Thursday, February 26, 2009

True Love: Running In Heels

Everyone knows that magazine circulation is dying. So magazines are trying to do everything they can to get attention, even if it means reality TV. Marie Claire, for example, launched a reality show on the Style network called, "Running in Heels." This docu-drama gives viewers an inside look into the personal and professional lives of its editors, interns and senior staffers.

We think an episode with an inside view of the snatching Nina Garcia from Elle would have been riveting enough but the content they put together is a lot more entertaining than you would imagine.



Yes, there are a lot of interns crying-- been there done that-- lots of snide and demanding senior staffers-- been there too-- and yes, the editors are attempting to set the tone. The combination is very entertaining.

Running in Heels is no Gossip Girl but it's much better than MTV's The City. Here's a link to the premier episode, which can be viewed in its entirety here.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Banana Republic 30% Off

Our friend, Absent, is still off in Tokyo hanging out in members only clubs that requires a retina eye scanner for entry. With that type of access we're not surprised that he has the scoop on Banana Republic even from the other side of the globe.

This may not seem major news but Banana Republic just hired Simon Kneen as their new creative director. Simon previously led the creative vision for Brooks Brothers and Adrienne Vittadini. We hear that he has his sights on expanding the Banana Republic Monogram Collection and is even nudging to open stand alone stores for higher end line. Sounds a bit risky in economy but doing something is always better than doing nothing. Well, at least most of the time.



To celebrate the change in power, Banana Republic is offering 30% off all full priced merchandise. This includes the Monogram Collection, which doesn't ever seem to get discounted. There is also a little fête going on at the Rock Center and Broadway and 67th Street locations. So enjoy the goodie bag, the drinks, the music and the discount. Just don't jump into the stock.

Gracious Home White Sale

At dinner, a friend mentioned that Gracious Home is having an incredible sale. Turns out that bed and table linens and towels are all 50% off. 

Gracious Home carries the gold standard of housewares brands like Yves Delorme, Sferra and Matouk. We are told that there's still a large selection. So now would be a great time to do over your bedroom, bath AND table linens.



Contact:
1992 Broadway @ 67th St. 212-231-7800
1217 3rd Ave. @ 70th St. 212-517-6300

A Sample Sale Come-On

Our friends were all buzzing about this super-duper-designer sample sale. When asked us about it we said that we were suspicious.

What made us suspicious? The sale description reads a lot like a too-good-to-be-true apartment listing on Craigs List:

Sample & stock sale. Sample Sale Productions has the largest selection of Chanel assembled outside of Chanel. Find hundreds of new and mint vintage designer handbags up to 70% off as well as designer sunglasses, jewelry, coats and furs. For three days only, shop Chanel and other favorite designers including Fendi, Gucci, Louis Vuitton, Hermes, Prada, Dior and more at up to 70% off. Also ready-to-wear from high end designers at up to 80% off: Chanel, Escada, John Galliano, D & G, Fendi and more.

It was the "new and mint vintage" line that set us off. We had a vague hunch it was a collaboration of resale vendors but without the facts we couldn't announce our doubt. That's why we were so glad when Racked posted a buyer beware item. Basically our instincts were right:

"I just wanted to let you know that the designer handbag sale is actually a group sale of re-sellers who will be selling bags for their clients and then getting a commission off the sales...A buyer will not be able to guarantee that they will be purchasing an authentic bag unless they know what to look for in terms of authenticity...My inside tipster told me that no Gucci group brands are going to be sold because at one point a fake Gucci bag was sold at this event and the organizers got into legal trouble and are not allowed to sell any more Gucci brands."



We have nothing against a Chinatown Special, if that's what you want. Duping shoppers, however, is not cool. So remember, if the sale listing sounds too good to be true chances are that it's not much better than a crack den with rear facing view.

Photo Credit: Tendance High-Tech

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Intermix Pavilion Warehouse Sale

We are finding Intermix to be very confusing. At the beginning of the month, the store announced a warehouse sale but at their Madison Avenue Location. Now they are hosting another warehouse sale, but this time it's at Metropolitan Pavilion.



If the in-house sale was any indication, this should be a good sale. Prices should range from 65% to 85% off. If they aren't, save your money for spring

Monday, February 23, 2009

H&M 50% Off 3rd Item

We're not too much into coupons but if it's in your inbox and you're in the store-- why not!?

