Sunday, October 31, 2010

Maxfield: One Point for LA

Trying to shop outside of New York is always an obstacle. The stores are usually the same in almost every high-end neighborhood though out the world. From Madison Avenue to Via Monte Napoleone, you will find Prada, YSL, Gucci, Dolce & Gabbana, Chanel and Dior. It's all a big yawn after a while.

During our time in Los Angeles, we made it our mission to find three distinct stores that would cause us to reevaluate our New York shopping supremacy. Kitson reminded us of a more moderately priced Scoop and Fred Segal completely failed to inspire.

It wasn't easy but we think we found one store to satiate even the most decerning Madison Avenue shopper. If visiting LA, don't miss Maxfield.



Maxfield:
When we were trying to think of a unique shopping experience we kept asking friends for the Jeffery of LA. Most people didn't understand the criteria we were establishing, but one shopping sage insisted that we visit Maxfield. Boy was he right, we could live in Maxfield.

This architecturally distint structure is in a shopping league of its own. Lets put it this way, Jeffery dreams of Maxfield. It's the chicest of chic but with a twist of goth. It's beauty without being prissy. It's irreverent without pretense. Besides for the amazing vintage Hermes, Chanel and Cartier accessories, the ready-to-wear selection is interesting and unique.

We've reviewed the present Chanel clothing collection 100 times but Maxfield still had several pieces we have never seen. Balmain? The most complete assortment we've ever seen. In addition to the most talked about brands, you can find clothing from off the radar grid labels like Roland Mourent, Mastermind Japan and Carol Christian Poell.

One warning, be sure to look at the price tag before pulling out the credit card. Many items throughout the store are in the mid-five digit range. As expected, sales do occasionally occur but are very hush hush. A good relationship with a sales person is key!

Maxfield LA
8825 Melrose Ave
301-274-8800

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Sigerson Morrison Friends & Family

Friends and family season is officially upon us and it's amazing how much a savings of 20% can do to your shopping psyche. When you see boots for $1000, you know they are nice but a grand for overgrown shoes is just too hard to swallow. For some reason, when the same boots dip 20%, or to $800, the conversation totally changes.



Tomorrow, Sigerson Morrison is switching up the game and offering friends and family 20% off. (Aren't you glad we're sistas?) Suddenly, those boots, wedges and ballet flats don't seem so entirely out of reach.

Have we ever discussed how food is entirely over rated?

Sigerson Morrison Friends & Family
Thursday, October 28
19 East 71st Street

7 For All Mankind Friends & Family

We are the hugest supporters of Gap's 1969 jeans but if we can get 40% off on 7s, we are going to grab them. From October 28 to November 1, 7 For All Mankind is offering customers 40% off their purchases at store-owned boutiques and online (7FAMFF10).



The company has stores in the Flatiron Disctrict, on Bleeker Street and in Soho. Click here to find the closest location to you because it's very hard to buy jeans that you've never tried on.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Milly Sale

Although Milly isn't expected to open on Madison Avenue until early 2011, you can still get a nice discount while shopping online. Select items have been reduced from 30% to 60% off.

We found a great white tweed fall coat for $438 from $625. A silk shirt dress with an eye catching block print is $280 from $425. And we love this Aztec Cuff, which is $110 from $275.



If shopping online is this much fun, imagine how much we are going to enjoy sorting through the racks on Madison.

Monday, October 25, 2010

YSL Sale Prep

The annual YSL friends & family sale/ sample sale seems to have become a big deal. We have never been big fans considering the large amount of aggressive customers and the merchandise consisting of marked-up outlet holdovers.

This year, the sale will take place from Thursday, October 28 to Saturday, October 27. For those who have never attended, here's a guide to what you can expect and how to best navigate the madness.

1. The early crowed is reportedly overrun with aggressive men looking to stock their eBay stores. If you're looking to get your hands on a fresh Muse or Tribute tote we suggest getting there VERY early. We also big supporters of hiring a line waiter from Craig's List. (It's amazing what $10/hour can buy you.)

