, you might as well go home and try again after lunch.
3.) Be a man. Literally. The bracelet rule doesn't apply to those lucky folks with Y chromosomes. Note, however, that while guys will be allowed to shop the men's collection, they will not be admitted into the women's area. Ladies, roping in your best guy friend is not going to help you here.
4.) Know what you want. Whether you're male or female, you're only allowed to purchase two pieces per product. This rule seems designed to thwart eBay resellers, but it's worth noting in case you had plans to buy the same dress for yourself, your mom, and your sister.
5.) Pick your store carefully. The H&M flagship at 51st and Fifth Avenue will be opening an hour early at 8am to accommodate the rush. Other H&Ms carrying the collection include Lexington at 59th, Seventh Avenue at 34th, Fifth Avenue at 18th, Herald Square, Soho, and Lexington at 86th, but as of now all of them seem to be adhering to regular hours.