The low down: Buy 3 items get 50% off the least expensive item. The offer is good until Feb. 27th. Make your items count!

Pottery Barn Cuts "Threads"

The Pottery Barn Kids spin-off, Threads, is closing after just 15 months. The store specialized in baby clothing and gifts and also offered in-store monogramming. After a successful run on Second Avenue, Williams-Sonoma-- the parent company of Pottery Barn and Threads-- planned to expand the concept store

Unfortunately, Williams-Sonoma has been hit with the rest of our economy. The stock is down about 65% since the start of they year and down more than 73% from its 52-week high. In January, the company announced actions to reduce its overhead costs by $75 million. This translated in 1,400 employees losing their jobs and Threads getting cut.



The store is slated to close next week and everything is now reduced an additional 30% off. The merchandise is going fast and employees don’t even know if the store will last that long. For now, there is a gorgeous baby bassinette for about $370 and a heavily discounted barn jacket embroidered with the name Bianca.

Contact: 212-737-0104
1451 2nd Avenue (75th & 76th)

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Bloomingdales Discount and Fundraiser

All day on Wednesday, Feb. 25th Bloomingales will take 15% off almost everything in the store and online. Even better, you can save 20% if you spend more than $300 on your Bloomingales card. Print this post to receive the in store discount. The online discount will automatically be taken on that day.

As part of the promotion, Bloomingdale's and Bloomingdales.com has pledged to make a $75,000.00 donation to Mentoring USA, an organization with the mission to pair at-risk youths across the country with inspirational adult mentors who can guide them in developing better self-esteem, creating healthy relationships, and making positive life choices.



Cosmetics and "certain designers" are not included in the promotion. We imagine that this means Chanel and most everything else on the 4th floor.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Fashion Week: Project Runway

Project Runway designs took to the runway today but without the designers. A network scuttlebutt has thrown a bend into the finale of Season 6 where none of the designers were introduced or even mentioned.

Three anonymous design collections were presented to friends and some fashion press. (We hear that the big fashion names opted for the more traditional offsite Ralph Lauren show.)



Now for some fashion talk: Three collections, each different, but no designers attached. So from here on we will refer to the three designers as Sleepy, Playful and Edgy.

Sleepy: This collection was the most casual of the three and the least interesting. Sleepy made several sweater looks that reminded us of a sleepy Sunday at home. Sleepy's suits were nice but not memorable and the final design was an unmemorable fitted sweater dress with a train.
Score: 6



Playful: Playful had a much more diverse collection, which included an array of tulle numbers, stunningly draped colorful silk dresses and shapely coats. We especially liked this collection for its playful use of color and materials. One tulle dress looked like it was more fitting as a cake topper but we give snaps for taking risks.
Score: 8.5



Edgy: This may have been our favorite collection for design, concept and tailoring. Edgy's collection mainly consisted of black and gray. The overall look was a cross between Herve Leger and Plain Sud. There were lots of very fitted bondage looking outfits with tulip-like layers. The collection was very wearable however there was no diversity. Every piece was similar, even if it was a sweater, coat or dress. For that we must take away a full point.
Score: 8



Bottom line: We think if given the choice we would want an outfit made by Edgy. However, if we were handed the collection as an entire wardrobe we would easily tire in about a week. Playful takes the cake!

Photo Credit: Getty Images

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Fashion Week: Ports 1961

Ports 1961 designer, Tia Cibani, had a vision: the Indian Mughai Dynasty. Translated into fashion, the designs were reminiscent of an Indian princess set free in London. Sometimes the designs were exquisite and restrained, like the piped wool coats. Other times the designs were much too ornate, like the gold lame dresses.



On either side of the spectrum, however, Tina was able to fashion a rich and detailed collection that was enhanced by the live Indian colonial marching band. You know, Red Baratt Festival is the only of its kind in the US!

In attendance was a full on fashion crowd, which included Anna Wintour (only three rows ahead), Grace Coddington and Hal Rubinstein.

Photo Credit: WWD

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

China's Mega Sample Sale

You know how there are buses of Asian tourists who only travel to the United States to shop at Woodbury Common? Well, what's the chance that that would work the other way around?

