I can’t remember any store opening that has been crazier or more anticipated than H&M in the Philippines.
I can only think of a few more brands that would cause a similar or bigger opening—that is, if these brands will ever hit our shores:
1) IKEA — expect pandemonay
2) Disneyland — probably not in our lifetime
3) Target — probably will not happen
4) Shake Shack — heard it is coming, and I’m scared for the queue and my weight
5) Din Tai Fung — heard they are coming and I’m not joining the queue
The first time I ever heard of H&M was in the winter of 2000, when I had to fly to the Netherlands without any winter clothes. Jeroen picked me up at Schipol Airport and promised to help me buy winter clothes at Hennes & Mauritz, which is what it was called then.
All I remember now was buying mostly basic long-sleeve T-shirts that were very affordable.
I am not your regular H&M customer. I don’t make it a point to go to an H&M store when traveling—unless there is an important collab I am interested in, such as Comme des Garçons in 2008
and Maison Martin Margiela in 2012—both of which I lined up for
I’ve been to H&M stores a few times where all I bought were children’s clothes and socks for me.
But even though I’m not your regular H&M customer, I am excited for all Filipinos who are.
What does H&M opening in the Philippines mean to me?
1) No need to drop by H&M at all when traveling
2) Hoping I never have to fly to another country for future collabs
3) I am aware that many Filipinos are bitter that there is now H&M here. Not me. The ones who are bitter are those who consider H&M “high fashion”. H&M is fashion for all, so we should be happy for all Filipinos who can update their wardrobe at an affordable price.
4) Have a feeling that many clothing brands are going to feel the hit of H&M in their own stores.
5) I’m expecting the queues to last until January.
That said, I feel lucky to have been invited to preview the H&M showroom in Manila last June 2014 and the VIP shopping event last October 15.
(To be continued)