Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Retail Therapy: Janie Schoenborn

Janie Schoenborn grew up loving Lilly Pulitzer's designs. She adored the bright prints and the bold patterns. Years later her love turned into passion as she is now the design director for Palm Beach's most preppy institution.

Janie's biggest design challenge is trying to turn the very familiar brand into something that still looks new and fresh while maintaining the Lily look. This season, the company is launching the Kenlyn pant, which uses high-tech Dow XLA stretch fabric. For Spring 2010 Turquoise was selected as the season's hottest color, which is perfect for the Lily Pulitzer brand because of its universal appeal. "It puts everyone in the same state of mind — on vacation,” she Janie.

Today, Janie lives by her mother's fashion rules: be confident, have your own style, wear pink and a dash of Opium perfume. Read on for more shopping and style advice from Janie Schoenborn.

What's your most prized "deal?”
I love and collect and obsess over jewelry. Real, faux, vintage, the bigger the better. No matter what statement piece I am wearing, I always wear a large carved jade ring on the middle finger of my right hand. It is set in gold, goes with all my pink, and I know it brings me good luck. It is my signature piece and I adore it.

Biggest regret that you didn't purchase?
I didn't keep the Lily Sophia metallic jacquard dress from last season! Not only is it stunning with its subtle sparkle and ornate beading, but it is also the perfect go-to dress for just about any event.

This season you are looking for...
I have been traveling so much lately that I am super tempted to get that gold roller suitcase from Prada. Is that over the top?

What's your number one shopping tip?
My mom always wore these flowing silk outfits from the ‘70s – hot pinks with a gold braided belt, long gold earrings. She wore Opium perfume and I thought she was the most glamorous woman alive (she now lives in Fairfield). My mom was always herself and that is the best advice ever… be confident, have your own style, wear pink and a dash of Opium perfume – it is absolutely irresistible.

What's your biggest weakness?
I love old-lady makeup colors: old-lady coral lipstick and vintage red nail polish on trimmed nails. I just found the best new color – Cajun Shrimp from OPI – the new gel mani. It is that ‘40s chic red that isn’t too dark and has a bit of coral in it. I think deep down I have a lot of eccentric-old-lady in me and I fully embrace it!

Is there an item for which a shopper should never mind paying full price?
A good bra. Without it, you are sunk. Literally. Get measured and spend whatever they ask.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Ambrosi Abrianna Sale

Ambrosi Abrianna brings the meaning of luxury exotic handbags to an entirely new level. First, the exotic skins are collected from around the world and shipped to a tannery in Paris. After the skin is "died to perfection" it is shipped to Italy to be constructed by old-world specialists. The last stop is the Ambrosi Abrianna retail space on Madison Avenue. Talk about establishing a deep carbon footprint. No worries, George and Leo can help us balance that out.

Like other high-end exotic bags, Ambrosi Abrianna uses only one piece of skin to create each bag. In addition, the owner's name, an inscription and serial number are engraved on a 24K plate that's located discreetly on the inside of the bag. Purchasers also receive a climate controlled "infinity box" for storage, an owners manual, a travel treatment kit and an invitation to join the Ambrosi Abrianna Collectors Society. Hell, who needs a country club when you can be a member of a handbag society.

Membership does have its price: crocodile belts can be had for about $1,000, business card holders in ostrich or croc are about $500, but the bulk of the Ambrosi Abrianna bags retail for between $8,000 to $25,000.

This may all sound very 2008 and it is. However, Ambrosi Abrianna knows how to play it very 2010 too. The store is currently hosting a sale where several handbag styles are being discounted 40% off and custom exotic orders are up to 25% off. All joking aside, these bags are quite exquisite and a discount only makes them more appealing.

Contact: Jonathan 212-582-2506, Madison @ 70th Street

Thursday, March 25, 2010

7's Private Sale

Buying jeans is never easy, no matter what your size. For this reason, we always suggest that denim shoppers forgo the sale rack and strictly buy what looks great. The problem often is that the jeans that look the best are predictably the most expensive pair on the rack.

The upshot is that once you have identified your perfect pair of jeans you can keep track of the brand and style and be on the lookout for a discount. 7 for All Mankind's private sale is the perfect oppertunity to pick up a back-up pair of your favorite jeans. Prices on the website are up to 60% off but you must use the private sale link to see all the discounted products.