The Chinese tourism board is hyping a mega Chinese sample sale dubbed, "Asia's First Billion Brand Sale." The event is located at the Venetian Macao-Resort-Hotel, "a luxury lifestyle, retail and entertainment complex" -- we think it's a mall on a touristy island.

The four-day sale, which starts on Feb. 19th, includes more than 150 designers at "prices worth fighting for.” Where have we heard this tag line before? Century 21, perhaps? They even seem to have captured their branding image.



Nonetheless, prices are up to 90% off and the resort's store directory includes, M Missoni, Wolford, Vilebrequin and Fiorucci. We're dying to find someone willing to fly to the other side of the world to check it out for us. We'll pay the bus fare!

Even More Bowler Hats

I have a feeling you guys are going to hate me for this but I'm not the only person spotting them.
NY Mag's, The Cut, Twittered the following:

cutblog: Also at G-Star: A bowler hat, inexplicably perched atop Mischa's head. Sigh. #nyfw

P.S. Is it Twittered or Twit?

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Kimora's Baby-Fat

At tonight's Babyphat fashion show Kimora made her entrance clearly "showing" and looking radiant. For us, that was the best part of the event besides for the invitation. Kimora is expecting her first child with actor Djimon Hounsou. Simmons, who is 33, has two daughters with hip-hop icon, Russell Simmons. Ming Lee is eight and Aoki Lee is six.

Back to the runway: Everyone knows the fashions Kimora sends down the runway never make it to Macy's. It's more of her-- or her merchandiser's vision-- for the client.

At the show we spotted no celebrities-- not that we are good at that anyway. NY Mag's The Cut, did a bit better at the celeb spotting but agreed that the attendance was light.

At least we got a good red nail polish in the goodie bag.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Dunhil Sample Sale

The Dunhil sample sale starts Tuesday but remember that the 5th Avenue store marks suits down 60% to 70% off. If the sample sale doesn't match up just head to Dunhil on Fifth Avenue or Saks, where there is still a great selection of high end men's clothing on sale. And we know you're dying to check out the new Kiton department's $7,000 suits. (Yes, that's off the rack. Made to order will set you back about $21k.)

Details Below:
Dunhil men's clothing, sportswear, furnishings and accessories, including watches, cufflinks, jewelry and pens

Tuesday, Feb. 17th through Friday, Feb. 20th
Tuesday through Thursday: 9:00am to 6:30pm
Friday: 9:00am to 5:00pm

To be held at:
SOIFFER HASKIN
317 West 33rd Street, NYC
(Just west of 8th Avenue)

CREDIT CARDS ONLY
Strollers not allowed. No children under 12 will be admitted.
No Cash or Checks Accepted. All Sales Final. No Returns. No Exchanges.

Hayden-Harnett 75% Off

We're not big lovers of Hayden-Harnett, but then again, there are few things that lure us to Brooklyn. Basically friends and specialty foods are all that make us cross that bridge. However, lovers of the Greenpoint-based store can now get 75% off on ALL fall apparel, handbags and outerwear and 50% off ALL fall boots. Seems good!?



The H-team also has a collection in Target. Chances are that if you don't feel the high-priced stuff the cheap stuff isn't going to feel right either.

211 Franklin Street
Contact: 718-349-2247

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Calypso Sale Update

A Spy writes:

"I went to the Madison store to check out this "secret sale." Sorry to report that the sale isn't all that. Stuff is still $200-300 on sale and not much selection at all. You're better off going to the Soho Outlet store on Broome St. where they are having a Buy One, Get the Next Item 50% sale. I got a Butter By Nadia wrap dress there on sale for $99 and then 50% off my second item. The Butter dress ended up being $75, compared to the $350 regular price!"



So, if you're lookng for Calypso deals head to the SoHo outlet: 424 Broome St. (off Lafayette St.)

Fashion Week Handbook

There's no way for one person to inhale all the fashion week festivities. Part of your duty is to keep you posted on the world of fashion and style. Below is a concise resource guide of where to go online--to take it all in --without even leaving your desk:

  • Racked is blogging live from the shows. It's like sending your best friend and drooling over their access. Details include: time stamps, so you can figure out how late the designers are running off schedule and updates on sag lines.


