If you think three is a crowd, try standing in line for Jimmy Choo for H&M

*yawn* I got up at 4.30am, people. To go to my favorite H&M store, crossing my fingers on the way there that there woulnd’t be too long a line.

As it turns out, there wasn’t a line at all: about 35 people were just standing messily in front of the doors, blocking the sidewalk and leaving not much room for late comers to line up behind them.

... and here I was thinking Swiss people were organized

When I suggested that we stand more tidily and wrap around the corner, so that we could get the wristbands in the right sequence and avoid having Security make us move to let people through, I was told: “nice idea, but that’s not the culture here” – whatever that means.

The result was, of course, that when the staff came out to hand out the wristbands at 7am, we were told to line up single file, and all hell broke lose. People started coming from the back to the front on both sides, pushing the ones ahead of them together in the middle, and it no longer mattered that some of us had gotten up before dawn. Great. After 20 minutes stuck inside a crazy mob scene where none of us even had enough space to take a deep breath (let alone take photos, sorry), I got a wristband with my shopping time: 10-10.10am. I could see many people who had gotten there much later than me walk away with earlier times, but I kept my temper in check. Let karma kick their ass, I’m not risking my place in line ;-)

A little frustrated, I found the only Starbucks open at 7.30am and headed there for a refuel and a bathroom break. Then I returned to the store, figuring I could check out the clothes until it was my time to shop. Right. Once again, people were standing in front of the door. I swear, they are such dorks.

H&M at Bahnhofstrasse 92, 8am

H&M at Bahnhofstrasse 92, 8am

The scene wasn’t much better at the other H&M:

H&M at Bahnhostrasse 71, 8.05am

H&M at Bahnhostrasse 71, 8.05am

Not a big deal, because I wasn’t interested in the clothes anyway. Let someone else go through the push, shove and squash experience. I waited in the back and walked in calmly, but once again, it was a mess. People everywhere, climbing up both escalators and filling the.entire.second.floor.

I managed to secure a corner by the only window near the accessory area, which had been fenced off, with a security guard on every side, some of them looking a little scared (so they should be, this was only going to get crazier!) and most of the staff nicely lined up, wearing cute bright blue tees with silver lettering. The first 160 customers were all wearing armbands of 8 different colors, each with 10 minutes of time to shop, after which the staff had 5 minutes to restock the shelves and tidy up the space to get ready for the next group (see the first group here).

The cool thing: they had plenty of merchandise, so by the time my group (#5) was up, there was still lots to shop.

The uncool thing: unlike what I had read on the web, the rule was that each customer could buy one item per model and per size, so there were people buying the shoes in 3-4 sizes, many of them planning no doubt to put them on eBay. Some may have been buying for friends, but I’m pretty sure many were not.

I had a set budget, so I could only get one pair of shoes and one other item. I was going to get the belt but up close I didn’t love it: too many studs, too shiny. Too much sparkle, like the costume jewelry that I didn’t even consider buying or some of the pieces from the clothing collection. I bought the wide studded leather cuff instead – and of course, the shoes. I wish I could have gotten two pairs, but I’m happy I scored my faves in my size:

Seattle strappy platform sandal in black patent leather and wide studded leather cuff

Seattle strappy platform sandal in black patent leather and wide studded leather cuff

I also grabbed two items for a girl who had accosted me earlier and asked very nicely, and headed out. As I approached the fence, people started grabbing my arms and making requests. I said “I’m sorry, I’m already getting stuff for someone else” but they kept asking and grabbing. Little sleep, standing in the cold and being squished and pushed around for the past few hours started catching up with me and my head started spinning a little. I looked at the security guard and asked him to please let me out, hurried to the cashier to pay for my stuff and hightailed it out of there.
My first thought: Finally, air!!
My second: Score!!
My third: Next time I am totally showing up at least an hour earlier ;-)

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  • http://www.theobnoxioussahm.com Obnoxious SAHM

    That is INSANE wow!! Great documentation though ;) I tweeted this out for ya. (love ya girlfriend)
    – df
    D’Obnoxious SAHMmy
    .-= Obnoxious SAHM´s last blog ..Was I Ever This Annoying?! =-.

  • http://parentingwithducttape.com AmyAnne

    Wow. I don’t know shoes from jack, but those things are simply beautiful. Just looking at them brings out the girl in me.

    You are a better woman than I am. I can’t stand waiting in lines for anything. Then you add the lovely crowd you describe and I’d be outta’ there. Pushy unorganized jerks!
    .-= AmyAnne´s last blog ..Baby Torture – Washing The Blanky =-.

  • http://mymessyparadise.com LZ

    Beautiful find! You are a dedicated shopper – I expected no less enthusiasm from you!
    I agree – great documentation. I feel like I was there. And wish I was…
    .-= LZ´s last blog ..Friday the 13th =-.

  • http://www.suburbanmatron.com Becky

    That is CRAZY, girl! And those are gorgeous! Lucky you!

    Who knew shopping could be a contact sport?
    .-= Becky´s last blog ..Sentimental Journey: Santa Cruz =-.