We found Roxanne skinny jeans for $113 from $180, the flared leg Charlize in white is $107 from $215 and the cropped Flaming is $104 from $209. Shoes, handbags and kid's clothing are also heavily discounted.

Clothing, shoes and handbags are also included in the sale section. We particularly like this cashmere sweater. It's perfect for a cool spring day.

If you're worried about size or fit, we already checked through the small print and sale items are returnable for a full refund or exchange. Happy shopping.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Retail Therapy: Abbe Held

Kooba founder, Abbe Held's personal style is very much like the bags she creates: always colorful and inspired by a vintage tradition that's juxtaposed with a twist of big city luxury.

Abbe often draws inspiration from the vendors she finds on the street in her native New York and is always looking to make a personal statement with her fashion.

Like most vintage shoppers, Abbe is always looking for a great deal and is adept at spotting an accessory that will provide an inexpensive thrill. Today, she shares her shopping pains and accomplishments and offers a few key words of advice. Let us know what you think!

What's your most prized "deal?”
I’m crazy for my gold beaded hoop earrings that I bought from a street vendor for $10. I never take them off!

Biggest regret that you didn't purchase?
I’m still thinking about the black silk YSL jumpsuit that I tried on and loved but still went home to think about. When I went back it was gone.

This season you are looking for...
I live in jeans so I’m always looking for great blouses and jackets that make a statement.

What's your number one shopping tip?
Buy pieces that speak to you and look good on YOU not just on your friends or in a magazine.

What's your biggest weakness?
Aside from handbags of course, I’d have to say I have a big weakness for sunglasses.

Is there an item for which a shopper should never mind paying full price?
I don’t think it’s about one item in particular. If you truly love it and feel good in it, then you will always get your money’s worth.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Hermès Sale Details: VIP Style

To get the inside scoop from the Hermès sale we sent in our most knowledgeable Hermès spies to sniff around the VIP sale today. The self-named LuxMommy and BonnieBirkin were very excited to participate. Both spies report that there was no line to get into the sale but the line to pay was torturous, up to 90 minutes.

Note to shoppers: Lines to get into the sale on Wednesday will be horiffic and the long que to pay usually remains throughout the duration of the sale.

On line, Lorraine Bracco was spotted on her phone and overheard telling a friend that she couldn't get her in. (Couldn't have been a very good friend.) Also at the sale, and at no surprise was Gossip Girl's Kelly Rutherford. (Maybe she needs to get swag lessons from SJP.)

Once inside, LuxMommy was dismayed with the shoe collection, which is often plentiful and a highlight of the sale. However, there were many enamel bracelets, which were 40% off or $306 for the mid-size. LuxMomma's fanciful eye was caught by cashmere mufflers for $237 and lady's swimwear, which ranged in price from $450 to $1000. If you have a body worth swagging with a $1000 bathing suit, we say, go for it!

Leather goods range from 40% to 70% off, depending on the season and condition of the item. Wallets and Constance bags are plentiful in a variety of colors and sizes. A small size Dogon (wallet) is $780.The Constance bag is priced at about $2400 for the small size and $2800 for the larger size.

BonnieBirkin reports that the Bolide bag ranged in price from $1500 for a damaged bag to $3200 for one in perfect condition. There are lots of men's briefcases, in a variety of sizes and colors, including leather canvas combinations.

Both shoppers spotted lots of belts, including some with hardware. A thin version of the Collier de Chien is $680. Mini-sized garden-party bags are abundant and were ignored by most shoppers. As usual there is an abundant amount of silks and ties and especially lots of Twillys. Silky Pop bags, the Hermès version of an eco friendly re-usable shopper was 70% off at $300.

As seasoned Hermès sale shoppers, we all suggest skipping anything that you may not love. Even at 40% off, Hermès items are very expensive and everyone agrees it's better to invest a bit more for true love than to settle for good enough. Good luck and please pass along your Hermès shopping conquests in the comment section below.

