If you’re into fashion, coffee, or both, you may remember the collaborative items that Starbucks and New York-based fashion brand Alice + Olivia came up with, the first of which were released in North America about a year and a half ago. Not surprisingly, the items apparently caused a bit of a craze among fashionistas at the time (seriously, who thinks of something like a tumbler dressed up with a tutu?), with everyone clamoring to get their hands on the limited edition goods.
Well, it turns out the collaboration recently made its way to Japan, but one of the reporters from our Japanese sister site Pouch ended up finding out the hard way that the goods were in just as much demand here in Japan as they were in the U.S.!
The adorable Starbucks and Alice + Olivia goods, with designs based on the face of the fashion brand’s creative designer Stacey Bendet, were released last Wednesday, and our reporter Rinco, who had not expected the competition for the items to be so fierce, made her way to a Starbucks near her office in the Shinjuku area only one day after the release date, thinking she would be able to buy one of the mugs without any problem.
▼ The “Stacey Face Double Wall Mug” (3,200 yen [US$25.38]) with an adorable red ribbon attached to the side, which Rinco had wanted to buy:
When she arrived at the store, though, she found that the goods were nowhere to be seen. In fact, there was no sign whatsoever that such items had been sold at all. She hoped this was a not a bad sign. It could just be, after all, that the collaborative goods were only being sold at select stores, right?
Just when Rinco thought that she might as well go and try to find the goods at another store, one of the staff kindly asked if she needed any help. When she inquired which stores might be carrying the Alice + Olivia items, she was told that the store she was at did indeed carry them, but they had sold out quickly yesterday. Yep, they were already gone, despite the goods having gone on sale just 24 hours before.
Rinco later learned that there had been a line of roughly 20 people waiting to buy the items even before the store opened the previous day. According to what the staff told her, limited edition Starbucks goods are apparently very popular and frequently sell out the day they’re released. Rinco also received the sad news that there were no plans for further stock of the items to be produced.
▼ There were three other Starbucks x Alice + Olivia goods on offer, all of which sold out. The “Stacey Face Handy Stainless Bottle” (4,900 yen [$39.56]) …
▼ … the “Striped Handy Stainless Bottle” (also 4,900 yen) …
▼ … and a special Stacey Face design Starbucks card.
Well then, was there any other way to obtain the collaborative goods? The staff at the store had also kindly told Rinco that the items were sold out at all Starbucks shops in the Shinjuku East Exit area and it would probably be difficult to find any stores in central Tokyo with stock left. Still, Rinco couldn’t give up that easily, and she proceeded to call the Starbucks stores in Tokyo that were close enough for her to visit.
Unfortunately, all the stores gave her the same reply: the goods had completely sold out the previous day. Even then, Rinco was unable to give up her search for the collaborative items, and she decided to call Starbuck’s customer service in the hope that they may be able to tell her which stores might still have the goods in stock.
But once again, her efforts came to naught, as the lines were so busy that she was never able to get through to an operator, despite making numerous calls. Was she out of options?
“But wait, what about the online shop?” she thought. Well, when Rinco went online and checked Starbuck’s online shop, her hopes were raised momentarily as the Alice + Olivia items were there on the product page. However, when she checked the individual page of each of the items, it became clear that, yes, they were all sold out on the online shop as well.
Thus ended Rinco’s search for the coveted Starbucks x Alice + Olive goods. Unfortunately, we were unable to buy any of the items, but who knows, maybe customers going to a Starbucks outside of Tokyo will have better luck. The rest of us, we guess, will have to console ourselves with pictures of the goods and maybe a cup of the new Chocolate Crunch Frappuccino!