After seeing the entire store on the afternoon of the 15th, I decided to go home and rest before the VIP event at 7 PM.
I knew beforehand that 1500 guests were invited—most of which were sure to come. So I did the math: if the H&M store at SM Fashion Hall is 3,000 square meters, divided by 1500 guests, we’re looking at two people per square meter including racks of merchandise. I just knew there would be pandemonay.
So I went home to rest and told my friends to meet me at home at 9:30 and plan to leave past 10. We also monitored the crowd density through live updates on Instagram. Here’s who came to VIP night:
Karl-Johan Persson, CEO and president of H&M, flew in from Sweden and came straight from NAIA (H&M was founded by his grandfather Erling Persson)
Rachelle Ann Go performed at the red carpet
while Japanese DJ Mademoiselle Yulia played inside the store
Spotted on the red carpet were celebrities Maggie Wilson Consunji
Mike Concepcion and Jess Connelly
Model Vanessa Matsunaga
Models Valerie delos Santos and Robby Mananquil
Editor Ria Prieto with son Dimitry
Model Phoemela Baranda
and half of the Magalona family (L-R): Arkin, Saab, Pia, Clara, Frank Magalona
Inside, I saw actor Elmo Magalona
Model Tweetie de Leon Gonzalez
My neighbors Paolo and Rissa Trillo
Editor Liza Ilarde
H&M followers Larisse Wan and Tricia Pancho
Also saw stylist Andre Chang
and his sister Daryl Chang of Preview magazine
The crowd had already thinned out when we arrived at 10:30 and guests were mostly paying, like Inquirer’s Tatin Yang (left) and Pam Pastor
Also spotted Margarita Fores’ friendly waiters Rene Balbin
and Homber Mijares, whose tray of scallops I wiped out (yum!!)
On our way out I saw my friend, makeup artist Eliza Santiago, still looking fresh late at night.
My friends and I left SM Megamall close to midnight, with only one day, nine hours, and 28 minutes before H&M Philippines opened to the public.
(To be continued)