Monday, November 30, 2009

Bergdorf First Markdown

Bergdorf Goodman may not "do Black Friday," but that doesn't mean they don't do markdowns. Women's 3rd floor designers, shoes, accessories and the men's store will be discounted by 40%, starting December 2nd.

Presale is already underway, just be careful of those blonds.

Photo Credit: Mick Jefferies

Saks Markdown

Saks has started preselling for their next big sale, which starts December 3rd. Our spies say the shoe floor is manic with Carrie Bradshaw wannabes. Isn't that what happens when Chanel shoes are 30% off?

We hear that Prada and Gucci shoes and bags are 40% off. Earlier this month, ready-to-wear was reduced 40%. We have a feeling that designer clothing will be reduced to 50% off shortly. When it does, we'll let you know!

Contact: Eric from D&G 212-753-4000

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Cyber-Monday Deals

Good morning and welcome to Cyber Monday. After spending hours of browsing the web we've come to realize that Cyber Monday may be more hype than discount. That doesn't mean that there aren't any deals out there. It just takes a lot of browsing and looking.

In an effort to get you back to work as quickly as possible -- and maybe save your job-- we've pulled the three best luxury cyber deals:

Barneys: Select styles of Christian Louboutins have been reduced 40%. Miss booties were $1070 and are now $649, gold Top La T-straps were $855 and now are $509 and basic red Delics are now $409 from $675. Most other brands like, Giuseppe Zanotti, Chloe and Miu Miu are still full price online but are 40% off in the store. So stick to the CL's if you're strictly cyber shopping today.

Net-A-Porter: There is no sale section on the site, however, a scattering of merchandise has been reduced 30% to 50% off. Again, the shoe department has the best deals. Backless Christian Louboutin Lynn ankle boots were $965 and are half off ($482). Miu Miu ankle boots with cut-out straps are $350 with a 50% off discount. Halston thigh highs are also 50% off, along with Balmain crystal studded boots ($1495), and Givenchy black crocodile-skin sandals ($397.)

Herve Leger: The high-end BCBG line is hosting a private online sale. Most items are 50% off or more and there are still lots of sizes remaining. A metallic one shoulder dress was $1650 and is now $825. A square neck bondage dress was $1300 and is now $390, a foil print dress was $1450 and is now $580, and a fuchsia color blocked dress is $540 from $1350.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

NYC Black Friday: Departement Stores

At this point much of Madison Avenue is on presale or full sale. We started wondering, however, if our favorite department stores were offering any exciting Black Friday doorbusters. I guess the answer is that it all depends on the store. Below is a list of department stores and their Thanksgiving weekend promotions. If you see or hear about any additional promotions, let us know in the comment section and we will try to add it to the post.

"We don’t have specials for holidays," a costumer service rep told us on the phone, "but we are having a sale that will be running through the weekend." (How is that different than a holiday sale?! ) Whatever the you call a rose, the discount is 40% off select items.

Bergdorf Goodman:
Black Friday sales? "We don't do Black Friday," an uptight personal shopper spewed. We were also notified that "nothing is on sale." Well, except for "some 5th Floor vendors." Black Friday is just too Walmart for Bergdorf, huh?

The Brown Bag Sale is an additional 30% to 40% off select items. Designer handbags-- Furla, Marc Jacobs, MCM, Tory Burch etc.--are also an additional 30% to 40% off. Also, with each purchase over $100 you can earn a $15 bMony Card.

We love Saks because they always know how to run a sale and get shoppers excited for the holidays. From 8am until noon on Friday, shoppers can take an additional 40% off already reduced prices for a total savings of 50% to 60% off. Oh yeah!

Neiman Marcus
Friday from 9am to noon, spend $100 anywhere in the store (except Chanel and Louis Vuitton) and receive a $50.00 gift card towards your next purchase (good thru 12/6).

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Name These Boot Results

Those who participated in Name These Boots and guessed Tufi Duek, are correct.

