Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Nancy Gonzalez Sample Sale VIP Access

Nancy Gonzalez is hosting her bi-annual sample sale where her famous exotic skin bags will be significantly reduced. The sale doesn't open to the public until Monday, December 5 but Madison Avenue Spy readers will be given VIP access.



Shoppers can attend the pre-sale on Sunday by giving a $36 donation, which will go to New York Cancer Center. Please email us here if you would like to attend. If you can't make it to the sale preview, readers who RSVP will be given the opportunity to cut the line throughout the sale.

Space is limited and you must RSVP must RSVP to access these VIP perks. There will be a guest list at the door on Sunday. The remaining dates of the sale are open to the general public.

We are told that this season's sale will have a great selection of the designer's most popular 3-D collections. Past Gonzalez sample sales include an impressive inventory of exotic styles and colors. The prices at the last sale were almost as impressive as the assortment of merchandise starting at just $500.

This sale is always very popular and can be quite chaotic. We suggest that serious Nancy Gonzalez shoppers should take advantage of this VIP-shopping opportunity.

Nancy Gonzalez Sample Sale
VIP Shopping: Sunday, December 4 from 12pm-5pm
Public shopping: Monday, December 5 through Wednesday, December 7
Mon 9am-6pm, Tues 10am-6pm, Wed 10am-4pm
5 East 57th Street, 19th FL
 RSVP HERE

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Christian Louboutin Sample Sale Invites

Ladies, have you been naughty or nice?

Check your inboxes to find out. Christian Louboutin just sent their best friends, VIP invites to its exclusive sample sale. That's right, the sale that everyone loves to hate starts next week. Remember, the security is tight and there's a clear mean-girls hierarchy to who gets invited to shop first.







The most important Louboutin insiders, glossy magazine editors and celebrities, are known to be invited to begin shopping by appointment on the first few days. The sale extends all week as the invited guest list expands to allow general press and "friends and family."

Last season, prices started at just $200 but most styles were priced in the $250-range. The most expensive style shoes were $800. A majority of the heels and studded variety pumps were priced between $300 and $400. For example, studded kitten heels was $300 and $2300 studded knee high boots were just $600. You can click here to see the inside scoop from last year's sample sale.

If you're considering door-busting this sale, we suggest that you use your best technique starting Wednesday. Be forewarned, at the last sale, there were several layers of security and we received many reports of people getting turned away after waiting on line for a ridiculous amount of time.

Those who weren't invited can now save 40% at Christian Louboutin boutiques and Barneys. Other department stores have markdowns too but the discounts are less. There are dozens of styles included in the markdown. Use the scroll above to begin browsing.

Follow along on Instagram to get up-to-the minute updates.

Christian Louboutin Invite Only Sample Sale
Monday, December 12 through Friday, December 16
11am to 6pm
307 West 38th Street No. 3 @ 8th Ave.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Gifts for the Woman Who Shops (a Lot)

Here are a few gift ideas the woman who confidently shops for herself. As always, we suggest you hold on to the receipt. And, PS, feel free to forward these ideas if you know someone who needs  needs some extra "guidance."



Tiffany & Co. Rose Gold T-Wire Bracelet ($!600), Mr & Mrs. Italy shearling lined, camo parka ($3890), JW Anderson Pierce bag ($1690), Adidas x Raf Simons 'Stan Smiths' ($300), Max Mara pant suit ($1850 blazer, $735 pants), Gucci star frame sunglasses ($700), Gucci Marmont Bag ($1300), Prada velvet pumps ($670), Alexander McQueen red gloves ($825), House of Holland x Lee Denim Shirt Dress ($279)


Monday, November 28, 2016

Prada Boutique Markdown 50% Off

When sales are down, discounts go up. That's exactly the situation at Prada, which is hosting it's biggest first markdown ever. Runway clothing, shoes, bags and accessories are all discounted 50%. That's a better discount than any department store. What's even more surprising is that there are plenty 'carryovers', aka classic styles, included in the markdown.






The sale officially started on Black Friday but there is a very large assortment of merchandise still available. A shoulder bag with grommets is now $930 from $1860, a reversible tote is $900 from $1800 and the Saffiano bag in grey and other assorted colors is $1050 from $2100. The sale even includes our favorite Half-Flap Double Turn-Lock satchel bag that originally debuted in 2014 for $3700. (Pictures from the store can be found here.)

It's really sad how bad the Prada shoe selection was this season. The only standout are the velvet platforms which, of course, are not on sale. The best of the bunch are the classic pumps with embellished jewel details that are priced at $485 from $950. These shoes are similar to a version offered by Dolce & Gabbana and Manolo Hangisis. Peep-toe suede platforms are $410, velvet pointy toe flats with a grosgrain bow are $310 and over-the-knee boots are $725.

Among the clothing, all of the fall/winter '16 runway is on markdown. The most popular items are spotty on sizing. We love a skirt with oversized bright pockets and there are several brocade options, which are still very pricey and not quite versatile.

It's been years since Prada has done a second markdown and we wouldn't count on it happening this season. It's really a quite unfortunate story but every brand has it's ups and downs. Remember, Gucci wasn't so desirable two years ago -- and now look!

Zohair 212-664-0010


Cyber Shop the World on Vestiaire

Love it or not, we live in an age of online shopping. Black Friday, cyber Monday. It's all the the same: shopping and indulging. This cyber Monday, we are having extra fun locking our eyeballs on Vestiaire Collective.





At any given time, Vestiaire's luxury marketplace boasts 300,000 items from more than 10 countries around that world. The best part is that each item is authenticated and guaranteed, which takes a lot of the risk out of global consignment shopping. (You can click here for our Vestiaire shopping tips.)

