They were lined up in droves, Hunter Wellies on their feet, cell phones in hand. They'd talked to their friends and their mamas, having pre-gamed each and every item to secure. Today was no ordinary day for women across the South. Today was the day that Lilly Pulitzer for Target was released.
This intrepid reporter went to Hoover Alabama's Target at 8:45 a.m., to see if she could perhaps secure a maxi-dress or much-discussed pineapple sandals. It was clear upon entering the premises that there would be no such purchase for her today. For she was out-Lillied by dozens of ladies steering carts full of dresses, tunics -- even a juicer -- emblazoned with prints like "Giraffing Me Crazy" "Sea Urchin For You!"
The store had opened at 8 a.m. And hardly an item remained.
"I mean, this is a child's outfit, but I think I can fit into it," said one woman standing at the front of the line for the dressing room.
Near the cash register, groups gathered, assessing their pink and green wares. "We called to all the stores to try to figure out who would have what in stock, but no one would say. We just picked this store because it was far from school," said Sarah Snyder. Sarah, a Charleston native and senior at Birmingham's Samford University. She and her friends lined up at 7 a.m for the 8 a.m. opening. Their decision paid off. Just check out this haul:
Sarah's friend Emily Sarver, an Atlanta native and fellow Samford student, joined her pal. Both had been talking with their mothers for weeks about what they were aiming to find, reading blogs and taking notes on the best strategy.
They told of what they had seen on the inside. "My mom just wanted one giraffe wine bottle stopper," Sarah said. "And before I could get one, some woman grabbed them all."
"Why this frenzy?" asked the reporter.
"We know this isn't normal, but it's Lilly. It's the brand," Emily replied. "When a designer is in Target it's like they've made it."
"Do you know how Lilly began?" the reporter pressed.
"Yes, at an orange juice stand," Emily offered. The force was strong with these young Lilly fans. Very strong.
They're not the only ones. Target's site crashed when the sale went live at 3 a.m. Items are already for sale on Ebay at twice their cost. #LillyforTarget is the top trending item on Twitter. Emily and Sarah discussed those things with other friends, assessing Lilly nail polish and Lilly makeup bags.
"Full faith! Full Faith! I knew it!" one said, approaching her friends victorious. Adding, "There are already rumors they are restocking Tuesday."
There's always hope, hope in a brightly colored tomorrow and a palazzo pant to match.