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.
While September's Alexander Wang "Do Something" fan event was sweaty, boozy, and filled with selfies, last night's launch of the WANGXO collaboration was chilly and brief at best. Fans in the blocks-long line were visibly disappointed as one by one their hopes were dashed.
First and foremost, you could only buy one thing from the collection. Stock at the 103 Grand Street flagship is apparently quite limited. In fact, the sneakers weren't even there. Your only option was to pre-order. And the real kicker? No pictures. No fun-filled selfies at this event. Wang sat by the cash register and signed each shopper's single purchase before they were ushered out to clear room for the line, which was being let inside the store in groups of ten.
Even though the line moved at such a glacial pace, it was still a surprise to see both Wang and The Weeknd drive away after only an hour while half the attendees still waited outside. Those still in line (us included) were giving each other the classic "Now what?" looks, before security let the remainder of the crowd (most had left after the disappearance of the guests of honor) into the store all at once.
One thing was for certain after we walked inside: this was no party. The free mojitos and branded photo booth from last time were replaced by a pretty normal store with a single rack of tee-shirts — all that was left after the night's event. This isn't to say those who made it inside in time didn't have fun. In fact, more often than not they came out giddy, showing those waiting in line Wang's signature as well as their purchase. But they were the lucky ones.