Friday, July 1, 2016

Pre-Fall Ahead: New Designer Arrivals

Even as we shop for the hottest discounts it's hard to ignore all the new arrivals coming into stores. We always like to take this opportunity to fall in love. After all, there's nothing like living happily ever after with your sweetest desires.


Heading to Nordstrom's newest additions, we started browsing and falling in love over and over again. We are especially taken buy JW Anderson's collection, which features orbiting layers of colors. We also can't get enough of Nordstrom's edgy selection of Rick Owens jackets. Everyone Uptown and Downtown must own a funnel collar biker jacket like this or this.

Moving on to accessories and shoes, check out MCM's new minimalistic shapes that add a bit of sophistication to the label that's better known for it's all-over logo. Alexander Wang is jumping on the guitar (bag) strap accessory trend. Check out this version with studs and grommets. Those attracted to Red Bull-like wings should direct their attention to Christian Louboutin's Samotresse sandals or the Victorina flames. Talk about hot!

As always, online shoppers should take advantage of Nordstrom's free shipping and free returns. If only all stores were as easy to shop as Nordstrom.


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Thursday, June 30, 2016

Amuze July 4th Spectacular

What's better than fireworks on July 4th? An explosive designer sale-- of course! Our favorite online designer discount store, Amuze is hosting a huge holiday weekend sale where discounts range up to 80% off. The sale includes some of the best designer brands, like Tom Ford, Valentino, Saint Laurent, Chanel, Prada, Gucci and more. The best part is that you can use the code JULY425 and save an additional 25%.



Check out these Chanel flats that come to just $315 from $750, a Tom Ford fold-over Alix is just $595 from almost $2000, an Alexander McQueen dress comes to $200 from almost $1200 and a gorgeous silk Gucci shift dress is about $330 from $3400. (Now, that's a deal!) There is even a great selection of clothing and shoes for men.

We couldn't imagine anyone not loving all these discounts but it's also good to know that Amuze allows returns for either store credit or refund (minus shipping). But shop fast, these deals will disappear as quickly as fireworks falling into the ocean.

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Barneys Begins Final Sale 75% Off (Chanel 40% Off)

Today, Barneys took its third markdown bringing the potential savings to 75% off. The online discounts are the same and we are very pleased to see that the online selection is very close to what's available on Madison.

Photo Credit: Erica Jamz
As as you contemplate hitting the beach or shopping, we suggest that you do both. Just find a wide brim sunhat, look fabulous while reducing your iPad glair and follow along as we take you on a link-by-link tour of what's on sale. What's not online you can find in the pictures after the jump.

Right now there aren't a lot of very desirable bags to be found on the first floor. The selection is actually better online. The discount ranges from 40% to 70% off. This Valentino fringed bag is 60% off or $2000 from $5000, a Dolce & Gabbana velvet and snakeskin bag is $1200 from $3000 and a Stella McCartney Baby Bella is $930 from $1865. Beyond that, there are a few bags from Proenza and Lanvin.

The buzziest part of the store is undoubtedly the shoe department where the discounts are higher than any other store in the city. Almost every designer sole is discounted 60% and Chanel is 40% off. You can see pictures of the Chanel assortment here. Linen lace-up espadrilles are now $479 from $800, patent leather wing-tips are $340 and tweed navy booties with a patent heel and tip are $590 from $975.

Moving on to the more discounted shoe assortment, Gianvito Rossi Roma pumps that come in a variety of colors are all discounted to $269 from $670. We're especially fond of the aqua suede, but it's totally acceptable if you opt for the more neutral navy or black. Speaking of blue suede shoes, these Aquazzuras beauties are $329 from $825). These studded Saint Laurent rain boots are a great alternative to Hunters for not that much more money.

Moving upstairs onto ready-to-wear, we got stuck on these MM6 wide-legged jeans for $130 from $525, a Goen J black-and-white dress is $290 from $1150, a bird print cape Valentino dress is $1200 from $3000 and an embellished Prabal Gurung crop top is is $319 from $1217.

This is the last markdown at Barneys. If you were holding out for something particular, we suggest you wait no more.




The IT-it: Waves and Curls

Woman have spent the better part of the past three decades blowing, hot ironing and treating their hair to get every strand in place. Finally, finally, you can get rid of your DryBar membership because curls and waves are coming back in a big way.