If you weren't given access to the Gucci markdown, Vestiaire has a lot of discount options. There is an assortment of Syliva bags priced starting at $1540. The retail price is normally $2500. We also wouldn't mind the GG classic patent handbag that's $1900 or this vintage Gucci top handle that's under $450.

Among the little Chanel luxuries, we found this pink Timeless clutch that's under $1800, the famous 5x5 tote is $1430 and a 2.55 Camera Case is less than $1300. An Hermes throw  is true luxury and just $690 and here is a red Hermes CDC bracelet for $900. Aren't they retailing for over $2000, these days? (Who can't use another color option?)

Even better, just for Cyber Monday, the site is offering an additional 15% off any purchase. Just use the code CYBER15 at checkout.  (The promotions don't get any better than this.) We warn you, Vestiaire is quickly becoming an online addition. We must say, it's more fun than Facebook!

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Sunday, November 27, 2016

Cyber Shop the World on Vestiaire

Love it or not, we live in an age of online shopping. Black Friday, cyber Monday. It's all the the same: shopping and indulging. This cyber Monday, we are having extra fun locking our eyeballs on Vestiaire Collective.





At any given time, Vestiaire's luxury marketplace boasts 300,000 items from more than 10 countries around that world. The best part is that each item is authenticated and guaranteed, which takes a lot of the risk out of global consignment shopping. (You can click here for our Vestiaire shopping tips.)

If you weren't given access to the Gucci markdown, Vestiaire has a lot of discount options. There is an assortment of Syliva bags priced starting at $1540. The retail price is normally $2500. We also wouldn't mind the GG classic patent handbag that's $1900 or this vintage Gucci top handle that's under $450.

Among the little Chanel luxuries, we found this pink Timeless clutch that's under $1800, the famous 5x5 tote is $1430 and a 2.55 Camera Case is less than $1300. An Hermes throw  is true luxury and just $690 and here is a red Hermes CDC bracelet for $900. Aren't they retailing for over $2000, these days? (Who can't use another color option?)

Even better, just for Cyber Monday, the site is offering an additional 15% off any purchase. Just use the code CYBER15 at checkout.  (The promotions don't get any better than this.) We warn you, Vestiaire is quickly becoming an online addition. We must say, it's more fun than Facebook!

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The Best of Cyber Monday

Chances are that you've been shopping or browsing online and offline all weekend. Nonetheless, marketers sill insist that the shopping continues full force though Cyber Monday.

Chuckle as you might, people are clicking and buying more than they are cruising actual stores. Some of the discounts aren't as good as they were over the weekend but some are even better. Be careful, impulse can easily overcome Monday morning shoppers.






ASOS//Cyber Monday U.S. 30% off everything
DATE: Until 11.39
CODE: THANKFUL30
Over/Under Black Friday: Same
Standout Item: Silver and gold pleated midi-skirt $40 from $61

BaubleBar// Save 35% off everything when you buy two items
Date: Until 11.29
CODE: SAVE25 (for one item) SAVE35 (for two items)
OVER/UNDER Black Friday: Over the weekend the discounts was 30% but you'll save more if you want more than one item.
STANDOUT Item: Beaded tassel earrings $22 from $35 with the purchase of another product

Bergdorf Goodman// Extra 20% off sale merchandise from 5F (Contemporary Collection)
DATE: Until 11.28
OVER/UNDER Black Friday: Same
STANDOUT Item: Opening Ceremony leather varsity jacket $237 from $500

Bandier // 25% off Sitewide
DATE: Until 11.28
CODE: CYBER25
OVER/UNDER Black Friday: Same
STANDOUT Item: Python print leggings $75 from $100

Forzieri// 30% off orders of $350+ and more
DATE: 12.1
CODE: CYBERSTYLE30
OVER/UNDER Black Friday: Same
STANDOUT Item: JW Anderson Pierce bag $1200 from $1700

Luisaviaroma// 20% off extra discount on sale items
DATE: Until 11.30
OVER/UNDER Black Friday: Same
STANDOUT Item: Dolce & Gabbana palm leaves dress $800 from $1700

Nordstrom//Extra 20% off select sale merchandise
DATE: Until 11.28
OVER/UNDER Black Friday: Same
STANDOUT Item: Uggs for kids $40 from $75

Yoox // Use the App to save 35% off everything
Date: 11.28
OVER/UNDER Black Friday: Using the app saves you an extra 10%
STANDOUT Item: Balenciage biker jacket

Saturday, November 26, 2016

What We Really Bought on Black Friday

Are Black Friday deals really that good? Eh, kind of.

We find that holiday hype and the pent up frustration from family overtime, drives much of our consumerism. After investigating the purchases of friends, family, along with our personal shopping, we began to see some trends.

One is that most of what we bought on Black Friday were minor purchases. There was no extravagant jewelry, no cars, no mega-expensive handbags. Another theme is that people seemed to purchase the items they needed and were holding back to buy. The third, and final observation, is that Starbucks was consistently more crowded than most any store. People are spending more time browsing in shops and shopping online.




With that out of the way, we bring you a compilation of the things we bought and the rationale behind the purchases. Hope you find the list inspiring or at least amusing.

Uniqlo Cashmere $69 from $79: I've been curious about the quality and thought I would give it a try.

J Crew Tippi Sweater (pink) $35 from $75: I recently went on a rash of buying pink bags and need more pink to create complete outfits.

Coach leather skirt $333 from $700: The length is perfect (not too mini) and the quality for the price is excellent.

BaubleBar beaded tassel earrings $25 from $36: I spotted these in a Facebook ad. A similar style I saw at a Madison Avenue boutique was selling for an exorbitant amount of money. They also fit into my pink passion.

Reversible Gucci leather belt $345: My father mentioned, at dinner, he needs some new belts. It will be the perfect holiday gift.

