Three days after rolling out in the U.S., the Lanvin (Hearts) H&M collection hit stores worldwide on Tuesday, drawing long lines of shoppers from Paris to Tokyo, including many who camped out overnight.
However, chaotic scenes failed to materialize after H&M put in place a new system of color-coded wristbands that allowed customers inside in small groups, making for a more organized experience than for previous designer collaborations.
To ease the wait, H&M staff in Milan served croissants and orange juice to the 250 people queuing up outside the San Babila flagship. In rainy Tokyo, the store teams handed out umbrellas. In Paris, the first 200 shoppers through the doors at the Boulevard Haussmann store were rewarded with a scarf and a canvas tote.
The excitement was palpable in the French capital, as many had been plotting their shopping strategy for weeks.
“As soon as the photos appeared on the Internet, I pounced on them,” said Stéphanie Lucas, a lingerie pattern maker.
On the Champs-Elysées, several hundred shoppers stood penned in behind crowd-control barriers at dawn, ready for the 8 a.m. store opening.
The scene in Tokyo was more subdued than for previous H&M designer collaborations, even though the launch fell on a public holiday. Around 280 customers were waiting outside the Shibuya store in Tokyo before the opening.
Office worker Kaori Kodera and two of her friends arrived late Monday and spent a sleepless night on folding chairs, staving off hunger with potato chips and instant soup. Kodera had her heart set on a pair of leopard-print pumps. “I like the party style,” she said. “I plan to wear the shoes out to clubs.”
H&M spokeswoman Jenni Tapper-Hoel said there has been strong demand for the collection worldwide, noting there was heavy traffic at the company’s online store.
“Some of the more popular garments may have been sold out, but there are still some items left in the stores,” she said.
In Milan, Chantal Berkel, an interior designer from the Netherlands, was among the first in line. “I always come and see the designer capsule collections for H&M, because I want to test their quality,” she said. “I can say that I’m very impressed by this collaboration.”
But architecture student Alex Mohebbi seemed a bit disappointed. “I was expecting more from Lanvin, a brand that I truly adore,” he said.
In London, about 200 people were in line at 8:30 a.m. at the Oxford Circus flagship, including some shoppers who pitched tents on the street the previous evening.
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