Jessica, imnik and ShoppingSpree please email me here with your address and we will send your prize right away. Thanks for participating!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Woodbury Common Thanksgiving

Braving any store, or gasp, an outlet on Black Friday is totally out of the question for this Madison Avenue shopper. So how do you get the good deals and avoid the crowds? Presale, of course! It's a win-win.

We put calls into our favorite Woodbury stores to find out what type of discounts they are giving for the holiday and how to shop the sale early. Here's the lowdown:

Bottega Veneta:
The holiday markdown is not officially happening until Friday but Bottega Veneta is allowing customers to presale their purchases now. Select bags are an additional 50% off the outlet price and others are 25% off. Shoes and clothing are an additional 60% off.

Chloe is not starting their sale early, however, “If we have your information already in our data base we can presell,” according to a sales associate. New arrivals to the Chloe outlet include, the Meredith and Nancy bags, which will be an additional 20% off along with their fall/winter ’08 ready-to-wear.

Dolce & Gabbana:
The Dolce & Gabbana outlet has already taken their additional markdown. Clothing and shoes from fall/winter ’08 are an additional 40% off. Bags are an additional 20% off.

Giuseppe Zanotti:
The big discounts at Giuseppi officially start Thursday night-- at midnight-- but the store will presell now.

Ladies who wear a size seven shoe are super lucky. “We are getting 500 samples in size seven. They will all be priced at $99 and $150,” according to a sales person. The lucky size seven shoes are already on the premises but you will need to speak to the outlet manager to get the okay to do presale.

Get this: Prada is not having a holiday discount. Moreover, a sales person told us, most of the merchandise in the outlet is current season and is only discounted 40% off retail. The Prada boutiques are preselling ready-to-wear at 50%. How is the outlet proving customers a savings?

We don’t have an answer but we are told the famous “sample sale rack” will be out on Saturday.

From Friday to Sunday, YSL bags will be discounted an additional 20% off. Sorry, Muse and Downtown lovers, these style bags are not included in the extra promotion. Shoes are an additional 20% off and ready-to-wear will be discounted an extra 30%. The store will presell immediately. The best deals in the outlet are the ’07 clothing, which is 50% off retail without the extra holiday discount.

Name These Boots

Tonight we left our Madison Avenue perch and joined other media folk at the International Emmy Awards. You already know we don't understand celebrity culture but we dig fashion. There were lots of gorgeous dresses and you can get a peak at all our pictures and interviews from the evening by following the LilaDelilah Twitter feed.

Our favorite look of the night happened to come from another journalist, Giovana Gasparini, the host of MGM Channel. Can you guess who makes her rocking thigh high boots? Hint: The designer is Brazilian and the model, Daria Werbowy, wore these boots in a recent as campaign.

The first person to answer correctly, in the comment section below, will win a Madison Avenue Spy prize.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Gucci Presale Begins

The Gucci presale has started. You can shop from your living room by clicking on this private presale link. Handbags appear to be 30% off and shoes and ready-to-wear are 40% off.

Purchases are slated to ship starting November 30th. We imagine the sale will go public on the same day.

Contact: Nora 212-717-2619

The Same Game: Prada & Miu Miu Flats

Are you just dying for a pair of embellished Prada or Miu Miu flats but can't stomach opening your wallet several hundred dollars wide? We don't blame you and you shouldn't have to. We spotted current season Prada and Miu Miu flats at DSW for a fraction of the current retail price. Click here to see a full catalogue of spy pictures from boutiques and DSW, along with prices.

Lets play the Same Game with Prada and Miu Miu ballet flats:

DSW Union Square: All shoes $199
Barneys: Prada flats with rivets $530
Barneys: Miu Miu bow ballet flat $465
Saks: Miu Miu bow trimmed ballet flats $465
Bergdorf: Miu Miu studded bow ballet flat $585
Prada boutique: Flats with bows or studs $450
Miu Miu boutique: Flats range from $430 to almost $600

New Coach Concept Coming to Madison

The windows of the former Madison Avenue Miu Miu store has been draped in black for almost a year but it will be filled with a new tenant very soon. Coach has signed a deal to occupy the space (@ 69th Street) with a luxury clothing concept store named after its creative director, Reed Krakoff, according to Eric Le-Goff, senior director of Cushman & Wakefield.