  • Cheryl Shops is running a concise roundup off many shows, including this jewel of information on the Barbie 50th Anniversary Runway Show:

    "...the Barbie show was a complete and utter shitstorm. The going theory is that every invitee could bring a guest--ideally, a little girl who could sit on your lap, but in reality, everything from your three-year-old niece to your 16-year-old cousin to your roommate to Bob from accounting. Therefore, there were way too many people at the show, hundreds of whom, despite being confirmed, didn't even make it in. Reportedly, there were lots of crying little girls and lots of pissed-off journalists.
    "


  • Looking for fashion pictures? Style.com and NYMag.com never miss a look.


  • To find out where is where you need to go to Patrick McMullan's site. This is a serious resource when you're trying to remember the name of person you spoke to for an hour but can't remember because you already had four cocktails.


  • Don't worry, we'll be there too but we also have shopping to do and sales to spy out.

    Fashion Week: More Bowler Hats

    I'm not sure you believed us so I wanted to provide proof: Bowler-hats or bowler-like hats are all the rage. We even spotted Zac Posen sporting the look.

    Below is a picture of an authentic bowler hat worn to the Prada Iconoclasts party. You too can get your own personal bolwer at J. J. Hat Center (310 Fifth Ave. at 32nd), New York’s oldest and largest hat store, the shop claims to have stock in over 10,000 hats.


    Here is picture of a bowler-like hat, but you get the picture.



    There were many more hats at the Mercedes Benz fashion week opening night party but the lighting was an issue even for my deft iPhone photography. 

    *Double points if you can name the men in the pictures.

    Thursday, February 12, 2009

    Cleaning Up the Chaos

    I have friends with 5,000 sq. ft. apartments and 300 sq. ft. apartments. Believe or not both complain about space. Recently, a close friend of mine was groaning that since the birth of her second son, her living room has turned into a giant play room. I gave her the same name I give everyone running into a space crunch, Heather Ouida of Out of The Box Organizing.

    Heather and her assistant were able to transform my friend's living room in a matter of hours. The best part was that my friend didn't even need to be home while the elves sorted and reorganized. The cost was just $400, which was much less than finding a new apartment or redecorating. Of course, Heather welcomes clients to join in the process but I personally love fairy tale makeovers.



    Sorting the clutter isn't the only service available. Heather specializes in pre-moves and post-moves so that all your unwanted junk is gone before you land in your new castle. Moving in with a roommate or taking the plunge with your significant other? You can avoid a significant amount of bickering with a professional organizational mediator.

    Heather's best advice, "We live in a vertical city. Go up rather than spread out." So this Valentine's Day skip the chocolates and opt for a more moving experience with Out of the Box Organizing. It sure beats couples therapy!

    The consultation is complimentary and Madison Avenue Spy readers get 15% off.

    Contact: Heather Ouida 917-270-9006 or
    outoftheboxorganizing.com

    Sponsored Post

    La Perla V-Day Saks Special

    Just in from our source in Tokyo:

    "La Perla is having 30% off from 5pm to 8pm, Feb 13, at Saks, 10th floor."

    There you have it folks, seduction is being discounted for three hours.

    Calypso Private Sale

    Upstairs, on the fifth floor of the Calypso store -- 68th and Madison-- is a private sale. Racked reports, "the sale includes, Boho skirts, dresses, scarves and more (20 boxes of merch!) marked way down."



    The sale runs from Feb 13th to Feb 16 from 10am until 7pm. The email says the merchandise is from the fall and cruise collections.

    Cruise on sale already? And we thought it was going to be a slow sale month! Yipit, thanks for the tip,

    Fashion Week: Victoria's Secret

    Fashion week doesn't officially start until tomorrow but Victoria's Secret got a jump start with a model heavy party at the Bowery Hotel.

    The emerging style of the evening? Bowler hats. Yes, you heard right. We counted eight--yes 8-- guys wearing bower hats. Some paired their Victorian era  hats with loosely knotted skinny ties while others combined the look with a casual shirt.



    The only thing we regret is not gathering the bowler wearing men all in front of the "step and repeat" on the red carpet. What an image!

    Wednesday, February 11, 2009

    Say Good-Bye to Winter

    When the weather is nice there's nothing nicer than taking a stroll along Madison. We weren't the only ones feeling that way. For the first time in months we saw shoppers actually shopping (buying things) at boutiques all along the Avenue.