Molo girl's sweatpants $36 from $60: My daughters are currently obsessed with sweatpants and these made the cut for their not-too-scrappy look.

CrewCuts kids hats & gloves 40% off: I recently threw out a huge basket of old hats and gloves that nobody wanted to wear. I am resolved to get each child one new set and not buy any more.

Louboutin So Kate malachite pumps from Barneys presale $450 from $750: Love the malachite pattern and the green is perfect to offset all the pink I've purchased. Who doesn't love looking like a watermelon?

Friday, November 25, 2016

Chanel, Louboutin, Celine & Gucci 70% Off

The Internet is full of discount shopping destinations but few offer the designer merchandise you really want at great prices. Amuze is a true exception. This online designer boutique offers a variety of merchandise from the most exclusive fashion designers and prices up to 80% off retail.


Through Monday, the site is hosting a huge Black Friday sale where already discounted designer merchandise is reduced an additional 20% to 35% off.  That brings the total savings to irresistible.

Lets take a look: A Celine Phantom handbag is $1750 from $3100 and a Prada Saffiano bag is $1320 from $2680. Floral brocade ankle boots are just $430 from almost $1500 and Chanel ankle boots are $420 from $1150. In addition, the site also includes a variety of handbags, shoes, accessories and clothing from Gucci, Tom Ford, Judith Leiber, Chloe and more.

Seems good? We agree. The best part is that this type of of consumption will not add a millimeter to your waiste line. Too bad we can't say that about the other piece of pumpkin pie you're about to cut!

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Where to Shop on Black Friday

Black Friday isn't what it used to be. More people are shopping earlier and spending more money online. That doesn't mean that there aren't attractive incentives to lure customers. Below are our top picks for what is known as the 'biggest shopping day of the year.' Rest assured, the deals are almost identical if you are shopping online.


Nordstrom
Designer discounts are an extra 20% off through Sunday. We found lots of samples that you don't often  find reduced. These Hunter rain boots are $80 from $150 and Stuart Weitzman ankle booties are $350 from $600. Most items from the 'cutting edge' designers are not discounted, yet, but there are a few standouts. This lace Adam Lippes dress is $800 from nearly $1700 and this Comme des Garçons sweater is $277 from $460.

Neiman Marcus
For a limited time, you can save an extra 33% off select items for a total savings of up to 60% off. A Nanette Lepore print blouse is $140 from $350, Alice & Olivia leather leggings are $370 from $950 and Current Elliott jeans are $83 from $208. As an added incentive you can save an extra $50 off non-sale items over $200 with the code THANKFUL. The best part is that this discount code can be applied to fragrance and beauty items.

Saks Fifth Avenue
Prices for the shopping extravaganza will be reduced up to 60% off if you can get to the store or log in before noon on Friday. An Alice & Olivia print dress is $118 from $300 and Frame high waist jeans are just $66 from $250. Just a warning, the early Saks crowd can be overwhelming. This is one of these days where shopping online can avoid lots of aggravation.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Black Friday Luxury Blow-Out Sale

The unofficial kick-off to Black Friday has already started. There are so many tempting places to spend your money it's hard to choose.



One sale we are determined not to miss is the Black Friday promotion at Luxury 9. The discount store, with locations near Grand Central and the Bowery, will be offering customers an extra 30% off all apparel, including already reduced men's, women's and children's Versace samples. They will also be offering an additional 15% to 30% off already reduced handbags, shoes and accessories.

Included in the extra discounts are Celine, Gucci, Valentino and Alaia handbags and shoes. Gucci Marmont pumps are an extra 15% off and come to about $460 from $750, Celine two-tone phantom bags are $1768 from $3400 and a Gucci GG Marmont bag is $1955 from $2300. (We have lots of pictures in the jump.)

If you're looking for the best deals, direct your attention towards the Versace samples. An ornate coat is priced at just $455 from something like $4000. We also spotted a Versus dress with a link collar that's reduced to $159 and a classic Versace suit jacket is $420.

Luxury 9 also an attractive assortment of accessories. McQueen scarves are just $165 and make great office gifts.  Chanel jewelry and sunglasses are other optimum gift ideas.

While most people are shopping first markdowns, we'll be snagging top in-season designer items at Luxury 9. After all, discounts on top of high discounts, is what sale-ing is all about.

Luxury 9 Grand Central
375 Lexington Avenue @ 41st Street
Friday 11am - 4pm
Sunday 11am - 7pm
Closed Saturday
luxury9popup@gmail.com

Luxury 9 Bowery
352 Bowery (off Great Jones)
Friday 11am - 4pm
Saturday 7pm-10pm
Sunday 11am - 7pm
luxury9popup@gmail.com

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Barneys Christian Louboutin Presale

Many stores have started their sales on contemporary and luxury lines prior to Thanksgiving but Christian Louboutin is always one of those brand's that trails behind the regular markdown schedule. It's always a big mystery as to when Louboutin will begin their markdowns.



Wonder no more! A Barneys insider tells us that fancy red soles will be available for presale  on Monday, November 28. The sale will open to the public  the next day, on November 29.

The Christian Louboutin markdown is usually coordinated across all retailers. We don't think that's the case this season. Considering that presale is only one day, we would suggest you contact your regular sales associate as early as possible. The first markdown discount at Barneys is 40% off.

We also got our hands on the confidential markdown list. Degraspike pumps will be about $600 from nearly $1000, patent leather pumps with a heart will be $480 from almost $800 and suede pumps with flame-like accents will be about $520 from $845. (An extensive stock list is available in the jump.)