The stand-alone Reed Krakoff collection expands Coach's existing brand and will range in price from $495 to $1,195. The line will also include accessories, jewelry and handbags.

The new line expands Coach's reach but seems like a risky concept amid a global economic recession that has consumers looking very closely at price tags. The larger obstacle may prove to be branding Karkoff's name to the greater public.

Fashion insiders may be aware of the success Krakoff has afforded the Coach brand but how many consumers can rattle off Krakoff along with other Madison Avenue designers like, Michael Kors, Donna Karan, Carolina Herrera and Miuccia Prada. Even if the collection is fashion perfection it's going to take a considerable marketing investment to educate consumers and brand Krakoff's name.

"Going into a totally new category, which is more challenging, less profitable and to do it in an environment like this, when there's already too many brands, that is extremely challenging," said Milton Pedraza, chief executive of the Luxury Institute. "It's definitely a sport that is not for the faint of heart."

The faint of heart need not apply, however, Barclays Capital analyst, Robert Drbul says, this may be the perfect time for a Coach expansion. "I think it's going to be a very smart yet contained effort at pursuing additional profitability," he said.

Regradless of the outcome we will are happy to welcome a new neighbor to Madison Avenue and will be sure to give Reed Krakoff a big Madison Avenue Spy welcome when he arrives.

Chanel on Presale

Elaine Spy reminds us:

Chanel presale that has begun. The official sale begins Dec 1. My sales associate called me last week to tell me that shoes and clothes are preselling at 40% off. There are no bags on sale right now. I'm not sure whether the Chanel SAs are hush hush like the Prada sales people...but I think they are hurting for sales these days.

Contact: Erman 212-355-5050

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Bottega Veneta's Last Sale

Please let us know what you make of this:

Bottega Veneta is hosting a private sale on bags where their best customers were identified and invited to a two hour 30% off discount. The hitch is that you need to be "on the list" to get the bag promotion. There are no charge sends, no transfering of merchandise and no holds.

One Bottega Veneta fan thinks that the sale will consist of styles that usually don't get discounted. Another frequent shopper believes that their inventory is so low that they are trying to reward their best customers. (Click here to read Stephanie Rosenblooms fantastic article about inventory levels at luxury stores.)

Us spies? We believe the private sale is a way for Bottega Veneta to confirm their standing at the top of the luxury food chain. Don't eat it up. Regardless of what BV sales people say, there will be other sales and numours ways to spend your money.

Oh yeah, ready-to-wear and shoes are 40% off.

Bottega Veneta VIP Sale
Friday, November 20th
5pm to 7pm
Contact: Angeline 212-371-5511

YSL Customer Appreciation

Yves Saint Laurent's Madison Avenue store may gone dark but that doesn't mean the company doesn't appreciate you. To show customers a bit of lovin', YSL is offering 20% off on Friday, November 19th.

We are still waiting to hear about the official first markdown, which we expect to be 40% off. Stay tuned.

Conact: Charles 212-988-3821

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Prada Presale Begins

You didn't hear it from us but Prada has already started to presell fall '09 merchandise. Ready-to-wear is discounted 50% and shoes and bags are marked down 30%.

Unlike last year, this presale is very hush hush. We got our standard presale phone invitation but tested the waters as an unknowing shopper. SoHo, Madison and 57th Street Prada stores all suppressed presale information. "We are still waiting to hear from corporate," appears to be the standard line. Don't believe it.

Looking forward, we just received the Prada Spring accessory lookbook and loved the perforated style bags. What's better? Most bags are priced under $2000 and we even spotted a great bowler bag that's $1395.

Madison Avenue: Janik 212-327-4200
SoHo: Michel 212-334-8888

Missoni Markdown

Missoni has started their first markdown, which is 40% off Fall and Winter merchandise. Maybe the economy is picking up or Missoni was smarter with their inventory but no scarves are included in the sale. As a matter of fact, there aren't many scarves left.

