Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Retail Therapy: Melissa Meyers

When it comes to shopping there are professionals and then there are those who are professionally obsessed. Yes, that would be us bloggers. For the remainder of the Summer we are turning the spotlight on our own and clawing our way into the shopping psychology of our favorite bloggers.

First up is Melissa Meyers. She is well known for her website/newsletter, AskMelissa where she highlighted the best of New York: hairstylists, trainers and stylists. Most recently, Melissa launched PageDaily, a shopping and lifestyle online magazine, which combines e-commerce.

In addition, Melissa often appears on NBC and LXTV, she writes for Hamptons magazine and is often spotted at awesome sales. Below are her shopping secrets. Let us know what you think.

What's your most prized deal?
I just purchased a Halston collection gold and silver sequined mini dress for $300 at the recent sample sale (yes, from Madison Avenue Spy). it originally sold for $3000! [editorial note: we promise, this was unsolicited but totally true.]

Biggest regret that you didn't purchase?
An Hermes Birken bag 10-years-ago, when they were thousands of dollars less.

This season you are looking for...
This season looking for accessories galore…I love layering chunky necklaces at varying lengths, cuffs and huge cocktail rings. J. Crew has come out with a killer line. Chanel always has great costume jewelry at prices below what you would expect.

What's your number one shopping tip?
Develop a relationship with a salesperson at your favorite department store or boutique and have them notify you the day before their sale runs so you have first dibs on the merchandise.

What's your biggest weakness?
Christian Louboutin shoes.

Is there an item for which a shopper should never mind paying full price?
I always mind! But…I do pay full price for the one handbag a year that I can’t live without.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

D&G 50% Off Online

We have always found it counter-intutitive that many companies discount merchandise in stores but keep it full price online. One would think that removing the sales person and cost of real estate would make the Internet a discount haven. Most often, this isn't the case.

But, as usual, we found an exception. Dolce & Gabbana and D&G closed out the season with a 40% discount. Alas, D&G merchandise has shown up at their online store at 50% off. Shoes, accessories, beachwear and clothing are included in the sale.

A one-shoulder party dress is $268 from $535, a short sleeve satin shirt is $123 from $245, a print bikini is $108 from $215 and high heeled sandals are $355 from $710.

What's even better is that the D&G Online Store will grant refunds on returned merchandise. Boutiques usually only give you store credit and will not accept sale items to be returned. Now, that's a deal!

Monday, July 26, 2010

Coming Soon: Milly

We may be seeing a lot more cute dresses on Madison Avenue. Our real estate spies tell us that Milly has just inked a deal to take over part of the former Sharper Image space at 900 Madison Avenue, between 72nd and 73rd Street.

A spokes person for Milly declined to comment but it has been previously reported that the New York-based company has been shopping for boutique space. The brand currently has one store in Tokyo, which opened in 2009.

Michelle "Milly" Smith and Andrew Oshrin started Milly in 2000. Prior to starting Milly, Michelle lived in Paris and worked for the likes of Hermes, Vuitton and Dior. Her designs tend to span the generations and can be found in the closet of a high school senior closet as well as socialite's wardrobe room.

Sharper Image vacated the desirable location in 2007 and filed for bankruptcy in 2008. Despite the attractive 45 feet of Madison Avenue frontage the space remained vacant because it remained expensive despite the downward shift in local real estate.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Neiman Marcus Last Call

Neiman Marcus is closing out the summer season with fantastic discounts. A great selection of clothing and shoes are already marked down 65% but the additional 25% brings the total discount to about 70% off.

Check this out: A Thakoon dress worn by Michelle Obama to a Cinco de Mayo reception at the White House was $1600 but is now $535!

We also found a pair of floral Louboutins for $300 from $900. A blue and red bondage Alexander McQueen dress is $600 from $1790. A Jean Paul Gautrier graphic top is $200 from almost $600.

This Last Call sale runs through Tuesday. We suggest browsing online but really putting in some face time at your local Neiman Marcus or Bergdorf Goodman. The discounts are usually steeper and the selection broader.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Alexis Bittar Sale

Alexis Bittar is hosting a huge sale in stores and online. Prior season bracelets, earrings, necklaces and baubles are all 50% off.

Check out these gold abalone earrings for $128 from $255, or these art nouveau Lucite hinge bracelets are $262 from $525 and this four strand chysoprase necklace $262 from $525.

They are all perfect for spicing up your August wardrobe and a lot less expensive than buying bigger diamonds. Right?

Alexis Bittar
1100 Madison (btw 82nd and 83rd)
212- 249-3581

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Project No.8 Sale

We aren't even going to pretend like we are cool enough for Project No. 8 but imagine that many of our readers are. The Lower East Side boutique, carries brands like Boudicca, Siki Im and Margiela and is discounting the summer collection up to 50% off.