Of course, we aren't considering the big hair and teased curls of the 80s. We are indeed in the midst of a hair renaissance. Perms are becoming a regular thing in top salons and volume enhancing hair care products are now the product segment de jour. For the hottest I-just-woke-up-with-this-great-hair we suggest going towards a beachy wave. The curls are loose, light and naturally irregular.

For the best at-home unstyled-style, we suggest french braiding wet hair and then letting it loose. We've been experimenting with some products for the past year that are perfect for your newest Summer look. Below is a list of some of our favorite sprays for fabulous waves.


Bumble & Bumble Surf Spray ($29)
This spray is an updated classic infused with extra minerals. It smells great and gets the job done right.

Alterna Bamboo Beach Ocean Waves ($22)
Smells a bit too coconutty but each time I went to bring it back, I stopped, because the waves looked so good. Best results when used on wet hair.

Orbe Apres Beach Wave & Shine ($39)
The gold standard in beach waves. It adds volume and luminosity to your hair and works well on dry and wet hair.

Show Beauty Premier Texture Working Spray ($35)
A combination of volcanic ash and wheat amino acids create volume and a unique texture. Best used on dry hair to add volume and body.

Sachajuan Ocean Mist ($31)
You can taste the salt on your hands after working through this product. It is great at mimicking that wind and surf look from the marble floors of your bathroom. Can be used on dry or wet hair but the best results occurred with wet hair.


Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Bergdorf Goodman Hits 75% Off (New Chanel Markdowns)

Early this morning, we got word that Bergdorf Goodman's discount was going to 75% off. We didn't waste a minute and headed straight to 57th and 5th.


Once we got there, however, the excitement quickly faded. To find anything reduced by two-thirds, you need to really search. We found only one pathetic rack and then continued along our regular course. To recap, almost all clothing is 60% off. Dior, Celine, Tom Ford, and Cucinelli just got the second markdown treatment today, which brings all brands except Chanel to 50% off.

Chanel shoes are still only 30% off but the store added a bunch of great styles, like basic flats and espadrilles,  to the discounted list. You can click here to see pictures. We don't have a specific date for the next markdown on Chanel markdown but we would expect it to be within the next two weeks.

If you're hunting for those major discounts we suggest you start sorting through the Bergdorf online. This embellished peach Stella McCartney mini skirt is $279 from alost $1200, this dramatic Delpozo blouse is $300 from $1200 and this adorable Peter Pilot mini dress is $380 from $1500. Keep in mind, we don't recognize many of these items and they could very possibly be carry overs from the beginning of time.

We strongly suggest you browse through the pajamas, there is an excellent selection from Natori and Cosabella. After all, is there any place more luxurious than the bedroom?









Monday, June 27, 2016

Roundup: Sale-ling Along Madison Avenue

Temperatures are rising and so are discounts. Today, we collected markdown intelligence from some key Madison Avenue boutiques. Many stores have already taken second markdowns and discounts span from 30% to 50% off retail. You can check out pictures from our (coincidentally very British) shopping trip here.

Before making an impulse purchase, we suggest you do a quick review of what sales are online. Sometimes you can find even steeper discounts online or at department stores-- especially if you're shopping for clothing.


Sonia Rykiel
The markdowns at the Madison Avenue newcomer range from 30% to 50% off retail. The spring-summer women's and children's collections of clothing is reduced 50%. Most of the best items of the season area already gone but we spotted a striped tank reduced to $110 from $220 and a marigold pleated dress is $1100 from $2200. Compared to what's online, the store was pretty sparse. We suggest you browse the designer's website or Farfetch for a larger option of choices.
Eileen Kasofsky 212-396-3060

Belstaff
British heritage brand, Belstaff is a bit more niche than most Madison Avenue retailers. The company is known for their rugged leather that was favored by the likes of Steve McQueen and Brad Pitt. Origginally designed in the 40s for aviators and motorcyclists, Belstaff has a strong and loyal following from the luxury fashion crowd. What's best is that it's not sold at many department stores or numerous websites. It's for this reason we got so excited to find out that the discount has hit 60% off at the boutique. Among the most alluring women's items are leather jackets that include, rich cognac, standard black and pretty pastels. One of our favorite pieces is a denim biker jacket that comes to about $270 from over $600.
Edwin 212-897-1880