The sale will even include lots of basic styles like Pipina wedge pumps in black, the patent Dorissima pumps in nude and Guni pumps in black. While checking on the stock, we found these pink Follies  already reduced to $319 and Guni pumps in white reduced to $339. Both are available right now!

You can click on the jump to get links to most of the items that will be available during the sale. If you would like to get a an early start on pre-ealing we suggest you contact your Barneys Louboutin sales person right away.

Contact: Artie on Instagram DM


Monday, November 21, 2016

Saks Pre-Sale Begins With Big Bag Discounts

The Saks Fifth Avenue presale for Black Friday is officially underway. The discounts are up to 40% off. The big news is that women's clothing and shoes markdowns are live online but no handbags have been marked down on the site... yet. Lucky that we have spies everywhere.


We are told that Valentino bags will be 40% off. Included in the markdown are this Rocklock lasercut bag that comes to $2400 from over $4000, a Guitar-Strap Rockstud reversible leather tote is $2900 from $4945 and a Rocklock medium shoulder bag is $1677 from $2795.




Among the Prada presale bags, which will also be 40% off, is a grommeted canvas tote that's $730 from $1260, a Saffiano Lux double-zip tote in various colors is about $1300 from $2230 and Baiadera frame bag in is $1800 from $2950.




Heading over to the houses of Gucci and Saint Laurent the stock lists aren't as extensive and the discounts are just 30%. Included in the Gucci markdown is the Dionysus Arabesque, Dionysus Blooms and a Jackie hobo. Among the Saint Laurent options are a silver Sunset Sparkle on a chain wallet, the heart shape Love bag and the Monogram Matelasse.




Take note, designer clothing is on sale for 40% off. Customers can begin taking home their pre-sales Wednesday.



Nordstrom: Gift Giving Ideas

It's not even Thanksgiving and I have already bought the same people three sets of gifts. I first purchased beautiful fragrant candles but then realized they would need to be boxed and taken to the post office. Too much trouble. Then I got cosmetic gift sets. I realized they were too personal for business associates. Lastly, I purchased a bunch of business card holders but then realized they require the packing, boxing and post office commitment-- again!



Clearly, I have a problem that needs to be fixed. From now on I am making the commitment to buy all gifts online and have them shipped directly to the recipient. Nordstrom is particularly a great place to shop online. Their merchandise is great and customer service is terrific.

We especially love Nordstrom's assortment of holiday gifts. Here is a holiday gift set from Nest ($72). It includes a candle and a diffuser. The best part is that boxing and post are already included! Then here is a cosmetic gift set from MAC ($50). It's a combination of neutral colors, which are sure to look great on everyone. That's much better than the wild metallic I impulsively purchased. And here is a Dior combo of mascara and eyeshadow for just ($30). I might just need to get them for myself. The mascara alone is usually $30.

For the kids, we found this 500-piece lego set that's just $35. If you've have experience buying legos, then you know what a terrific price it is. Metallic silver Converse are perfect for tiny feet ($35) or Supra Skytop sneakers in gold ($70).

Guys are all about utility and toys. Bose SoundSport Bluetooth headphones ($150) fit the bill perfectly. The best part is that they don't take up a lot of space, unlike that bike he buys himself. Comme des Garsons x Chuck Taylors ($120) are irresistible and really make us happy to see them worn. Whether or not they admit it, guys get cold too. Keep him warm in this Canada Goose packable jacket $500. He will really love how light it feels.

If you're shopping for a picky woman we picked three foolproof gift ideas: the Gucci Marmot pumps ($750), a mini Chloe Faye bag ($795) or a glittery picture frame ($40) with an image of those she loves.

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Net-a-Porter Sale Begins Up to 50% Off

Net-a-Porter just set live their first holiday season promotion. Even though this isn't the 'real' markdown there are some good finds.

Photo Credit: VivaLuxury




Generally speaking, most popular bags styles are discounted 30%. There are some exceptions, like this Tom Ford Natalia bag that's discounted 40%, or $2500 from $4200. There are even some bags discounted 50%. We really love this black minimalistic Junya Wantanabe tote that's $470 from $940 or this Proenza Schouler cross body that's $545 from $1090. We are surprised that there aren't any Chloe bags included in this markdown.

Take note, that most of the more highly reduced items seem to be from last Winter. It appears as if the markdowns from this season's merchandise is just 30% off.  Here's a Sonia Rykiel sweater that's discounted to $550 from $1100, an Altuzarra royal blue velvet blazer that's reduced to $1257 from $1800, a Tome poplin shirt with an open back is $263 from $525 and a Marcus Lupfer sweater is $200 from $400.

Head this way for your in-season Gianvitto Rossi leopard pumps, classic 85 patent pumps or the more fashionable suede basic pumps that are all 50% off. Aquzurra velvet lace-up flats are also half-off or $338 from $675. Oh, and those Stuart Weitzman thigh-high boots, you see everywhere, are $400 from $800.

Last season, the more attractive discounts started December 6. We would suggest snatching up the items you like that are 50% off and then continuing to stalk the merchandise you covet from this season. Then you pounce like a leopard (pump).

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Bergdorf Goodman Presale Begins 60+ Pics

As you're finalizing your Thanksgiving plans, retailers are beginning to start their seasonal markdowns. This season is turning out to be extra peculiar. Frankly speaking, this season hasn't been great for retail and stores are trying to figure out how to markdown 'wisely'.






On the flip side, stores are worried about getting stuck with an abundance of merchandise. As always, we will be starting our markdown roundups. This weekend, we slipped into Bergdorf Goodman to collect detailed presale intelligence.

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

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

We don't have an exact date when these brands will go on sale. It should also be noted that the assortment of items that did go on sale is larger than last season. For example, we were surprised to see several classic style Valentino bags included in the markdown. Some of those classic styles included in the markdown are the My Rockstud Single Handle Bag, the Lock Shoulder Bag in black and the Rockstud Turquoise Guitar-Strap tote.