Rachel Zoe "especially" coveted "this Ricciolo Cardigan Coat for its unexpected mix of wool texture on a classic silhouette…shag on chic! " Rodger will be happy to know that Rachel can now get her coat and save you over $800. xoLD

Contact: Paige Newsam 212-517-9339.

Sergio Rossi Secret Sample Sale

This morning we got an email regarding a Sergio Rossi sample sale. Who? What? Huh? No problem. We delivered the details and sent a spy.

Vava Vino made a quick run to the Sergio Rossi showroom and reports back that there is no line. There is lots of stock, but small sizes are a bit scarce. (Big Foot wins again.) Shoe prices range from $50 to $150 for a Swarovski coil heel that's normally $2000. There are no boots. Most of the selection is samples from summer '09. There are lots of jewels and styles with eel skin.

The staff is reportedly very nice and helpful. Vava rates the sale two heels up. The sale ends at 6pm, so it's now or never ladies.

Sergio Rossi Sale
3 E. 57th Street, 7th fl.
Wednesday, Nov. 18th
Sale ends at 6:00 pm

Rogan VIP Sale

We just got word that Rogan is hosting a VIP Sale, this evening, at their Bowery store. Prices will be 30% off. The promotion states that the sale starts at 5:00pm and goes to 9:00pm. We can't imagine a sales person turning down a sale even if it is at, um, 2:00pm. There's also an rsvp address but we don't foresee hair pulling and biting for just 30% off. Maybe...70%.

Rogan VIP 30% Off
330 Bowery
Wednesday, Nov. 18th
5pm to 9pm
Contact: Gina 646-827-7567

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Christian Lacroix Sample Sale

The future of troubled French fashion house Christian Lacroix my still be in question but there is no doubt that their current sample sale is a necessary fashion destination. All Lacroix clothing is discounted 75% off. (Not "up to 75% off" but really 75% off.)

We were told the collections were from last year but after sorting through hundreds of runway pictures we pinpointed the merchandise to spring '07, fall '06 and spring '06. Almost vintage, huh? The photo sorting exercise proved that Lacroix never really goes out of style. There are just varying degrees of edgy.

So what will you find at the lower fifth avenue sample sale? Lots of skirt suits that should probably never be worn together. Each piece is extraordinary on its own and one should probably try to restrain from gilding the lily.

Pricing? One floral print and beaded trim jacket was about $1000 and is now $250, a classic black velvet pencil skirt was $780 and is now $200 and a highly ornate sequined dress was $5000 and is now $1250.

There isn't a huge amount of inventory but there aren't many shoppers either. We are going to take a quick run through again on Friday and keep our fingers crossed that there's an additional markdown.

If can't find a size or the right silhouette, ask for Christina. She has a great feel for the inventory and her shoppers. She was even honest enough to talk us out of a blouse.

Don't forget to check the back of the "store." There's still bins filled with La Perla bras from the last sale in the space. Prices are $25 and $30.

Men can sift through a great selection of Isaia Napoli shirts. Dress shirts are marked down to $130 and if you buy three they are just $110 each. Full priced Isaia shirts are usually upwards of $400.

Christian Larcoix and Isaia Napoli
260 5TH Ave @ 29th st.
Wednesday, Nov. 18 to Saturday, Nov. 21
Wed.-Fri. 10am to 7pm, Sat. 10am to 2:30pm

Contact: Christina

Monday, November 16, 2009

Giuseppe Zanotti Pre-sale

The following is from Lila's in-box. Expect the next markdown to come in about six weeks with a 50% discount:


Giuseppe Zanotti Design Boutique

30% *off Original Prices

Fall/Winter 2009

Starts November 27th, 2009 on selected items!

We are currently Pre selling to our customer data base, so please come in and reserve your sizes asap!

*no adjustments to prior purchases, all sale items are final sale!

We look forward to your visit,

George Nelken

Giuseppe Zanotti

806 Madison AVE/68th ST


212 650 0455

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Christmas 2009 Forecast

We are coming up on the one year anniversary of what we longingly remember as the best Christmas shopping season ever! Yes, it was early November 2008 when retailers started to realize that their inventory was not moving. There was no other option than to aggressively reduce prices.