Hermès Sale NYC
Public Sale: Wednesday, March 24 to Sunday, March 28
Weds. 9am to 6pm, Thurs. 9am to 8pm, Fri. to Sun. 9am to 6pm
Metropolitan Pavilion: 123 W. 18th St. @ 6th Ave.
Credit Cards Only

Monday, March 22, 2010

Bloomingdales Friends and Family

Our list of summer wants and needs keeps growing and growing while we wait for sales, discounts and markdowns. The first price relief of the season will be at Bloomingdales when the store's merchandise will be discounted 20% for "friends & family." These days, friends & family is translates into all customers.

The sale will run from Wed., March 24 to Sun., March 28. You can use the code "friends" for online orders. Pre-sale is already underway. No, Chanel is not included, cosmetics are not included, and other certain designer exclusions apply.

If you're not in a hurry to make your purchases you can wait for the Saks friends and family, which is 25% off and will run in April.

Hermes Sale Starts Tomorrow

We thought we covered this to nauseam but we have received dozens of email today asking us about the Hermes sale. The VIP sale is tomorrow. An invite along with identification is usually required. Some seasons we've even seen spouses asked to wait outside.

Following tomorrow's preview, the sale opens to the public and runs through Sunday. Full sale details are below and don't forget to check back tomorrow for merchandise and pricing information from our Hermes spies.

Hermes Sale NYC
VIP Preview: Tuesday March, 23
Public Sale: Wednesday, March 24 to Sunday, March 28
Weds. 9am to 6pm, Thurs. 9am to 8pm, Fri. to Sun. 9am to 6pm
Metropolitan Pavilion: 123 W. 18th St., nr. Sixth Ave.
Credit Cards Only

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Yummie Fashion Fundamentals

All great accomplishments begin with the right fundamentals. That's why we are always looking for new foundation garments to put the right curves in all the right places. We were recently introduced to Heather Thomson who has been a creative force for two of the most shapely pop-stars turn fashion-stars, Jennifer Lopez and Beyonce Knowles. Her Yummie Tummie shapeware is the perfect foundation for your summer wardrobe.

Heather's Yummie Tummie tanks change the overall look of an outfit by adding a little tuck and pinch here and here. As expected, the snug middle panel smooths away muffin spillage but what we didn't expect is that our overall silhouette became more shapely. Unlike most shapeware these garments have room for your hips so you look tucked in all the right places but there's also room for your hips to allow shape where it belongs.

After trying a few styles, we settled on the Undercover Tank, which can be worn alone without looking like an undergarment. We also like how this tank is extra long and can be tucked into a low riser jean and paired with a variety of blazers to create a chic but casual outfit.

The Undercover retails for $68 and starts at XS and runs into 3X. We could't find the tank for less money but Yummie Tummie is sold at all of our favorite department stores and is the perfect item to pick up at a friends & family sale when you can save between 20% to 25% off.

If you order online go a size smaller than you think because the tighter the better. Also, keep your bra on. The Yummie Tummie tank has a shelf bra but does nothing for adding shape or form to your bosom. Don't forget about doing your crunches because the true foundation of great fashion comes from health and fitness.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Jacadi Liquidation

Our favorite Lower East Side discount store, Gabays Outlet, just received a huge shipment of Jacadi children's clothing.

The discount is currently 50% off retail and we believe many items to be current season merchandise. If you ware willing to wait it out, prices tend to get reduced further as time goes on and inventory declines.

No kids to shop for? No problem. Closeout season is almost here...

Gabay's Outlet
225 First Avenue (between 13th and 14th)

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

DecadesTwo Delivers

Warning: if you are prone to getting overly excited from sale information it might be best to walk away from your computer or put down your mobile device now. You know who you are "Orgasm Girl."

DecadesTwo, the Hollywood-based luxury consignment store, has rolled into town once again. Today was the press preview and there was no way we were going to miss early access to this sale. We hear that much of the merchandise came directly from the closets of Rachel Zoe and Sandra Bullock. (Click here to see a full photo album from the sale.) Needless to say, we experienced major closet envy. If this is what they are getting rid of we would hate to see what they keep.

As expected of any DecadesTwo sale, there were racks of amazing designer clothes, shoes and bags. Quite unexpectedly, we fell in love with the two small trays of Chanel jewelry. We could almost hear RZ saying, "I.Die." And we did. Prices of the Chanel necklaces range from $222 for a restively modest piece to $1150 for a statement necklace dripping with Coco's logo. Despite the expense, you can be assured that each is a real treasure that will maintain its value over time.