Among the bags eligible for markdown, are the bi-color micro Fendi Baguettes, the Saint Laurent Monogram College Chain wallet and the Chloe Hudson. You can see a grouping of extensive pictures in the jump.

Among the shoes, are a huge assortment of Valentino Rockstuds and other iconic styles including boots, flats and pumps. There are especially a lot of options from the Stars collection. We especially like the denim boots with sequined stars but they are still pricey --even after the markdown.

Miu Miu had some really great shoe options this season and we are excited that several styles will be on sale. We might actually go for the belted ballerina flats with ankle straps and save them for the Spring. Even better, for vacation!

You can scroll above to see the sale items that will be available online on Wednesday or click here to see dozens of pictures of shoes and bags that are now on sale.

Contact Doreen: 347-986-9483


Thursday, November 17, 2016

Andrew Marc - Vilebrequin Sale Extended; Amazing Prices

The Andrew Marc - Vilebrequin sample sales have been extended through Sunday. Anticipating extra markdowns, we couldn't help from shopping for ourselves (and everyone else we know). Now, our wallet is empty but our closets are fully stocked for winter and vacation.


You could imagine how my phone started blowing up when I sent a group text alerting friends and family that Vilebrequin's print and solid boy's swimsuits were priced between $20 (size 2s) and $35 (size 12s). Men's swimsuits with an elastic waist are now $65 and flat waist versions are $50.  Vilebrequin's retail prices usually range from $250 to nearly $300 for men's print shorts. For children, prices normally range from $120 to $140. The sale also includes nice polos for men at $40 and tees for $25.

We highly suggest you stock up for cruise now!!

Over on the Andrew Marc side, there are some really beautiful quality jackets and coats for men and women. A men's leather 3/4 jacket with a fur collar is $199 from $630, a woman's shearling jacket is further reduced to $699 from nearly $3000 and a woman's faux fur lined parka vest with patches is $99 from $250.

Be sure to look out for the woman's samples. A woman's leather moto jacket lined with shearling is magnificent and priced at just $400, a brown moto jacket is $199 and a classic puffer is $249.

The sale is still pretty quiet because word of the extension hasn't spread... yet! We suggest you hurry over right away, especially for the Vilebrequin selection. We are told that there won't be any further reductions and there isn't much back stock.

Enjoy!!!

Vilebrequin / Andrew Marc Sample Sale
Extended through Sunday, November 20
Thrus-Fri 8am-7pm, Sat& Sun 10am-6pm
401 Seventh Ave @33rd St. (Penn Plaza Pavilion)

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The IT-it: Old Bag, New Strap

Last year, we disconnected our furry monster charms and developed an addiction to alternative shoulder straps. The trend started with luxury options from Fendi and Valentino but several other luxury brands have jumped on the trend. Our current favorite are the Louis Vuitton straps.






As a fun DIY project, we recently went on the hunt for a great vintage Louis Vuitton Alma bag in Epi leather. We've had several over the years and they always seem to walk away with an admiring family member. We love that the bag is roomy and super durable. A new Alma PM in Epi retails for $2810. Prices for nice quality pre-owned bags range from about $600 to to $1500. You see where we are going with this right? (Use the code VCSPY10 for extra discounts on Vestiaire.)

We highlighted some great preowned options on the scroll above.

Next, you add the perfect strap. Louis Vuitton bag straps, or Bandoulieres, range from about $500 to $1300 for exotic skins. We especially love the version with an animal print on one side that reverses to the classic LV logo, the rainbow stripped Epi version and the graphic style, shown on the Spring '17 runways.

We simply love the outcome of the combination: Old bag, new strap.

Charlotte Olympia Sample Sale Incredible!

Usually, we are very cautious when shopping sample sales. There are just too many shopping days in the year to justify big purchases. Today, was a huge exception --the Charlotte Olympia sale is just that good. As a matter of fact, it's so good that I needed to call a bellman to carry my half-dozen bags to a waiting Uber.






We all love Charlotte Olympia for her quirky shoes, but if you're going to want to head directly to the bag section. The designer's clear box clutches usually retail for between $1200 and $1600 but are priced starting at just $150. Larger crocodile and ostrich handbags are $300 from over $3000. There are also lots of cute little accessories and pouches that are priced between $50 and $100.

Moving on to the shoes, most styles are priced at just $100. That includes Kitty Flats, Dolly platforms and several style ostrich shoes. Shoe styles that are much more popular are priced between $150 and $200. We really didn't see anything priced any higher.

A lot of the same items we saw are also listed at Saks Off 5th. The prices aren't as good but perhaps you can experience a bit of the thrill while shopping from afar. Pictures from the sale are on Instagram Stories and posted in the jump. We suggest you hurry over fast because we are sure there will be nothing left by the time the sale closes at 7pm tonight.

Charlotte Olympia Sample Sale
Thursday, November 17
Till 7pm
Roosevelt Hotel, 45 E. 45th St. (Vanderbilt Suite)


Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Style: Not So Basic Sweaters

If you think sweater dressing is little more than squeezing your head through a turtleneck, than it's time to rethink your approach. Right now, we love the variety of winter sweater options that are cleaver and elegant. They incorporate both texture and style to make you feel anything but basic on even the most gloomy and blah days.






Nordstrom happens to have an expansive selection of sweaters. Check out this Phelan Foil Stripe knit ($595). Would't it look great with a shirt silver leather skirt? We also love this Tomas Maier cable knit sweater ($790) that would pair perfectly with leather pants. We are thinking a like-color grey for a monochrome look that has lots of texture. Givenchy offers a sweater that's convertible. The turtleneck happens to have a detachable zipper feature.

