M A R N I in D E N V E R
So the internet and fashion world were buzzing about the latest collaboration between high design and high street, Marni for H&M, for quite some time.
The last designer collab for H&M was Versace a couple of months ago, when Denver opened their first H&M store. I missed that collection entirely. Now that H&M has broken in its retail stride in the 5280, they are slated for two more openings. Rumors have it that Cherry Creek and Flat Irons malls are the next hotspots for H&M.
Back to my story. Marni for H&M. This was huge excitement for me folks. Marni is super expensive, and in fact, the Nordstrom in Cherry Creek has an exclusive contract to sell their collection here in Denver. If you are a fan or interested, you can go and check out the full price stuff there if you are in Colorado. So what or who is Marni? Launched in 1994, the Milanese designer, Consuelo Castiglioni debuted a collection that, “created an avant-garde spirit balancing exceptionally-crafted ready-to-wear with a complete line of accessories. Consuelo’s modern approach to materials and silhouette, juxtaposing color, exclusive prints and textures has resulted in a new, unique form of functionality.” (Per the official Marni website.)
Marni’s approach and exclusivity, “Marni’s distribution strategy targets a selective, niche clientele,” makes it all the more attractive for fashion fiends. So you can imagine the hullabaloo that ensued when it was announced that they were the next collaboration with the high street fashion retailer H&M. Cut to Thursday, March 8, 2012, Denver Pavilions location. Yes I had it in my calendar, but I was not about to be one of those crazy people sleeping on the sidewalk all night. I took a relatively calm, rational approach to the whole thing. Sure I have been in a line or two outside Target on Thanksgiving night for Black Friday- not aiming to get any deals, but more so to join in on the social phenomena with the rest of the crowd, but this was the first major event I ever stood in line for, actually anxious, excited, and ready to buy.
I had classes that day, at 9:30, so I thought it would be perfect to go early, H&M opened at 8:00 am, and see what I could before heading back to school. I got there around 7:45 and there was a tiny cluster of fashion forward folks already in line. A couple of security guards stood near the door. I had been following the buzz on Twitter, from the pre-launch for editors in NYC, to the fashion student who spent 24 hours in line, to the tweets of empty racks and madness happening across Manhattan. I was banking on the fact that it was chilly, Marni is still not widely known, thank goodness, unlike Versace or Gucci’s popularity due to hip hop tunes, there’s that exclusivity thing again, and I hadn’t heard much buzz in the media here on it. I was right. No news crews, means smaller lines, less crowds of idiots who don’t even know why they’re waiting in a line in the first place.
Racked had reported ahead of time several stories which were super helpful including, the 50 piece Marni for H&M collection so you could be a smart shopper and know what you want before you even get in the doors- hey what a concept! In fact, there was a gentleman at the head of line, giddily holding his print out and chatting with his girlfriends on the pieces he was headed for. They had also done a write up on HOW and WHERE to shop the Marni madness.
In NYC there were bracelets handed out, and shoppers who had a bracelet would shop the Marni racks for 10 minutes, 25 persons at a time, and then the next group of bracelets and so on and so forth. In Denver, there were not large crowds, I was in the second set of 25 to shop, so bracelets weren’t necessary. Sadly though, I did not get my hands on one of the bold, chunky plastic necklaces I had circled in my mind. The first group had snatched up ALL the necklaces, and most everything of the rest of the accessories. That was not fair, because when i was checking out and asked about it, in Denver, they did not limit the quantity of items per person, where they had done so in other cities. One lady had commented that they were probably going to sell them on Ebay or something. Sad. Someone who really wants to have the item, at the cost and wear it, and there’s still CREEPS out there who are just there to make a profit.
I was super calm, even taking pictures of the room and racks, watching how people were shopping, grabbing one of everything, eyes wide open, walking like zombies. Quite a sight for sociologists I would say. I was told photos weren’t allowed so I put my phone away. I had grabbed the dress I wanted, in a couple of sizes, and I even found a pair of the sandal heels in my size; luckily I have a big foot, size 10. I grabbed a pair of sunnies, and a pair of the earrings. There were two sets- one was super goddy and cheesy looking (red and green plastic leaves with huge black velvet bows- yuck) but the pair I grabbed were slightly more discrete, smaller, with yellow leaves, no bows and a black faux gem. So I had grabbed a cardigan and a short sleeved green sweater with a ruffle down the front and I made my way to the dressing rooms.
I saw a lady, crouched on the ground near a mirror hovering over her back packed with accessories. I glanced at her opening one of the coveted necklaces I had aimed to get, and said with a burst of joy, “Oh you got one of the necklaces! Where did you find it?!” She gave me the ugliest glare and snapped, “They’re all gone.” I’m pretty sure that was not my question, but okay….BEWARE: These events can probe cattiness.
Oh well, back to my treasures. I calmly made my way to a dressing room and took my time trying on all my goodies. I finally decided on the dress I had came in for, the heels, the sunnies, the earrings, and one neck scarf. I left the green sweater and cardi behind and was so glad I did. There were so many girls in the dressing room trying it on and girls in line buying the same items that I was glad I chose other pieces. I am glad that the pieces I bought were unique, iconic Marni, the platform sandal heels, and the silk dress with print, yet classic. I would tire of the sweaters and they would rarely get worn. The shoes can be worn with socks or bare feet, the dress can be worn alone or with a cardi and tights in cooler temps. I shopped wisely, and kept a budget; I did not go hog wild like some. You know what, I stood behind a woman like that- she had FOUR jam packed bags, and you know what, I felt sorry for her. Where is she going to find time to wear all of that Marni? Did it even fit her well or look good? Was she personally shopping for others? Was she filling an empty void? Weird… Bottom line for these sorts of things: buy what you love, buy what you’ll wear, buy it ONLY if it looks good and FITS well. Exactly what the editors of Racked said! This was the article I opened up in my e-mail box upon returning to class, “Marni for H&M on a $200 Budget: Here’s What Racked Editors Are Snagging From Today’s Launch.” Funny, I had bought these same items! Thinking like a fashion editor…NICE!
I left with a prance and a smile on my face. I grabbed a coffee at Ink and made it to class on time. What a day! What a morning! What a high! Until the next time…there’s rumors it’s Marc Jacobs…shhhh…..