  • http://quesosuizo.blogspot.com Amanda

    I’m so glad you got the shoes you wanted – and survived that madness! Did you even get to try them on first? Were they true to size? I go between 37 and 38 in European sizes – and the lack of 1/2 sizes really gets on my nerves. I miss buying good old size 7 shoes and having them fit perfectly!

    Thanks for sharing your experience!
    .-= Amanda´s last blog ..Fun with Art =-.

  • http://tracey-justanothermommyblog.blogspot.com/ tracey

    I hate to even ask, but what did they cost? And what would they have cost at a regular price?

    I’m happy you’re happy. I cannot imagine waiting in line for shoes, but I know you love them, so that’s all that matters.

    Also, it’s awesome to see a mob scene in a different language…
    .-= tracey´s last blog ..Excuses, excuses… =-.

  • http://somethingaboutnothingandmore.blogspot.com/ bluetulip

    I love it when a “fashion” plan comes together. An event like that needs a good strategy & tactics, and you certainly had that. I wish I was there with you, as I am “shoe whore”.
    I am soooooooo excited for you .. :-)
    .-= bluetulip´s last blog ..Climbing the Sydney Harbour Bridge =-.

  • http://cutiebootycakes.blogspot.com Renee

    SCORE!! Good for you. I can’t even imagine what the scene is/was like in New York. You were lucky I think. New Yorkers are crazy!

  • http://ifevolutionworks.com Nancy@ifevolutionworks.com

    Completely insane.

    Did you get me a pair?
    .-= Nancy@ifevolutionworks.com´s last blog ..An Earfull =-.

  • Maria

    Come lavorare in questo negozio?

  • http://www.mamistimeout.com jai

    I’m glad you scored your fave find. Funny how some cultures are so different that something as simple as standing in line is laughed at. At least you got what you set out for! And no one got hurt. :)

  • http://www.napwarden.com Nap Warden

    Girl you are hard core. I saw that line at the Chicago H&M and said NO WAY. Love the cuff though…well done!
    .-= Nap Warden´s last blog ..2012 =-.

  • http://blog.helpmamaremote.com/ Nicole @ Help! Mama Remote…

    Wow! Now that’s an adventure. The shoes are HOT! Starbucks my favorite now I call that all worth it. Starbucks & shoes who could ask for more.
    .-= Nicole @ Help! Mama Remote…´s last blog ..King of the Jungle =-.

  • http://www.brilliantsulk.com/ Amanda

    Oh those shoes are amazing! I would look fantastic in them while I clean out the cat box. Gosh, I wish I had known H&M was carrying them. See how hip I am? A few years back I had the pleasure of drinking the CEO of J.Choo under the table. He was no match for me.
    .-= Amanda´s last blog ..Meet Simon. He’s Super Cool =-.

  • http://www.jbandme.com Sara

    WOW! That is crazy. I can’t believe the people there. I can get a visual of people grabbing your arms to get product for them. That is crazy! I am glad you were able to get something. That bracelet is amazing. Great post! Great visuals!

  • http://mwaonline.blogspot.com Mwa

    I LOVE that shoe. But is it even possible to stand up in it?
    .-= Mwa´s last blog ..Tourist in my own country =-.

  • http://www.pajamasandcoffee.com/ marymac

    um, i can borrow, yes?! size 7 1/2 but ugh my feet are wide so i don’t wanna stretch em out, damn,
    you GO girl- your are the Shoe QUEEN!
    xoxo
    and thanks for the Pajamas and Coffee LOVE!
    back atcha!
    .-= marymac´s last blog ..A Best Friend =-.

  • http://www.everydaycelebrating.com Michelle@Everyday Celebrating

    girl! Those shoes are SMOKIN’!!!!! hot stuff! Worth the craziness!
    .-= Michelle@Everyday Celebrating´s last blog ..Print it yourself – fun holiday child’s decorations =-.

  • http://circleoflifeblog.blogspot.com Multi-Tasking Mommy

    Wow, you’re dedicated to your shoes. I wouldn’t have been caught dead lining up like that for anything really!
    .-= Multi-Tasking Mommy´s last blog ..An Interview with Veach =-.

  • http://www.loulousviews.blogspot.com Loukia

    LOVE them! Yay, you!
    .-= Loukia´s last blog ..Wish list =-.

  • http://www.loulousviews.blogspot.com Loukia

    I tagged you in a meme Elisa… hope you’ll play along! :)
    .-= Loukia´s last blog ..Time for a meme! =-.

  • http://julochka.blogspot.com/ julochka

    hmmm, i didn’t know people would wait in line for these. i saw a ton of them last week in oslo, just sitting there, waiting to be bought. i saw that they were jimmy choos, but it was H&M, who knew they were something special? kinda makes me wish i was going back.

    but i’m glad you got the ones you wanted! :-)
    .-= julochka´s last blog ..ikea is more than just meatballs =-.

  • http://lifeworkandpleasure.blogspot.com/ Protege

    Wow, why such long lines? I do not get it, is this a newly open store?
    I LOVE H&M! All my fashion is from there, it is almost ridiculous.;) I could be their spoke person.;) I particularly love their jewelry.
    Thank you so much for visiting my page and for your lovely words.;)
    xo
    Zuzana
    .-= Protege´s last blog ..Flashback Friday: "Stín Katedrál". =-.

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