2. If you make it into the sale with the first rush, expect lots of pushing and pulling. Women, last year, complained about men grabbing dozens of bags without even considering what they were holding. Another customer said that shoppers were ripping bags from each other's hands. Bag prices range from $450 to $800 but many were damaged and dirty.



3. The merchandise selection is mainly two to three years old. So start looking through 2007 and 2008 archive photos to get inspired. Read-to-wear prices were the most attractive. Readers reported buying a military jacket for $200, an oversized cashmere sweater for $250, a cashmere dress for $300 and a $50 belt.

4. Like most sample sales, there is a calm at about 3pm. Shoppers reported no lines and a less hostile shopping experience during the afternoon hours.

5. If you can, wait it out because prices do get reduced on the last day.

YSL Sample Sale
Thursday, October 28 through Saturday, October 30
Thurs & Fri 8am to 8pm, Fri 9am to 4pm
Metropolitan Pavilion, 125 West 18th Street
All bags and coats must be checked before entering

Sunday, October 24, 2010

West Coast Spying

This week, we are abandoning Madison Avenue and heading to the West Coast. While in LaLa-land we will be sure investigate Rodeo Drive and Melrose but would also love suggestions. After all, many of our readers are much more experienced in the ways of blond locks and daisy dukes.

On Wednesday night, we will be sharing the evening with Kenneth Cole, Sharon Stone and Kylie Minogue in support of amFAR's Inspiration Gala. We'll be sure to report if any bellies are bumped with Rachel Zoe.



As always, our readers are the best spies. Please let us know if you happen upon any fine deals, steals or sales.

XOXO

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Century 21 Coupon

So you browsed through Century 21 and found the most magnificent (fill in the black), which you lusted over all last winter. Even though it was deeply discounted it is still a bit out of budget, right? After all, you've been trying to save up for (fill in the blank).



This weekend, however, may be an opportune time to bite the bullet. Century 21 is offering customers 25% off a single item. You know if you wait too long it's just going to get thrown around the store and damaged. It's the perfect time to give your (fill in the blank) a well deserving home!

Use this link to print your personalized coupon.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Follow the Markdown: Chanel Boots

Today, I happened upon the most peculiar pair of Chanel boots. They are a calfskin short boot that is set on a platform that looks like faux-verdigris.

When I asked to try them on, a group of salesmen started to chuckle. Turns out, I was the first customer to slip on these artful boots. They've been in the store since late-August!



Needless to say, these boots are bound to get majorly reduced from their price tag of about $1200. The only question is how much? Lets take bets. How much do you think these boots will be marked down? Remember, there is none of the double-Cs, chains or quilting that comfort many Chanel customers.

My bet is $500. Worth it? For sure!

Duckie Brown Sample Sale

Duckie Brown is edgy, stylish and fun but unlike Thom Browne, it's reasonably priced. And affordability is about to get more attractive. Duckie Brown is hosting a studio sample sale (read: great discounts) this weekend. Prices will be 70% to 80% off retail. (Who needs friends & family and gift cards?!) We are told that there will be all types of shirts, trousers, and jackets (suit and casual).



Shirts that normally retail for $350 will be $100 and $600 jackets will be marked down to $150. We are sending our men, how about yours? Please, just tell them to be careful with the cropped pants.

Duckie Brown Sample Sale
Saturday, October 23 from
11:00am to 5:00pm
321 West 13th Street, Suite 3A
CASH ONLY

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Meet Matthew Williamson

How crowded were the streets during Fashion's Night Out? Too crowded for us and there weren't even sales! Considering how many people love to meet fashion designers we thought it was post worthy to mention an appearance from one of our besties.



Matthew Williamson will be hosting a book signing at his Meatpacking District boutique tomorrow night. Of course, there will be cocktails. In our experience, where ever MW goes, a serious party follows. This event is compelty open to the public and you can be sure there will be great cloths and music.

