The Wait is Over: H&M Arrives in Manila

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sharihm I normally don’t get soooo excited for global retail franchises opening here in Manila anymore. Maybe 4 years ago I would’ve said the complete opposite but it’s no secret I’m generally less interested in all things fashion nowadays. For H&M though, I’ll make an exception – mostly for sentimental reasons.  The brand reminds me of my months as an exchange student in France where an H&M store was only a 10-minute walk from our dorm. Good Lord, I visited every week or two to see the latest drops – I probably should’ve paid rent as I practically lived there. Never mind if my roommate and I had to live on cereal, pain au chocolats and kebabs for breakfast, lunch & dinner – we will make the most out of our stay in Europe shopping our lives away. Not so smart, but we didn’t know better then. But yes, H&M coming here feels like me going back to Europe and that’s what made me feel excited – not even the clothes. However, I wouldn’t camp out overnight to witness the store opening for the first time. I probably won’t even go for the first three weeks or so just to avoid the crazy crowds. But to be invited to the pre-opening launch? I couldn’t say no to that. hm-philippines-0b
My sister won the online contest H&M Philippines organized and received Php10,000 worth of shopping spree, an overnight stay in a hotel suite and VIP treatment during the launch. Straight from the airport, I headed to her hotel and hung out in her suite before going to the venue. Take note of my ‘surf sprayed’ hair and excited face. Compare it to the last photo – almost four hours later.
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Majority of the clothes are knits, cardigans, sweaters, jackets, blazers – autumn/winter fashion. Average price range is 299-599 for basic tops, 699-1299 for dresses & cardigans and 1990-2290 for blazers & jackets. Very reasonable – and quite the same as the Hongkong price range (and as far as I remember, cheaper than in Europe).
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But what excited me more is the kids section!!! I think I’ll be shopping more for Selene than for myself in the near future (when the hype dies down and I can roam around more freely without the pushing, the shoving and the 1-hour counter queues).
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My sister, Raiza (left) and Melissa of Sartorial Panda (right) – both winners of the #HMLovesPH contest.
After the madness with Angela of Lush Angel – how fake is my smile. I was extremely tired and hungry at this point already.

Final Thoughts

To be honest, I didn’t see a lot of items I fancied – very few catered to my (boring) taste. I think I circled the Ladies’ Section (two floors of it!) four-five times and the pieces I saw where either too high fashion, too hot for this climate or not mommy-friendly (eg. skirts that I can’t run around chasing a toddler in). But there are details I appreciated – like  how it’s sectioned well (LOGG, Divided, Athletic Wear, etc.) so it’s easy to skip the ranges you’re not into. I also like that the number of racks isn’t so overwhelming that you get tired sorting through them. The store is strategically-designed so it’s easy to navigate through the whole three floors. Have to share the VIP night experience though – it was crazy! Free flowing champagne and hors d’oeuvres – my favorite of which was the potato chip with caviar (pictured above which I felt pretentious eating but tasted really good !!!). My sister and I were so intent on seeing most of the items, we didn’t realize we had spent 3 hours going around already. Also, I like the fact that for every country’s grand opening, H&M managers from all over the world come in and show their support by working in the store (putting back clothes, helping out in the cashier, dressing rooms, basically anywhere) for a few days (first week?).

Anyway, that’s it – anyone keen on checking out H&M soon? 

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  1. October 19, 2014 / 6:16 am

    That’s so cool that your sister won! H&M is a great store with a huge variety of items. I love the beanie with the fox on it. Sooo cute. Happy weekend! :] // ☼ ☯

    • October 21, 2014 / 10:37 am

      It was so cute – I wanted to get it for my daughter but she hates anything to be put on her head! 🙁

  2. October 19, 2014 / 10:46 am

    AHHH I was so excited for this opening but I don’t think I can handle the situation now haha I’m gonna get too tired and crowded – not a very good combination for an expecting mama! I love your photos tho! And I want to shop the infant’s section! Maybe next time :3

    • October 21, 2014 / 10:39 am

      Oh yes it’s not ideal for you right now! I think it’s generally tame na now – no more lines and crowds so safe to visit na 🙂 My gosh maloloka ka when your baby is born, di ka na magsshop for you – for her na! Well at least thats what happened to me! :))