Last year, black Friday came two weeks early. Saks reduced almost all their inventory to 70% off, Madison retailers scrambled with private sales, surprise sales, VIP sales-- whatever you want to call it. Is this year going to be the same? Sadly, no.

This season, stores were much more cautious with their inventory and price points. So what can we expect?

Sale season starts in November and usually culminates with the best deals in February. Right now, most department stores have slashed prices by 40%. This week, many Madison Avenue boutiques will start calling their best customers and offering pre-sale discounts of 40% to 50% off.

The next big markdown will come after Christmas when department store discounts range from 50% to 65% off. The third markdown/consolidation sale/ friends and family/ last call is when the best discounts can be found. You might have to wait until the last week of January but 70% off is when the expensive becomes affordable.

Like every year in the past, third markdown will come but we don't expect there to be a huge inventory worth lusting over. (As a matter of fact, there wasn't much worth lusting over at the beginning of the season.) So buy what you need and wait for what you want because prices always come around.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Louboutin Sample Sale NOW

You've got to love twitter!

sexychef23 RT @Miss_Key: CHRISTIAN LOUBOUTIN SAMPLE SALE 306 West 38th Street (between 8th and 9th Ave), 14th Floor. It's on from 9am - 3pm today!

FashionistaJay Christian Louboutin is having a sample sale today in NY at 306 West 38th St. Between 8th & 9th ave, 14th Fl 70% off I'm so jelly!

diamond8events Today is a CHRISTIAN LOUBOUTIN SAMPLE SALE. It's at a "secret" location - 306 West 38th Street (between 8th and 9th Ave), 14th Floor.
11 minutes ago from web

Then we traced the info to a source: Chocolate Fashion Blog. Reports back from the sale are that shoes are $100 to $400 and boots are approximately $500.

Today is the last day so move quickly. Remember, the sale is invite only! There is a list, however, most sample sale bouncers can be convinced with hot coffee or a nice smile. Imeldy Marcos, go now! Sale details are below.

Christian Louboutin Sample Sale
Friday, November 13, 9AM-3PM
306 West 38th Street 14th Floor (Between 8th & 9th Streets)

iPhone update:
Told to expect to wait 1hour. Only small sizes and 41s left. One rack of 37s, 38s and 39s.

They are letting in press and VIPs right away. General public is being held in a very slow moving line.

Line is now to the end of the block. Talk of closing down the line. "What are the cops going to do when they see everyone?"

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Costco NYC Selling Chanel and Rolex

Today was opening day of Costco NYC and our Kings Highway Spy wrote:

I was just told Costco, in the City, is selling Rolex watches and Chanel classics.

Could it be true? Indeed.

Danica Lo, from the New York Post, was at Costco for the grand opening and reports that there was a "massive wall of Ugg “Ultra” short boots ($124.99), the Chanel classic flap handbags ($1,999.99) and the classic Louis Vuitton “Speedy 30” mini-duffels ($589.99)."

If Danica is spotting Chanel and LV, we're sure there must have been Rolex's too. Who ever doubted that Manhattan Costco wouldn't be better than all the other 560 Costcos?

Costco NYC
FDR & 116th Street
Monday- Friday 10am to 8:30am
Saturday 9:30am to 6pm
Sunday 10am to 6pm

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Gap Give and Get

For four days you can use the below coupon to save 30% at Gap, Banana Republic, Old Navy, or their corresponding outlet stores. The promotion can be used in stores or online from November 12 to November 15. What's even nicer? 5% of what you spend will be donated to Teach for America.

Small print blown up: Not valid on Gap (Product) RED™, Junk Food™, Converse®, Havaianas®, Medela®, CharmIt!®, Robeez®, Stella McCartney for GapKids and Stella McCartney for babyGap. (Damn, 86th Street just got Stella tutu skirts in stock.)

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Neiman Marcus 20% Off Cosmetics

If Bloomingdales friends and family won't give us a deal on cosmetics then we will just have to jump over to Neiman Marcus. All cosmetics --except Chanel, of course-- are 20% off through Wednesday, Nov. 11th.