Matthew Williamson Book Signing
Wednesday, October 20, 2010
6:30pm
415 West 14th Street
RSVP: info@matthewwilliamson.com

Monday, October 18, 2010

Luxury Without the Splurge

It can be exhausting to wait for a great deal when you’ve already fallen in love with an item. How would you feel if you could make that lust purchase right now and not have to worry about the consequences of your credit card bill?

Penny auctions are a great way to score your dream splurge without the actual splurge. Take
ScoreLuxe.com as a prime example. ScoreLuxe.com is a high-end penny auction, which allows you to buy bids and score great luxury items for a fraction of their retail price.

What’s even better is that all the items on the site are purchased directly from the retailer and are guaranteed authentic and brand new. Last week, a $915 Chanel wallet sold for just $1.26. That’s less than an iced-tea!



This Thursday, you can stop lusting and start shopping. Bidders can snag a $500 Saks gift card for just dollars. Yes, it may cost $50 to buy 50 bids, but you’re still way ahead of the game even if your gift card sells for $10. A $500 Saks gift card for $60 is a score in our book. How about yours?

What’s better? That Saks gift card can take you 20% farther because the of department store’s friend’s and family discount. A great deal on top of a great deal. Shopping doesn’t get any better.

Check out
ScoreLuxe.com to score great deals on upcoming auctions like $500 gift cards from Louis Vuitton, Tiffany and Neiman Marcus.

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Bloomies Gift Card Event

Starting today, you can presale for Bloomingdales upcoming gift card event where you can get $20 gift cards for every $100 you spend. The actual four-hour promotion, or "Pink Party," will take place October 20th from 6pm to 10pm.

Gift cards are only valid until the end of the month. So don't let them sit in your wallet unused!

Of course, there are exclusions, which include cosmetics and designer brands like Chanel, Tory Burch (?!) and Fendi. For those who are extra resourceful, however, our spies report that some sales people have been able to circumvent these exclusions. We just wouldn't count on it.

Coming Soon: Warren-Tricomi on Madison

For the past two years the Plaza Hotel has been home to the famous Warren-Tricomi salon. Now Edward Tricomi aka “Edward Scissorhands” and his coloring partner, Joel Warren, are opening a second location on Madison Avenue.

Francky L'Official was formerly in the space at 1117 Madison Avenue, at 84th Street, but cut his overhead by relocating to a second floor pace on Madison and 80th Street. The new Warren-Tricomi salon will be open by December and will be home to a new roster of stylists, in addition to several veterans. We hear that both Edward and Joel will designate time uptown.



This satellite location should be a good way to lure a steady schedule of UES locals to the client roster. We imagine the Plaza's customer is more likely to be a tourist or special occasion client rather than a three-week blond. Either way, W-T is a welcome addition to the neighborhood. For those willing to try it out, we highly recommend Ammon Carver for both cut and color.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Chanel: Another Price Increase

This summer, Madison Avenue Spy was the first publication to report that Chanel would be raising their prices 20% to 30% on classic handbags. Chanel customers were shocked and reminiscent of the days when bags were a mere grand. Now we hear that the cost of some Chanel bags are about to get another price hike.

A Chanel employee says, the classic Jumbo and Maxi sized bags are about to get a redesign, which will include an extra flap. The cost of the extra leather will set customers back about $300 on the Jumbo sized bag. The price of this popular bag is currently $3700 and is expected to jump to $4000. The price of the Maxi bag is still unknown.



A $300 increase may not seem earth shattering but consider this: With tax, the Classic Jumbo will cost a total of $4,355! That's about the same price as one month's rent for junior four on the Upper East Side.

The sales increase will not be immediate. The new design will be available as part of Chanel's cruise collection, which will be in stores in November/December. This means that you will still be able to get the old style, and old price until about February.

So, Jumbo Caviar or junior four, you decide.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Saks Friends & Family Presale Going on Now

Some might think it's premature to post about a sale that won't officially start for another week. We believe, you're too late if you are shopping the public sale. The Saks Fifth Avenue friends and family sale officially starts October 21st and presale started today. That means astute shoppers have been calling dibs on their shopping list all week long.

