Having a building as historic as the Lincoln Theatre, originally opened in 1936, transformed into a shopping destination can be a bit jarring at first. As we stepped foot within the massive space last night for the private opening of H&M's flagship in South Beach, we wondered: Would anything remain the same?
Promises of Rumer Willis, Mia Moretti, Matthew Morrison (hello, Gleeks!) and a performance by Flo Rida made for an eclectic group of attendees, too. And with pop ins from some of Miami media's elite, Chace Crawford, The Real Housewives of Miami, the 50+ set, bloggers, and hangers-on, we hoped someone would actually buy something.
This wasn't like the private opening for the H&M pop-up shop last summer. We could actually buy things this time. And with overeager sales associates (one available every few feet!), we totally would've dedicated some real time to shopping -- if the music wasn't blaring so loudly.
The soiree began around 8pm, and this clearly wasn't dress code enforced. Middle-aged women walked in rocking flip flops and jeans with tiny pups in their carry-all bags, while others decided this was an all ages event, opting to bring their under-10 children to a cocktail party with free-flowing booze.
Adorable cater waiters decked out in white button downs, red bow ties and black slacks (we have a hunch they were actually models) strutted their stuff, serving Champagne, sushi, and some extremely sweet concoction of raspberry vodka, Chambord, and syrup (what a kick).
The later it got, the more amped up everyone's attire got, though, as we even spotted someone paying homage to that famous Britney Spears costume she wore to the VMAS (rhinestones on a nude dress, anyone?), as well as a woman full-on decked out like she walked off of the set of Clueless circa 1995. (She was really the spitting image of Dionne, with a plaid mini dress, braided buns, over the knee socks and chunky heels.)
But the crowd got even more interesting, as we spotted ladies who lunch, well-known local photographers, and Miami's glitterati, basically, in tow for the shindig. (We can't wait to see that 65+ woman dressed in a Chanel suit carrying a Prada bag in her new H&M gear!)
The crowd seemed more curious to see what the Lincoln Theatre looks like now, rather than to actually wear the clothing sold therein. And for the most part, the space is completely transformed. H&M decided to give nods to the Art Deco era, sporting plenty of its trademark lines, palm tree and leafy wallpapers, and neon signs. Hello, this is Miami! Every store here looks like a scene out of Miami Vice, right?
The former stage (where performances took place in the past, obv.) now sports a 19-foot LED screen, where shots of models posing on black and white backdrops was looped. Flo Rida performed on that very stage last night -- with a very blingy mic, by the way. But is this a sign that H&M plans on hosting more performances in the near future? Only time will tell.
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The store opens to the public today at noon. With two floors and over 24,000 square feet of space, we hope the lines won't get too insane for you. To celebrate opening day, H&M at Lincoln Road will offer the first 500 shoppers in line an Access to Fashion Pass, valued from $10 to $500, in addition to giveaways and opening offers.
H&M at Lincoln Road is located at 551 Lincoln Road. Store hours will be Monday through Thursday 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., Friday & Saturday 11 a.m. to midnight, and Sunday noon to 10 p.m.