When I first read about the Sacai x Nike collaboration in February, I wanted to die just so a defibrillator from the brave new Sacai x Nike world could bring me back to life. I love Sacai, and I love Nike, and have actually worn them together on several occasions. And so it felt like two of my hottest and coolest friends finally met and one texted me the next morning to say, "I hit," and I'm like, "What else," and they're like, "Plus dome," and I'm like, "Hey man that's my best friend you're talking about."
But more significantly, it felt as though Nike was finally letting women in on a special and marvelous experience previously exclusive to menswear. Yeah, womenswear is feeling ever more menswear-y, but the entire system of copping fire jawnz, of waiting and waiting with unbearable anticipation for an item to appear in stores or online, of salivating over a collaboration, that has been foreign to us.
Until now. Finally, we were getting the legendary NikeLab collaboration we deserved. Because the pliable, fluid fabrics of athleisure lend themselves so gracefully to Chitose Abe's whole "That is a nice shir—OH MY GOD IT'S A WHOLE ENTIRE DRESS THAT'S A COAT" thing, a notion confirmed by Nike's otherworldly images, showing a woman running in a persimmon-and-punch kilt and accordion-pleated windbreaker ensemble that expanded in motion, like a jellyfish tearing it up at a marathon. There was no way this wasn't going to sell out in a snap, no way it wasn't going to be hyped every which way, which are publicity treatments rarely, if ever, seen in womenswear.
Yes, women were getting a chance to have the full hypebeast experience! And there was no way this experience was going to be wasted on me. I was ready to break my index finger hitting refresh just to spend too much of my money! Do I work out? WHO ACTUALLY CARES?! This was gonna be my hypebeast moment, babies!!!
First, I added the release date—Thursday, March 19—to my calendar. After a month that felt like the longest, most tragic month of my life, the day arrived. Allegedly, the goods were supposed to go live on Dover Street Market and NikeLab's websites, but as dilettante, I had no idea when or how or why. I set my alarm for midnight Thursday and found nothing. I checked again at 6:30am, an hour I do not recommend for anything except throwing your alarm and yelling, "LITERALLY SUCK MY DICK, YOU FOUL-CHIMED BEAST!" At 10:30am, there was still no sign of the stuff.
I pictured a benevolent god in a white Rick Owens robe, patting my head. "Poor, sweet, amateur hypebeast," it said. I felt like a fool, so I decided to take action. I would go to the store! That would be even more genuinely hypebeast!
Off I dashed into the depths of SoHo, striking towards NikeLab's 21 Mercer location like a moth to a fire alphet. There I found a line of about 15 people that looked like it had as much a chance of moving as this one. I cackled. A line! Lines for stores are designed to make them feel like clubs or Russian supermarkets: abusively exclusive. Which is very authentic hypebeast! I couldn't wait to wait with these...three hot Japanese men in PLAY Comme des Garçons sweatshirts and those…five bizarrely basic men in the kind of jeans worn by a guy who says things like, "Look, I'm a really nice guy," and this man dressed…like…a police officer! I was really living la vie en hypebeast now!
To pass the time, I closed my eyes and imagined myself in the outfit I had decided upon two weeks before: a stiff gray sweatshirt, open in the back to reveal a veil of mesh and lime-green lace, matching skinny sweatpants and that magical windbreaker in gray. My neighbor I am in love with would see me in it, then play "Fashion Killa" (a highly personal anthem for me) on a boombox outside my window like a flossed out Lloyd Dobler. To pass more time and build up this fantasy, I decided to listen to "Fashion Killa," but three minutes and fifty-six seconds later it was over, and I was still standing there, in the exact same place, between this police officer and one of those pesky men in those jeans. And it was very cold.
I started to wonder, was the hypebeast life really all it was cracked up to be?
A minute later, they let five people into a store that looked totally empty from outside, down here, on the street, where I stood with the rats and their fellow pests.
I felt like a woman lost in the woods who had gotten all her knowledge about the woods from a sad, beautiful poem entitled 'Four Pins.'
It then occurred to me that I was the only woman in line. "Must be some benevolent boyfriends out there!" I both thought and tweeted. Or not. Because our world is a cruel one, I then realized, where the square moneymen are buying up our accordion pleated fire jawnz and selling them for dollars on the penny on eBay!
Now picture your dad, but five pounds thinner and with 1,000 extra dollars. He got out of an Escalade and was let right in. I wanted to die, except maybe this time, I didn't even want to be brought back to life. If earth is for hypebeasts, maybe I was meant for heaven.
But then something happened! (Cool story, huh?) Suddenly, a man appeared at the door and let seven people in, including me! This seemed like a twist on the average hypebeast experience, but I didn't linger on it. Because there I was! In a store, like a real American girl!
About eight other people were looking at the Sacai goods with that particular mania that pools in the eyes when someone takes too much Xanax. It felt coolly competitive. The rest of the crowd was in the back, surveying the glamorous sneakers I did not understand and could not afford. A man told me if I was "actually going to buy something" I would have to tell him what I desired and he would retrieve it from a mysterious labyrinth below the mother ship.
So I said, "Cool."
I wanted to poke through the other pieces, just to see what they looked and felt like, but I stopped myself. I felt like a woman lost in the woods who had gotten all her knowledge about the woods from a sad, beautiful poem entitled "Four Pins." Did I have time to pussyfoot around? I did not know! But I wasn't about to let my grails sell out from under me, so I grabbed the three pieces I had spent the last month of my whole life dreaming about and found a salesperson and announced myself: "I WOULD LIKE TO COP THESE NOW."
He brought them upstairs and into my life. He asked me if I wanted to try them on, but, by this point, the inexplicable mania had seized me. I just wanted them in the bag before one of the eight other lucky people inside this store—which I might add made me feel like I was in a meth lab run by Yves Behar—poached them for their eBay lifestyle.
I went to the cash register, where a very lovely woman rang up my purchases and, thankfully, mumbled my too high total as an incomprehensible jumble. (That inadvertent favor was perhaps the best customer service I have experienced in months.) Then she packaged my beautiful sweatsuit and jacket into a garment bag, like it really MATTERED. "Enjoy," she said and I went off to do just that.
At long last, the hypebeast glass ceiling had been broken.