1D onesies are what make you beautiful.
Bundled up in North Face jackets, sweaters, scarves and hats, Queens residents Kelly Anna Perez, 13, and her aunt Michelle Collado, 17, arrived at 8 p.m. Friday night and stayed “Up All Night” so that they could be the very first people to step inside 1D World, the largest pop-up store dedicated to the British boy band One Direction, which opened Saturday in New York City.
The girls said at around 10 p.m., someone from the store handed them 1D convertible glove mittens to help them brave the cold. They tried to get some shut-eye on the steps of 2 Penn Plaza, next to the city’s towering Madison Square Garden, drawing attention from passersby.
“People called us homeless,” Collado said. “They offered to give us food and hats, but we were like ‘no, that’s okay, we’re going to get more clothes when the 1D store opens in the morning.’” At 3 a.m., however, they headed over to the Bank of America ATM next door and sprawled out next to the heaters to squeeze in a couple of hours of shut-eye.
Collado and Perez were two of about eight fans who took the 1D song “Live While We’re Young” to heart and camped out overnight outside the store with sleeping bags, towels, and tailgating chairs. But most “Directioners” — the nickname for 1D fans — began arriving at 5 a.m. so that they could be one of the first 100 customers to get a free t-shirt when doors opened at 9.
The walls of the 9,300 square-foot store were lined with t-shirts, hoodies, trucker hats, aviator hats, gloves, jewelry, scarves, collector dolls, stick-on nails, and life-size cutouts of each band member.
But what Directioners really (and we mean REALLY) wanted to get their hands on was an official onesie, a new item exclusive to the NYC store. Emblazoned with the band’s name on one leg, the onesies come in purple, teal, red, and gray. Another new exclusive item is the 1D♥NY t-shirt, 1D’s riff on the iconic I♥NY t-shirts sold at touristy stores throughout Manhattan. Further down the shelves, there are tees that say “Future Mrs.” followed by one of the band members’ last names, so fans can claim their favorite performer.
All visiting NYC Directioners get to pose with life-size cutouts of the pop sensations and take souvenir photos in front of a green screen. They can write their favorite song lyrics and messages to the boys on one side of the wall. And the karaoke station is where they can belt out their favorite 1D tunes. Prior to Gotham, 1D pop-up stores have opened in Chicago, Toronto, and Sydney. The NYC location will be open through December 30.
But One Direction means far more to female fans than the material items, said Jerry Kruse, a psychotherapist from Long Island who had been waiting in line with his daughter and her friends since midnight. “There are girls who think about hurting themselves, cutting themselves, but then they listen to a One Direction song like ‘Little Things’ and it lifts them up,” he said. “These guys are touching people’s lives. This is more than 1D. It’s 3D.”