Moving on to clothing, there seems to be more Chanel than any other designer. Tweed jackets, coats and dresses all range in price from about $1200 to $3000. We found an entire rack of Alexander McQueen. One dress in particular, from his x-ray collection, is a real steal at $890. An asymmetrical McQueen dress with original tags still attached is $1225. (It was originally $2545.) A McQueen gray geometric jacket is $250.

There are also lots of shoes: Louboutin, Prada, Atwood, Choo, Kirkwood, YSL, Gucci. Prices for Louboutins are about $200 to $400 depending on the style and the condition of the shoe. High Dolce boots are $360. Prada boots are $450. Lanvin platforms $220.

Bags, bags, bags. There are lots of bags but none that really stole our hearts. There is a small assortment of Chanel classic-style purses placed off to the side. A Chocolate brown Chanel bag, not exactly in pristine condition, is $1350. A tan patent leather Chanel bag with perforation is $1800.

New merchandise will be added daily throughout the sale period. If these prices all seem high, just wait until Sunday when the sale will be stocked with a fresh load of shoes all priced at $150 and under. Yes, there will be Louboutins, Pradas and Chanels. We can't wait!

DecadesTwo @ Kiki de Montparnasse
Thursday, March 18 to Sunday, March 21
Thursday, March 18, 11am-7pm
Friday, March 19, 11am-7pm
Saturday, March 20, 11am-7pm
Sunday, March 21, 12pm-5pm, including shoe sale.
79 Greene Street

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Retail Therapy: Kiran Rai

Kiran Rai founded the popular fashion brand, Sir Alistair Rai with a line of t-shirts that had slogans such as, “Adopt Me Angelina” and a portrait T-shirt of Mahatma Gandhi. The Kitson buyers saw these t-shirts and the brand has been in rocket mode ever since.

Angelina Jolie, Julia Roberts, Halle Berry and Jessica Alba are fans of Kiran’s designs, which has expanded into ready-to-wear and accessories. Today, her collections can be found in over 500 retailers including, Nordstroms, Intermix, Henri Bendels, Selfridges and Harvey Nichols.

This week, we caught up with Kiran to talk a bit about our favorite pastime-- shopping. After speaking for a short while it became evident that Kiran's style has two very distinct tracks, one that’s easy going and relaxed and another that’s completely polished and sophisticated. Kiran’s split life between Arizona and NYC is literally, poolside to Upper East Side. She has a weak spot for Chanel but is lusting after a classic pair of denim overalls. If these two items aren’t diametrically opposed, what is?

Read for yourself and let us know what you think.

What's your most prized "deal?”
Around Halloween time I went to Screaming Mimi’s (a downtown vintage shop) looking for a costume. I ended up getting a fox hair coat for $120. It’s really beautiful.

The best deal was a YSL jacket I found at a thrift store in San Francisco for $60. I wear it all the time. Since the recession I find that vintage and consignment shops are booming with more product then ever before.

Biggest regret that you didn't purchase?
It’s almost ridiculous, but I wanted these Chanel flip-flops made of cheesy PVC. I think about them all the time. They are a plain black flip-flop, the bottom of the sole is gray and there is a small logo on the side. They almost look like Havaianas --but Chanel Havainas. I thought they were just too ridiculous but I would have worn them all the time.

This season you are looking for...
This season I am looking for denim accents. A really good denim shirt or Ralph Lauren overalls. The look takes me back to 1984. There is something about it that just feels right.

What's your number one shopping tip?
If you cant get it out of your mind go back and buy it. I used to just buy, but then I realized that I just ended up with lots of things that I don’t even wear. I have become more frugal. If I think about it for a week, it’s mine.

What's your biggest weakness?
Chanel! I am a huge fan. I think it’s timeless. The pearls, the bags, cloths, shoes—I have tons. I have enough ballet flats to open a dance studio.

Is there an item for which a shopper should never mind paying full price?
I say Chanel. It’s timeless. I don’t feel like this about any other designer besides the House of Chanel. It’s worth the money. You only need one timeless bag in black. You will remember more about buying your fist Chanel than you will about your first boyfriend. It’s the truth!

