Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Fall 2008 Predictions

As the unofficial end of summer approaches I thought it would be apropos to run a few Fall predictions. I hope you enjoy and have a wonderful Labor Day weekend. You deserve it!

    Fall 2008 predictions:
  • Lace will be out of style by Halloween.
  • We will learn the real identity of Gossip Girl and the show will spin into oblivion.
  • Cynthia will spend another season searching Barneys for high wasted jeans in a size 36. They DON'T exist. Go to Chico's!
  • Trance will become a roady for the Jonas Brothers.
  • Lovely lavender will dominate the Avenue.
  • The new Bouley will be the most applauded restaurant in town and the toughest reservation. Start calling now!
  • The mid-calf skirt and long suit jacket will never grow wings-- well, not on the East Coast.
  • Kenley will win project runway.
  • The fashion week party thrown by Calvin Klein on the High Line will overshadow all the shows.

Our tans will fade but the memory of Summer 2008 will always remain.


Rogan for Target 75% Off

It's a little known fact that Target aggressively marks down merchandise to move them out quickly. Part of the reason why Target is such a wonder company is because it's amazing inventory turnover --a financial measure of how quickly goods move through the company. It's the envy of most retailers at 8.7 times a year. Saks, on the other hand, has a annual inventory turnover of 3.86 times. (And you thought that this site was just about shallow sales crap.)

So when the fashion in-crowed was fighting over $16.99 Rogan tees at Barneys, Target savvy shoppers were keeping an open eye. Today the same Rogan shirt is $4.24 at Target.com.

I'm telling you first hand that this tube top dress was a steal at $40 but it's impossible not to buy a second for less than $10. The problem is that the store has turned over the inventory to the new collection, Richard Chai, but the goods still can be found on the site. So if you ever feel like you missed a great item-- remember that that it's probably on Target.com. Oh yeah, shipping is usually free and if you like you can return it to any Target store.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Intermix Warehouse Sale

Just incase you didn't think the Barneys Warehouse Sale was bad enough, the Intermix warehouse sale starts tomorrow. The sale used to be held downstairs at their 18th street location but has moved on to a bigger (better is questionable) space at the shrine of all sample sales: Metropolitan Pavilion (10 West 19th Street, near 6th ave).

The offer is "70% off of killer brands, such as Chloe, Matthew Williamson, Yigal Azrouel, denim galore, and Kors shoes." The sale runs from 8/26 until 8/28, 9am until 8pm. For more information call 212-741-5075.

Everyone I know is out of town (present company included) but if you're planning on hanging around NYU this might be worth a browse before heading over to City Bakery. I say you're money is better spent on a $4 cookie. But see for yourself.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

The Same Game: Miu Miu Pumps

I mentioned in prior posts about how overplayed Barney's Warehouse Sale can be. I have to admit -- no I didn't treck to the co-op store-- I did start polking around online. I have to say that there are some really good deals on the site. However, sizes are starting to become limited. In honor of the great BWS I thought we should play the Same Game.

Here we have a very classic pair of Miu Miu pumps, which were part of the Spring/Summer 2008 collection. The great thing about these shoes are that they are simply classic and can be worn in any season at almost any time.

So lets play the Same Game.
These Miu Miu black patent leather pumps started off at $420:

Saks.com: $251.90 (plus a $25 gift card. Today only.)
Bluefly: $336
Barneys.com: $210

eBay Hide & Chic

This isn't a sale but more of a crazy marketing ploy by eBay. The Hide and Chic "promotion" is eBay randomly posting high-end designer goods like, Christian Louboutin shoes, Tom Ford sunglasses and men's Air Jordens for just $1. So what you have to do is search for the $1 goods and be the first to "buy it now" for just $1.

It seems as if this designer hide-and-seek game is catching on and is all the talk at Nello's as women chat about frantically spending hours hitting the F5 (refresh) button on their computer. I overheard one woman at lunch saying, "I just have it sorted by price (lowest first) ... everything is working fine except that I can't hit the stupid Buy it Now button fast enough!"

I spent about 20 minutes trying to figure out how all of this works and another 30 seconds searching for Jimmy Choo shoes, resorting and pressing refresh. Bottom line, if it's too much work-- It's just not my thing. The "promotion" started August 18th and goes until Friday. If you catch yourself watching the clock Friday afternoon this might be good enough way to pass the time. Hell $1 Louboutins are as good as free Louboutins.