Anya Hindmarch
We were very excited to see how the London-based retailer treated her Madison Avenue discounts. We must admit, that we were excited to see that the pricing was quite competitive with a discount that ranged from 30% to 50% off. None of the sticker or patchwork bags are included in the markdown-- anywhere. We did find a lots of rainbow styles like this one that's reduced to $1125 from $2250. This one on Farfetch is only $834-- we presume it's because of the currency conversion.
Augusta 646-852-6233

Charlotte Olympia
The discount is holding still at 50% off for kitty slippers and other whimsical heels at Charlotte Olympia. The one difference is that the boutique has added an extra shopping incentive. If you buy two shoes or more you can take a 60% discount. Woohoo. Sizes are hit or miss. We struck out on the espadrilles but were lucky winner for the leopard cat flats.
Harlina 212-744-1842 or harlina.senfleur@charlotteolympia.com


Sunday, June 26, 2016

Celebrate Independence Day at Woodbury

Discounts at outlet stores can be spotty. It's not at all unusual to make a day trip with great expectations only to be disappointed by lackluster discounts and undesirable selection. Over the years we've noticed that designer outlets favor saving their big markdowns for Christmas and July 4th.


While in the neighborhood, we couldn't help from snooping around Woodbury Common and found that many of our favorite stores are adding extra discounts to lure customers. Don't worry if your plans don't include driving an hour north to go shopping. We opt for the beach on a holiday summer weekend too but most stores are willing to ship merchandise. Below is a list of some of the outlets with the most favorable assortments and sales. Extensive picture examples  can be found right this way.

Bottega Veneta
The Bottega outlet has a lot of bags, which is not always the case. Styles from last year’s collections are an additional 30% off. The store has a large variety of Roma tote bags that come to about $1660 from $3750 and a very light pink Maxi Veneta is $1279 from $3000. The clothing selection offers even steeper discounts that range up to 70% off of the original retail prices. An embellished denim dress with raw edges, from last season, is just $500 and a brightly embroidered skirt is $235 from $5600.
(845) 928-4563

Celine
Many times, the bags found at the Celine outlet are sold for full retail. This week is quite a treat because select handbags are discounted an extra 30% to 50% off a prior markdown. There is a nice assortment of bags from the spring 2015 collection including a red and widget Cabas Phantom striped tote is reduced to $700 from $1450 and a Curved Clutch that's about $1000 from $1900. The most highly reduced clothing comes to about 70% off. A long white wool vest is about $1200 from $4750.
(845) 928-4000

Chloe
It's hard not to resist pulling massive amounts of clothing when discounts top 85% off. That's the current discount of Chloe's prior summer collection. We found a dramatic navy coat reduced to $670 from $4450, a double embroidered white and pink skirt is $180 from $1200 and a black and white version is $195 from $1300. We would suggest steering clear of the bags. It seems as if the prices have been reduced and then they were marked back up to retail. There is a small discount offer but you would likely do better shopping at Intermix.
(845) 928-6260

Gucci
The selection at the Gucci outlet was quite atrocious. It's not too tough to call it, 'the worst of Gucci.' Maybe that's not so bad. After all, it is an outlet. The best deals are found on two racks in the middle of the store that are reduced an extra 70% off. We found a denim sleeveless dress with a lizard collar for $360, a white blazer for $240 and a long black gown with rhinestone rope around the neck for $750. We are almost sure we saw that last dress hanging around Bergdorfs at some point.
(845) 928-8034

Prada
The Prada outlet (at Woodbury and Florence) holds a special place in our heart. Does one ever really recover from scoring off the runway samples for $75. Discounts like that haven't been reported about for years but that doesn't mean that there aren't any good finds. Again, we suggest you focus your attention on the clothing. We found a mini leather Miu Miu skirt for $215, a black Prada shift dress with red edging for $285 and an embellished Prada flapper dress also for $285. Classic cotton skirts can be found for as little as $115 and we even spotted a powder blue ski jacket for just $255. Sizes seem to be either very big (44) or small (36). We suggest you take your time, you might just get lucky and when you do-- you will never forget it.
(845) 928-3706

