Videos of chaotic crowds resembling a scene straight out of an apocalyptic movie emerged from China as shoppers went completely bonkers over a new collection from Japanese fashion company Uniqlo and American artist Kaws.
The summer collaboration, which dropped in mainland stores Monday morning, had people diving under security barriers, pulling clothes off mannequins and getting physical over certain items.
Online sales, which started midnight, reportedly sold out in just a few seconds.
Later that evening, the hashtag “Everybody KAWS” (#全员kaws) recorded 140 million views on Weibo.
Some netizens could only ask who Kaws is but others claimed that the craze is not even about his work — instead, people simply like the idea of competition.
“What I love is not UNIQLO, nor KAWS — what I love is to rush and clash with all these people!” one user said, according to What’s on Weibo.
For those who may not know — and are genuinely interested — Kaws, real name Brian Donnelly, is known for his paintings and sculptures that repeatedly use a cast of figurative characters and motifs.
His sculptures, which range in size from a few inches to several meters, are built from various materials including aluminium, bronze, fiberglass and wood.
This marks the third year of partnership between Uniqlo and Kaws. The collection, which includes 12 adult T-shirts, six children’s T-shirts and three bags, sold at 99 yuan per piece ($14.32).
“Many raced each other and crawled into the store. It was spectacular,” one shop assistant said, according to the South China Morning Post. “I have seen big promotional days and this could be compared to that.”
Interestingly, the craze led to online resellers putting up the items for sale at multiple times their original price. According to the Global Times, some even charge up to $90 for one shirt.
It seems understandable, however, why some are too eager to get their hands on the collection. In an Instagram post, Kaws confirmed that this will be his last collaboration with Uniqlo.