Monday, March 15, 2010

Kors Takes Ungaro

We hear that Michael Kors just inked a deal to take over the Emanuel Ungaro space on Madison at 67th Street. The Ungaro store quietly closed earlier this month after reducing prices 75% off.

The Northern Kors boutique, at Madison and 77th Street will remain open according, to our source. Michael Kors also has another boutique at Madison and 60th Street, which just opened 16-months ago and carries his jet-set Michael Kors line in addition to his lower lines, Kors by Michael Kors and Michael by Michael Kors. We don't know if the former Ungaro location, which is just 1,600-square-feet, will carry all three lines. Calls to the Michael Kors press office were not returned.

We can't help but wonder if this expansion into a Madison Avenue location is a way to take on Ralph Lauren, who has cemented a deep footprint into Madison. If so, Michael has his work cut out for him. Ralph is currently building a new 27,500-square-foot store to accent the 22,000-square-foot Rhinelander Mansion, which will be dedicated entirely to men's wear.

Should we stir the pot and title this the Americana wars? Jet-set-vs-preppy!

Photo credit: FashionTraveler

Saks Breaks Out New Designers

Many stylists and expert shoppers advise that if you're going to spend a lot of money on an item, buy something that you will wear every day. That is the biggest crock of, ahem. We all know that the things we wear every day are generally ordinary and can be purchased just about anywhere for any price: jeans, tee-shirts, sweaters, white shirts, black heels, black dresses. At some point they all start looking the same regardless of price.

That's why we always say, if you're gong to splurge, go big. Buy something unique, an item that sets you apart and announces your personal style. For this reason we have been bored to tears by the merchandise selection in most department stores. After the economic fallout buyers needed to stick to stocking the shelves with safe merchandise. (Read: Boring.)

Well ladies, we think it's safe to return the department store, at least to the Saks shoe department. For the first time, Saks Fifth Avenue is adding an assortment of emerging designers to their New York and Beverly Hills flagships. Starting this week the designs of Heather Williams, Daniele Michetti, Diego Dolcini, Gianvito Rossi, Jonathan Kelsey, and Rupert Sanderson can be found in 10022-SHOE.

Unfortunately, our feet don't have an intimate relationship with most of these designers. We did, however, fall in love with Heather Williams' collection when she had a sample sale at the Krizia boutique earlier this year. We have a feeling we will have the same reaction to the rest of the club.

This edgy Saks collection is highly edited and only three or four styles were chosen from each of the designers. Prices are about as timid as the styling, ranging from $495 to $1575. At least the shocking price is accompanied by eye-catching styles.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Liberty of London at Target

Another season, another Target designer line. This week it was a 360-degree collaboration with Liberty of London. The 135-year-old British department store known for their bold floral prints has a wide selection of Target merchandise including, housewares, men's wear, women's wear, kid's cloths, bathing suits, linens, picture frames and even a reported floral print bicycle.

The floral collab has been quite the sensation, at least in New York. A pop-up store, which opened in mid-town ahead of the official box-store launch, had to close a day earlier than planned because everything sold out. We knew if we wanted to find a good selection of merchandise we would need to hit a lesser known Target than the popular Jersey City location.

Our plan turned out to be a good one. Our mid-day shopping trip was a successful harvest on most accounts. The North Bergen Target was heavily stocked with women's dresses, bathing suits, kid's cloths and some housewares. Men's floral print shirts, tableware and bedding was were running low even at mid-day. (Click here to see all of our Target pictures.)

We've had a real problem with the quality of the merchandise that's been created by Target for recent designer lines. This time around there was a lot more to focus on besides the clothing. The pictures frames, trays, bedding and even the children's clothing were exquisitely executed and a real value. The women's apparel would have been tremendously more appealing if more of the items were made of cotton. Polyester doesn't breath and we can't imagine tenting ourselves in a floor length synthetic fabric in the heat of summer.

Overall, the prints are adorable and a much needed spray of color amidst the gloomy wind and rain of our most recent nor'easter. If you can't get to a Target immediately, shop online because the mechanise is going fast and once it's gone... it's gone.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

The Civilized NJ Hermes Sale

We paid our $8 toll and we're back from the Hermes sale in the Riverside Mall in Hackensack, NJ. To us New York girls shopping Hermes in a mall is like buying Nike sneakers on 57th Street-- it just never feels right.