Tom Ford
The Tom Ford story is a bit sad. The boutique is almost always empty and there are only one or two pieces of clothing that gain momentum any each season. The remainders seem to languish through multiple markdowns. The outlet is clear proof and is brimming with fashion castoffs. Right now, you can find discounts up to 90% off. The selection is small but there are some nice pieces. A white wool dress with black lacing is $329 from $3290 and a simple wool dress with an open back is $250 from $2500. The shoes and bags were redued an extra 20% to 50% off but there wasn't much that jumped out at us when the collections were new. I makes it that much harder to get excited when the collection has aged.
(845) 684-3100


Friday, June 24, 2016

BREXIT: Currency Arbitrage Via Luxury Brands

Dissecting the geo-political consequences of Great Britain's vote to exit the EU is best left to the pundits. Watching markets and currencies shift so drastically, however, it's almost impossible not to be tempted to take advantage of pricing inefficiances in retail.



Most money managers and hedge experts consider such an anomaly an arbitrage opportunity. Arbitrage is defined as the simultaneous buying and selling of securities, currency, or commodities in different markets or in derivative forms in order to take advantage of differing prices for the same asset. In this instance, we can consider Chanel classics, Hermes Birkins or other fashion items to be our 'asset' or commodity.

If you've ever shopped in London, you know it's normally very expensive. As a matter of fact, it's often sited as one of the most expensive places in the world to shop. Well, not right now. As the pound to dollar exchange hovers around 1.3, we couldn't help from running the numbers on some of our favorite luxury items.

Hermes Birkin 30 Togo
$11,300 New York
$8122 London
Savings of $3100 + VAT ‪back

Chanel new medium Boy Bag
$5200 New York
$4400 London
Savings of $800 + VAT back

Beyond looking at these high priced fashion classics, there are a few other international websites that will ship to the United States. You can shop Net-A-Porter's UK site and have merchandise shipped to the US. A Gucci GG Marmont bag is $800 less expensive when you buy it on the British version of the site. There is also a large markdown section on the site, but the discounts aren't as high as the US. You might need to check back and forth before committing to a currency.

In some instances, it might pay to shop from the UK version of a US retailer. For example, on Shopbop you can shop in British Sterling Pounds and ship to the US, Just make sure the shipping doesn't overtake the benefit. Below are a list of sites that you can consider. Many even have some great sales. Happy BREXIT!!!

Charlotte Tilbury Cosmetics

Farfetch up to 70% off

Forward by Elyse Walker up to 50% off

Matches up to 50% off

Shopbop up to 70% off

Stylebop Up to 50% and extra 10% off for the weekend

The Corner Up to 70% off

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Shopbop: Extra 25% Off Sale

Just in time for the last minute beach season, Shopbop is offering an extra 25% off sale items. The extra discount brings the ultimate markdown to about 85% off. Just use the code 25EXTRA at checkout.


This is a great time to stock up. Browsing through the 70% off section, which is final sale, we found a Clover Canyon maxi sundress that come to about $85 from $374. (The dress is perfect for over a bathing suit.) We love this scarf dress that's just $66 from $325. Keeping within the same section of 70% off there is a Moschino soda dress that comes to $600 from $2700, a Mugler dress is $550 from $2500 and there are lots and lots of swimsuits.

The sale ends Friday at midnight (PT). This is the best deal you can expect, outside of Shopbop's friends and family sale. If you ask us, it seems like a good opportunity to celebrate July 4th.

The Best Online Deals Now

Yesterday, we spent some time taking a closer look at the discounts at our local department stores. Today we are crawling the web, searching for the best deals.


One would think that online price comparisons would be easy but e-tailers purposely make it difficult. Instead of one broad markdown, most online stores individually price items according to their inventory levels. It's almost impossible to nail down a discount at destinations like Ssense and Net-a-Porter. Generally the discounts at sites range from 40% to 70% off. One must really shop around to find the real deal.

We haven't seen the Chloe Faye bag on sale anywhere but SSense has a few styles on markdown. Net-A-Porter has the best Dolce & Gabbana selection but the markdowns on most items are just 40%. Moda's selection is almost as good and is offering savings up to 60% and Ssense has some items discounted 70%,

Take note, that Moda Operandi seems like the overall winner as it still has a really great selection of designer merchandise and most everything is 50% off.  Below is a comparison chart of Ssense,  M'oda Operandi and Net-a-Porter.