We know there's no Neiman Marcus in Manhattan but Paramus, NJ is less than 20 miles away. With all the new taxi surcharges, shipping will cost less money than a 15 block cab ride.

Neiman Marcus
503 Garden State Plaza
Paramus, NJ
Contact: Nur (201) 291-2106

Running Manolos

You may be able to run in Manolos but forget about hiding. Racked reports that angry shoe fiends are breaking their heels over the fact that intel on the super secret, hush, hush Manolo sale has leaked into the blogosphere.

Some Manolo lovers are so paranoid that they are imagining a venue change.

We say, calm down. You don't want to twist an ankle. If there's a venue change we'll find out and pass on the news. Hey, that's what spies do, right? Equal opportunity shopping for everyone!

(You hear that Louboutin VIP Sale?)

In case you missed it the first time:

Manolo Blahnik Sample Sale
Thursday, November 12, 2009
The Warwick Hotel
54th Street and 6th Avenue

Monday, November 9, 2009

Bloomingdale's Friends and Family

Bloomingdale's friends and family started today and goes until Sun., Nov. 15. Everything (read: except designer merchandise) is 20% off.

As a matter of fact, several women were in the Chanel accessory boutique trying to convince a sales woman that Chanel should be included in friends and family. The customers insisted they should, at least, get gift card reward for their perchase.

Yo ladies, it's not 2008 anymore!

Even though the discount is not stellar checking out Bloomingdale's makeover is worth the walk. We were a bit disoriented to start but our nerves settled once we realized Chanel and LV had not changed. Everything else, however, is very different.

This is no longer your mother's Bloomingdale's. The 79-year-old department store has gone high teck. The cosmetic room is innovative and spacious. What struck us most, was the fact that all the cosmetic counters look similar but have been able to maintain their distinct personalities.

Oh yeah, the David Yurman counter is HUGE and fashion jewelry, which was near the elevators is now tucked away in the back right-- where the women's and men's stores meet.

Go, check it out yourself and pick up a little something using the 20% off friends and family discount.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Tibi Sample Sale

Feeling chic is an essential part of the Madison Avenue personality. Pulling off the casual chic, however, can sometimes be more challenging than the dressing-up chic. In these times Tibi is an easy stand-by. Eye catching prints and bright colored dresses can dress up the most dismal days packed with errands.

Sure we love a Crayola colored palate but $300 price tags tend to set us back. Most days, we rather save our $300 for Saks' third floor or Bergdorf's second floor. Tibi at a fraction of the price, however, makes our compass turn.

This week, Tibi is hosting a sample sale at the Coolture space where clothing, swimwear, shoes and home accessories will be priced up to 75% off retail. We are not usually big fans of sample sales but we think this one might be perfect while we bide our time waiting for deep designer markdowns.

Tibi Fall 2009 Sample Sale
Date: Thursday, Nov. 11 to Friday, Nov. 13
Time: Nov 11 1pm-7pm; Nov 12 & 13 9am-6pm
Address: Coolture Showroom - 409 W. 39th St. (b/w 9th & 10th Ave.)

Friday, November 6, 2009

Gap 25% Off

Gap wants you to get a jump start on your holiday shopping and is offering customers 25% off for just this weekend. The discount ends Monday, Nov. 8th and can be used for anything in the store-- even sale items. Just present a print out of the image below at checkout.

This promotion couldn't come at a better time. We were just thinking we needed to pick up some more of those great skinny jeans we got this summer. And don't forget about the Stella kid's collection.

Kid's Showroom Sale: Kenzo, Florian, Catimini, Tartine...

Groupe Zannier (Kenzo, Catimini, Tartine et Chocolat, Floriane etc.) is hosting their semi-annual starting Monday. As with most great sample sales you can expect major lines. Last season, more than 100 women stood on 33rd Street for over two hours before being let into the sale.