Once we put our biases aside we were able to shop. As previously posted, the sale includes men's and women's ready-to-wear, shoes, hats and gloves are all 40% to 60% off. What did we find? A very calm and relaxed environment filled with unexpected treasures. (Click here to browse through a catalogue of Spy pictures.)

We found the best deals to be the shoes. High-heel platform lizard sandals that were $2350 are $1410, black patent leather flats with a silver "Kelly" buckle were $970 are now $388 and gorgeous suede high boots were $1775 are now $710. We were a bit dubious about the boots because it looks like they were reduced to $470 at one point and then marked back up.

In the ready-to-wear department we spotted a silk trench coat that was $7300 and now $2920, a $10,600 cashmere coat with a mink collar is now $4240, a heavy brandy wool winter scarf was $895 is now $537, a $345 rain hat with an orange lining is now $207 and a great bright orange knit cap with darker Hs is $177.

This sale runs though Saturday and before you ask, there are no discounted ties, belts, bracelets, jewelry, watches or bags. The big Metropolitan Pavilion Hermes semi-annual sale starts on March 23 for press and VIPs and opens to the general public from March 24th to March 28th. That's where you can find a chop suey of all Hermes sale items.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Sephora Beauty Closeout

Sephora carries hundreds of beauty lines and every so often they discontinue a product or end a relationship. When this happens, the cosmetic emporium posts the products on their website at highly discounted prices.

This week, we came across Cargo, Kevyn Aucoin, and Laura Geller selling at a fraction of their original prices.

Cargo is known as one of the most innovative brands on the beauty scene. Their high-tech blu_ray powders are often used for movie and television production. The blu-ray bronzer is normally $30 but marked down to $7.50, their $35 mascara is now $8.80 and blu-ray lip gloss was $24 and is now discounted to $6.

The late Kevyn Aucoin was one of the most sought-after makeup artists in the world. His products are loved by professionals and armatures alike. Foundation that was $45 is now $11.30 and Luminizer was $32 and is now $8.

Laura Geller, who has a retail store on Lexington and 75th Street, is known as the New York make-up guru. Eyeshadow that were $23 are now $5.80, $23 cake eyeliner is now $5.80 and a lipgloss that was $18 is now $4.50.

Don't hesitate if you want to capture any of these deals. We already missed out on our favorite Kevyn Aucoin eyeliner that was reduced to $5. Saving money on great cosmetics just means you have more money for shoes, bags dresses...

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Now Open: In & Out

Beauty fanatics and anti-aging enthusiasts can rejoice with the opening of In & Out beauty. The Swiss beauty concept just opened their first US boutique on Madison Avenue, between 77th and 78th street.

Tucked between Missoni and Intermix, In & Out combines supplements for baby-boomers with serums, creams and lotions loved by cosmetic junkies. The product line focuses in five essential areas: acne, anti-aging, whitening, sensitive and reddening skin and slimming.

Of course, each product package embodies everything you need to look great, in and out-- dietary supplements and four to five skin-care products. A store manager said that they will soon have an estition on location to offer mini facials and assist in skin-care emergencies.

While the boutique is small, it combines an aquatic space-age decor with a sparseness usually reserved for selling precious jewelry. Beyond the under-the-sea surroundings the store happens to smell amazing with a nose full of gardenia and other scented flowers.

This is a concept that can be easily be embraced by glossy magazines and aging baby boomers alike. Oh, did we fail to mention there are lots of samples? Who doesn't love samples?

Monday, March 8, 2010

Prada Sample Rack Rolled Out

It’s March and the Prada sample sale rack has officially been rolled out for outlet shoppers. The Woodbury Common’s Prada outlet is offering customers a chance to take home legitimate samples (mostly size 38 to 42) at a fraction of their retail price.

We couldn’t identify anything from spring 2010 but did find lots of winter 2009 merchandise from both the Prada and Miu Miu collections. There were a wide assortment of Prada deep v-neck dresses—gold velvet, mink and embroidered-- with boiled wool bottoms ranging in price from $230 to $400. We also found pieces of the leather strip series that were priced about $1500.

