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March 8, 2012

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Shoppers brave cold for designer garments

SHOPPERS queued from before dawn yesterday waiting for designer items by Italian fashion label Marni to go on sale at Shanghai branches of H&M today.

Braving the cold and rain, the queue started forming outside the H&M store on Nanjing Road W. around 5am yesterday.

By 7pm, more than 50 people were lined up in the drizzle to get their hands on the limited edition items. More than half said they were "buying for others."

Wearing a heavy winter coat and sitting on the store steps near the top of the queue, one man said he arrived at the store around 6am.

He and fellow early birds at the head of the line declined to say how much they would spend or who they were buying for.

Equipped with plastic stools and umbrellas, they seemed well-prepared for the overnight wait. Leaning against each other, some were already taking an evening nap.

The launch of the designer range also attracted dedicated fashionistas. Shelly Lu, an office worker, rushed to the store with two friends after work. Arriving at about 6pm, she was No. 45 in the line.

"I really like Marni's trademark bold prints for this limited collection," said Lu, snug in a winter jacket.

She said she had taken 10,000 yuan (US$1,580) with her but didn't know if she would spend it all.

The Marni range is the latest high-profile collaboration between H&M and luxury fashion houses, including Versace and Lanvin.

Last year, hundreds of shoppers queued for the Versace launch and policemen were dispatched to keep the order.

Last night, there appeared to be more police patrolling Nanjing Road W. though officers denied they had been dispatched there especially for the Marni launch.

Security guards at the Nanjing Road W. store said there will be four times as many security staff for the launch today.

The limited collection of 100 items will hit the market at three H&M stores in town at 8am, said Amy Fu, an official with the retailer.

On, there are already Marni items from the special collection on sale.

The store is attempting to prevent reselling by limiting each customer's stay to 15 minutes, and allowing only 30 customers at a time.

Each customer is allowed to buy two items of each style.

Wrist bands in 14 colors will be dispatched to customers to record their places.


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