Those of you who are permanently planted on the Upper East Side or beach side can browse through the store's online boutique. For the fresh from the cobbler's feel, go for Maison Martin Margiela's ankle boot, which are marked with the size and punched with holes to add to the authenticity ($497 from $756). Christian Wijnats dotted silk top is $238 from $475, a Bless butterfly dress is $305 from $610 and a Siki Im men's blazer is $925 from $1850.

Don't you feel cooler from just browsing their online store? For now, we're going to go back to sticking our head in the sand.

Project No. 8
138 Division Street

Monday, July 19, 2010

Chanel Price Hike

We have some good Chanel news and some bad Chanel news. First the good news: Most department stores and Chanel boutiques are well stocked with classic style bags. Now, the bad news: Prices are rumored to skyrocket starting August 1st.

European Chanel experts tell us that prices of Classic style bags, which includes the Reissue, just went up 20% and now similar price hikes are anticipated state-wide. One sales associate theorized that rising demand and manufacturing difficulties are the cause for the rapid price increase.

"We don't want Chanel to become like Louis Vuitton. They are taking more of an Hermes approach where it can take three years to get the bag you like," she said. "We want Chanel to stay a lux item and not be Main Street."

Consider this: In 2008, a 227 Reissue was $2850. Today the same bag costs $3600 and could jump to $4100 if current indications are correct. That's an approximate 40% increase in just two years. There's nothing Main Street about that type of price shift. As a matter of fact it's not even Wall Street reality.

Remember, price hikes are always rumored and your stockpile of Chanel bags will not sustain you during a nuclear explosion. In the meantime, we canvased our local Chanel contacts and tend to believe that prices will go up August 1st. How much? Just enough to out-price Vuitton.

N15 @ 57th St. Chanel
Jane 212-355-5050
Price: Nothing is concrete but there have been a lot of rumors. We usually hear a week or two before and haven't been given any information yet.
Stock: We have very few. There is a black Maxi with silver hardware. We should be getting a lot of Jumbos in the next few weeks: red, brown, black and patent leather.

Saks Fifth Avenue
Mike 212-940-4347
Price: "Nothing is definite. I really haven't heard anything."
Stock: We have everything: Classics, 2.55s, black, navy, red, patent...

Bergdorf Goodman
Nicole 212- 872-2858
Price: Yes. Prices are going up at the end of the month. They were already adjusted in Europe and will be modified to stay equivalent.
Stock: Full inventory

Suzanne 212-705-2856
Price: We have heard a price increase is coming but don't know when or how much. Could be in a week or in ten months. I will be thoroughly shocked if the price increase is huge. That's just not going to happen.
Stock: Black Jumbos, Maxis and Minis.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Halston Sample Sale

Halston is hosting a two-day sample sale starting Tuesday, July 20th. Prices are said to be up to 75% off. Both Halston and Halston Heritage will be included in the sale.

In classic Madison Avenue Spy style we already have photos AND the price list. Click here to see images and prices are below.

Halston Collection
Dresses $300 – $400
Sweaters $200
Bags $200- $300
Shoes $100- $150

Halston Heritage
Dresses $60 – $90
Tops $45
Pants $35
Shoes, bags, belts $40

Plan accordingly, this appears to be shaping up as a great sale. We are still, however, partial to Randolph Duke's Halston collections. What do you think?

Halston & Halston Heritage
Tuesday, July 20 to Wednesday, July 21
9am to 8pm
96 Spring Street, 2nd Floor

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Retail Therapy: Danielle & Jodie Snyde

Sure we browse Vogue, watch Beyonce and listen to our best friend's style advice but few things are better than making your own fashion discovery. This was exactly the case with Dannijo jewelry, which became an instant addition at first sight.

Dannijo uniquely emits a polished uptown feel with a raw downtown flair. We especially love the edgy rock star designs and diverse textures, including exotic skins and twisted metal. Dannijo's designing sister team, Danielle and Jodie Snyde, have a style almost as eclectic as their designs. Today, they share shopping secrets and dish on where they find inspiration. What do you think?

What's your most prized deal?
Jodie: A vintage purse that I bought 6 months ago and never want to take off. 

Danielle: My old-school vintage mens leather watch

Biggest regret that you didn't purchase?
Jodie: I have no regrets. I always buy what I like. Sometimes I regret buying it.

Danielle: Let me think about that...

This season you are looking for...
Jodie: A new pair of jeans. I can't find any I love 

Danielle: Cinch vintage belts, lacey lingerie, and more sundresses in this heat

What's your number one shopping tip?
Jodie: Don't get sucked into sales and buy things just because they're on sale. You'll probably hate it when you get home and try to wear it out. Focus on key pieces that will take you from season to season.

