Thursday, May 26, 2016

Holiday Weekend Shopping: The Best of Sale

Weekend bags have become the biggest accessory coming off Madison Avenue. It's sale season-cum-summer and just because everyone is heading out of town, doesn't mean the discount hunt will come to an end. So while you're sitting in traffic on the LIE, you can browse the hottest sale items on the internet.

You can scroll through the slideshow below to see some of the most covetable sale items and find a full list of available holiday weekend discounts. As always, shoes and handbags are a hot commodity but uptown girls will never underestimate the value of a great dress.

extra 20% off
Ends: May 30

15% off a selection of summer items
Ends: 5/29

Take an extra 20% off select sale & clearance items
Ends: 5/30

Century 21
$20 Off Any Order Over $100
Ends: 5/30

30% Off Select Styles
Code: SUMMER30
Ends: 5/30

Savings up to 50% Off
Ends: 5/31

J. Crew
30% Off Your Purchase
Ends: 5/31

Moda Operandi
Up to 50% Off
Ends: 5/30

Rebecca Taylor
Extra 25% Off Sale Styles
Code: EXTRA25
Ends: 5/31

The RealReal
Extra 20% Off
Ends: 6/1

Department Store Discount Cheat Sheet

Almost all of the seasonal merchandise in department stores are on sale. At most of our local shopping destinations, spring and summer clothing is discounted 40% off but the prices of shoes and handbags vary greatly.

Some boutiques are offering even lower discounts than the department stores. For instance, Lanvin and Prada are both offering customers a 50% savings. Below is a comparison chart of Barneys, Bergdorf Goodman and Saks Fifth Avenue.

Chanel, Celine and Louboutin still haven't gone on markdown. We expect a sale to break on these brands on June 9 but we'll keep you posted. Saks seems to have the best shoe selection. It's a mess but it's the only place where we were able to find a good variety of Gucci and Fendi. If you're looking for something from Gianvito Rossi, you'll need to head to Barneys where the discount is 40%. These suede slingbacks are spot on for this season.

Here is your discount cheat sheet:

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Madison Avenue Presales: Chloe, Dolce & Givenchy

Memorial Day may not offer the best discounts but some consider it the warm weather equivalent of Black Friday. Presale has started at many Madison Avenue boutiques and most stores will officially begin their markdowns next week. We've been investigating the private sale situations in our neighborhood. Here's the scoop on Prada, Valentino & YSL and below are a few more places to banquet.

The Chloe boutique has reluctantly started presale, since every store that carries Chloe has already offered merchandise at a discount. The discount on clothing is 40% off and bags are 30% off retail. The bad news is that no Drew bags or Faye bags are included in the markdown. Some Hudson, Marcy and Keri bags have made it to the discount section. The boutique has fewer styles of shoes on markdown but we are told that they will 'give competitive department store discounts' if you ask.
Lauren: 212-717-8220

Dolce & Gabbana
Lemon prints have never been so sweet as they are when discounted 40% off. Many bags and shoes are also included in the markdown. We just have a hard time justifying a $3000 cotton dress every season. Even at 40% off those pom-pom shoes are $1437 but who can put a price tag on a work of art? We suggest waiting for further markdowns, this print at Nordstrom is already discounted 50%.
Stephanie text 201-951-2597

The Givenchy sale officially goes public on May 24 but presale is already underway. Right now you can save 50% on clothing and 40% on handbags. Bags included in the markdown the Pandora, Markus, Antigonas and Nightingales. Unfortunately, this season's leopard prints are not quite doing it for us. We're not sure we would jump on those at any price.

Monday, May 23, 2016

Madison Avenue Presales: Prada, Valentino and YSL

Temperatures are rising and so are markdowns. Today we collected presale intelligence from some of our favorite boutiques. As you can expect, we are just calling this our seasonal amuse bouche. Enjoy!

The Prada presale started today and opens to the public on May 27. The Italian luxury brand has recently experienced difficulty attracting the attention of fashionistas but is likely to turn some heads with a 50% discount. We suggest directing your focus on the metal perforation bags. In the shoe department the flatform and woven espadrilles are the way to go.
Zohair 212-664-0010

Hedi is out and discounts are up. Presale started today. Handbags are discounted 30% and shoes and clothing is reduced 40%. You can click here to see pictures of assorted styles included in the sale. Highlights include the College bag, pink Sac du Jour and cross bodies.
Miguel (YSL Boutique) 516-493-1929

You can save 40% on your favorite Rockstud variety. The presale starts Tuesday and opens to the public on May 26. Included in the markdown are 1975 pastel rainbow pumps and bags. If you can't make it to the Valentino store, we suggest you head to Barneys where the discount is the same. Keep your eyes out for Rockstud shoes with pink leather and blue studs or periwinkle.
Neusa 212-772-6969

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Gucci Private Sale Online Now

We know you've been waiting patiently ( or impatiently) for the Gucci online sale-- and it is on! The like is right this way the PRIVATE GUCCI SALE. Shoes, bags and accessories are reduced up to 50% off but all clothing has been omitted from the online markdown.