  3. October 19, 2014 / 3:19 pm

    Oh my gosh! This is literally heaven on earth! I love H and M! Their sales are always crazy. Wish I bought some stuffs more when I was abroad or at least I live in Manila where I can go visit the store anytime. Your sister is so lucky! And you too! 🙂

    • October 21, 2014 / 10:39 am

      I cant wait for them to go on sale here!! 🙂 And it’s quite cheap ha, even cheaper than F21! 🙂

  4. October 20, 2014 / 4:24 am

    Even tho I’m in the US, I actually heard about this launch! Super exciting that it finally opened over there and so happy to see that they went out with a bang! Party looks so fab.

    xx Alyson
    The Beauty Vanity

    • October 21, 2014 / 10:40 am

      Wow really? 🙂 Yah it was crazy!

  5. Kyaru
    October 20, 2014 / 7:38 am

    How I missed your blog, Shari! Totally my fault, and the adorbs pics are punishment enough. I’m not much for brand names, but that kids’ section though! I hope they get more climate-appropriate clothing for adults soon 🙂

    • October 21, 2014 / 10:43 am

      How I missed hearing from you too my dear!!! :’) But yes, I think you’re doing yoga from your blog post — I want to get in it, too! Mostly because i heard from a Tita that it’s best for those who gave birth and are suffering from major back aches (AKA ME!). I shall find a yoga place near the house soon. 🙂 And you need to take a trip to H&M for the kids section – kaloka yung clothes for the little tots!!

  6. October 21, 2014 / 12:02 am

    How fun! We’re gearing up for the opening of a 2-story H&M here in Anchorage, Alaska next year. Right now, the closest H&M is all the way in another state in Seattle, WA. Super excited that there’ll be an H&M whenever I visit Manila though!

    • October 21, 2014 / 10:45 am

      Exciting!! Wow a trip to Washington just to go to an H&M! That’s even longer than Manila to HK (closest H&M to PH) :)) I feel your excitement, Shayne!

  7. October 21, 2014 / 8:37 am

    Love, love, love the photos! As much as I wanted to visit, the hype is just too much, and everybody’s flocking the store. Hehe 🙂 Will just visit in a couple of weeks, hopefully!

    • October 21, 2014 / 10:46 am

      Thanks Jhanzey!! :* Now it’s not crazy na – no more lines and crowds! So funny I saw a post from a friend in FB that she took yday at H&M (almost no people inside and outside) with the caption “EDI NAGSAWA RIN KAYO KAKAPILA” :’))

  8. October 21, 2014 / 12:14 pm

    The event looks like fun! Gotta LOL at your hungry and tired face, though! You still look pretty! There are so many H&M stores in the US but once in a blue moon I will find something I like (not love).

    • October 21, 2014 / 8:52 pm

      You are too sweet Jaa! I swear I was ready to eat cotton and pleather that time. LOL :)) Where do you usually shop for clothes my dear?

  9. Raven Ang
    October 21, 2014 / 6:21 pm

    Those boots!! Eyeing those. And congrats to your sister! I really like her sense of style. 🙂 Hehe I see her Insta photos every now and then. 😉 Don’t think I’ll be visiting H&M anytime soon. Maybe when the hype dies down (around December, maybe). And I can see Selene in that little gray dress. 😀

    • October 21, 2014 / 8:53 pm

      It’s generally tame na the past days – no more lines! No more crowds! You can actually go na – hype has died down :)) And yes – I regret not getting it nga eh!! And I shall tell my sister your kind words Rayray!! THANKS :*

  10. October 24, 2014 / 7:37 am

    DANG U A CELEBRITY NOW, EH? 😉 (jks) (But totes agree with Raven, those boots be slayin’)
    I went to H&H in London and went all crazy because it had SIX (6!!!) floors with free wifi inside. MADNESS! (The largest H&M here is 3 floors)

  11. Monica
    October 25, 2014 / 1:35 pm

    Do they have a plus size section?

  12. October 28, 2014 / 3:12 am

    How cute are the little girl dresses! I should get my little sister one of these.

  13. October 31, 2014 / 1:25 pm

    When I first heard H&M is opening a store here, I was all excited. I think that was late last year pa but now, I have yet to go to the store. I think it got to a point that the hype was too exaggerated for me. Although I want to see the collaboration they have with Alexander Wang.

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