Cavalli, Jersey Madness Take Over H&M

A shopper turns savage. Photo: Melissa Hom

In true Roberto Cavalli form, the H&M launch this morning was the flashiest of all the clothing company's collaborations so far. The sidewalk in front of the Fifth Avenue store was lined with a red carpet, where supermodel Jessica Stam joined the designer for photo ops. Over 50 people were in line by 8 a.m., surprising even Cavalli himself, who admitted he “didn’t expect so much success.” But the Cavalli-aholics, mainly hailing from New Jersey, were as frenzied and savage as the animals whose print they so furiously coveted. The first in line (since 7 p.m. last night!) were a pair of cousins, 12-year-old Margaret and 24-year-old Frances. When the doors opened at ten, they sprinted first toward the gold minidresses and floor-length gowns, swooping up entire racks of the same item. Later, at the cash register, the cousins carried bundles so huge that only their faux-Ugg boots were visible. Was it worth the wait? “I’m going to pass out. I’m not even kidding,” one replied before breaking down into tears on the phone. The other boasted that she fought a woman for a dress. "I hit her with a hanger!” she yelped. Their mother, however, wasn’t satisfied. “Whurs the jewelrrrrrrrry?!!!” she shrieked.

The collection sold out “in two hours” earlier today in Milan, Hong Kong, and London, Cavalli explained. And within 30 minutes in New York, only tattered bits and pieces remained. But for those not able to hit up the restocks, you may get to see the collection again. The Spice Girls have requested these clothes for their tour. And for those bloodthirsty shoppers looking for more bargains and bruises, Topshop will be hitting Soho soon. Is H&M worried about being one-upped? “We don’t look at anyone as our competition,” the spokeswoman quipped. —Kendall Herbst