Clothing with a disctict design estetic doesn't need to be super expensive. We love this Alice & Olivia crown sweater ($350). Here is a lovely green sweater from Milly ($295) that is full of texture and style. Then there is this Kenzo sweater ($310) that is both moderately priced and high-style.

If we could pick just one sweater to wear all winter it would be from Junya Watanabe. The dramatic oversized rosettes bring sculptural dimension to the front. We warn you, it's pricey but it's anything but basic. Don't be surprised to see lots more of Junya's avant-garde designs in the coming months. Commes des Garcon, for whom she is currently the lead designer, is headlining the Met Gala in the Spring.

As always, we recommend that online shoppers take advantage of Nordstrom's great customer service, which features free shipping and free returns. If only everything about the holiday season was as easy to shop as Nordstrom.

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Gucci Presale Continues: Gucci.com, Bloomies, Saks and Neiman Marcus

Gucci started their private presale today online. Unlike past seasons, access takes more than just a special link. VIP shoppers need to sign into their accounts to view the discounted merchandise. Gucci shoppers who weren't granted access will have to wait until the sale goes live after the weekend (we are told). For now, you can browse some of our screen shots.





Saks Fifth Avenue also started the private sale. Saks VIP shoppers were emailed a one time code to use on Gucci merchandise. If you were special enough to get an email code, be sure to check out all at once. Saks will not grant you a second code. Trust us, we spent 45 minutes on hold trying.

If you can't access the other sites, go to Neiman Marcus right away if you're looking to snag a great discount. The discounts range from 40% to 50% off. Here is a small Padlock GG that's $990 from $1650, a medium Dionysus tote is $1500 from about $2500 and a vintage style wallet on a strap is $527 from $900. Among the shoes that are half-off are these floral painted rain boots that are $285 from $570, floral jacquard Dionysus pumps are $475 from $950 and super high color block platforms are $500 from about $1000.

Over at Bloomingdales there is a private link too. Frame loafers are $320 from $640, spiked block heels are $925 from $1050 and Lady Bug ballet flats are $447 from $995. The site doesn't have any bags but you can shop the sale merchandise in stores and save 40%.

Be careful, these markdowns are dangerous. It's easy to find yourself filling your cart with sale merchandise because the discounts are so good. Just be sure you really love the items you're buying. Closet space in Manhattan is variably more valuable than most merchandise-- especially when it's on sale.


Monday, November 14, 2016

Gucci Presale (Unofficially) Starts Now

The most anticipated sale of the season is here. Gucci has orchestrated that all of it's retail partners begin a private presale starting Wednesday. This afternoon we found that Neiman Marcus and Bergdorf Goodman did a blind posting of presale items -- meaning there is no centralized link.






The markdowns range from 40% to 50% off a variety of shoes and bags. We are told that some clothing included in the sale too but the sale items are not online. We assume that Gucci will be sending out it's famous prseale link some time Wednesday afternoon. We will update this post as it becomes available.

To see the sale items you must click on the item link itself. We also made it so that you can browse through the sale from the pictures above. Included in the markdown is this Soho Leather Shoulder Bag that comes to $588 from $980, t-strap pumps with an eye motif are $537 from $895 and Webby Quilted Snake-Heel Mule sandals $500 from $990.

The Neiman/ Bergdorf sale ends  in stores on November 30 and runs online through December 1. We doubt much of this merchandise will last longer than a few days before it's all snatched up.

Take note, we hear that the Gucci sale will start on November 24 in the Eurozone. Those planning a trip for Thanksgiving may have the opportunity to double dip!

Bergdorf Goodman: Doreen 347-986-9483

Inside the Sales: Cire Trudon and DVF

We must say it was a busy Monday. We can't remember the last time we took on a double header. We started the morning investigating the Diane von Furstenberg sample sale and then headed further downtown to Century 21 to sniff out Cire Trudon's luxury candles.

Here's our full report:



Diane von Furstenberg
The first day of Diane von Furstenberg's sample sale always starts off with VIP early access. This is where you normally find scurrying employees, editors, d-list celebrities and, sometimes, some models. Today we found nobody. The sale preview was basically empty, despite the fact that fifty people were waiting outside. The reason could be because the DVF sale has lost a lot of it's excitement.

For starters, there is no sample sale rack, which was always a big hit as everything was priced at $50. The end of an era, we suppose. What you will find are plenty of dresses, jumpsuits and tops from this and last season's collections. All dresses are $100 and wrap dresses are $125. Gowns are $175. Coats, outerwear and leather goods are $250. On the racks we found lots of lace dresses in assorted colors, this silk print wrap dress that hasn't even hit stores yet and a few of these ivory leather moto jackets in assorted sizes.

We think the sale is still very pricey but we know that there will be discounts later in the week. We would suggest holding off until prices make the trip worth while. Considering the quite morning, we don't think it's going to be a problem finding pieces to buy. You can click here to see pictures from our shopping trip and the full price list.

Cire Trudon
Lighting a candle that doesn't properly envelop the room with fragrance feels like setting a $100 bill on fire. That's why we always like to stay loyal to the candle brands that we trust. Cire Trudon has earned a space at the top of the luxury candle hierarchy for their handmade votives and hand-poured waxes. We also love that the fragrances aren't so floral and sweet that it makes you feel like you sprayed perfume at CVS.

Prices are a straight 50% off retail. Classic candles are $50, gifts sets containing three candles are $100, extra large size candles are $275, travel room sprays are $40 and Carriere Freres classic candles are the best deal at just $25. The available fragrances are La Marquise, Pondichéry, Mademoiselle De La Valliere, Solis Rex, Aed El Kader among others.