The wait is usually worth the time and patience. At the last sale, Floriane dresses that retail for $100 to $170 were all $25, sweaters that retail for about $85 were all $20, and skirts there are normally about $100 were $20. IKKS, Cantimini, and Jean Bourget, dresses are were $20, shirts were $10 and winter coats were $40.

Veteran hint: Go later in the day when there is usually no line. There's more than enough merchandise to dress all five boroughs of tots.

Groupe Zannier U.S.A.
131 W. 33rd St. Suite 1006
Tel: 212-279-7672
When: Monday, Nov. 9th to Friday, Nov. 13th.
Hours: 9:30 to 4:30
Discount: 20% off wholesale

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Devi Kroell Opens on Madison

All summer we gawked at the fuchsia ply wood that veiled the underpinnings of Madison Avenue newcomer, Devi Kroell. Last week, the plywood came off and the store officially opened. Our curiosity couldn't keep us away long and the a 20% markdown even made it more exciting.

Devi Kroell is a relative newcomer to the world of Madison Avenue Fashion. She debuted her eponymous collection in 2004. To begin, she focused on her handbags, later expanded into footwear in 2006, and just unveiled her first ready-to-wear collection for spring 2009.

Most customers are drawn to this Austria-born designer because of her use of the exotic skins. We were quite taken with the the origami eel skin clutches but it was the shoes that made our feet dance and our hearts race.

It is truly thrilling to see shoe innovation in an era where designers and department stores are all trying to play it safe in order to drive sales in a shaky economy. We went wild for her low boots that incorporate a variety of skins and materials, including wood and metal ( orig. $1,190). The bright colored, pointy toe, lizard wedges (orig. $690) are a great alternative to the pedestrian Chanel ballet flat. The rainbow python knee high boots are a sure way to brighten a dreary February day.

Upstairs, the designer has a small but well rounded ready-to-wear collection that makes Gucci seem as mass market as Gap. Devi's clothing is designed and executed like an old master. Forget about the boyfriend blazer, you want a jacket that is going to hug your waist (or waste) and kiss your hips. A great jacket should look chic with everything from jeans to a suit skirt to tuxedo pants (orig. $2,090). Need a Rachel Zoe fur vest? That's here too, in purple silver fox (orig. $5.600-ish).

Great bags, fierce shoes and well constructed garments --all with a very Madison Avenue price-tag. We'll wait for another markdown but happily look forward to making several purchases at this avant-garde boutique.

Devi Kroell
717 Madison Avenue @ 63rd Street
Contact: Eric 212-644-4499

Costco Comes to NYC

It's official. Our apartments are all about to become a bit smaller as it becomes overcrowded with super sized toilet paper and paper towel packs. Costco is opening its first store in Manhattan on Thursday, November 12 right off of the FDR and 116th Street.

This Madison Avenue Spy used to cringe at the idea of shopping in Costco but it happens to be addictive. A veteran hint: find a friend to split your fruits and veges.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

YSL Closing Madison Ave. Boutique

In 1968, Yves Saint Laurent opened the first foreign boutique on Madison Avenue, just below 71st Street. Now a 41-year era is coming to an end.

YSL's Madison Avenue boutique is closing on November 14 and folding their merchandise into the 57th Street location. This will leave a large whole in the landscape of Madison Avenue as well as in the hearts of those who have shopped in the boutique for decades.

In recent years, there has been a substantial amount of change on the West side of Madison Avenue and 71st Street. In 2006, Yves Saint Laurent shaved 7,000 square feet off their boutique. Asprey took the excess space and Tom Ford opened his men's boutique next door, in 2007. We imagine that Tom Ford would love the YSL space being that he recently announced that he is looking for financing for a women's collecion. The economy may have final say on that matter.

For now, we will say Au Revoir to one of our favorite neighbors but look forward to heading to 57th Street. As a matter of fact, on November 16th YSL will hosting their one day Holiday Sale where all seasonal merchandise will be discounted 20% off. Following their holiday sale, presale orders will be taken for first markdown.

This is going to be an interesting holiday season!

Conact: Charles 212-988-3821

Manolo Blahnik Sample Sale

It's a over a week away and very much over played (in our humble opinion), however, the one day Manolo Blahnik sample sale is scheduled for Thursday, November 12 at the Warwick hotel.

