NEW YORK — Nordstrom rolled out the skin-toned colored carpet for Kim Kardashian West as Skims Solutionwear made its debut in the department store Wednesday.
The reality star revealed on social media only hours before that she would be in the New York flagship that morning at 11:30 a.m., just in time for her shapewear’s arrival in stores.
But the crowds started lining up even before the store opened at 10 a.m. — some as early as 2:30 in the morning.
That’s because the first 50 people were promised a photo with the star. (Anyone could buy products — while supplies last.)
By 11 a.m. the entire fifth floor of Nordstrom was blocked off with eager fans pushing and shoving, cell phones placed firmly in hands ready to go. Even more fans waited on the floor below, a line extending the length of the store.
It wasn’t until noon, however, a half hour after Kardashian West’s scheduled appearance, that gong-like bells started playing overhead. Five minutes later — still no sight of the reality star — the crowd started chanting. “Kimberly! Kimberly! Kimberly?”
Not long after the fashion show began, with models of all shapes, sizes, skin tones and ages walking the runway, donning Skims. They ended on an elevated platform — also pale skin tone in color — mixing in among real-life mannequins dressed in the products.
About two dozen models ended up on stage — some even pouring over to the floor area below — effortlessly blending in among the actual mannequins. The models stood that way for about five minutes, unflinching or moving under the sweltering store lights and cell-phone camera flashes. None of them batted an eyelash. But still no Kardashian West.
Fifteen minutes later one of the models walked offstage, her back glistening with sweat and her Skims soaked through. A few fans started leaving, too, also claiming sickness. But still no Kardashian West.
Finally, as security was barely able to contain the crowd, the star appeared. She walked up on the stage and posed among her models briefly before addressing the crowd.
“Thank you so much for coming,” said Kardashian West, who was dressed in a skin-tone-colored bodysuit with baggy pants of the same color. “It’s a dream come true to be in Nordstrom. Hopefully you can see all of our beautiful models, modeling some of our shapewear that we’ll have available now in Nordstrom. I’m so excited that everyone gets to feel and try on and experience what Skims is all about. And it’s because of you guys that our brand is what it is today.”
The arrival at Nordstrom marks the first time the shapewear, which Kardashian West launched in September, is available in a brick-and-mortar retailer. Previously, the brand could only be found at skims.com.
And now might be a good time for Kardashian West to make her debut in physical retail. Because clearly there is a demand. Several collections were rumored to sell out within minutes of launching online.
Back at Nordstrom on Wednesday, security could barely contain the screaming crowd as people knocked over ropes and shoved others.
After her brief speech, the influencer moved closer to the crowd, greeting fans and posing for selfies, as she made her way to the skin-tone-color step-and-repeat. Kanye West quietly slipped in through a side door. But it didn’t take long for fans to notice — or start chanting his name either.
“We love you Kanye,” one yelled from the crowd.
Shortly after, security asked fans to sign releases for an upcoming Netflix documentary that includes Kardashian West, although they were tight-lipped about the details.
As for the rest of the audience, they were able to stand behind a roped-off area and watch Kardashian West with the lucky 50 fans.