An Insider's Tale of the Epic Alexander Wang Giveaway

Last week, members of the fashion press received mysterious invites from the Alexander Wang HQ. All we were told was that there was an event happening on Saturday at 2:00pm and that it was a once-in-a-lifetime kind of thing. Naturally, as the fashion crowd does, we started speculating on twitter. Guesses ran the gamut from a Hunger Games-style battle royale to something as innocuous as a sale or pop-up fashion show.

By early Saturday morning there were fairly well-credited rumors that it was going to be an all-you-can-shop style buffet of Alexander Wang merchandise. With that electrifying possibility floating around, people started guzzling their bloody marys as quickly as they could to make their way over. As it turned out, the rumors were true and the first 100 people were let in to go absolutely crazy and grab as much free T by Alexander Wang as they could. It's the stuff of fashion dreams!

One of our staffers, Stephanie Kornblum, was lucky enough to make the cut. Here's her account of what went down:

"That morning, I was ready for the #WangSecret. The day before, I texted my friend Courtney, asking her to meet me at my apartment at 1PM so we could go to the Highline Stages together; however, when a friend tweeted around 10AM that she was #56 in line I knew I had to get to there ASAP. So, I hopped in the shower quickly and headed over to the Highline. I got there at 11am, and after signing a waiver, having my wrist stamped, and getting my photo taken, I found out that I was #87 in line. When Courtney arrived, she was #92. Barring a few exceptions—stilettos and Litas, why?!—most of our line-mates were dressed comfortably, presumably in anticipation of hours of waiting in the hot sun. I wore boyfriend jeans and a t–shirt. My one regret? I forgot SPF.

We sat in line making friends with those around us; there were some fashion closet interns, someone who works at Calvin Klein and some NYC transplants. Everyone was courteous, sharing snacks and grabbing each other coffee and water. I brought speakers; we listened to Jay Z’s Magna Carta Holy Grail to pass the time. To be honest, it flew by, even though we were sitting directly in the sun, in 85–degree weather. The Wang team came around bringing us water and everyone was generally in good spirits. Even Alex came by, eliciting cheers from those who could see him.

Around 1:30PM, the security guards had us move closer to the Highline Stages entrance and at 2PM, the first 50 people went in. Once they were inside, the guards shuffled us into the door entrance. As the door lifted open, we saw the first 50 attendees standing in an empty room, in front of a wall with a doorway, with a blank screen projected on it. Everyone was guessing what they thought would be in the room in front of us. “Is it a party?” someone asked… “Do you think they’ll ID us?” someone else wondered. After a few minutes of waiting, a video began playing. It was Mr. Wang, thanking us for coming and telling us that in the room ahead was filled with pieces from his T by Alexander Wang collection—and that all of the items were free. Immediately, cheers resounded from the crowd and people started to push forward as the doors opened. Shopping bags were handed out by the staff, but by that time the crowd had stormed through the open doors to a room filled with mannequins, racks of clothing and giant boxes wrapped like presents in the center.

Inside, the scene was like nothing I had ever seen before. People were fighting over T–shirts, fans were clearing out whole racks by stacking piles of clothing in their arms, and some were punching in the gift-wrapped boxes looking for items. I ran for the racks of clothing, grabbing everything that I could. Crazed shoppers were grabbing items out of my arms and one woman even dove over a box that was in front of me to grab a T–shirt that was on the ground. People were screaming, playing tug-o-war with oxblood dresses. It was a frenzied, fashion free-for-all. But it was loads of fun. I ended up grabbing one of the empty boxes and threw whatever I could inside. I looked up to the balcony, and there was the man of the hour, Mr. Alexander Wang, smiling down at us below. I waved at him and he waved back, I shouted “Thank you!” and told my friends to look up. Quickly, everyone realized that he was up there and we all started cheering again, more thank you shouts ringing through the crowd.

At 2:30PM, we were back outside, marveling at our finds, when Courtney and I ran into someone we had met in line earlier. "Who is this Wang guy?" he asked us. "I’m just here to sell the stuff I grab." Fair enough. But as for the rest of us fans, Wang most definitely made our day."

And that, ladies and gentlemen, is what I call a kickass Saturday. Mr. Wang, you did 100 people a very big solid. I salute you.


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