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The fashion-obsessed were up bright and early on Friday for Day One of the Just Comme des Garçons New York Market Market, which ends today.

The event, last held in 2011, gives shoppers the chance to buy some Comme des Garçons history, with this year’s merch including runway and archival wares from the past seven to eight years. Also up for grabs are pieces from Junya Watanabe, Junya Watanabe Man, Comme des Garçons Comme des Garçons and Black Comme des Garçons.

This story first appeared in the May 13, 2013 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

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With prices marked up to 70 percent off, the sale unsurprisingly solicited a huge first-day crowd. By 9:45 a.m., 15 minutes before the slated opening, the sun-drenched line stretched the entire block on 30th Street, even snaking around to Sixth Avenue. The scene also attracted quite a few rubberneckers expecting to find a major celebrity at the center of the gathering.

Comme des Garçons’ Rei Kawakubo, though not a red-carpet regular, is every bit a celebrity in her own right — especially to those who had camped out for hours. “I was here at 3:30 a.m. to be first in line,” said Justin Min, an editor at Pop Sugar. “I took the day off from work. I really want some of the plaid shirts that they dripped in ink. I’m not really into the crazy pieces. The proportions don’t work for me.”

The crowd was filled with both wide-eyed newbies and lifetime fanatics. Jiyoun Chung, a senior at Parsons, gushed over her first Comme des Garçons purchase — a black draped dress to wear to her commencement ceremony. “I had multiple dresses over there, but I couldn’t buy everything,” said Chung, showing off her early graduation present to herself.

Nearby, self-described “walking art” and longtime CDG fan Victor Pump styled himself in his latest loot: a red tartan blazer and clashing yellow pants. “I think this outfit together is just like, ‘Let me supersize my fries,’” Pump said of his colorful ensemble. “I’m definitely going to wear this to McDonald’s.”

Surveying the controlled chaos, jewelry designer Suzanne Golden neatly summed up the allure of the sale — and the brand itself. “I came to be with the crowds and the excitement. It’s an event,” Golden noted. “I’m a devoted fan. The style just suits me because it’s very individual. You can take three people and we’ll all wear it individually.” To prove her point, Golden showed up in head-to-toe Comme des Garcons — socks included. “I mean, who’s going to look like this today?” she asked. “If Kawakubo made underwear, I’d buy that also.” With that, she made her way to a rack of shredded tops and leather skirts.


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