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Club Monaco opens its famous sample sale to the public for the first time ever at 9am today. Will it be a mob scene? Will we really, truly find the $15 dresses of legend inside? Fawnia Soo Hoo reports live from the scene below.
8:43am: Good morning! Just got to Club Monaco and there's already a huge line. It's currently about 70-ish people and steadily growing. There was an employee sale yesterday (which apparently opened to the public in the afternoon. Sneaky!) One note for people coming: Bring photo ID to check in at the security desk, along with your credit card.
8:52am: 90s-era New York clubbers may remember this building as the Tunnel of Party Monster fame. Now it's full of fashion offices and a 'Wichcraft. Not a bad reincarnation, really.
8:54am: The line is full of trendy business-casual employees from other offices in the building. Or so I gather from all the girls who are only carrying their Blackberries and wallets.
8:59am: I can't even see the end of the line now. It snakes around at least two of the corridor corners of the eighth floor. Word is that nothing costs over $35 inside and accessories start at one little dollar. Guess everyone got the memo.
9:01am: Oh! The line is moving. Very timely. I doubt I'll get in with the first group, though.
9:02am: And nope. Line stopped. But I moved forward about 30 feet and am closer to the final corner that leads to the front of the sale.
9:11am: A man who I'm assuming is security (he's wearing a suit) just walked the line to survey the scene. His expression was one of irritated disbelief. We inched forward a bit, by the way. I'm hoping I'm in by 9:20am. Wishful thinking?
9:13am: Oh, I can see the swanky eighth floor employee cafe from here. It's so chic!
9:16am: I think a couple girls just gave up. "I am literally disgusting," one says as they walk off. Did I mention that the hallways aren't really ventilated or air-conditioned? Although there is a slight breeze from the cafe that picks up whenever an office door opens.
9:17am: Oh no wait, actually the breeze is just the guy next to me fanning himself with a Metro.
9:19am: OK, poll time. I see a bunch of girls in super cute printed shorts, like ikat short-shorts or a mid-thigh-length pair of bloomers. Appropriate office-wear or no? Either way, they're adorable.
9:22am: First toddler sighting! Yes, the mom is going to make the child wait in this stuffy hallway.
9:30am: I'm about 30 people from the front and there have to be about a hundred people or more behind me. Insanity.
9:31am: No need to call Child Services. The mom threw in the towel and is taking the kid home.
9:35am: Wait, no, not the case. They just went to the cafe to get the kid some chips. And now they're heading back to the line. Which just moved like half a foot!
A view of the line circa 9:39am
9:40am: I just realized that the line does a U-turn around the hallway cul-de-sac at the back. People keep walking up to the line and immediately leaving after they realize it's not moving.
9:43am: Finally just saw two guys walking out with big shopping bags. Not too many people exiting. Club Monaco needs to pull a Christian Louboutin and dictate that people shop in 20-minute increments.
9:50am: Some people are walking straight in. I assume they're Club Monaco employees. I do kind of hate the guy who just walked up, proclaimed "This is nuts," and strolled right into the sale.
9:53am: So close! There are a few girls by the elevator carrying large, stuffed shopping bags. I think for every person leaving the sale, there are five joining the line.
9:55am: Some lady just walked up and asked if we were in line for the sale. What else would we be doing standing in this soupy hallway behind the sign that says "Club Monaco Sample Sale"? The end of the line is that way, ma'am.
9:58am: I hear that if you enter the line now, the wait will be one to two hours. Considering I've been here almost 1.5, I'd say that's an ambitious estimate.
10:00am: Apparently there's a "one in, one out" policy. Brutal.
10:03am: The security staffer suggests that people come back at 1pm.
10:04am: I'm in! What a mess. Report coming soon...
Above, a glimpse inside the sale.