Monday, June 30, 2008

Zegna 60% Off

I think we've been kind of shutting it down on the men's side these days. I have to give you guys some props once in a while. Did some calling around today and found out that Ermenegildo Zegna reduced all their Spring/Summer merchandise to 60% off.

Before I continue lets say it together: Er-men-E-geel-do Zen-ya. Altalia friends, please feel free to correct my transliteration.

The sale started Friday and there are lots of great staples still available. This silk-cashmere v-neck sweater will be great for Fall. It started off at $425 but is now just $170. Evan at Saks the same sweater is $198. Basic shirts are normally $355 and are now on sale for $134. Gentlemen- get over to Zegna. Pronto!

Contact: James S. 212-421-4488

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Nordstrom Pre-Anniversary Sale

Nordstrom is known for having great sales. There are two in particular that can send a city girl shopping in the burbs: The "Half-Yearly Sale" and the "Anniversary Sale." The Half-Yearly sale is clearance, usually towards the end of the season. The Anniversary sale is a pre-sale before the new collection hits the department store floor.

Starting Friday, Nordstrom's started their Anniversary Sale. The sale consists of a catalog of pre-Fall merchandise that is discounted 25% to 40% off. Only "Level 2" Nordstrom shoppers get the catalog mailed to them but if you are nice and find a manager you might be able to browse through the catalog. Each department has its own special items that are featured in the pre-Fall sale.

The sale runs from June 20th to August 5th but the sale is limited to "Level-2" customers until the 7th-- or so they say. Purchases can be picked up or shipped as of July 18th. Prices return to normal once the sale ends in August.

For your reference library, here are Nordy sale dates:

• Half Yearly Sale for Women + Kids - June 6
• Half Yearly Sale for Men - June 15
• Anniversary Sale - July 20 - August 5
• Half Yearly Sale for Women + Kids - November 7
• Half Yearly Sale for Men - December 26

Even greater deals are available on leftovers at Nordstrom's Rack stores, where unloved goods are sent to make room for the new season's looks.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Fendi 2nd Markdown

Fendi started their second markdown on Spring/Summer merchandise. Most items are now about 60% off. This knit cotton and cashmere v-neck dress was $1230 and is now $492. As for handbags, there aren't too many on sale. Mostly items that are very much this season like the palazzo print tote.

Contact: Dharma 212-251-9198.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Zara Semi-Annual Sale

If every Madison Avenue girl limited her shopping to Madison Avenue she would end up living in some far out place like Brooklyn. (Gasp!) That's where the high/low works itself in. No, I'm not talking about the mullet but rather matching chic low-priced clothing with high-end accessories.

This is where stores like Target, H&M and Zara come into play. What I like to do is buy a simple well cut dress and pair it with a great pair of shoes and a fantastic bag. That's in addition to well appointed jewelry, of course. The key is to be picky. It's very easy to fall into the trap of dressing like a 16-year-old with her mother's shoes. My advice is to keep it simple, try not to pick anything too trendy and remember to have fun.

One of my favorite "off-Madison" stores --Zara --is having their semi-annual sale. Most items are $10 off like, jeans, dresses and skirts. Other items are even reduced further. Tanks and t-shirts were previously $10 and are now $6 or $8. Tops originally $20 are now $6 to $10. For the children's collection - most clothes originally $20 are now reduced to $10.

I find these sales to be a bit "messy." The lines are long and the crowds are thick. The prices at Zara are so reasonable that I suggest that you spend the extra $10 and get first pick at the start of the season.

Bergdorfs Watch

I've heard it from three good authorities that Bergdorfs is taking their second markdown on Wednesday. I have called the store and all the sales people are trying to play coy with lines like, "Maybe after July 4th." 

I'm not falling for that July 4th crap and will continue to breeze through without buying a thing until their prices are competitive with other New York department stores (Bloomies and Saks). Neiman Marcus took their second cut weeks ago!

Enough with my ranting... Most Spring/Summer items are currently 30% off but I expect the additional markdown will come to a 50% to 60% total savings. Let's wait and see. Until then we will stay on watch.

Bergdorf Goodman: (212) 753-7300

Monday, June 23, 2008

YSL 2nd Markdown

I had a long conversation with Charles over at YSL today. He said they are taking their second cut starting today. Many bags, shoes and ready-to-wear are now 60% off. Apparently there's still lots of great inventory from Spring/Summer 2008. It might be worth your time to take a stroll by. 

This draw-dropping burgundy "Uptown" was $2195 but is under a grand (with tax) at $879.

Conact: Charles 212-988-3821

Friday, June 20, 2008

I Spy: Chanel Rain Boots

Paige Turner picked up these very cool Chanel boots on sale at Bergdorfs. Turns out, Saks and every other store in the universe still has them at full price. You might want to head over to Bergies if you happen to have your eyes set on these chic wellies.