Danielle: Buy it only if YOU love it--not because the people around you say it looks great on you (they won't be there when you get dressed) 

What's your biggest weakness?
Danielle: Sweets--birthday cake, pinkberry...
Jodie: Ditto. and shoes

Is there an item for which a shopper should never mind paying full price?
Jodie: Jewelry because it always completes your look and it gets passed down from generation to generation

Danielle: Yeah, if it's an item they can't live without. I wear jeans more than anything so I don't have a problem splurging on them (and when I'm sick of them, I make them cut-offs for summer)

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Second Chance at Cartier Love

We just found out that Divorce Your Jewels received another Cartier Love bracelet and we couldn’t wait to be the first to offer it to our readers. This iconic 18-karat gold bracelet retails for $3950 but can be yours for just $2100.

Only Cartier employees get a discount of half off. So we suggest you jump on this offer unless you have a good friend working for the company. Last time we posted about an available Love bracelet it sold within hours and they don’t come around often.

You can always buy with confidence because
Divorce Your Jewels only sells authentic high quality pre-owned jewelry. Check out other Divorce Your Jewels deals here or you can contact Missy to turn your unwanted jewels into dreams fulfilled-- or a trip to San Tropez!
Missy Schorr

Sponsored Post

Matthew Williamson 60% Off

Almost everything from the spring/summer collection at Matthew Williamson is now 60% off.

The limited edition Belvedere collection didn't make it to the markdown but there is still a great variety of colorful dresses and kaftans from which to choose. A mirrored shift dress is $588 from $1395, a long purple gown is $918 from $2295 and a chiffon camisole is $317 from $795.

We are still hoping that prices go to 80% off like last summer but it doesn't seem very likely.

Charice 212-255-9881

Monday, July 12, 2010

John Varvatos Friends and Family

In the case of the John Varvatos friends and family sale you get the equivalent of a back stage pass. From Tuesday, July 13 to Thursday July, 15 shoppers can save 70% off the spring/summer collection.

Online shoppers can use the code SP10FF to access the same discount. We are especially digging this racing jacket, which is $420 from $1395.

Just take notice, all sales are final-- just like an unforgettable night at CBGBs.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Summer Manolo Sale

The semi-annual Manolo Blahnik has begun. Spring and summer styles are now 60% off and there's a great selection, according to our spies.

The initial rush caused lines down the block on Friday, but the fury has slowed over the weekend. In 2009, the big summer markdown was just 50% off and it occurred to weeks later.

Generally speaking, the last markdown during the winter sale is better because shoes are usually marked down 70% and the boutique also pulls out the exotic skin classic-style pumps. If you're looking for sandals, however, this is the time to go.

Contact: Abby 212-582-3007

Friday, July 9, 2010

Barneys Didn't Cut Prices

Barneys announced their final markdown today but their prices are the same as they were two weeks ago.

On June 27, we posted about Barneys second markdown, which amounted to savings up to 60% off. Prada Plex sandals are still $299 from $750. The $240 Louboutins we quoted are sold out but the seven pair left online are still just 60% off. That Vena Cava dress that was $159 is still, yup, $159.

Last season, prices were slashed up to 75% off. So we question the validity of this being the final markdown. Maybe we just need to wait until the final final markdown.

Stella McCartney 60% Off

The Stella McCartney has reduced spring and summer merchandise to 60% off in stores and online. We are told that there is still a nice range of merchandise from which to choose.

A Zebra print dress is $99 from $235, a military jacket is $559 from $1395 and a chiffon blouse is $697 from $1675.

If you're looking to grab some of these McCartney discounts you might want to go soon. The spring and summer collection is only going to be around for another week.

Amy: 212-255-1556

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

ABC Carpet & Home Summer Sale

The ABC Carpet & Home Summer Sale -- up to 75% off furniture, lighting, tabletop and decorative accessories in all of their stores and online.

Hot nights call for a cool bed!

Yes, we love shopping for shoes, bags and clothing, but at some point we run out of closet space. When we find ourselves debating between removing Tom Ford YSL for a new Lanvin we know it’s time to focus our shopping elsewhere. Perfect solution- the bedroom! We spend so much time shopping for threads that we wear, but what about the threads that we sleep on?

It’s time to redecorate, starting with the bed!

No need to wait for a big sale. From now until July 18th you can save on organic mattresses, bed linens, pillows, quilts, comforters, robes, sleepwear, decorative textiles, curtain panels, bath towels and accessories! Select bedding from Frette, Society, Pratesi, Yves Delorme, Abyss Habidecor, John Robshaw, Coyuchi, Sferra, Matteo, Labrazel, Downtown, Celso de Lemos, Coco-mat, Org, Umrao, Signoria, Fino Lino and Kevin Obrien are now handsomely discounted.

So we may not have new homes to live in but we will have something new to sleep on. Plus we will not have to sacrifice anything from the closet.