Monday, August 18, 2008

A Tale of Two Continents

This week, in T Magazine, Lynn Yaeger talks about how she went to Paris and couldn't afford YSL or much of anything else. Instead-- like most American tourists in Europe --she set her shopping sites on something off the beaten path: a wooden duck.

Yager chimes, "And I even loved the euro back when it was 20 percent lower than the dollar and I came home from Rome with, among other things, a one-of-a-kind black alligator handbag embellished with beaded polka dots that, in reality, I never used much. (Maybe I’m better off with a wooden duck?) "

As Yeager interviews her friends about alternate ways to amuse yourself while traveling abroad --museums or windsurfing!?-- the International Herald Tribune sings the song of joy as European tourists shop, dine and play New York as if it's Candyland.

One interviewee explains, "she felt like this summer had turned into a turf war with free-spending Europeans over the chic bistros, spas, boutiques and department stores that she, a native New Yorker, used to consider her playground."

For now, I'll be skipping Capri and scoping out the best sales possible. Even with a weak dollar, there is no other country that does sales like the US.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Sake EGC Event 8/21 Presale Now

Hi Lila,

The EGC event is next week on August 21, 2008 Thursday for one day only. The value of the gift cards are dependent of the amount that you purchase.

The breakdown is as follows:
Spend between:
$250 to $499 = $25 EGC
$500 to $999 = $50 EGC
$1000 to $1999 = $100 EGC
$2000 to $2999 = $300 EGC
$3000 plus = $450 EGC

Pre selling has already begun.

Let me know what you are seeking and I can set aside everything for you.

Please feel free to share this with your friends and family!!


Peter Tay
Saks Fifth Avenue
Women's Designer Shoe Salon
611 Fifth Avenue
New York, NY 10022
T: 212-940-2401
E: personal.shopper.saks@gmail.com
Days off: Mondays & Tuesdays
My Sak's Facebook Photo Album: http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1010623408

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Thakoon for Target

I was just closing up for the night when I came across wonderful, wonderful, wonderful news. According to WWD, Thakoon Panichgul will be the next Go International designer. His collection will launch in late September and run through January, and be available at most Target stores and target.com.

Thakoon made his runway debut in 2005. Each year his collection has grown in size and elegance. We love Thakoon for his simple structures and vintage looking prints.

If I haven't made it clear enough, I am a VERY big fan of Thakoon and have been following his success since he was an editor at Harper’s Bazaar. Finding his cloths isn't always easy. Until this past year, only Barneys, Jeffery and some small SoHo stores carry his frocks. Now great design will be available to everyone!

Hermès Pricing

This week Hermès increased the prices on many of their most popular items while decreasing the prices of others. The prices of many popular bags and accessories were increased 5% to 8% depending on the item. A classic print silk woman's scarf is now $375 when they were $355 August 10th. A 32cm croc Birkin was $35,000 and is now $37,000. Both prices seem insane even to this Madison Avenue gal but going back five years ago the same bag was under $8,000. Can you imagine?

On the bright side, some items on Hermes.com have gone down in price. For instance, a hippo key ring was $350 and is now $320. The globetrotter agenda is now $590, from $640 and mugs (yes, the type you drink with) were $125 and are now $110. Sorry, that's the end of the bright news because there are rumors of an additional 10% price increase sometime after the new year.

Understanding Hermès pricing has never been easy. Back in March 2008, Business Week ran a great article, "The Mystery of the $234 Hermès Tie."The magazine reported that in Moscow a silk tie costs 5,760 rubles, or around $241. That same tie will cost €125 ($192) at the company's flagship store on Paris's Faubourg Saint-Honoré but only $160 before tax ($173.40 after) at their shop on Manhattan's Madison Avenue.

Some would say that the price discrepancy has to do with the euro but given the weak dollar and the strong ruble, the price should be higher in the U.S. and lower in Russia than in Europe. Yet the reverse is true. Here is a great map of Hermès pricing.