Regular price: $275
Bergdorfs: $192
Splashing in puddles has never been so much fun. Don't wait long though. Paige reports that there are not too many left.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Saks ECG Event 7/24

The next Saks "Spend Some Get Some" event is going to be July 24th. I know it's a ways away but people often want to time their purchases right so they can maybe get some extra spending dough.

I don't know the what the levels will be but the last event in May was very generous and was as follows:

$250 to $499 = $25
$500 to $999 = $75
$1000 to $1999 = $150
$2000 to $2999 = $350
$3000 to $4999 = $600
$5000 or more = $1000

Those who are not familiar with the Spend-Some-Get-Some lingo can think of it like this-- you buy a $3000 Chanel bag and you get a $600 gift card, which makes your Chanel pumps absolutely free.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Mikimoto Private Sale

I have this friend Cynthia who is under the impression that Mikimoto "makes" the best pearls on earth. "Mikimoto has the best pearls," Cynthia asserts. "I can pick out a Mikimoto pearl from across the street." 

Just for the record, dear Cynthia, pearls --like diamonds --come from nature. Like diamonds, pearls are graded. Mikimoto happens to just use the highest quality. Either way, you will be excited to know that Mikimoto is having a private sale.

The sale is Thursday, June 19 from 10am to 7pm and Friday, June 20 from 10am and 3pm. 
680 Fifth Avenue, 4th Floor 
(between 53rd and 54th Streets)

Lots of rules. I hope you can remember them all.
  • Invitation only. Try to snag one from a person leaving or make nice with security. You can always use the "my friend is waiting for me inside" line.
  • Credit cards only
  • No exchanges or returns
  • No holds
  • No shipping
  • Admittance will be admitted by capacity.  There may be a wait.
  • All overcoats and large bags will have to be checked

Cynthia, good luck. Your opera length strand may be waiting...

The Same Game 6/17

I really "need" a new beach bag and usually love what Prada puts out for cruise in the Spring. This year I was very on the fence about this woven nylon shopper. It's cute but too small to be a real beach bag. (I like a big towel and big sunglasses!) I figured if the bag got cheap enough I might make the leap.

So lets play the same game. 
Originally this Prada Woven Shopper was $1295 (small) and $1650 (large): $1088 (small) $659  (larger)
Prada: $910 (small) $1155 (large)
Saks: $667 (large--NY is sold out but it's available in Beverly Hills and Boca)

Monday, June 16, 2008

Barney's 2nd Markdown In Progress

Barney's has put their foot forward and started their second markdown for savings up to 60% off. The sale is also at All things being equal I still think Saks has better markdowns. Don't forget to shop around before putting down the credit card. We are still waiting for Bergdorfs to join in. I'll let you know as soon as they do.


Friday, June 13, 2008

D&G Friends and Family 70% Off

You guys are kind of on your own with this one. 

Isaac Brown graciously sent over his Dolce & Gabbana friends and family invitation, which gives you access to 70% off Spring/Summer 2008 merchandise. With the discount dresses are around $450, skirts about $230, shoes $150 and bags are about $300. Brown says the men's selection is top notch. So we'll call this an equal opportunity post, although I don't know the price range of men's items.

The Madison Avenue Spy rules are as follows: 
  1. Tell nobody where you got this.
  2. It must be printed out.
  3.  Don't complain back to me if the sales people give you problems. I, along with one friend, just tested it out but once this is out in the world wide web I have no control.
The sale runs through Sunday. Have a fun weekend. 
Here is the magic invitation: 

Contact: Cono 212-249-4100

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Thank You Racked

Dear Sweet Friends at Racked,
I wanted to make a public thank you for being so supportive of Madison Avenue Spy.
If you're game I would love to round up Trance (my indentured man servant/driver) and see if he could wrangle me a passport to go south of 14th Street.
Besides holding all the inside info on shopping, word has it that you have great food sources. Everyone knows journalists love to eat!
Let me know if you're game.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Cosmetic Discounts

Hey, beauty girls (and guys.)
I have discounts on cosmetics for you...

Kiehl's is offering 20% off all purchases at freestanding stores and, between 6/14 and 6/18. Seems like you need to print this out to get the discount. Online users use the code FAMILY upon checkout and also receive free ground shipping on orders over $35.

In addition. MAC is holding a friends and family event where you can save 15% off from 6/11 to 6/16. Same deal. Not valid at department stores but only MAC freestanding stores. Click here to print the coupon and find store locations.

Gucci 2nd Markdown

Maura at Gucci called today and said that they are adding another markdown starting Thursday. Most of the merchandise that is now 40% off will be 60% off.

This $1195 rose colored silk shantung top is $1195 today and will be about $479 tomorrow. Go crazy. At these prices you can afford to buy almost anything that tickles your fancy. Gucci-coochi-coo.