Our favorite part of this Prada collection, and the sale rack, were items with paillette embroidery. Included were a skirt, dress and coat all priced around and above $1000. A bit expensive for the sample rack but all are classic times that will look fabulous for decades to come.

Miu Miu items include a brocade print wool coat and dress and ill-fitting heavy wool wrap dresses and tops all under $300.

If you’re not a sample size you can still take advantage of deep outlet discounts. All skirts, dresses and pants are an extra 40% off the outlet price. Most everything else -- including accessories and shoes--are an additional 25% off the outlet price.

While shopping, look carefully at tags. Some items are reduced even further. We found a rack of lacy winter 2008 merchandise where some items were marked an additional 60% off.

We are told that the sample sale rack will stay out until all the merchandise is sold. Don't leave that as an excuse to procrastinate because Prada is a heavily trafficked store and items at this price will not hang around for a long time. We bet those $90 wool bloomers will even find a home.

The outlet is more than happy to ship merchandise if you aren’t able to make it to the white-capped mountains of Harriman, NY. Just remember that all sales are final and not all merchandise is without damage.

Rob 845-928-3706

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Sample Sales: Escada & Dolce

The Metropolitan Pavilion area will be busy with sample sales this week. Today, was the first day of the Escada sale at Pavilion North where merchandise is 75% to 90% off retail. Early reports are that the prices are great but finding your size can be a killer.

The sale runs until Wednesday afternoon and there's even a sale hotline for shoppers who have questions.

Starting Thursday, Dolce & Gabbana and D&G will start their sale one block South. We are told prices will be up to 75% off but have no intelligence on what merchandise will be included. At the last sale, shoppers where overwhelmed by the vast selection-- but that was 2009. Markdowns ranged from 50% to 75% off. We expect prices to be about the same considering that the boutique reduced winter 2009 merchandise to 60% off.

110 West 19th (b/w 6th and 7th)
Sunday, March 2 to Wednesday, March 10
Sun. to Tues. 10am to 7pm, Wed. 10am to 5pm
Sale Hotline 212-852-5446

Dolce & Gabbana/ D&G
123 West 18th Street, 4th Floor
Thursday, March 11 to Sunday, March 14
Thursday to Saturday 9am to 7pm, Sun. 9am to 6pm

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Hermès Sale: NJ

Ladies, grab your E-ZPass because next week we will be taking a road trip across the GW Bridge. The Hermès store at the Shops at Riverside, in Hackensack, NJ are hosting a sale where ready-to-wear, shoes, hats and gloves will be 40% to 60% off.

The sale will run from Thursday, March 11th and run until Saturday, March 13th. Thursday is supposedly a VIP sale day but we get a hunch that getting into the sale will be as difficult as getting into a Jersey Shore bar.

Sales people say, they don't know what merchandise will be discounted because "it's call coming from our warehouse and it hasn't arrived yet."

Who's in?

Contact: Manny 201 -487-1111
The Shops at Riverside

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Decadestwo Round Two

Many readers agree that the best sale of last year was the Decadestwo pop-up store, in SoHo. On reader confided that the sale caused her to max out her credit card. Well hold on to your plastic because the Hollywood-based luxury consignment store is coming back for a second round. From March 18 to March 21, Decadestwo will be returning to the second floor of Kiki de Montparnasse.

We hear that they have worked with Julianne Moore, Selma Blair, Rachel Zoe, Courtney Love and other celebs and fashion insiders to compile a tightly edited selection of high-end clothing and accessories. At the last sale, we spotted $1,100 Christian Louboutin shoes priced at $390, $2,900 red Chanel quilted bag for $1,900, and a classic Chanel suit jacket was $1,000 from $2,400. Most key items, like Chanel bags were 60% off retail but most ready-to-wear was about 75% off.

What's better? On the last day of the sale, Decadestwo will host their famous one-day shoe extravaganza featuring Louboutins and Manolos all priced at $150, or less! Decadestwo held this shoe sale at their Los Angeles store last month, and hundreds of women lined up the night before and slept in sleeping bags on the street, waiting to get in. Racked LA has a full play-by-play, but in NY we don't sleep in sleeping bags-- we just pay people to wait in line for us!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Retail Therapy: Carol Brodie

It so happens that almost everyone who owns a Chanel bag or Louboutin shoes claims to be an expert on luxury. Carol Brodie happens to be the real thing.