The markdown is 20% on clothing, shoes and accessories and 10% off cosmetics. If you're looking for eight floor shoes, most of the "pillars" are excluded. That means no Chanel, no Louboutin, no Prada, no Miu Miu. We are sure you get the idea. (We have the full exclusion list below.)

We're not exactly sure what that leaves but we would suggest concentrating on clothing and lipsticks.

If you still aren't sold on the virtues of presale, why not conduct your own little experiment. Shop Saks this week and then return once the official sale begins. We are positive you will be shocked by the amount of merchandise that is sold. It's really remarkable. Online shoppers can presale now by speaking to a customer service representative.

Saks Friends & Family
Presale now
Sale In-stores: October 21 to October 24
Online Sale: (code: FRIEND7) October 19 to October 24

Exclusions:
Shoes:
Manolo, Choo, Zanotti, Fendi, Miu Miu, Prada, 10022, Valentino, YSL, Krakoff, Gucci, Camilla, UGGs, Celien, Costume Natinoale, McQueen, Birman, Demeulemeester, Alaia, Balenciaga, Marni, Cucinelli, Atwood, Skovgard, Chanel, Dior, Dolce&Gabanna, Donna Karren, Caovilla, Roger Vivier, Rossi, Tod's
Handbags:
Akris, Mcqueen, Zlaia, Balenciaga, Celine, Chloe, Chanel, Louboutin, Derek Lam, Dior small leather goods, Dolce and Gabanna, Fendi, Gucci, Choo, Lanvin, Marni, Miu Miu, Moschino, Prada, Krakoff, Tod's
Clothing:
Akris, Mcqueen, Demeulemesster, Alaia, Blaneciaga, Bridal Salon, Brunello Cucinelli, Chado ralph Rucci, Chanel, Chrstian Sirano, Commes des Garcons, Derek Lam, Dior, Dolce & Gabanna, Doo Ri, Dries Van Noten, Elie Saab, Erdem, Etro, Fendi, Giambattista Valli, Gucci, Ackerman
Jewelry:
Buccellati, Bvlgari, Cartier, Chanel, David Yurman, Dior, Garrard, Graff, Gucci, H Stern, Hermes, Pomelatto

DecadesTwo Contest

Yesterday, we asked our readers to name the Louis Vuitton item that is sold out, the waiting list is closed and we are told, you will be lucky to ever find this piece in any store in the world!

The prize: Five go-to-the-head-of-the-line passes for DecadesTwo's $150 shoe sale, which is occurring this Sunday.

Most readers answered that the LV Monogram Speedy is sold out. This LV bag is indeed sold out at many stores but is not impossible to find, there is a running wait list and we are sure stores will be fully stocked very shortly. The item, however, that is completely sold out, the waiting list is closed and you're likely to never find the item in stores is ...

The $390 iPad Case!



Don't be broken hearted if you missed out on the LV iPad sleeve. Tod's has a case that is more functional and made of alligator. And think of how much fun you will have telling your friends you spent $4900 to encase your giant iPod!

Lucky contest winners will be contacted shortly and their names will be added to a list, which will afford them preferential access to DecadesTwo shoe sale. Full sale details are below.

DecadesTwo Pop-Up
@ Kiki de Montparnasse
79 Greene Street (at Spring)
Thursday, Oct. 14th to Saturday, Oct. 16th, 11am to 7pm
Sunday, Oct. 17th- Super $150 shoe sale, 12pm to 5pm

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

DivorceYourJewels.com Unearths Treasures

There are only select people you can trust when consulting about the most important things in life—love and money. Hundreds of women have turned to Missy, from DivorceYourJewels.com, for guidance on both.

