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May 23, 2019

How to Shop Giambattista Valli for H&M #ProjectšŸ–¤

As the buzz from vineyard vines for Target dies down, there's a new collaboration to get ready for. Today H and M announced a collection with Giambattista Valli.  Expect to see lots of tulle, dramatic dresses, and even menswear (a first for Giambattista Valli). Preview the menswear here.

A limited edition drop will be available to shop at 10 AM EDT on May 25, with the complete collection available on November 7, 2019. 

November 4, 2019 update - Click here to see which stores will carry the collection and preview the entire collection now.

Preview the collection and select your favorites now:

May 25, 2019 update - Shop the collection below:

Giambattista Valli H&M collection lookbook

The collection, also known as #ProjectšŸ–¤will include jewelry, sunglasses, and footwear in addition to fancy dresses. There will also be cargo pants, sweatshirts, and riding coats. Price points will range from $17.99 to $649. Read more about Giambattista Valli and the inspiration behind the collection here.

As the big day nears, you're going to want to have your shopping game plan ready. Having shopped many designer collections over the years, I've learned a few lessons. I'm sharing my shopping tips for how to shop #ProjectšŸ–¤both online and in stores.  

Here's a peek at the pieces that will be available for the pre-drop on May 25, 2019 as modeled by mega influencers Kendall Jenner, Chiara Ferragni, Chris Lee, Ross Lynch, and others. View the rest of the pre-drop here.

Giambattista Valli h&m lookbook May 25

Mark your calendars and set your reminders for 10 AM EDT on Saturday, May 25. Bookmark this page to shop online.

Giambattista Valli h&m project love stores

The Online Strategy

1. Learn the lookbook. Once the lookbook is released, study it carefully to select your favorites, get outfit inspiration, research the sizing, choose colorways, and check the prices

2. Play favorites. Make a Pinterest board, list, or collage of your favorites to help you stick to your budget and prioritize your potential purchases.

3. Know when and how to shop. In the U.S., these collections launch online in the morning at a designated time. Bookmark this page now to shop on May 25. In the U.S., they usually launch online at 7 AM EDT. Unfortunately, the website has crashed in the past. Be extra prepared by using more than one web browser, mobile device, etc. Refresh your browser often and have patience. Expect some glitches and be persistent. Remember that patience is key. (If I was forced to choose between shopping online and in store, I'd shop in store. This allows you to try things on, see the sizing, and not have to deal with website glitches.) 

4. Save your info. As the time to shop online approaches, log onto hm.com and have your checkout and payment details saved ahead of time. Clear your cart of any old items in order to streamline the checkout process. This reduces the chances of having your cart emptied of any out-of-stock items before you can complete your order.

5. Click quickly. Shop your top pick(s) first and submit your order right after placing in your cart. Do not shop and fill up your cart. Why? Once an item is in your cart, it's not reserved for you. In order to avoid an item being removed from your cart because it's already sold out, you need to click quickly and complete your order! That's why I create a prioritized wish list and try to buy my top picks first. Online purchases are typically limited to one item per style per person.

6. Stay social. Check social media channels such as Twitter and Instagram using #ProjectšŸ–¤ for up-to-the-moment shopping updates, product info, and to connect with other shoppers. Find me on Snapchat, TwitterFacebook, and Instagram @thekeytochic for shopping photos, sizing info, and more. 

The In-Store Strategy

1. Know where to go.  Plan your shopping well in advance. I've overheard people calling in sick to work just so they could get in line and shop. As of this writing, there's not much time to plan before the May 25 pre-drop. Be ready to stand in line on Friday night or early Saturday morning (see just how early in #3.) Once it's published, use the store locator to find the stores near you that'll stock the #ProjectšŸ–¤ collection.

2. Phone it in. Be extra prepared by calling your local store the week before the launch to confirm if they'll carry the collection and ask them exactly where you should line up to shop.

