H&M at Mall of America was ready to be fashion mobbed this morning for the debut of Isabel Marant for H&M. Stanchions were set up to control the crowd for the store’s early 8 a.m. opening. A DJ was bumpin’ beats. Sales associates were brought in from other Twin Cities stores to help. Just one thing H&M forgot to do: TELL SHOPPERS THE ISABEL MARANT COLLECTION WOULD BE AVAILABLE IN MINNESOTA!
After years of snubbing the Twin Cities, and never bringing us the designer lines, local shoppers know not to expect much. If you’re going to test the waters here, you’ve got to let people know. Save for walking by the window that went up on Tuesday, H&M did no local marketing, and didn’t even inform fashion writers such as myself.
So it’s not much of a surprise that there were only 30 people in line for the store opening, and plenty of merchandise still in stock (not the black and white coat or the tweed jacket) at 10 a.m. The crowd was beginning to pick up, and those of us who were there at the civilized hour, having not camped out or waited in line or been forced to lunge for a sweater, felt like we had hit the jackpot (especially while online shoppers Wait. In. A. Queue at the overwhelmed hm.com, where the collection launched at 12 p.m. The clothes are good (the pants run real small). They don’t feel cheap in person, as is sometimes the case with these diffusion lines.
I don’t imagine much of the collection will last through the weekend—Isabel Marant has plenty of fans in the Twin Cities. But if H&M judges the lack-of-mob as a fail, they have only their poor communication to blame.