We would like to make a small suggestion before you start digging through your shoe closet for something comfortable to wear while standing in line. In January and July the Manolo boutique has their bi-annual sale where prices are discounted up to 70% off.

This sample sale is supposedly stocked with spring/summer 2009 merchandisel. At previous sample sales prices for leather heels start at $100. Usually the morning of the sale is reserved for press and insiders and the afternoon is open to the public. Details for the brave can be found below.

Manolo Blahnik Sample Sale
Thursday, November 12, 2009
The Warwick Hotel
54th Street and 6th Avenue

Henri Bendel Friends & Family 25% Off

Henry Bendel is hosting a friends and family sale from Thurs. Nov. 5 to Sat. Nov. 8th. The discount is 25% off and there are NO exclusions! You must, however, click on the image below and print it out to receive the discount.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Saks VIP Online Sale Access

Saks has sent their VIP customers an access link to get a jump on sale merchandise, which is 40% off. The sale is online only and officially starts on November 5th. The sale ends on Monday, Nov. 9th.

Click here to access the VIP link.

Kid's View: Stella McCartney x Gap

Usually it's easy for us to review a collection collaboration between a celebrity designer and a mass market retailer. When it's Stella McCartney you can write the gushing review before the collection even hits the retail floor. But what happens when the collection is geared towards an audience who think Disney princesses are trendsetting and Hannah Montana personifies sophistication?

To find out we took a few tykes to the 87th Street & Third Avenue Gap to get a personal review. Our critics are "Flower Girl," a three-year-old who refuses to wear pants and prefers that babysitter esthetic. "Katie," a five-year-old self-proclaimed rock star who naturally tends to lead towards a happy-hipster look. "Violet," is six and is partial to the color purple. "Alex" prefers to look preppy. He is, after all, a product of the Upper East Side.

Flowergirl loved the tutu skirt on the cardboard model, however, that item did not make it to this particular boutique. A store manager said they hope to receive the skirt-- which happens to be the best selling item in the collection--by Thursday. Flower Girl found the Balmain inspired band jacket to be amusing to try on but could not be sold on that or on any single item in the collection. Instead, she preferred modeling fleece hats and rainbow heart scarves. Flower Girl's mother said she would check back for the tutu later in the week.

The skinny jeans were a natural choice for Katie who prefers all her clothing to be form fitting. The $58 price was a bit much for Katie's mom, who said she would rather opt for the traditional Gap skinny jeans that are half the price. Katie and her mom both agreed that the best piece in the collection is the $58 pink drop waist silk dress. For Katie, the dress was love at first sight and her mother agreed that it was perfect when paired with a navy cardigan.

Lucky for Violet, there is a lot of purple in the Gap/Stella collection. Her mom, really liked the purple bow coat ($98) but decided it was a bit unpractical for cold New York winters and for the fact that Violet was unable to button the coat herself. She did, however, take home the drop waist silk dress in violet, flare jeans ($58) and the long gray wool cardigan ($68).

Boys are notoriously squeamish when it comes to fashion but seven-year-old Alex was ready to jump in with his opinion. The band jacket was totally out of the question. The blazer fit perfectly but Alex's wardrobe was already filled adequately with blazers. In the end,  the western shirts ($38) won out. If the shirts were not a designer collaboration, Alex's mother doubted that either of them would have payed much attention.

There you have it: Four kids. Eight opinions. In the end, we know that that collaboration will be a great Gap success but more because of fashion forward mother's than rainbow loving tots. Now, if they could only get in that tutu...

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Ralph Lauren Private Sale

Ralph Lauren is running a 40% off private sale from Thurs., Nov. 5 to Mon., Nov. 9th. You can also receive an additional 15% off by using the code NOV0509. The promotion is running both in stores and online.

We wish there was more to add but Ralph Lauren is not known for groundbreaking style and is not inspiring us much here either. Oh, and can anyone figure out the whole Black Label, Blue Label, Purple Label thing? Talk about confusing your customer.