Racked is no longer publishing. Thank you to everyone who read our work over the years. The archives will remain available here; for new stories, head over to Vox.com, where our staff is covering consumer culture for The Goods by Vox. You can also see what we’re up to by signing up here.
The onslaught of March sales continues with 3.1 Phillip Lim in the Garment District. Proceeds from the sample sale go to benefit tsunami relief, but the Lim camp hasn't publicized prices, so we're very curious about what we'll find inside. The size of the crowd is another mystery—3.1 Phillip Lim sales are rare, so this one might draw a serious crowd. Fresh off her Hermès adventures, Fawnia Soo Hoo reports live from the scene, where doors open at 10am.
9:21am: Good morning! I just arrived at the 3.1 Phillip Lim sale and a line (well, more like a "J") has formed in the lobby.
9:25am: The first guy arrived at 8am, and I'd say there are about 20-25 people here. Not sure what they plan to do once the line stops looking like a "J" and turns into a "U." There's already some fast talking going on. The girl who arrived right after me told the staffer that she knows someone, and he let her up. I also overheard the first arrival say that another "in" group was let up earlier, too. Shoot—I should have walked in like I work here and taken the elevator up.
9:27am: The staffer is asking new arrivals to wait in line outside, although with the door opening and closing constantly (people do have to go to work, after all), it's just as cold inside.
9:30am: This staffer is clearly a neophyte sample sale enforcer. He asked a pair of ladies to wait outside and the girls weren't having any of it. "But we're small," said one with a steely stare. So he totally gave in and asked the rest of us to squeeze so they can fit! Now he really has to have people wait outside. I'm hearing a bit more forcefulness in his voice. You can do it, staffer guy! Don't let them break you!
9:33am: I can already tell that this crowd is going to go nuts inside—no holds barred. Everyone has their game faces ready. It's for charity, people! What happened to brotherly goodwill? In other news, the first arrival is now bragging that he showed up at the YSL sale at 4am. Beat that.
9:37am: Crap. I just saw Joanna Hillman of Harper's Bazaar exit. That means all the VIPs are up there and we'll be left with the discards. Game face is on.
The crowd in the lobby circa 9:39am
9:40am: They're letting us up now! Line is moving!
9:41am: And the line stopped. Elevator is full, I presume.
9:45am: Suspicion confirmed: The staffer just told someone that this is his first sample sale. He seems to be getting the hang of it, though. He just kicked a line-cutter out. And at some point someone gave him a walkie-talkie, which has really added to his authority. Still, I have nicknamed him Newbie.
9:47am: Moving again!
9:49am: Newbie just donned a parka and skull cap, which definitely gave him more bouncer street cred.
9:50am: Now I'm panicking that nothing is left. About 20 people went up already and no one has come down. Definitely curious about the pricing.
9:51am: Waiting for the elevator now!
9:52am: Damn, made the mistake of entering the elevator first. That means I'll be the last of this group in.
9:54am: Oh man, what a tease. We're in line outside the showroom on the 17th floor. I can hear music and shuffling from inside.
9:55am: Bag check.
10:01am: There's a lot in here. Tons of clothes, a good amount of bags and shoes too. Full report soon!
Update: We're putting the finishing touches on a detailed post with photos, prices, and a close look at the selection. In the meantime, here's a quick look at the price list.
Update 2: At long last, here's the highly-detailed report.