If economics and currency arbitrage aren't your thing you might want to consider making your Hermès purchase before 2009.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Barneys Warehouse Sale

Somewhere between their moment-by-moment updates of the 3G iPhone, RackedNY posted breaking news about the upcoming  Barneys Warehouse Sale. Afterwards I received dozens of email wondering why I was ignoring such big news.

To understand my reluctance to cover such an event we will have to go back about 25 years to when I was a wee SIT (spy in training). Barneys was just a men's store and anyone who lived uptown at the time would love to go down to Barneys for one key attraction: Free Parking. 

Back in the day, Yves Saint Laurent and  Pierre Cardin were the important men's designers and Armani was still viewed as trendy. The average price for a very top of the line suit at Saks would be about about $900. Saks would seldom have a sale and when they did, the discount was only offered to their elite class customers. The sale included a mimosa breakfast and a 20% discount.  When Barneys would have their big warehouse sale they would discount the same suit to about $250 to $350. There was no other place you could find the same suit for anything near that price. It was a BIG deal. 

Today most every department store discounts up to 75% off when the want to get some major cash flow. So weathering the Barneys warehouse sale-- the crowds, the piles of ripped and damaged junk, the attitude, the bouncers-- just doesn't seem worth it. After all, there's no free parking!

The Stats:
50% to 70% off designer clothing, shoes, and housewares
Thursday, August 14, through Monday, September 1
255 W. 17th St b/w 7th and 8th Avenues
Their online sale is up to 75% off.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

True Love: Shawn

Fancy cloths and expensive accessories mean nothing unless you know how to pull yourself together. The first step, of course, is a great cut and color. It's easy to get an appointment Fekkai, which seems to have become an upperclass Super Cuts. Sally Hershberger is a bit, what's a nice way to say this-- masculine. Not to add a bit full of herself. John Barrett, a tad BLOND!

What's a girl to do? Find the next big thing! Shawn, who has no last name that I know of --he's like the greats: Madonna and Cher-- has been flying under the radar styling the tresses of super celebs and uptown gals from 30,000 feet in the air to his loft/salon down in Gramercy Park.

Most celebs want a cut of the action if you mention their names so I promised not to call anyone out. However, Mischa Barton wasn't born with hair looking that perfect.

The deal with Shawn is that he was a high powered products developer for L'oreal. He would occasionally do a trim here or a color there for the friendly co-worker or passing fashion editor. Before he knew it his days were filled will gels and sprays and at night his living room was flooded with beauties looking for the best cut and color in town.

Now is where we get to the good part. Shawn believes long hair is sexy. So you don't have to worry about him wanting to chop away those long locks. In addition, his color is as natural as it gets. What's even better is that the cost is much less than a day's salary. That even goes for a new college graduate. Without quoting numbers you can trust me when I say it's a great deal. Not to be found elsewhere.

Shawn: 212-920-7075

Don't forget to say Lila sent you.


eLuxury Private Sale

The premier Louis Vuitton etailer, eLuxury, is hosting an insider sale. As always LV isn't included but a host of great brands like Giuseppe Zanttti, Dolce & Gabanna, Zac Posen and Fendi are up to 40% off. I can't figure out from what season the merchandise is from (please help me out if you know). Much if it seems Summery but some items are posted as pre-order, which usually refers to the upcoming season.

Click here to hit the private sale.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Starbucks: Morning and Afternoon Delight

My legendary nutritionist told me that coffee is as bad as crack and will prematurely bring monthly botox visits into my life. So out went the coffee. However, some days putting one foot in front of the other is too much.  On these occasions I crawl to a local Starbucks. 

This Summer, Starbucks is hosting a promotion that will make coffee lovers happy. Just visit your local Starbucks after 2pm with your am receipt and get a Grande (16 Oz/ medium) cold drink for just $2. 

This afternoon delight runs until the beginning of school (September 8th). Just don't blame me when you top the scales this fall. A Mocha Frappuccino with whipped cream is 380 calories and it takes 45 minutes of running to burn that off.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Exclusive Hawaiian Gucci Collection

Today I was sent the following information from Gucci:

Gucci is please to introduce a limited edition collection, created exclusively for our Hawaii stores. These four unique handbags and single sandal feature iconic styles and fabrics distinctive to this collection. They will be available only at the below Hawaii locations and will not be available on the gucci.com boutique.

Click here to see store information and images of the collection.

