H&M Comme des Garçons Receives Underwhelming Response
The hype was large, but in most cities around the world today where the new Comme des Garçons collection by Rei Kawakubo for H&M launched, the response was lukewarm. Thousands lined up in Tokyo's Harajuko H&M store for the initial launch last weekend, but around the world today it seems that most early line-ups topped off at about 100 people. The general response has been mild compared to previous H&M designer collaborations.
It was less than chaos, more than business as usual as H&M unleashed its collection by cult favourite avant-garde designer Rei Kawakubo of Comme des Garçons Thursday morning at the Swedish chain's flagship on Ste. Catherine St. in Montreal, and around the globe.
"People were decent,'' said Marjorie Dumas, the publicist who handles the H&M account in Montreal, and thus has witnessed the catfights as the Cavalli and other collections have been put on sale.
In Vancouver today, I meandered around the corner to the H&M flagship store at Pacific Centre expecting to look through the windows and see wild shoppers thrashing through the racks and hip checking one another for a last grab at CdG items. But as I approached, I was surprised to find the store quite calm. I entered, wondering if the new collection was hidden somewhere in the back behind a frenzied crowd. But it was right there before me, displayed on a few racks and along the walls in one corner of the store. I scanned casually - most of the remaining pieces were long sleeved shirts, collared dress shirts, one of the trench coat styles, and some menswear items. A handful of shoes left over, and one fedora hat.
I wasn't particularly impressed - most of it looked ill-fitting and made with cheap fabrics - and the only style I picked up to consider was the polka-dot cardigan in black (which I did purchase, for $35). As I wandered through the store, I heard staff complaining to one another that they were "like, way overstaffed."
At the till, the sales girl informed me that people were lined up outside at 4 am. Within 5 minutes of the store opening at 10 am, she said all of the limited edition pieces and accessories were gone and that was the only 'rush' the staff had to endure. The rest of the day, she said, had been pretty boring. This was at 12:30 pm.
It seems that the few hot-ticket items disappeared from most stores within the first 5 minutes of opening - my chat with the Vancouver staff indicated this, and the same thing occurred elsewhere. But after that first 5 minutes of limited-edition item mania, the hype fizzled out pretty quickly.
Personally, I'm now holding my breath for the Alexander McQueen collection for Target. Is it too much to ask to have great, inexpensive clothes that don't scream cheap?
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