She was chief luxury officer--yes it's a real position-- for CurtCo Media, publisher of the Robb Report and Worth and global director of communications for Harry Winston. She is credited for rebranding the old-world company to appeal to a younger clientele. Carol indeed had something to do with bejeweling Oscar winners Halle and Gwyneth.

Carol is now combining her knowledge of luxury and jewelry in her own line for HSN called, Rarities: Fine Jewelry with Carol Brodie. Her new collection debuted last week and we especially love the sandblasted gold and black sapphire Sun Goddess Earring. ($599 or 4 easy payments of $150!)

So what does one buy once they have exhausted the employee discount at Harry Winston? See below to read Carol's jewels of shopping wisdom.

What's your most prized "deal?”
I have two most prized “deals.” One is my stunning cushion cut diamond engagement ring from Harry Winston. After years of working for the prestigious House of Harry Winston, my hard work paid off as I was able to purchase the ring of my dreams. But like everything else in my life, once I own it, I am on to the next best deal. For me, it was a pair of vintage, 18k gold link, signed bracelets from Tiffany & Co. I saw them at an estate sale and let’s just say, I got the deal of a lifetime.

It got better when I met the original owner of the bracelets at a party… When I told her the name of the dealer, she laughed and said, “Those were mine and they could not have gotten a better home.” I immediately loved her and I still love the bracelets, which are definitely part of my signature style. Big, bold, gold, precious and glamorous!

Biggest regret that you didn't purchase?
I have no regrets!

This season you are looking for...
The biggest thing I wanted for Spring were the perfect pair of tribal inspired gold disc earrings with carved turquoise gems in the center of the disc. I am wearing them now and I am selling them in my February pre-spring collection.

What's your number one shopping tip?
Buy only what you LOVE and do not buy anything just because it seems like a good “deal." If something seems to good to be true, it usually is. I believe in the 24-hour rule: If you truly love something, put it on hold. If you still love it the next day, then buy it. If it gets sold, then consider that it was never meant to be yours anyway.

What's your biggest weakness?
Impulse shopping!!!

Is there an item for which a shopper should never mind paying full price?
Absolutely. Anything one-of-a-kind or a rarity is worth paying full price. If you find the perfect jewel, dress, shoe or accessory and it is exactly what you have been looking for, buy it on the spot. It will be worth its weight in gold. (No pun intended!)

Monday, March 1, 2010

Saks Cuts Advertising Budget

Last week, the New York Times announced the introduction of Saks Fifth Avenue's new advertising campaign, which is described as evoking the dire days of the Depression. The campaign is "to signal to consumers an understanding of what they are going through today -- as well as to reassure them that current difficulties, like the Depression, will be history someday," the article says.

In a twist of irony, we noticed that the daily Saks ad on A3, in the Times, has been conspicuously missing. After a bit of investigating we found out that Saks has cut their advertising budget. So instead of their daily placement, Saks will be taking a full page ad in the Sunday Style section every other week. .

If Saks can't come up with a fresh idea they may be better off cutting their entire budget. Suggesting in an ad that one should "Think about ... belting a new tunic with your husband's old tie,'' seems as exciting as a basic black dress. If the department store wants to get attention, their advertising department (and buyers) need to get in touch with their customer who would rather spend their money on an item that sets them apart.

Hermès Sale: Wall Street

Ask any Hermès sales person, on Madison, if there is a sale and they will deny, deny, deny. Aren't you lucky that you have a friend who never takes no for an answer? It took us some time, but we finally uncovered the Hermès sale details.

Hermès has moved all marked down merchandise to their Wall Street location where discounts run from 40% to 60% off ready-to-wear. We hear there is a nice selection from spring '09, which can easily transition to spring '10. (We love the: It's new to me theory.) As for accessories, only hats and gloves have been marked down. Sorry, no Birkins or Kellys today.

You better move quickly if you want capture these discounts because the merchandise is shortly being packed up and moved to the Metropolitan Pavilion for the semi-annual sale. This year, the sale will start on March 23 for press and VIPs. The general public can fill their hearts content with scarves and ties galore from March 24th to March 28th.

Hermès Wall Street
15 Broad Street
Edgar: 212-785-3030