This Hawaii thing has me thinking. It's been more than once that I've been able to pick up one of these Hawaiian YSL or Gucci "limited edition" pieces at a small fraction of the retail price. Why would it pay for a company to do a small and limited run for just one geographic location? Why Hawaii? So the journalist in me started itching and I pulled up Factiva for a quick scan.

What I found was interesting. The Seattle Times reports that Hawaii appears to be one of the only states holding up under this economic uncertainty.The Bank of Hawaii "asserts that Hawaii's mortgage-delinquency and loan- default rates are the lowest in the U.S."

Roughly one in four visitors to Hawaii comes from outside the U.S. During the third quarter, international arrivals rose 3% from a year ago, the Seattle Times reports. The U.S. dollar's decline against the euro and other foreign currencies has given international visitors more buying power -- and additional motivation to spend while on vacation in Hawaii.

Ah-Ha! I guess that's why Gucci creates special Hawaii collections. If the bag doesn't sell I'll be more than glad to pick it up at Woodbury Common for $30- or so.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Saks Additional 25% off 8/7

The long awaited consolidation sale is here. My postcard says:
Take an additional 25% off for a total of up to 70% off Women's & Men's ready-to-wear.

Sale begins August 7th.

I don't think there is much left but it never hurts to swing through. I for one returned a Miu Miu something that I failed to wear and out of love I fell. My lost love may be waiting for you.

For presale contact: Marie Jose 212-940-2536 (3rd Floor Premier Designers)

Bloomies Gift Card Event 8/6

Just when you think sale season is coming to an end another round of shopping incentives begin. On Wednesday, Bloomingdales is offering its version of spend-some-get-some. The price levels are high but so are the prices of luxury goods these days. Here's how it goes down on 59th Street:

Spend $1000 to $1999 and receive a $200 gift card

Spend $2000 ore more and receive a $500 gift card

In addition, Bloomies Premier Plus Visa and Ultimate Premier insiders earn triple rewards. More details can be found here.

Neiman Marcus Extra 1/3 off

I think this is pretty funny.

This afternoon I got an email from NeimanMarcus.com that goes something like this: "End of Season Sale-Take an extra 1/3 off already already reduced prices." Nothing funny yet, right? Well wrong. In early July I wrote about NM.com offering 40% off already reduced prices.

Remember these shoes?

Last month the sale price was $305. Today's 1/3 off sale, which is 33% off (like we didn't know that), is $329. What's worse is that back then there were still eight weeks of summer. Now we are down to about four. So the headline of the email should have been: Pay More Use Less!

Manolo Blahnik 50% to 75% off

I know some of you were shocked that I didn't write about the Manolo sale and I apologise. It was an honest mistake: I forgot about it! It must be the sun, the chlorine or the salt water from the ocean. Maybe it's a combination of the three but whatever it is, mia culpa. (Mrs. Semach would be so proud of me.)

So our friends over on West 54th street have slashed the prices of their prized shoes an additional 50% to 75% off. Chanello writes that replenishments happen between 2:00pm and 3:00pm every day. I think this bit of information is key because you will want to time your visit at about 4:00pm so that you get there before the after-work crowd. Thank you Chanello!

All agree that this sale is the one to hit. The sample sale in October is a madhouse and prices aren't that much better. I would gladly take this:

over this:

any day of the week...

Contact: Abby or Diana 212-582-3007

Monday, August 4, 2008

Martin + Osa Friends and Family

Sale season has wound down to a trickle I have clearly been avoiding filling your in box with junk. I'm not clearly sure where this next entry falls but friends tell me the store is great. I personally have never been to a, ah, what is it called again: Martin + Osa.

I looked on their site and I think I would pass on their jeans but their cashmere sweaters look nice and I am told that they feel great. Then again, when does cashmere feel bad? Anyway, Martin + Osa is a concept store designed by the folks at American Eagle Outfitters. Yeah, that kind of scares me too. But, again, friends swear the cashmere is great.

From now until August 10, Martin + Osa is offering friends and family 30% off everything in the store. I am told the store is fully stocked for fall so it might be worth a browse. The in-store coupon can be printed from here and the online code is 76952336.

This cashmere v-neck cardigan is $160 but will be just $112 with the f&f discount. Seems reasonable enough to me...