Once you check into the site you won't want to miss the wide assortment of shoes and bags discounted 30% to 50% off. There are some very good finds in the shoe department. Gucci horsebit loafers are reduced to $289 from $575 and mid-heel sandals are $300 from $595.

We urge you not to hesitate. As of now, everything listed seems to be fully stocked but that won't be the case for long.

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Step Inside Saks Fifth Avenue's Presale

We've spent the majority of the week exploring the sale selection of our local department stores. (You can click here to see what we found at Barneys and Bergdorf Goodman.) Today we tackled the presale shopping frenzy that's underway at Saks Fifth Avenue.

The discount on shoes and handbags is 30%. Clothing will be reduced up to 40%. Presale will continue through the weekend and the sale officially kicks off on Monday. That's when shoppers' purchases will ship out or they can pick them up.

Among the bag selection, we found a rather large selection of styles from Alexander McQueen, Alexander Wang, Jimmy Choo, 3.1 Phillip Lim and Stella McCartney. The Lanvin selection was already picked through but the sale selection from Dee Ocleppo is diverse and understated.

On eight, in the shoe emporium, everything that will be on sale is noted with a presale sign. The very large selection of Valentino and Giuseppi Zanotti sale shoes are displayed on tables. The rest of the sale shoes are on a maelstrom of racks. We were surprised to see so many Fendi monster style shoes. We spotted monster mohawk sneakers that are now $840 from $1200, bug stud flats that are $490 from $700 and jacquard espadrilles that are $280 from $400.

On the shoe racks (and all over the floor) we also spotted the best sale Gucci selection we've ever seen. Included in the Saks markdown are strappy booties that are about $900 from almost $1300, floral mules are $462 from $660 and linen clogs are about $700 from $1000.

You can scroll below to see the sale items online or click here to see dozens of pictures of shoes and bags that are now on sale.

Clothing: Delphine 646-370-0032
Shoe Salon: Gilbert 646-206-0618

Touring Bergdorf Goodman's Presale +60 pics

As you're finalizing your Memorial Day plans, retailers are beginning to start their seasonal clearance. As always, we will be starting our markdown roundups. Today we slipped into Bergdorf Goodman to collect detailed presale intelligence.

The discount at Bergdorf Goodman is 30% off on shoes and bags. Many clothing brands are marked down up to 40%. Presales can be shipped or picked up next week.

This season, we are seeing a broader trend in department stores holding back select brands from the first markdown. Usually the big holdouts are Chanel and Louboutin. This season the embargo list at the Lavender Lady is much larger and includes the following labels: Tom Ford, Brunello Cucinelli, Robert Clergerie, Alexander McQueen, Malone Souliers, Valentina Carrano, Giorgio Armani, Mansur Gavriel, Celine, Christian Louboutin, Dior and Chanel.

We don't have an exact date when these brands will go on sale but we have heard June 9th thrown around. It should also be noted that the assortment of items that did go on sale seems to be very small. For example, denim Valentino bags with embroidered butterflies, from the spring collection, are not on sale--yet. Many seasonal Lanvin bags also haven't been given the discount treatment. We wouldn't be surprised if we saw more items added to the sale selection as the season continues.

Some sale highlights include the Fendi selection. This classic Fendi 2Jours trimmed with bright yellow that comes to about $1500 from $2250 and this Micro Peekaboo is already on sale online ($1079 from $1550). The assortment of Saint Laurent bags also seems to be exceptional and includes lots of fringe style bags, like the small Cabas bag that's about $1800 from $2600 and various colors of the monogram shoulder bags.

Among the sale shoes, the most wanted items are lots of Aquazzura lace up flats and heels. Various suede flats come to $475 from $675. There is also a large sale selection from Saint Laurent including Tribute sandals in about a dozen colors. Trib platforms with 135mm heels come to $625 from $895. Denim Saint Laurent pumps are $450 from $645. The Valentino Rockstud sale selection is very small and includes wedge espadrilles that are reduced to $625 from $895 and red ballet flats that are $544 from $775.

You can scroll below to see the sale items online or click here to see dozens of pictures of shoes and bags that are now on sale.

Contact Doreen: 347-986-9483

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Madison Ave Real Estate Changing Course (Again)

Madison Avenue retailers seem to change as quickly as fashion trends. Most recently, we've noticed an abundance of vacant retail spaces that have left large gaping retail holes along the world-renowned Avenue.

Despite economic strength(ish), it's hard not to think back to the Great Recession of '09 where entire blocks were basically empty. The chairman of retail leasing for Douglas Elliman and bonafide Madison Avenue real estate maven, Faith Hope Consolo warns, "Don't even go there. It's not the same at all." Instead, she implors that Madison Avenue is a constant revolving door.