    Most of the buzz was about Fashion week and poor economy but that's not going to stop people from wanting to look great. Here's a round-up of what's left of the Fall/Winter collection at your favorite stores and boutiques:

    Bergdorfs: Some stuff left but really don't bother if you're looking for anything with style.

    Bloomingdales: There are two racks of leftovers that are 50% off wth another 65% off. The only standout is a black Zac Pozen in size 6.

    Chloe: Everything was reduced to 70% early in the season and has been gone since January. Smart move.
    Contact: Gisella 212-717-8220

    Dolce & Gabbana: Nothing Left.
    Contact: Cono 212-249-4100

    Dior: Everything's been shipped out. By the way, this store is so much better than 57th Street's rave ambience.
    Contact: 212 249-2254



    Gucci: Done.
    Contact: Maura 212-717-2619

    Kriza: The store is still heavily stocked with winter clothing and the discount is just 60% off. We're still waiting for that 70% off sample sale phone call.
    Contact: Julius 212-879-1211

    Prada: All done.
    Contact: Christina 212-327-4200

    Saks: This is where to go for great selection and price.
    Contact: Marie Jose 212-940-2536

    Ungaro: A few stunning dresses and gowns still available but the discount is still just 60% off, which is still too heavy for our change purse.
    Contact: 212-249-4090

    Vera Wang: If you need something chic and pretty take a run over ASAP. The winter collection is 70% off and there are still some great jewels. Plus it's fun to watch the stressed brides.
    Contact: Maria 212-628-3400

    YSL: Some leftovers but everything is still about $1500-ish at 60% off.
    Contact: Charles 212-988-3821

    Image: Vera Wang

    Tuesday, February 10, 2009

    Jo Malone Friends and Family

    Great V-day gift Alert:
    Until the end of the day (Wednesday), JoMalone.com is offering 25% off all products. The discount is only available online and not in boutiques or department stores.



    We especially love Pomegranate Noir for winter and Honeysuckle Jasmine for spring/summer. A 30ml bottle is $55 and 100ml is $100. We suggest going with the smaller size because it's so much fun to switch scents and who wants to be stuck with an aging big bottle when you can get something new?

    Fekkai Gets Green and Lean

    The hairstyling guru, Frederic Fekkai, recently launched a "green" line of hair products. Fekkai Au Naturel is a plant-based collection that is free of sulfates, parabens, dyes and synthetic fragrences. In addition, the tube is made with 40% recycled materials!

    The shampoo, conditioner and gel all retail for $23 but unlike most natural hair products this stuff smells fantastic.



    Yeah, we know you're waiting for "the deal." This is Madison Avenue Spy not beautyhype.com. Well, the standout product in the Au Naturel line is perfect for those trying to stretch their blowouts. The Powder Clean Dry Shampoo (also $23) is like a talc, made of natural cotton fibers, corn and rice starch.

    The jist is that you save water by not washing your hair but to us it's about the money saved between blowouts. (That's where we get the green and lean.) All you have to do is "lightly shake on the root area, massage with your finger tips and brush through.

    All of us beauty bloggers were treated to blowouts and manicures at the salon today. And you better believe that we're trying to keep this great out-of-the-salon bounce for as long as possible. Even if that means skipping the gym. So check back with me on Wednesday if you're truly curious about my Powder Clean Dry Shampoo expermint.

    Monday, February 9, 2009

    Valentine's Day Gift Ideas

    Knock-Knock.
    Who's There?
    Valentine's Day.
    Valentine's Day Who?
    Betch'ya didn't know it's Saturday!

    Okay. It's getting close but don't say we haven't been warning you. Everyone is looking for an inexpensive say, I didn't forget. Willing to throw out some coin but don't want to be cliche? Here are a few ideas that will go far beyond this silly $450 Louis Vuitton Monogram Vernis Heart Coin Purse.

    For Him:
    Show you care by replacing your man's underwear draw. For some reason guys never know when enough is enough. We say 12 months tops. We've been told Hanro ($58 each) is the way to go. Hugo Boss is a less expensive but equally worthy option for a fraction of the price ($20 each). Both at Saks Fifth Avenue.



    Nothing looks more polished than a perfectly tailored suit with a french cuff shirt. One way your man can show off his personality (or yours) is with a great pair of cuff links. Missing Link (40 West 25th Street Shop LL108) carries more than 10,000 styles, from deco enamels to twenties diamond-and-platinum ones. Everything in the store is top quality and style but you're going to pay with prices ranging from about $100 to $2500.

