H&M Philippines: VIP night (Part 4)
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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.

Store interior 2

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)

Karl-Johan Persson

Rachelle Ann Go performed at the red carpet

Rachelle Ann Go

while Japanese DJ Mademoiselle Yulia played inside the store

DJ Mademoiselle Yulia

Spotted on the red carpet were celebrities Maggie Wilson Consunji

Maggie Wilson-Consunji

Mike Concepcion and Jess Connelly

Mike Concepcion and Jess Connelly

Model Vanessa Matsunaga

Vanessa Matsunaga

Models Valerie delos Santos and Robby Mananquil

Valerie delos Santos and Robby Mananquil

Editor Ria Prieto with son Dimitry

Ria Prieto with son, Dimitri

Model Phoemela Baranda

Phoemela Baranda

and half of the Magalona family (L-R): Arkin, Saab, Pia, Clara, Frank Magalona

The Magalonas - Arkin, Sab, Pia, Clara and Frank

Inside, I saw actor Elmo Magalona

Elmo Magalona

Model Tweetie de Leon Gonzalez

Tweetie Gonzalez

My neighbors Paolo and Rissa Trillo

Paolo and Rissa Trillo

Editor Liza Ilarde

Liza Ilarde

H&M followers Larisse Wan and Tricia Pancho

Larisse, Tricia and friends

Also saw stylist Andre Chang

Andre Chang

and his sister Daryl Chang of Preview magazine

Daryl Chang

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

Pam Pastor
cashier scene

Also spotted Margarita Fores’ friendly waiters Rene Balbin

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.

Eliza Santiago

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.

one day to go

(To be continued)

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