Missy is able to personally help her customers unearth the hidden treasures within their belongings. Just last month, a Wall Street powerhouse called
DivorceYourJewels.com about an unworn 12-carat diamond, which she had tucked in her safe for decades. It was time to unbury the treasure. Missy was able to immediately generate certified papers for the stone and hand the New York mogul cash.



Missy says, “It was kind of like buying a house.” We can just imagine the near flawless stone, making its way around the world. Most likely the new owner will reinvent the valuable jewel into a pendant that can be worn and enjoyed. Could you imagine such a gem being locked away for that long?

If you take a moment to think, we are confident you can unearth treasures of your own. If you’re not enjoying an item, what’s the purpose in holding on?
DivorceYourJewels.com is right there to guide you.

With gold hitting over $1,300 an ounce, a broken chain can translate into a Botox renewal. The vintage Kieselstein, which you haven’t worn since you broke up with your ex, could afford you a wonderful winter vacation to St. Barths. Are your studs feeling kind of small? Cash out and move on.

Unearthing treasures with
DivorceYourJewels.com is easy, quick and always safe. Why wait?

DivorceYourJewels.com
Missy Schorr
917-846-9999

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Retail Therapy: Christos Garkinos

We like to think of New York as the shopping capital of the world. (Well, really, the center of the world, but we won't start that argument.) There are few things that you can't find in New York. And the prices of most items are usually better than anywhere else. DecadesTwo, however, is one of the few standouts that make us want to travel to shop. Yes, we've called LA more than once looking for a hard to find item.

The LA-based consignment store sources the best brands and usually the best quality. Most of the time, their inventory hasn't even been worn and is still strapped with tags. Besides for the twice a year SoHo pop-up, DecadesTwo is a West Coast treasure. Well, that was until the launch of the company's website: DecadesTwo.1.com. Cute, right?

The website is a condensed but well-rounded selection of what can be found in LA. Our favorite sections of the site are Consigner Revealed and Featured Closet. Consigner #815 is Becca Cason Thrash, the Houston native whose fashion passions "include hard-to-find and collectible pieces from John Galliano, Alexander McQueen and Chanel." You've got to love it!

When shopping online, be sure to know your measurements and those of the items you are purchasing. Like all consignment shops, sales are final. On the bright side, shipping is free!

Of course, none of these faboulous finds would be possible without the keen fashion eye of DecadesTwo, co-owner Christos Garkinos. We couldn't help ourselves from wanting to pick the brain of this first rate shopper. So we grabbed Christos between his website launch and pop-up shop opening to get a piece of his shopping wisdom. What do you think?



What's your most prized deal?
Personally, my two Tom Ford suits, which came in recently. I died! The thing with Tom Ford is that both men and women want him. The tailoring and fit are always perfect. (Editorial note: Christos is wearing his new Tom Ford with an H&M white shirt in the photograph above. How amazing does he look?)

Biggest regret that you didn't purchase?
I have absolutely no regrets!

This season you are looking for...
Anything by Tom Ford and Rick Owens. And a good Camel trench.

What's your number one shopping tip?
Don’t shop in packs. I guarantee that it will lead to a mistake purchase. A friend says you look good and then you make a purchase when you're not fully convinced. Also, shop with someone who is a different size than you.

What's your biggest weakness?
Shoes. It’s a situation.

Is there an item for which a shopper should never mind paying full price?
Anything by Chanel. And Johnny boots by YSL.

DecadesTwo Pop-Up Returns

The LA-based luxury consignment store, DecadesTwo, has rolled into town again. As per customer request, there are shoes. Lots of shoes. As a matter of fact, there are twice the amount of shoes that were available at this sale the last. Louboutins, check. Pradas, check. Vittons, check. Manolos, check. A plethora of exotic skin shoes, check check.

In addition, Racked.com reports, a heafty selection of Chanel bags. There is also a great assortment of designer clothing. Proenza, Jacobs, Lanvin. Oscar. They are all there and for prices that are under an annual salary.