3. Be an early bird. You know what they say about the early bird. Stores open at 8 AM (instead of 10am) on launch days. I've found in the past that if I arrive by 4 AM or earlier, then I'm able to get into the first or second shopper group. For example: for Lanvin, I arrived in line around 3am and I was #65 in line. For Marni, I arrived around 2 AM and was #27 in line (after several friends of shoppers arrived and took cuts in front of me.) For Isabel Marant, I arrived before 4 AM and lucky for me, I was in the first shopper group. For Margiela and Balmain, I was lucky enough to able to shop the fashion editor preview parties the night before the launch. For Kenzo and Erdem, I shopped online with relative ease.

4. Play the waiting game and respect the line. For people wanting to shop the Women's merchandise, store employees will pass out color-coded wristbands to the first 420 people in line. They do this several hours before the store opens, with each shopper group consisting of 30 people. Each group of 30 shoppers is allowed ten or fifteen minutes in which to shop the collection in a secure and sectioned-off area of the store. They are strict, and with good reason. The time slot goes by really fast, with employees calling out the time at five minute intervals. It's hectic, crazy, and dizzying. This poses a dilemma if you want to shop both Women's and Men's first thing because the Men's area is open to all shoppers at 8am. Note that all people can enter the store at 8am. In between shopper groups, employees rapidly replenish the merchandise in five-minute intervals. Oh, in case you're not awake yet, there's thumping loud music via a live DJ. Expect long lines at the fitting rooms and people hoarding whole racks of clothes in piles on the floor.

5. Preparation is key (but first, coffee). I bring a blanket/pillow, cozy jacket, phone charger, water, and plenty of healthy snacks to stay energized and comfortable while in line. Bring coffee if needed. I have seen people camp out overnight in tents to be first in line for these collabs. Crazy, yes, and dedicated! For people who live in large cities, I'd recommend going several hours before the store opens if you're really motivated to shop. It really depends on your schedule and how much sleep you're willing to sacrifice. In my experience, stock varies widely from store to store, with flagships in metropolitan areas carrying the best selection.

6. Bring a buddy. A family member, friend, or significant other might be able to help you get the pieces you want and help you make purchasing decisions. "Divide and conquer" should be your strategy! Arrange to meet in line at the same time or go to the store together so you're not cutting in line and you can be in the same shopper group for maximum teamwork. The LanvinxHM faux fur coat and embellished tee would not be mine if not for a dedicated shopping partner. The same goes for the Isabel Marant fringe boots, and I feel very grateful.

7. Check for go-backs and barter. If your favorite pieces disappear from the racks in a flash, be courteous, be patient, and don't be afraid to chat with employees and other shoppers (especially near the fitting rooms) to politely trade to get what you want! Just respect the rules and limits that they have in store.

8. Know your limits. There are quantity limits per person on these collections (it's 1 item per style in stores and 1 item per style online) to prevent buying in bulk, and the return policy time frame is shorter (6 days for purchases made in stores). Be aware of these restrictions in order to prevent any buyer's remorse. 

9. Persistence pays off. H and M does not restock these collections, but you can still score your favorites. If you don't find what you want after the launch, check back for returns in the coming days, as many shoppers take items back to the store. Accessories can't be returned for hygiene reasons, so select them carefully. Don't forget to check the customer service desk and clearance racks for returns. Call your local stores to ask what they have in stock and use #ProjectšŸ–¤on social media to buy/trade with others.

10. Consider main line Giambattista Valli instead. With high resale prices on eBay and other platforms after the launch, you can likely buy main line Giambattista Valli and Giambattista Valli on sale for less than the marked up resale prices. Consider shopping the real deal or the alternatives below if you aren't able to get your #ProjectšŸ–¤wish list items.

This post contains affiliate links and I may be compensated if purchases are made by clicking links.

Shop main line Giambattista Valli:

Shop pink and white looks by Giambattista Valli:

Get inspired by more Giambattista Valli:

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