After months of buildup and hype and previews and parties, Versace for H&M finally hit the sales racks in stores across the world yesterday. And as you might imagine, things got a little out of control.
It's not like H&M wasn't prepared: in light of the chaos the Missoni for Target debut caused this summer, the retail chain anticipated the crushing mobs of shoppers and released a set of ground rules for shopping the collection upon its London and New York debuts. Fashionista obtained a copy of the guidelines, which include a color-coded bracelet system:
The first 280 in line will receive one of 14 different colored bracelets, 20 people for each bracelet color. On the bracelet you will be given a specific time for shopping in our designated area. The bracelets are only needed for our women’s collection. Customers buying the men’s collection will not require a bracelet. When your time slot arrives, you will enter the designated area to shop for 15 minutes...
To make sure as many customers as possible are able to buy from the Versace for H&M collection, we have a shopping limit. Every customer can buy from the entire collection, but with a limit of purchasing a maximum of two pieces per product, ie not more than two sizes (shoes/garments) or pieces (accessories) per product per customer.
But the set of rules didn't quell the determination of some shoppers to get their hands on the brightly colored clothes by any means possible.
In Dubai and Beijing, local stores sold completely out of the collection in 30 minutes, the Daily Mail reports.Things even turned violent in Hong Kong, where two security guards were hospitalized after a woman they accused of cutting a 300-person line left and returned with two beefy men, who beat the guards and fled. Ladies! Let's not send people to the hospital over clothes, okay?
Here in New York, where the collection went on sale at 8 a.m., conditions appeared busy but not as frenzied. Racked reports that a line had already formed at 4:30 a.m.; one woman had been waiting in line for a staggering 22 hours. One opportunist tried to sell a jacket inside the store for $250, rather than wait to try to unload it on eBay.
The H&M website crashed in the UK as shoppers rushed to scoop pieces up online, and items are already popping up for exorbitant prices on eBay. At press time, someone was proffering a Versace for H&M handbag for $369; a black leather jacket was going for $560, comparable to prices for actual Versace merchandise.
As fashion lovers, we get the excitement over budget designer wear, but please, world: let's not send everything into chaos for a leather jacket.
Check out our slideshow below of the Versace for H&M lookbook to see the clothes that are unleashing frenzy at stores across the world.