Early May is turning out to be the trifecta in shoe sample sales. Manolo, Louboutin and Choo have all decided that now is the perfect time to unload their overstock. Like any triathlon these sales will test your endurance and your loyalty to sample sales.
In light of the current situation, we thought we would create a full on survival guide. Anyone who is adverse to long lines or crowds is better waiting for a good department store discount or shopping a discount store with top shoe brands, like DSW. If you're continuing on with this post, we will assume you're willing to take the plunge and play footsie with the big girls.
Below are specific hints on how to manage through three of the toughest sales of the season:
Wednesday, May 8th (invite-only)
Thursday, May 9th (public day)
Doors open at 9am
Warwick Hotel, 65 W 54th St. & 6th Ave, 2nd fl.
Manolo Blanhik is one sale that treats its customers like, well, customers. Attendees are invited to take a number, on in this case letter, and come back in a specified amount of time. Alterntivily, shoppers can wait in the ballroom but why sit around when you can do some shopping damage while you're waiting to shop?
Most shoppers usually start arriving by 7am on the first public day but we have been to the press event and the public day and the two experiences don't compare. As you would expect, a full day of editor shopping with Andre Leon Talley can wipe out an entire collection.
If you want to shop with the big fish you're going to need to shop on Wednesday. Getting onto that coveted invitation list is not easy but is not impossible. In this instance, social media is literally your friend. Use Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and even Vine to connect with those who have their foot in the door. We suggest directing your searches to company employees and those who have editorial connections with the brand.
Tuesday, May 7th, 12pm~7pm through Wednesday, May 8th, 9am~7pm
Tues 12pm to 7pm, Wed 9am to 7pm
123 W. 18th St. (btwn. 6th & 7th Ave), 4th Floor
Generally speaking, sample sales never really begin at noon. If you ever see a noon start time you can safely assume that there will be a select list of early shoppers-- as is the case with this sale. If you're looking to avoid a four hour line and get the best pick you can apply our social media tactic but because of the scale of this event you can spread your net to buyers and service suppliers.
The line to get into the Jimmy Choo sale is the most grueling of all these sales. One season the line spanned the full length of West 18th Street then wrapped up 7th Avenue and continued along West 19th Street. It was over four hours long!! Prices for most styles are $225. That's about 60% to 80% off being that retail prices for pumps normally run from about $595 to about $795. Real bargain hunters should opt for the "damages" that are all priced at $75.
Our best advise is to wait until the afternoon of the last day and avoid all lines. As an extra bonus, those who can away until the end of the sale may be rewarded with extra discounts. Last season, the damage pile was reduced to just $50. Imagine the time you will save and the amount of Choos you can take home if they are just $50!
Monday, May 13 through Friday, May 17
Daily 9am to 5pm, Fri. 9am to 3pm
306 W. 38th St. (bet. 8th & 9th Ave.)
The Christian Louboutin sale is the most difficult of the year. It's no wonder, considering the whole corporate culture of the brand. To break into this bank of red soles you're going to have to leave the cyber world and make some real world friends.
Each invitation comes with one guest, which means that everyone attending the sale can bring a buddy. The thing is that most people who go to the sale seem to fly solo. We suggest that those who are clawing for an invite make a quick on-line (not, online) friend.
Prices at Louboutin usually start at the $225 mark go up to $550 for boots. There's no restocking and by mid-week most sizes are almost completely sold out. Those who wear a size 6 or below or 9.5 and above usually can take adavantage of the most fuitful selection.