my first h&m bunfight!

Back in the day when I was a wee lass, I thought nothing of lining up for ages to get into a club or even spending nights camped outside a stadium to get concert tickets. I don’t quite recall lining up hours before a store opened to get a coveted collection though. But those were different times I guess, not to mention the days of balancing my student budget. If ever I was waiting early at a store, it would have been to get a 2 for 1 special at McDonald’s!

It’s mind blowing how fast these collections sell-out the second they “drop”. From the iconic LVxSupreme to A$APxGuess, it’s more like collaboration chaos! Yep, I know my collabs, thanks in part to my fashion obsessed teenage sons – they can’t remember my birthday but know the exact date & time a new collection is launching.

I’m pretty much beyond waiting hours in line for anything now – my patience and sanity just can’t take it! So when I was flipping through the ErdemxH&M lookbook, I surprised myself by thinking that I might actually try to get my hands on a few pieces. Gawd … how bored must I be to even think of putting myself through that??!! Bored enough apparently. But there were some really pretty pieces and since I had consciously missed out on the Isabel Marant & Balmain collaborations, I thought, what the heck! Maybe it won’t be so bad in Dubai.

So I did my research, found out the collection would be available at both the Dubai Mall & MOE stores and that doors would open at 8am. When I asked the sales assistant what time people might start to arrive based on previous launches, she said about 5/5:30am 😲 yeah … I think not. No H&M collaboration or loss of beauty sleep is worth that. I figured I’d just saunter in about 630/7am and if I got something, great. I set my alarm and told Poss to make sure I was up by the time he was leaving for work. Well you can guess what happened next – my alarm goes off, I kinda motion to Poss that I’m awake and the next thing I know, it’s 645am. At this point, most people would just roll over and go back to sleep, but not me. I had a mission and I was going to see it through dammit! I leapt out of bed, had the fastest shower in history and headed for the metro.

I opted to go to the MOE store as it’s closer and arrived about 7:30am. Surprisingly, the line wasn’t completely insane, maybe about 30 people ahead of me. Silly me thought we’d all be going in together, but we were each given a wrist tag and I was in the 3rd group. I noticed that quite a few people had shopping bags at the ready – that’s clever I thought, not realising they were H&M store totes that were being handed out to everyone in line. Duh! Can you tell this was my first rodeo?

While I knew which pieces I wanted, I didn’t have any strategy per se – rookie mistake. Because once those doors were raised, clothes were flying off the racks faster than the speed of sound, and that was just the first wave! So my basic strategy really should have been to wake up on time.

First to go were the dresses and by the time the 2nd group was in, the racks were looking quite depleted. People were grabbing so much stuff, they couldn’t even fit everything into their shopping bags. As I waited my turn, I started to feel like an excitable teenager surveying the scene and formulating my grab plan for what was left. And grab I did!

I made a beeline for the shoes because I knew my exact size, so at least I’d be leaving with something! Then seeing as the dresses I wanted were all gone, I looked for the skirts & pants I had also been eyeing. Of course there was nothing left in my size, so I grabbed the size up and held on to them for dear life! I thought they might have more stock in the back but nope, everything was on the floor – I just had to hope that the size I was looking for didn’t fit someone and would be put back. So I waited, circling the racks like a vulture, swooping in on any unsuspecting staff with a piece of clothing in hand, eyeballing what size it was. You snooze, you lose – I think I’m getting too old for this.

My perseverance paid off and I finally headed to the fitting room with pieces in the size I wanted & the next size up (just in case). I think the trick next time though is to stalk the fitting room because there was lots of stuff waiting to be put back out but people were grabbing them before they even made it out the door! I myself scored a shirt I wasn’t even looking for while waiting in line. Yay! And it was lucky I took 2 sizes to try on because I was the smaller size in some and bigger in others. Genius!

By 9am I was out the door with my small haul feeling pretty chuffed with myself, albeit a little exhausted and mentally bruised. Not sure if I’d do it again but never say never. There’s a Rag & Bone Star Wars collection dropping soon that’s calling out to my inner geek which even Vader might find hard to resist. Sigh … may the force be with me.


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Ex-expat Dubai Diva wife - still trying to take it all in her stride, one stiletto at a time!

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