I figured Hong Kong was the easiest place to fly to for Margiela with H&M.
First of all, no visa required. Second, only 1.5 hours by plane.
I found out from Cher Chui of H&M that four Hong Kong stores would be stocking the collection:
From there I chose a store nearest to a hotel.
I decided to queue at H&M Elements since it is next to the W Hotel.
I have stayed at the Langham Place in Mongkok and while the hotel is OK, I find the area a bit secluded.
I didn’t realize the Ritz-Carlton was right next door to H&M Elements! I should’ve stayed there instead!
It looks lovely. As in this entrance
was literally a few yards away from this queue!
On November 15th, Margiela day, I don’t remember what time I got out of bed. It was awfully dark and I was a zombie.
I showered but didn’t wash my hair. I figured all the people who had stayed overnight to queue wouldn’t notice.
Plus I was afraid to be late.
I ended up in queue around 6:30 AM and found my place among the locals, some of who had been there for maybe 10 hours.
I knew that only the first 280 people would be given shopping passes, in the form of color-coded bands.
I counted the people in line and was relieved I was among the first 200.
Weather was good. I took out my copy of YES! magazine and sat on its plastic cover. I had my baon of gluten-free brownie and bottled water.
A few people tried to cut the line (read: make singit) but there were six cops watching. I don’t understand Chinese, but some of them were allowed and some were not.
I felt bad as I watched a chic Chinese lady arrive in a taxi at 6:30 AM with a bag of McDonald’s takeaway, which she handed to her smiling Asian maid (Filipino?) who had been waiting overnight.
Around 7 AM, some H&M staff came out and handed out fliers with a color-coded schedule, like this
Then all of us got a colored tyvek wristband. I got pink, which meant I could come back and shop for only 10 minutes at 9:50 AM.
With more than two hours to go, I went back to the hotel room where I found Jeroen still in bed. I excitedly told him about the events downstairs.
Jeroen got up and ended up hiking for five hours on the other side of Hong Kong, while I passed time fixing the room and studying the catalogue for which pieces to grab.
I ended up falling asleep at 9 AM—very briefly—before going down again at 9:30 AM.
When I got there, the pink bands were already in line. After 15 minutes, 20 of us were allowed in the second level of the store where a section was dedicated to the special collab.
In ten minutes I grabbed about 10 pieces and went down to the fitting room to try them on. I ended up buying five pieces and was done by 10:30 AM.
I went back to the hotel room to wash my hair, then I went down to the I.T store to see the real Margielas—where one piece costs more than five pieces bought from H&M.
From W Hotel I took the free shuttle to Silvercord at Canton Road and had a quick lunch before lining up again at H&M.
At 1 PM I was inside H&M Silvercord, where there was much more stock and bought more for me and my friends.
I was a happy camper. This was my loot.
After all that, I didn’t need to shop for more clothes. I ended up just buying one more Limi Feu coat at I.T.
Two days later and back in Manila, the Margiela loot is still inside my luggage. I have to take some of them to Kingsmen to chop maybe six inches at the hem as most pieces would fit a six-foot European girl.
So it’s true, the early bird catches the worm. I got everything I wanted except for one pair of faded baggy jeans and a silver candy clutch—but lucky for me, a reader in Shanghai will send me one
Was it worth it? Yes! I had so much fun just being there and lining up with the locals. But there are not many designers I would do this for. Maybe Limi Feu is one, but I doubt that H&M would tap her as not many people know the brand.