ABC Carpet & Home Summer Sale
Now to Sunday, July 18
Mon, Tues, Weds, Fri 10-7, Thur 10-8, Sat 11-7, Sun 12-6:00
888 Broadway @ 19th Street (
Click here to see more locations)

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Retail Therapy: Hunter Bell & Jennifer Dixon

Many fashion brands fail to succeed because a designer has poor business savvy or an entrepreneurial spirit lacks creativity. In the case of Hunter Bell and Jennifer Dixon these pitfalls were circumvented by bringing the two disciplines into one studio. Hunter took charge of designing her dream collection while Jennifer followed her financial passion.

Their individual efforts paid off with the formation of Hunter Dixon. The brand, which was officially launched in 2009, is filled with bold colors, unique detailing and abstract prints. Consisting of sleek pants, structured dresses, tailored jackets and classic blouses, Hunter Dixon is a brand where sensible simplicity meets metropolitan style.

You know we couldn't resist inching our way into the shopping psyche of this yin-yang duo. What do you think?

What's your most prized deal?
Jennifer: A few seasons ago, Jimmy Choo knee-high, three-inch, black, suede boots, on sale at Kirna Zabete for $399!

Hunter: A pair of Prada shoes that were under $200 last year that I wear almost everyday and still look brand new!

Biggest regret that you didn't purchase?
Jennifer: Is it a bad sign of my shopping habits that I don't have one?!

Hunter: A great looking pair of vintage heels from a high end vintage store in NYC…I left the store still thinking about the shoes and when I went back the next day to purchase, they were gone.

This season you are looking for...
Jennifer: "Jeggings" that aren't TOO snug and more boyfriend blazers.

Hunter: Cool pants! I have a closet full of great looking tops and have been wearing jeans for so long that I'm missing good looking pants that are draped and edgy.

What's your number one shopping tip?
Jennifer: Don't let anyone talk you into something you don't love (be it a salesgirl or a magazine). If you don't like it on yourself, or feel sexy when you try it on; you won't when you get home and you won't wear it.

Hunter: when you are too busy with work and don't have time to run into a local boutique or dept store to find really cool pieces for your wardrobe, visit Shopbop online.

What's your biggest weakness?
Jennifer: Prada Shoes and Ernest Sewn jeans.

Hunter: Shoes and Handbags!!

Is there an item for which a shopper should never mind paying full price?
Jennifer: A well - made silk blouse that is a classic color and that has a timeless silhouette will be in your closet for several years. A silk blouse can be worn year round these days and can transition well day to night and is an essential piece of the wardrobe.

Hunter: I never think twice about paying full price for a quality classic item I know i would wear year round and have in my closet for years to come!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

La Perla 40% Off

La Perla has started their summer sale and lingerie, sleepwear and swimwear are all about 40% off.

The very lacy Lady Like demi bra is $144 from $240. You can complete your Lady Like set with a boy short, which is $118 from $198. A pretty lavender bikini top is $255 from $425. (The bottom is sold separately.) A long silk slip is $229 from $383.

Did we fail to mention that there is a selection of men's merchandise included in the sale? A striped cotton hooded bathrobe is $127 from $212, drawstring lounge plants are $73 from $122 and boxers are $35 from $69.

La Perla's markdown usually goes to 60% off by August and you know we just wrote about men's merchandise so we could post Hot Guy's picture.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Bargains at Tiffany

Tiffany has made so many changes in the past decade. The company stopped distributing products outside their own boutiques, expanded their affordable gift collection, over saturated their affordable gift collection and, most recently, refocused on fine jewelry.

As cheesy as Tiffany can seem at times, it's always a nice gift. As gold soars towards $1300 an ounce, we thought it would be fun to crack open few vintage Tiffany catalogues and compare prices. In 2000, gold averaged $279 an ounce. So you would imagine that prices could have easily quadrupled in the past decade. Think again.

Jean Schlumberger's "Sixteen Stone" ring in 18k gold with diamonds was $5,600 in 2000 and presently costs $6950. In 2000 the price of an 18k gold "Return to Tiffany" heart tag bracelet was $995. Today the same bracelet is $2150.The Etoile band ring with diamonds is currently $1800 but was $1000 in 2000.

Even several gift items have stayed at a relatively steady price. A hand painted "Bunny" bank was $65 in 2000 and the redesigned version is now just $95. A "Rock Cut" dessert plate was $16 in 1997 and is now $35. The 9" Hampton candlesticks were $40 each in 1997, $50 each in 2000 and are now just $70 each.

Careful, not all prices have held steady. The "Man on the Moon" stirling silver rattle was $90 in 1997, $100 in 2000 but the current lighter weight re-deisgn is a wapping $260.

As always, shoppers should be careful with what they buy but one has to wonder where shareholders stand with these shrinking profit margins.