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Rain and gusting winds didn't stop determined New York City shoppers from hitting up Uniqlo this morning to shop the Japanese retailer's highly-anticipated collaboration with French label Lemaire. Racked reporter Kathryn Lindsay arrived at the Soho store a few minutes before the doors opened to find a line of about two dozen shoppers.
Once they were let in promptly at 10am, shoppers followed a black carpet — set up for last night's pre-shopping event for press and VIPs, where one editor noted to us that the red turtlenecks were the hot-ticket item — to the collaboration section of the floor. Lindsay's first thought? "Uh oh I'm gonna buy all of this."
"It's not crazy, but it's bustling," she continued. "Everyone is grabbing the sweaters and sweater dresses...the shelves are already getting a little messy." Luckily , store staff is doing a good job of restocking and organizing, "although most of the sweater sections are torn apart." And as opposed to red, black turtlenecks were the quickest to go here — there's only one size large left out on the rack.
There are short lines both for the fitting rooms and to check out, but employees are keeping things swift here. The only hold-up at the cash register? People are buying a lot of stuff at once.
And while restocking is taking place for now, don't expect to waltz in this weekend and find what you're looking for. "I don't think this collection will be here by tomorrow," a sales associate told Lindsay, "and we have the largest stock in the US. If you want something, buy it now."
Meanwhile, over on Fifth Avenue:
This was the scene at approximately 10:15am, as captured by reporter Linda Yang. She estimates that there's still at least 100 people waiting to get inside, even though the doors have been open since 10am. And since she's hopped in line, at least 50 more people have jumped behind her.
At 10:30am, Yang noted that some of the earlier shoppers were filing out with full shopping bags. So the crowd is moving, but not very quickly.
When she finally made it in, the scene was hectic. "Merino wool skirt craze," she captioned this photo. Shoppers were taking their purchases outside of the collaboration zone to try them on, so it looks as if people are just snatching up product while it's still left. And if you need an indication of how quickly it's going, just look at the mannequins:
"The outerwear is going really fast," despite their being the most expensive items in the collection, Yang reported, adding that "anything that's wool, people are grabbing." And while employees are doing their best to restock, it's not easy with the crowds. "They're pushing out everything as fast as they can, but when they come out with boxes, they're mobbed!"
The size selection has already been diminished. "Most small/mediums are all gone. The picked over leftovers are either extra-small or large," she said.
The early word from Herald Square is that it's the calmest store as all. Yang reports at 11:15 that there are no crowds outside, and the shelves are totally stocked.
This means you'll find the greatest range of styles and sizes, and you won't have to push through crowds to find them.
If you're missing out on the madness today, look forward to Monday: A sales associate at Herald Square told Yang that all three stores will be restocked that day, and that shipment will include styles that were only online today.