How long would you wait in frigid, 35-degree weather for the grand opening of H&M’s flagship store in Times Square with a special appearance by Lady Gaga? Three hours? Six hours? After catching up with a bundled-up crowd this afternoon, I’ve discovered just how long these folks are willing to wait: 10 hours. 1-0. That’s 600 minutes of Gaga dedication.
I will be at the NEW Times Square @HM opening at 12:01am Thursday morning the 14th to open the store and celebrate ARTPOP! <3 so excited!!
— Lady Gaga (@ladygaga) November 8, 2013
“She is everything. Her journey, her stance, her music — it’s very moving,” Fabian Quinonez, a fan who flew from Orlando for the occasion, gushed. “I would give up the $1,000 [giveaway] just to meet her tonight.” By the time Gaga appears at H&M at 12:01 on Thursday morning, Quinonez will have waited in line for nine hours.
I asked Quinonez if he went to Art Rave, the release party for Lady Gaga’s new album, Artpop, on Sunday night. Quinonez replied without hesitation: “I paid off the security guard $60 for tickets.” He sighed. “I was so excited, I cried.”
Check out the brave Gaga ones that we caught up with today as we all countdown to the 12:01 opening.
How long have you been waiting? One hour, nine more [hours] to go!
Are you guys missing anything to wait in line currently? Well, we ran here from school and in the morning, we’ll run to class again. It’s okay, [it's] Fashion Technology. We’ll just snooze.
Are you cold? Nah, we’re all bundled up. It’s only hour one.
And then there was this girl:
Tell me about your hair. Well, it’s Gaga-inspired of course. I also put some glitter and rhinestones in it. It only took me about five minutes max.
What’s your favorite Gaga song? Omph, picking a favorite song is like picking a favorite child. I can’t. Well, actually maybe Dance in the Dark.
What’s your favorite outfit worn by Gaga? The 2009 Grammys dress she wore with all the twinkling lights, [it was] magical.
The whole block of 44th street in front of 4 Times Square was blocked off for tonight’s festivities. You already know tonight is going to be one of the biggest turnouts to date for the Swedish retailer — this opening, plus Gaga, plus Isabel Marant. It’s a three-in-one extravaganza. As I walked away with numbing hands, 10 more fans joined the line excitedly chanting, “We’re all cuckoo for Gaga puffs.”
Photos by Sophia Li