The inventory isn't huge but prices are a bit high for a sample sale setting. We suggest heading to the sale by Tuesday morning if you're a big fan of the brand's candles. If you're just a casual shopper, you might consider waiting until Wednesday.


Sunday, November 13, 2016

Barneys Presale Begins 40% Off

It's still 60-degress outside but Thanksgiving is just over a week away. That means that presales and first markdowns are imminent.




We recently learned that Barneys shoppers can begin to presale for the first markdown starting Monday. The sale becomes official and opens to the public on November 21. The discount is 40% across the board-- clothing, shoes and bags for men, women and children. Besides the outstanding selection, 40% discounts make Barneys the best department store to shop for holiday deals.

Among the reduced items are a large assortment of Valentino, Giuseppe Zanetti, Manolo Blahnik and Aquazzura shoes and a larger than expected verity of popular Chloe bag styles. There are also some Saint Laurent bags included in the early markdown but we think that more will be added later on in the holiday season.

Among the Valentino shoe discounts are the classic red Rockstud slingbacks and caged flats that are both about $600 from $1000. We especially love this season's Valentino Love Latch ankle strap pulps that also come to $600 after the markdown.

Among the discounted Manolos are Hangisi pumps, in select colors, that are reduced to about $600. These Giuseppe crystal-embellished sandals were a big hit but there are still some sizes left. The discounted price is $1200 from $2000. Gianvitto Rossi suede booties come to $540 and Wild Thing sandals are $473.

You can finally stop stalking the Chloe Drew and Faye bags on resale sites. There are several colors and styles available at a discounted price. A small Drew bag in 'Fresh Blue' is about $1200 from almost $2000 and a Faye bag with fringe is about $1400 from $2450.

Among the Saint Laurent selection is the cross body Kate that's reduce to $1379 from $2290 and the High School chain bag is $1200 from $2000. Other handbag brands included in the markdown are Givenchy,

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Zac Posen Sample Sale Prices 80% Off

Sometimes with very little information we get a hunch that a sample sale is going to be great. That's exactly what happened when we noticed that Zac Posen was scheduled to offer his samples and overstock to the public. We needed to investigate further.






The sale doesn't actually start until Monday, but we were given a sneak peak while the boxes were being unpacked. The inventory is impressive. There are lots of gowns and dresses and everything is priced between 70% and 80% off retail. We found a strapless fuscia cocktail dress reduced to $690 from $3490, a heavy floral tapestry day dress priced also at $690 from $4450 and a less formal floral silk dress for $490 from $2690. (Click here for pictures.)

It's always our belief that you should keep a few gowns in your closet even if they aren't worn often. A wise shopper will bank a gown and wear it as needed rather than risk spending five-figures for the need-it-now situation. This is a perfect opportunity to get ready for the winter party season.

Take note, the sale is taking place at the handmade bag manufacturer Hayward. Prices are 70% off retail and there is a variety of beautiful box bags and cross bodies. Definitely worth a look but the gowns are certainly the highlight.

If you can't make it to the sale, we've scoured the internet for similar discounts. Happy holiday readying!

Zac Posen Sample Sale
Monday, November 14 through Wednesday, November 16
10am-6pm
33 East 33rd Street (12th Floor) between Park & Madison


Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Nordstrom Fall Clearance Sale

Most people have been so distracted by the election that shopping has been brushed aside. As part of the back-to-reality process we started to surf online stores while still keeping an eye on CNN. We were excited to find that Nordstrom is hosting a Fall clearance sale where discounts are about 40% off.






The limited-time promotion runs through Sunday in stores and online but we suggest you start browsing now before CNN-fatigue sets in. (As if, we all aren't exhausted enough.) These insanely popular Stewart Weitzman thigh-high boots are now $518 from almost $800. We are surprised to see them online at all since some stores have sold out.

We just love the assortment of brightly colored coats. Here is sunny yellow coat from Lafayette 138 that's $688 from $1150, here we found the perfect shade red wool 3/4-length coat and this Max Mara jacquard ombre coat is double breasted and the perfect combination of dress up and cool. It's 40% off and reduced to $890 from $1500.

Among the clothing, our eye keeps being drawn towards bright colors. You can't get much sunnier than this Rag & Bone yellow sweater that's $236 from $400 and these Gucci sunglasses that are $200 from $340 and make the perfect cheery combination.

As the saying goes, 'See something, Say Something.' If you see an item for less at another store, we suggest calling Nordstrom operators and they will price match and even sometimes even add an extra shopping incentive. It's just a nice little perk.

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Your Pre-Holiday Shopping Spree

The holiday season isn't technically underway but that doesn't stop the Salvation Army bells from ringing. We all know that means the pressure to buy gifts for everyone isn't too far away. Before you go for broke pleasing and impressing, we suggest you take these final Fall moments to shop for yourself.



Nordstrom's designer section is the best it's ever been. Cruise items are just arriving and it's the perfect opportunity to grab those fabulously indulgent items. The Gucci assortment is particularly incredible. Check out these rainbow stacked platform sneakers, the classic Gucci mule that have been updated with a slingback and the new version of the Yolo loafer with a wraparound snake motif. We can't get enough of this Givenchy leather jacket with a detachable racing trim and this Saint Laurent bag with star patches keeps calling my name.

Over here is the Roksanda dress that Maliania Trump wore during the RNC convention. It's no doubt a little piece of political history. You'll be sure to be the most fashionable person, at even the most avant-garde gallery party, wearing this Junya Wantanabe 3D cut top or this Mira Mikati rocket themed coat. The matching sunny flower skirt will warm even the chilliest of souls.

As always, online shoppers should take advantage of Nordstrom's great customer service, which features free shipping and free returns. If only everything about the holiday season was as easy to shop as Nordstrom.