What's better? On Sunday, DecadesTwo will be hosting their famous $150 shoe sale. Yes, all shoes are, priced at $150. (We are told that there are two times the amount of those shoes too.) These sales are somewhat famous, with lines stretching far and wide but guess what? We have five go-to-the-head-of-the-line passes.

All you need to do, is be the first five people to email me the answer to this shopping riddle: Name the Louis Vuitton item that is sold out, the waiting list is closed and we are told, you will be lucky to ever find this piece in any store in the world!

Update: Only one person has answered correctly. Here's a hint, it's not the Speedy or a bag.

Good luck. The answer to our shopping riddle will be posted tomorrow.

DecadesTwo Pop-Up
@ Kiki de Montparnasse
79 Greene Street (at Spring)
Thursday, Oct. 14th to Saturday, Oct. 16th, 11am to 7pm
Sunday, Oct. 17th- Super $150 shoe sale, 12pm to 5pm

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Norma Kamali Says Good-Bye to Walmart

Last week, Norma Kamali announced that she would not be extending her deal to design collections for Walmart. Instead, she will be concentrating on health and wellness. Kamali will be producing a series of videos for Hulu where she will be discussing health, wellness and longevity with a series of experts.

Some of the videos are already online, but our favorite interview video is with choreographer Twila Tharp . In her clip, she discusses staying motivated and overcoming failure. Her frankness and energy are completely contagious. As Twila says, "Get going, or quit."

Before we submerge this post in issues of higher meaning and living longer, we thought we should pay tribute to Norma's final Walmart collection. Before proceeding to checkout, we consulted New York Times style reporter and resident Walmart expert, Stephanie Rosenbloom, to pick the best items from the Walmart Kamali collection. When it comes to fashion and value, Stephanie's word is akin to one of a higher order.



Here are Stephanie's top picks based on style, price and quality:

The Motorcycle Jacket -- It's not leather or even pleather, but in black, this short cotton jacket with multiple zippers and an asymmetrical closure is an edgier, tougher-looking alternative to a jean jacket or blazer. It's lightweight yet staves off a chill and looks chic open or closed. I pair mine with tall boots and jeans. And at $24, I still have money to put inside those zippered pockets.

The Batwing Cardigan Amid a sea of dainty, ho-hum cardigans, this draped, oversize number is a lot of drama for little money. That's mainly because of the long, tight sleeves that encase your forearms before gently ballooning out at the elbows. The cardigan is warm enough to stave off a chill and long enough to cover your rear (a bonus given that leggings are in vogue). It feels like a sweatshirt and washes like one too: just toss it in the machine. Consider your perfect airplane sweater found. (Limited sizes available for $15 in black, red, milk, and grey heather. The cocoa version is $18.)

The Wrap Dress -- It's hard to go wrong with a wrap dress as any Diane von Furstenberg fan knows. At one point, Ms. Kamali made a version for Walmart with short sleeves and a sweetheart neckline that transitioned easily from cubicle (under a blazer) to cocktail party. It looked far more expensive than its Wal-Mart price tag, and washed and traveled with nary a wrinkle. Wal-Mart is now selling a long-sleeve Norma Kamali "wrap dress," though it doesn't have an adjustable tie closure so there's no tweaking it to be more snug or loose. The long-sleeve version is flattering and affordable at $20.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Gucci Galore at DSW

Yesterday, we started our Union Square shopping adventure at Filene's Basement where we found a wonderful assortment of Jil Sander clothing at bold discounts. Naturally, our next stop was DSW.

At first we were underwhelmed by the selection and prices of the discount store's newest shipment. Jimmy Choo low boots for $900, Giuseppi booties for $500 and high boots for $600? Really, we can do better on Madison. A little bit of patience paid off because if you make your way to the back of the clearance section, you will find a diverse amount of Gucci, Sergio Rossi and Bottega Veneta shoes for an additional 30% off. After the additional discount, most shoe styles are about $160 and boots are $210. Not too bad right?