Contact: Maura 212-717-2619

As a side note. I was at Bergdorfs --not Bergdofs as yesterday's typo stated-- and they are not yet starting their 2nd markdown. Sounds like it's still about two weeks away. For the meantime, stick with Neiman Marcus' 2nd markdown rather than BG's lame 40% off.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Neiman Marcus 2nd Markdown

Once one store starts a second markdown, the rest come following. Today it's Neiman Marcus who is marking down the goods. The sale starts Thursday and you can expect to find most Spring/Summer merchandise reduced an additional 25% off.  

The presale is underway so quickly speed dial Short Hills. Just keep in mind that Saks' sale starts Wednesday and seems like a better deal with their 33% discount. Don't forget to shop around. 

(I don't know if Bergdorfs is running the same sale but will post an update tomorrow.)

Monday, June 9, 2008

True Love

When it gets this hot in the city most of us Madison Avenue girls skip town for the beach. If you happen to have "social obligations" tying you down to the city you might want to consider finding ways to cool off.

My personal favorite is Sant Ambroeus. The attitude can run a little thick at this Northern Italian patisserie/bar/restaurant/gelottoria. However, their exquisite, handcrafted gelato and sorbet are the real thing - an authentic Italian treat. The quality is akin to my favorite gelato in Arezzo, Italy.

I always go for the fruit flavors on a hot day. My first choice is always cantaloupe, but they tend to run out of it early in the day. Second best is a scoop of peach topped on a scoop of mango. It's sure to bring down your body temperature down at least 10 degrees.

1000 Madison Avenue, between 77th and 78th streets

Friday, June 6, 2008 Extra 20% Off

Listen up because this is really cool. Go to and head to Last Call Clearance. Browse, stick an item in your shopping cart and voila and extra 20% off for a total savings for up to 72% off.

This $375 Theory dress is now $105. Now that's a deal!

L'Occitane 25% Off Friend's and Family

From June 12th to June 15th L'Occitane is offering 25% off your entire purchase. The promotion is normally an email that needs to be printed--forwarding doesn't work. However, if you click here you can get to a page where the coupon can be printed.  To find a location near you click here. Those living in the 'hood can head to Madison Avenue and 80th Street.


P.S. Don't forget the sunblock!

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Bloomies Private Sale 6/10

Bloomingdales begins a private sale on June 10th that runs until June 12th. Here are the sale details:

Take 25% - 40% off regular priced American and European designer handbags

Take 15% off a selection off regular priced handbags when you make a purchase of $250 or more

Take an extra 40% off all ready reduced handbags and small leather good for a total savings of 55% to 65% off original prices.

Saks 2nd Markdown Presale

My dear friend, Paige Turner reports that Saks Fifth Avenue has started their presale for a second round of markdowns. The sale officially begins on June 11 and June 9th on The markdown is for an additional 33% off for a total of up to 60% off. Saks took their first markdown less than four weeks ago. Seems like a tall-tell sign of a declining economy. It's a sign of the times... a sign of the times.

Contact: 212-753-4000 ask for Eric in the Alice and Olivia department. He's very sweet and will set all of your choice purchases aside until the sale officially starts next week.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Chanel Private Sale 6/4

Chanel announced the start of their private sale. The private sale begins today and runs until June 6th. The sale opens to the public on June 7th. Shoes and ready-to-wear are 40% off. The spring costume jewelry line is 30% off and there are literally a couple of bags that are 30% off. At the Madison Avenue location the "sale bags" are just two non-leather evening bags. But you can always call around to stores. Maybe you'll find something good. Below is contact information for all U.S. Chanel boutiques.

Monday, June 2, 2008

Miu Miu 45% Off

The Miu Miu store is discounting spring ready-to-wear, shoes, bags AND wallets 45% off. Below is a picture I shot of the "on-sale" bags. Lots of pretty pastels to choose from.

Contact: Judith 212-249-9660

Chloe 50% Off

The Chloe spring sale started and ready-to-wear, shoes and bags are all 50% off. There's still a great selection of clothing and bags. The sizes for shoes is a bit spotty. As for bags there were several Bays and Saskias.

Contact: Paula 212-717-8220 (Avoid Incus, his attitude is colder than an arctic winter.)

DVF Showroom Update

Some secret spies did me the pleasure of going to the Diane von Furstenberg showroom sale and reporting back. The prices are as follows:

Wrap and vintage dresses: $175
Regular dresses: $150
Gowns: $300
Bathing Suits: $80
Skirts: $80
Samples: $50

We are told that the lines weren't too bad but first thing in the morning and lunch time should be avoided. The inside was a madhouse, overcrowded and chaotic. For me, this is a pass. I'll just stick to hitting a department store sale.

Au Revoir, YSL

Dear Yves Saint Laurent passed away Sunday at the age of 71. There are lots of great obits out there and to rewrite them seems silly. All say he was inventor of the woman's power suit and some attribute him to being the patriarch heroin chic. Here are a couple of images that represent the diversity and the impact of YSL's designs: The Mondrian Dress (Spring 1965), the woman's power suit (2002 Retrospective) and the perfectly tailored men's velvet jacket (Fall 2008).