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Sample Sale Mania: DVF, Zac Posen, Wang, JW Anderson & More

November is always a premium time for sample sales. Next week is turning out to be extra buzzy with an abundance of noteworthy announcements. There are so many fantastic options that it's going to be hard to choose which ones to attend. Read below to see our highlights and plan your shopping strategy.

Be sure to follow along on Instagram for inside pictures and real time updates.



J.W. Anderson
The J.W. Anderson sale technically starts this weekend but we couldn't help from wanting to take advantage of getting some of the Brit designer's high fashion for low prices. The sale will include womenswear, menswear, shoes, bags, jewelry, and accessories priced up to 70% off. Perhaps there will be steeper discounts as the sale comes to a close.
Saturday, November 12 through Monday, November 14
Sat 10am-7pm, Sun 10am-5pm, Mon 10am- 4pm
Bryant Park Hotel, 40 W. 40th St. 24th Fl (btwn 5th & 6th)
Credit Cards Only

Armani
The Giorgio Armani sample sale has always had a very large turnout. There are often waits to get in from the start of the sale and the crowds tend to thin later in the week. There are also lots of discounts as the sale draws out but we've also waited and been disappointed by the lack of attractive merchandise. It's really a crap shoot. Expect to find clothing, shoes, bags, jewelry and accessories along all the designer's lines including, Giorgio Armani, Emporio Armani, Armani Collezioni and Armani Jeans.
Saturday, November 12 through Wednesday, November 16
Sat & Sun 9am-6pm, Mon & Tues 9am-7pm, Wed 9am-5:30om
Soiffer Haskin- 317 W. 33rd St.

Cire Truden
Move over Dyptique, Cire Truden is lighting up the season as the most popular fragrance sale of the season. This is the brand's first sample sale. We are sure it will draw large crowds who want to stock up on luxe holiday gifts.
Tuesday, November 15 through Thursday, November 17
8am-9pm daily
Century 21: 21 Dey St. (btw Broadway & Church St.)

Diane von Furstenberg
The queen of all sample sales is back. Last season, was the first sample sale after a long hiatus. The outcome wasn't thrilling -- there wasn't even a rack of the designer's famous samples. We are hoping the winter sale will be better. Stay tuned.
Tuesday, November 15 through Saturday, November 19
Mon-Fri 10am-8pm, Sat 10am-7pm
260 Fifth Ave. (btwn 28th & 29th)

Zac Posen
We haven't been to a Zac Posen sale in ages and we must say we've missed them. Years ago, we found gowns marked just $200 and even had a run-in with the designer. Lets hope that he will lend his styling assistance to shoppers again. 
Monday, November 14 through Wednesday, November 16
10am-6pm
33 East 33rd Street (12th Floor) between Park & Madison

Alexander Wang
Fans of Alexander Wang go crazy when the designer hosts his famous sample sales. It's not ever year and when it's announced shoppers get excited. You can always count on super merchandise at great prices. At the last sale, handbags started at just $200.
150 Greene St. (btwn Houston & Prince St.)
Tuesday, November 15 through Saturday, November 19
9am-8pm

Charlotte Olympia
We couldn't be more excited to grab shoes from the quirky Brit. At the last sale, Kitty flats were $250 and more ornate style boots ran up to $600. The best styles get snatched up quickly. If you want the best selection we suggest you don't hesitate-- there isn't any restocking.
Thursday, November 17
11am—7pm
Roosevelt Hotel, 45 E. 45th St. (Vanderbilt Suite)

Monday, November 7, 2016

Vilebrequin Sample Sale

Our August suntans are almost fully faded, which means it's time to get vacation plans underway. Part of proper planning requires that everyone in the family to be outfitted correctly in new clothing. After all, nobody wants to pack a faded bathing suit from the past summer.



Our entire family is partial to the playful swimsuit prints of Vilebrequin. In conjunction with the Andrew Marc sample sale, Vilebrequin is offering their French luxury resort wear at up to 80% off. The sale will feature a wide assortment of high-quality beach appropriate items for women, men, boys and girls starting at just $20.

Expect to find swimwear, cover-ups, shorts, tees, polos, button down shirts, hats and beach bags. We are told that there will be no restocking. So that means it wouldn't hurt to get your beach bum over to the sale right away.

Vilebrequin Sample Sale
Through Sunday, November 13
Mon-Fri 8am-7pm, Sat& Sun 10am-6pm
401 Seventh Ave @33rd St. (Penn Plaza Pavilion)

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Matches Boasts Discounts of 80% Off

It's not too often that we find discounts pushing 80% anywhere before Thanksgiving. Outside of discount stores, these types of markdowns are usually saved for temporary special promotions. We were very happily surprised to find a large assortment of merchandise at the UK-based Matches discounted a full 80% off.




Head this way to browse pages of items selling for just a small fraction of their retail price. Here is a lace trimmed Christopher Kane skirt that's just $165 from $916, a Marco de Vincenzo top is $185 from $1029 and these Tabitha Simmons heels are $196 from over $1000. Among the items that are less discounted, but no less desirable, we found this Anya Hindmarsh tote that's reduced 60%. It's still not inexpensive but we've loved the style since it debuted this past Summer. 

Moving away from Summer, this Yohji Yamamoto black wool-twill jacket will make a considered addition to your wardrobe and you can save a bundle as it's reduced to $673 from almost $2500. We are really digging these high-wasted, wide-leg, cropped Sonia Rykiel jeans (that are really more like slacks) and are priced at $181 from $605 and this classic Rosie Assouline top with an oversized bow that's now half off. 

Matches offers free delivery and returns and even this highly reduced merchandise can be shipped back if it isn't right. That's even better than a sample sale-- and some boutiques-- where you have no recourse.