The best of the Guccis are the round toe wedges that come in a variety of colors. They are still $250 online but are just $160 in the store. Tired of the ubiquitous Hunter rain boot? Go the high heeled white Rossi or the indigo flat. They are both $210 and sure to make a statement.

Considering the markdown, the atmosphere was very calm. Maybe we should keep this markdown our little secret!

Sunday, October 10, 2010

ABC Carpet & Home Slumber Party Sale

Ever long for the days of staying up all night with friends, watching movies and telling scary stories? Well, we all might be a little past the days of ouija boards but that doesn't mean you can't enjoy a good slumber party.

ABC Carpet & Home is bringing on the excitement by hosting a huge slumber party on Wednesday, October 13th. Customers can enjoy treats, drinks, get gifts, play raffles and, of course, get exclusive discounts on third floor products including, bedding, mattresses, textiles, robes, towels and sleepwear.

Actually, we are told that everything on the third floor will be discounted 15%. That includes your favorite brands like Sferra, Frette, Pratesi and Yves Delorme.



In addition, several brands are offering customers prizes and gifts with purchase. For instance, John Robshaw is offering a free robe with a purchase of over $500 and Downtown is offering a free pillow protector with every pillow purchase. Other brands are offering additional discounts on top of ABC Carpet & Home's 15%. For instance, Coychu and Labrazel are giving customers an extra 5% off for a total savings for 20%.

At this point in our lives, getting excited about a good discount seems like a much better alternative to ouija boards and not enough sleep. You agree?

ABC Carpet & Home Slumber Party
Wednesday, October 13
5pm to 8pm
888 Broadway, 3rd Floor
Please RSVP by Clicking Here

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Filene's Stocked With Jil Sander

While many of you were waiting at Uniqlo to get your hands on Jil Sander's lower +J line, we were scoping out the real thing at Filene's Basement, on Union Square. Seriously, the Jil Sander rack was one of the only standouts at the discount store. The majority of Filene's clothing selection was so bad it could cause a sensitive shopper to break out in hives.

But lets concentrate on our shining Sander, which was marked an extra 40% off. We found a classic $3400 khaki shearling coat reduced to $800, after the additional discount. Granted, Jil Sander isn't really designed by Jil Sander and the price is be several times more than the $150 rough-edged wool pea coat at Uniqlo. This is shearling, however, and it's top quality and not off-label.

In addition to the shearling coat, there are plenty of blouses, slacks and jackets all priced between $150 and $300. Still not convinced of the value? Uniqlo's +J nylon jacket is $179.90!



After you explore the Jil Sander merchandise, head straight over to the designer accessories display. (Please don't blame us for any adverse allergic reactions if you diverge from our plan. The rest of the store IS that bad.) The accessories are priced a bit high but still noteworthy. We found a Chanel camellia flower pin for $250-- definitely too expensive for a cotton flower without any pretentious C's. There is also a Prada clutch from last year's crystal collection that is $1500, a perferated Prada bag in tan with white piping for $1049 and a huge Gucci logo bag for $3000.

Before purchasing any of these accessories, look them over carefully. A sales person admitted that the Gucci bag has been purchased and returned at least a dozen times. Doesn't that put the bag in the pre-owned category?

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Now Open: Patricia Han

Patricia Han, who is known for her high quality canvas bags, has opened a pop-up shop at Time Warner Center. Unlike the ubiquities and style-void Boat Bags of LL Bean, Patricia's have sweet details and are all made of top quality Italian canvas.



Patricia's collection is inspired by everything golfing and is a favorite of female golf enthusiasts. The bags are usually found at high end resort boutiques like, The Four Seasons Hotel, in San Diego and the Pinehurst Golf Resort, in NC. What's most interesting is that we noticed the prices at the pop-up boutique are 20% to 30% less expensive than other retailers.

If you're looking for an inexpensive gift, one of our favorite bags is the Nantucket, which is under $70. These days you're lucky to get a lunch at Time Warner Center that costs less than $70. That's why we'd rather the bag.

