Friday, March 23, 2007

Madonna Mania

Yesterday morning I received an e-mail from my friend Noreen, who happens to be huge Madonna fan. Noreen has even been featured on the glossy pages of New York Magazine, proudly explaining why the material girl is still so influential.

As soon as I saw the title of Noreen’s e-mail, “Leotards, H&M and Madonna! Oh, My!” I knew it could mean only one thing: The much-anticipated “M by Madonna” limited-edition clothing line had hit H&M stores.

“Hello! Just bought my brand-new off-white leotard from Madonna's new clothing line at H&M!,” my friend wrote. “The line has lots of stylish outfits … buy them soon before it's all sold out!”

And she didn’t send this to only a few people.

This e-mail arrived just days after another celebrity—Sarah Jessica Parker—announced that she would be launching her very own clothing line, this one at Steve and Barry’s University Sportswear.

Now, the truth is I’ve become quite skeptical of celebrity clothing lines. Is the pull of a celebrity’s name an outdated notion? Does anyone out there still care?

While walking past a long line of people trying to get into the H&M on Manhattan’s Fifth Avenue before doors even opened yesterday, my question was answered. Yes. People still care. In fact, they cared enough to line up in the early hours of a very chilly morning.

I waited until the initial crowds dispersed and stopped by H&M late yesterday afternoon. Noreen was right. Items were flying off the shelves and some pieces from the collection sold out within hours. Even the $100+ price tags on some of the items didn’t keep shoppers away. Since the style and quality of the line pretty much resembles what H&M usually features, I would have been shocked to see such expensive offerings. Shocked, that is, if I hadn’t known of the Madonna link.

I didn’t buy anything yesterday. I even passed on the off-white Madonna leotard (sorry, Noreen). But I was definitely in the minority when it came to walking out empty-handed.

—By Samantha Murphy