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After a wait of about two and a half hours, our special collaboration correspondent Kenzie Bryant has finally infiltrated the H&M flagship at Fifth Avenue and 51st Street. Stay tuned for updates below.
9:20am: I'm in! There's tons of stuff for men.
9:21am: Women's is sectioned off by a Versace screen, but everything looks orderly behind it.
9:23am: The 9:25 to 9:45am group is being let into the women's section, according to a lady with a bullhorn.
9:25am: A man from another store tried to reuse his wristband here. He was caught and asked to kindly leave.
9:26am: They count down from five minutes to the next shift change. Bullhorns should be outlawed before 10am Saturday mornings.
The women's section
9:27am: Two prominent facial expressions around here: Confused looks from people who don't understand how the wristbands work, and total joy and relief from those just let into the women's section. Not sure what's up with the wristbands? Here's a primer.
9:30am: A staff member who is unreasonably nice given the circumstances just informed me that I can't "camp out" outside the women's area. I am now hiding behind a rack of sweaters.
9:34am: A woman just offered me cash for my wristband—and then rescinded the offer when she saw my late time.
9:35am: The fitting room guy is keeping it calm, cool, and collected. Or he says he is, but I definitely saw him twitching.
9:36am: Biggest purchase so far: $9000.
9:38am: The line outside is down to nil. Staffers are diligent about keeping those without wristbands from hanging around, so there aren't too many in-store lines either. Most people seem to be milling about the store looking unenthusiastically at other clothes.
9:40am: A siren goes off for the five minute warning as the orange wristbands line up. Above, that's the queue for the shift change.
9:51am: A successful changeover means cheers from the crowd.
9:53am: The folks who were in line since about 4pm yesterday are next in rotation. They look a mix of excited and desperately in need of a nap.
9:55am: There are a ton of shopping bags in plain sight. A staffer makes an announcement: If you already have a Versace item, you can GTFO (in so many words.)
10:00am: The guys who were behind me in line said they got everything they wanted minus the black-and-white button-down.
10:01am: The lines to check out aren't too bad. They've clearly prepared for this.
10:06am: Word from inside the fitting room: Take a size larger just in case. The clothes are running small.
10:10am: Leather seems to be the most popular item. Least popular are the accessories.
10:22am: The good news is that there's a bathroom around the corner on 51st Street. Also, post-shopping breakfast. I think it's about time to go home and take a nap.
Stay tuned for a report on the situation at Herald Square, complete with much more in the way of product details, coming up soon.