Patricia Han Pop Up Store
10 Columbus Circle
Open through October 2010
Monday to Saturday, 10am to 9pm; Sunday, 11am to 7pm
(201) 888-8899

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Retail Therapy: Nicole Miller

One can't deny that Nicole Miller knows a thing or two about fashion. Not many designers have the opportunity to enjoy a brand that is able to stay relevant for several decades. Nicole Miller currently has 15 free standing retail locations but her label is sold at more than 1,200 retail outlets. Could you imagine?

We love how Nicole varies her use of fabric and textures. Some seasons, the collection is stiff and super form-fitting, while other seasons the silhouette could be based on sheer opalescent fabrics. As her collections, Nicole's personal style varies greatly from the likes of South American designer, Marcia Ganem to the gothic-centric Rick Owens. One thing remains the same, however, just like you and me, Nicole appreciates a great discount.



What’s your most prized deal?
A Marcia Ganem garnet and silver hade-made Brazilian top – marked down from $14,000 to $800 – or my black leather Alexander McQueen coat purchased at a friends and family sale.

Biggest regret that you didn’t purchase?
A Rick Owens shearling coat last year

This season you are looking for …
A great shearling coat!

What is your number-one shopping tip?
Look in the rear view mirror before you buy!

What is your biggest weakness?
Givenchy shoes this year!

Is there an item for which a shopper should never mind paying full price?
Something that is perfect …

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Nanette Lepore Friends & Family

Starting Thursday, Nanette Lepore is offering friends and family 20% off regularly priced merchandise. The discount runs through Monday and is available both in stores and online with the code FFF10.



If you haven't already done so, this is a great opportunity to check out the Nanette Lepore boutique that opened on Madison Avenue and 75th Street, in May. Of course, the dresses are great but we particularly like the jackets and coats in this winter collection.

Nanette Lepore Friends & Family
Thursday, October 7 to Monday, October 11
958 Madison Avenue or 423 Broome Street

Monday, October 4, 2010

Pink Pony Celebration Discount

In celebration of the 10th of the Pink Pony Fund, Ralph Lauren boutiques are offering customers a 25% discount on their purchases. In addition, 10% purchases will be donated to the Pink Pony Fund, which is a foundation with the worldwide mission to help fight cancer.

The promotion runs until October 11 and can be used at RRL & Rugby stores, RalphLauren.com (code: RLGIVE2010) and Rugby.com. Unfortunately, the small print excludes Made to Measure or women's Collection apparel and men's Purple Label.



Simotanously, Ralph Lauren is running one of the most extravegant online charity auctions we've ever seen. Up for auction are meetings with Lebron James, Jerry Seinfeld, Anna Wintour, Martha Stewart and Diane von Furstenberg. You can shop with Simon Doonan, escape to Donna Karan's house in Turks and Caicos or have your child's birthday at the Ralph Lauren kid's store in London.

Just browsing the auction is fun. I know what I'm bidding for, how abut you?

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Last Call Goes Online

We've always wondered why traditional discount stores like, Saks Off Fifth, Lohmann's, The Rack and Last Call allowed online discounters--Guilt, Rue La La and HauteLook-- to take a big bite out of their off-price luxury market share. Well the time of traditional discounters has come and Neiman Marcus has launched LastCall.com.

The website comes with all the bells and whistles of other online discounters, including flash sales, which they uniquely call Fashion Dash. The designer line-up seems quite respectable. There's Oscar de la Renta, YSL, Proenza Schouler, Chloe and Fendi. Prices range from 50% to 75% off, which is great, except that the options within each designer section are limited to two or three pieces. Did we mention that there is a men's section too?!



Like all good discount stores -- online and offline -- you're going to have to dig for treasures. At least this excavation can take place from the comfort of your favorite chair. Just like off-line, you can return merchandise within 30 days of receipt for a full refund or credit.

In honor of their launch, LastCall.com is offering customers a $50 gift card when they spend over $100. Seems like a pretty good incentive to us. And shipping is free on all purchases.