Since it debuted on the London runways last month, fans have been waiting with bated breath. In London they waited for hours. In New York nearly 40 people waited in line. But in Los Angeles, Rihanna's official clothing collection debut at Opening Ceremony was a much quieter affair, with just half a dozen beanie and drop crotch-clad souls lining up to get first crack.
Most had been lured to the La Cienega Boulevard boutique — the exclusive carrier in town — by the promise of a $100 gift card, good toward their purchase of any Rihanna for River Island item that day only, given to the first ten to arrive.
"I was sending a text in my car and missed the gift card," said one visibly bummed shopper who was twelfth in line. She wore marbleized pink leggings and a leather motorcycle jacket to partake on her spree.
Soon shoppers 13 and 14 sauntered up, seemingly unaware of the fanfare's cause.
"Are you guys here for the Rihanna thing?" Number 12 asked.
"Rihanna?" Said number 13, puzzled. "No. We heard there was a Justin Bieber giveaway."
Just then an Opening Ceremony employee emerged, snapped an Instagram with his iPhone, and unlocked the door. And the games began.
As Rihanna's song "Pour It Up" played its chorus of "All i see is dollar signs," the half-dozen shoppers whizzed to a back room, where they were greeted by two racks of Rihanna merchandise flanked by mannequins sporting the leather baseball caps, crop tops and multi-wash jeans that comprise the collection.
As the twelve souls rushed the racks, it was clear that this small-but-mighty crowd came to win.
Sizes were a mere afterthought as maxi dresses with thigh-high slits ($112), roll-sleeve tank tops ($50) and cropped cotton T-shirts in black, white and yellow ($50) were piled high on top of shoppers' arms and hauled away to fitting rooms.
"You can't touch that," one employee told a shopper who eagerly attempted to rob a mannequin of its tattoo pendent trucker hat ($62.50). She shrugged and walked away. Unlike other designer collaboration launches that have lead to hospitalizations and injury (Versace for H&M comes to mind), this one remained relatively calm.
"This is exactly how many people we thought would be here," said one Opening Ceremony employee, who hung out by a line-less register with two of his colleagues.
After ten minutes the racks looked picked over, except for a few cropped sweatshirts ($75), two pairs of double top jeans that look fit for The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air ($150) and a slew of parkas that appear to have an extra shirt tied at the waist ($350). Yes, there were left over boiler suits, too ($200).
Just then number 13 in line, who wasn't at Opening Ceremony to see Rihanna's goods in the first place, ran his hand over a denim crop top that mimics an overalls bib ($75) and laughed.
"So no Bieber?"