    Another option is to hit eBay. We are particularly fond of these vintage art deco snap cuff links , which are just $45 and can be delivered to you by Feb. 11 giving you enough time to make a manicure appointment.

    For Her:
    We know she's difficult because she already buys herself everything she wants. No! Do not try to guess her bra size and we know you're not the sample sale type. It's time to shop the clearance rack at your gals favorite online store.

    What women doesn't need another bag? This Fendi net shopper will be great going into beach season and is reduced from $580 to $319. What's better is that it will come beautifully wrapped.



    It's almost mandatory to give something red for V-day. How about something that's red with soul? A Christian Louboutin shoe, perhaps. Not willing to spill a grand? Check out Barneys, which still has fair selection at about 60% off. Sizes are spotty but you should be able to find at least something that will fit your Cinderella.

    Flowers? Let's face it you're not going to find any flower deals for Valentine's Day. If you're downtown we suggest Ariston, which astonishingly has a 20% off coupon on their site. For you're uptown girl go with L'Olivier. One suggestion: Don't get roses. Because of the high holiday volume they are harvested early and usually won't last as long as a one night stand.

    If you are totally strapped this season, pick up some cheesy V-Day crap at Duane Reade. We promise, she won't care. You love her and that's all she needs to know.

    Sunday, February 8, 2009

    Saks Consolidation: For Real This Time

    A few weeks ago I wrote about the bummer Saks consolidation sale. Turns out, the late January sale was just hype. Last week, however, the third floor (designer level) got a huge influx of merchandise.

    Most items are currently marked 50% or 60% off the original price. We suspect that later this week or early next week all these 2008 treasures will take a large additional markdown. Think 50% to 60% off for a total savings of 75% to 85% off.

    Now would be a good time to call your sales person or go to the store and pull the items your heart desires.

    Contact: Marie Jose 212-940-2536
    3rd Floor Premier Designers

    Friday, February 6, 2009

    Paul Smith 75% Off

    Our Absentee tipster sent in the following intel:

    SATURDAY SALE-ING
    75 % Off Paul Smith
    London gentleman, clothier and foppish dandy Paul Smith is brandishing his wares at a more than decent 75% off. Suits, shirts, cashmere, jeans and even rakish charm will be discounted.
    Sale runs Feb 6-8, 108 5th Ave (at 16th St), 212-627-9770 and 142 Greene St (near Prince), 646-613-3060



    Thank you to Absent and his cadre of fashion hounds. Remember, Tokyo might seem all bright, new and flashy but New York will always be the rock of our existence. xo Lila

    Wednesday, February 4, 2009

    Luca Luca Sale --Wait For the Last Day

    The Luca Luca sample is well under way but we have super intelligence providing the last day (Tues. Feb 10th) will host the best deals. Forget about free sweaters or shoes we're waiting for 90% off.

    Our spy says, "The one day is going to really be 90% (it’s the last day of the sale). That’s why it's advertised as a separate one day only sale. Prices will be 90% off (seriously) the retail tag."

    But we still need proof and the informant responds:
    Style # Padora- Beaded dress- was $3900, now $390
    Style# Indu- Pleated skirt- was $1,960, now $195
    Style # Chonna- Floral satin shirt- was $980, now $100


    Well there you go. Wait until the last day of the Luca Luca sale when ALL merchandise will be 90% off.

    Fall/Winter 2008 Collection
    Tuesday, Feb. 10TH 9am to 6pm
    Luca Luca Showroom
    19 West 36th Street, 4th Floor 212 920 1211

    Intermix Warehouse Sale

    We know you got the email and already saw it posted on nine other blogs , but in the case you didn't: Intermix is having a Warehouse sale. What does that mean? The sale rack in the back of the store has been reduced again.

    We stopped by and found little black dresses galore all priced between $100 and $200 or 65% to 85% off. A Stella McCartney
    top was $79 from $250-ish, a Lanvin dress was $235 down from $1,200-ish and royal blue Chloe shoes were $89.

    The sale is also online but not even worth the mouse click it takes to get there. If you're in the neighborhood, by all means pop in. But there's really no reason to go out of your way unless you want to practice asking a sales associate for help while never making eye contact.

