Long lines are nothing new to New Yorkers, but this summer has been a particularly hyped one, with people waking up in wee hours of the morning for the Rain Room, cronuts, ramen burgers, and who knows what else. So when I heard that Phillip Lim’s new collaboration was opening at Target, and that there was only one store all the way on 117th Street (I live waaay downtown), I knew I needed another game plan if I wanted to score a few items from the sought-after collection.
Luckily, I was able to go back home for the weekend to visit my family in a quiet neighborhood in New Jersey, where there are multiple Target locations. But I still wasn’t going to take any chances, so I grabbed my friend, my sister, and my mom along as my comrades (read: extra arms). When we got there at 7 a.m., there were only a few cars parked outside. Nonetheless, when the doors opened at 8 a.m., the small crowd rushed in and began grabbing items in a frenzy. The racks were cleared within minutes, and customers hovered and waited for employees to restock. I was able to snag most of the items that I wanted, including two of the men’s items for my boyfriend:

My favorites from the collection are the French terry sweater and sweatpants, the navy skirt, and the yellow mini satchel. Most of the items were made of sturdy material (unlike the items from the previous Target collaboration with Neiman Marcus). However, I noticed that the blouses were a tad flimsy and the dresses were stiff and fitted awkwardly on us; these items also remained largely untouched at the store. The floral print items fit great, though each item had a different print, and my peplum top had a large black streak across the chest—but since it was the last one on the rack, I bought it anyway.

A note about the handbags, which I know were hot items: if you’re used to carrying designer handbags, the texture and quality of the items in this collection will feel notably different to you. But they’re adorable and reasonably priced, so I’m still happy I got them.

I plan on keeping them all for now, but I may save the scarf and two of the handbags to give to friends for Christmas. Some of the items were not stocked in the stores, such as the pajama sets, and I later found out that they were only available on the Target website.

Image credit:

Image credit:

Our fashion editor Xiaofei Jalette opted for the online approach, and said this about her experience:

“The rumor was that it was going to be a midnight launch, so die-hard bargain-seekers like myself tuned in to our Twitter newsfeed for the latest live links. For the next four hours, we refreshed repeatedly as bloggers posted the individual links under the #philliplimfortarget hashtag. Target seemed to realize this and began to release a few links on their Facebook page, but the fans’ feedback was less than satisfied. Links weren’t working, international IP addresses were blocked off, and people just wanted to sleep. Only after I bagged in my three items—I bought the Floral Print Long Sleeve Blouse ($29.99), the Navy/Green pullover ($34.99), and the Mini Satchel with Gusset in Yellow ($34.99)—did the entire collection officially go live on Target’s website around 4 a.m.

While the check-out process was simple enough, was it really worth the four-hour wait? Well, it was nice knowing that some items were sold out when I checked again this morning, but if anything, this is a testimony to the power of real-time shopping via social network. Even though there was free shipping for purchases over $50, another major drawback was that I couldn’t try on the sizes beforehand—but I think most people bought a lot first, and will return the ones they don’t want later.”

If you were able to buy any items from the 3.1 Phillip Lim for Target collection last weekend, which items did you get? We’d love to see what our readers picked out! And no worries—though the majority of the items may have already sold out in stores and online, we predict that a few of the items may begin floating around eBay in the coming days…

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