Despite how the door swings, it's hard not to take note of the larger spaces that have become available. There is Emporio Armani at 59th Street, DKNY at 60th Street, Donna Karan at 68th Street, Reed Krakoff at 70th Street and Joe Fresh at 80th Street. There are also several smaller spaces available located at the newly renovated Carlton House. Comptoir des Cotonniers and Lisa Perry have also recently exited.

Rents on Madison in the 60s were as high as $2200 to $2800-a-square-foot but have backed down to $1500 to $1800-a-square-foot, Consolo says. "The numbers are still aggressive but landlords are readjusting their expectations. For the first time, in a long time, the landloards are listening. If there is a good tenant then they are listening and making deals."

When vacancies are left along Madison Avenue it's not just an economic change but it's also a quality of life issue. One local resident said, "It's not like I shop in every store but when a store closes it leaves a gaping hole. I miss looking into the windows and seeing what's new. Walking past blacked out windows and plywood is awful."

From 2009 until just recently, the big retail trend was contemporary brands taking luxury spaces on Madison Avenue. Many of these retailers are struggling as moderately priced fashion lines are falling out of favor. Shoppers appear to be willing to spend lots of money for uber-luxury labels and are also content settling for the cheap thrill from fast fashion. It's the retailers that fall in between, or fashion's version of the middle class, that are feeling the biggest squeeze.

A spokesperson for the Madison Avenue Business Improvement District says that there have been 39 store openings and expansions in the last 10 months. "For every five [stores] that fall out there are six ready to fall in," Consolo says.

In 2015, we saw several jewelry and watch brands take smaller spaces in the 60s. The newest trend for retailers is leisure and sportswear along the lines of Lululemon and Sweaty Betty. In the future, we expect to see lots of beauty, cosmetic and fragrance brands taking smaller spaces in the 70s and 80s. Nars recently opened a space at 77th Street, Annick Goutal opened last year at 78th Street. We've heard rumblings that Blue Mercury, Sephora and the LVMH-owned Benfit beauty line are all shopping for a Madison Avenue presence.

Rumors aside, shoppers can look forward to several exceptional brands swinging open their doors on Madison. Some of the most anticipated store openings for the second half of 2016 are Brioni, Acne, Elie Saab and The Row. You can click here to see more details about recent store openings, expansions and new developments.

Monday, May 16, 2016

Barneys Presale Begins With 40% Off

Barneys shoppers can begin to presale for the first markdown starting Monday. The discount is 40% across the board-- clothing, shoes and bags for men, women and children. Besides the outstanding selection, 40% discounts make Barneys the best department store to shop for Summer deals.

Presales are akin to the "quiet period" before a company goes public. You can't actually buy the merchandise but you can have your broker, oh sorry-- sales person, hold your preferred items until the sale officially begins. Most stores take your credit card information and charge your account when the items ship or are picked up. Chanel, Alaia and Louboutin will not be marked down at any department store or boutique until the beginning of June.

This season has been particularly a difficult time for retailers. Expect to find some unexpected items thrown into the sale pile. For example, Manolo Haganisi heels in various colors are included in this seasons' markdowns. Also expect to find lots of Valentino, Givenchy and Saint Laurent classics. Stay tuned for more details of what's included in the first markdown. For now, you can browse some of our favorites below.

Barneys' sales associates aren't always forthcoming with presales. If there is an item you want to secure, we suggest that you give your name and number to the respective brand associate and have them call you when the discount becomes available. You can usually expect a call within hours of leaving the store.

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Gucci Four-Day Private Sale

Retail sales have had a difficult year, except for a very select group of fashion brands that are white hot. Gucci happens to be one of these exceptions, as Alessandro Michele has turned the nearly extinct Italian brand into a fashion stallion.

For the past couple of years, Gucci had just one markdown at various times surrounding Memorial Day. Last year, was practically a fire sale as the company divested itself of merchandise from previous resident designers. This sale season is going to be much, much different.

Inside sources tell us that Gucci boutiques, and the spaces Gucci leases within department stores, will host a four day sale. The private sale will begin on Wednesday, May 18. Clothing from this past season's collection will be reduced 30%, while seasonal style shoes and handbags will be reduced 40%.

Manhattan-bound Gucci shoppers can shop the discounts at the brand's three boutiques-- Trump Towers, Madison Avenue and Brookfield Place. Department store leased spaces include the Gucci ready-to-wear and handbag department at Saks Fifth Avenue (not shoes) and the Gucci handbag department at Bloomingdales.

We are told that these four days will be the only discount opportunity offered by Gucci. After Saturday, the merchandise will be returned to full price and shipped out of stores when the season ends. The sale schedule on non-leased Gucci merchandise-- Bergdorf Goodman, Saks shoe salon and Barneys-- are up to the individual stores.

We suggest that Gucci fans quickly contact with a reliable sales person to assist in securing your desired items. There will also be an online sale but we aren't sure of the dates. Stay tuned for updates.