    Small Change 70% Off

    Calling all Upper East Side mothers: Small Change has reduced all children's clothing to 70% off. The store is packed and the merchandise is going fast.

    Il Gufo dresses that were $180 are now $54, Splendid leggings and hoodie outfits were $90 and now $27, white blouses (which work excellent with most uniforms) were $120 and now $36. There's also lots of boy merchandise, in addition to coats, hats, gloves, tights etc.



    When you're done at Small Change jump across the street to Bon Nuit, which has also marked down their winter merchandise. The clothing there is more dressy but not as reduced.

    Contact: Barbara 212-772-6455 (Small Change)
    1196 Lexington Ave. b/w 81st and 82nd

    Photo courtesy of Arte Bebe

    Tuesday, February 3, 2009

    Stricter Return Policies

    As the woes of this economy get ever more difficult, department stores are trying to figure out how to protect their ass-ets. Liberal return policies seem to be the first big change and there may be a lot more to come.

    Today, Neiman Marcus Online sent out the below email explaining to customers that merchandise kept more than 60 days will be subject to partial refund. For example, if you keep an item 61 days before returning it you will only receive back 75% of the purchase price. If you keep the item more than 181 there will be no refund. In addition, online sale items can only be returned 30 days after purchase.



    These new rules might seem to be aimed at your bff who is the type to keep the tags on while she gives her new dress a "test drive," but we are sensing this seems to be the wave of the future.

    So folks, hold on to your receipts and don't procrastinate. For the record, Target has a 90 day return policy.

    Monday, February 2, 2009

    Thakoon 30% Off at Target or 85% Off at eLux

    A good deal has become better with the 30% markdown of Thakoon's collection for Target. The line was launched Christmas day and has dwindled to just a few pieces in most Target locations. There is a larger selection online but the selection is still spotty.

    It's still cold out but it's never too early to stock up on great deals for summer. This sophisticated spring dress was $39 and is now about $18.



    If Target is too lowbrow, you can always opt for the Thakoon Cuban dress in yellow, from eLuxury. The dress is now $329 from $1,995 or about 85% off.

    Sunday, February 1, 2009

    Private Fine Jewelry Sale

    The garment district isn't the only sector having a difficult season. As a matter of fact, the jewelry industry is having one of their worst seasons ever.

    Tiffany, for example, reported that total sales for the November through December period dropped 20%. These declines are outrageous and the jewelry wholesaler is hurting too. Their pain can be your gain.

    In this environment, the jewelry wholesaler has to be creative. And that's exactly what they are doing. For the first time ever, five top-of-the-line jewelry wholesale companies are coming together to host a private sale that's open to the public.

    This one day sale will take place on Wednesday, Feb. 4th. The markdown will range from 50% to 75% off retail. The diverse assortment of companies represented at the sale expands to the budget and taste of customers. Items range from $350 up to more than $15,000. (Remember, Valentine's Day is in less than two weeks!)

    Below are the companies included in the private sale:

  • Hosting the sale is Arezzo, a 35 year-old-company that carries very fine classic and timeless jewelry in 18 carat gold jewelry as well as exquisite diamond hoop earrings, diamond and colored stone bangles, necklaces and other earrings. Arezzo's jewelry can normally be found in high end jewelry stores like London Jewelers and Hamilton.




  • Also included in the sale is Jadaco, which carries 18 carat gold jewelry with precious and semi-precious stones.


  • Citra Trading Company is one of the largest importers of gold from Italy and also carries pearls and jewelry made with Russian diamonds.


  • Lumiere makes beautiful handmade necklaces and also carries high quality pearls and can be found in the popular bridal and newlywed store, Michael C. Fina


  • Max Alonzo's pieces are a bit more creative as he twists brushed and polished gold into beautiful works of art. All his jewelry is handmade from 18 carat gold and diamonds. Max's specialties are rings and bangles.


  • Remember the sale is only one day so there is no procrastinating. The details are below:

    Date: Wednesday, Feb. 4th 2009
    Time: 8am to 9pm
    Address: Arezzo 10 East 33rd Street, 6th Floor
    Phone: 212-869-0665 (0)
    Payment: Credit Cards ONLY
    In the case of severe snow the sale may be postponed until Thursday. Please call ahead.



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