Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Luxury for Just Pennies

Long weekends are one of the highlights of the holiday season. What could be better than a weekend away from the normal grind? Perhaps, a more stylish way to travel. This week, ScoreLuxe.com is auctioning off --the very hard to get—Louis Vuitton Monogram Keepall 60.

This versatile duffle bag, which has a current bid of just 5-cents, will make the perfect gift for anyone who likes to go-go-go. Actually, we can’t imagine anyone giving it away. It will make the perfect gift for, aham, yourself!

We know what you’re thinking. How can a $1200 bag sell for just pennies? Well,
ScoreLuxe.com is an innovative auction site, which allows shoppers to purchase bids and score their dream splurge for fractions of their retail price. Just last week an $1850 Gucci bag sold for 56-cents, a $500 Bloomingdales gift card sold for $6.64 and a $500 Tiffany gift card sold for 74-cents.

What’s even better is that all the items on
ScoreLuxe.com are purchased directly from the retailer and are guaranteed authentic and brand new. So you never have to worry about your mother-in-law complaining that you stuck her with a bootleg Vuitton.

Bids are just 99-cents each and think about how much fun you will have bragging to your friends about the amazing find you snagged for more than 99% off. Be sure to check out
ScoreLuxe.com for other upcoming auctions like gift cards from Neiman Marcus, Burberry and Saks.

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McQueen's Last Collection 40% Off

The fall and winter collections are officially on sale at Alexander McQueen. The discount is 40% off most clothing, shoes and accessories.

This collection is the last designs that we overseen by the late McQueen. We are sure that key pieces will go quickly. The discount is also available online but only for shoes. We suggest browsing the website and calling your closest McQueen boutique to facilitate your purchase.

If you are looking to choose truly iconic pieces, go with the print marino wool dresses or a double breasted jacket. It just doesn't get more McQueen than that. If you're willing to wait it out, the discount should go to 60% off.

Mosell 212-645-1797

Lanvin Presale Begins

If you are like most fashion loving consumers, you browsed the Lanvin for H&M online lookbooks and watched the fashion show video. But standing at the entrance of a local H&M at the crack of down was just too much for many fashion obsessed customers. Don't be ashamed, we happen to agree.

When our spy appeared at the 86th Street H&M location mid-morning, she asked a shopper about her Lanvin purchases and the shopper quickly responded, "Are you nuts! Lanvin is 10 blocks away, you think I'm going to wait in line." Amen!

Fast forward two weeks and our Lanvin salesman (from Madison Avenue not 86th Street) advises us that presale has started and the discount is 30% off clothing, shoes, handbags, jewelry and accessories. Okay, we admit, 30% off a $2000 purchase isn't close to a $200 dress but we are always suckers for the real thing.

How insane is that asymmetrical wool crepe dress? Items like this cannot be found in H&M. We are going to keep our fingers crossed for a second markdown!

Christopher 646-439-0381

Monday, November 29, 2010

Christian Louboutin, Jimmy Choo, Reed Krakoff

Christian Louboutin
So you didn't have the patience for the Christian Louboutin sample sale? Don't feel bad, we didn't either. Not to fret, we have received word that the boutique's private sale will take place on December 3. The discount is usually 40% and only includes seasonal styles. We know money could be saved by waiting on a sample sale line for hours but we rather save our sanity.
Erich 212-396-1884

Jimmy Choo
The Madison Avenue boutique has started presale on their fall and winter collection. The markdown is 30% off and the sale officially starts December 1. If you can, hold off for the second markdown, which is usually 50%.
Faisa: 212-759-7078

Reed Krakoff
Madison Avenue newcomer, Reed Krakoff has started their very first presale. We are pleased with the precedent they are marking by starting with a 40% discount on select handbags, ready-to-wear, footwear, small leather goods and accessories. Although the brand's first shoe collection was great, we found it to be a bit expensive. We say buy-pass the overpriced Coach handbags and shoes and take time examining the very well finished and stylish ready-to-wear. The collection was both chic and well priced.
Manny: 212-988-0560

Net-A-Porter Sale 50% Off

I think we jumped the gun when writing off Cyber Monday. We just did a morning check and were surprised to wake up and find that markdown fairy has waved her discount wand over Net-a-Porter.

The end-of-season sale includes a great selection of clothing, shoes and handbags marked up to 50% off. Lanvin ankle boots are $680 from $1350 and Louboutin Rinanas are $437 from $875. The popular Stella McCartney chain trimmed bag, in purple, is $657 from $1,095 and you can snag a Herve Leger tank bondage dress for $365 from $730.

The sale is quite good. There are lots of beautiful things from which to choose. Just don't take too long browsing because sizes tend to run out quickly during these markdown sales.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Neiman Marcus & Barney's Markdown

We were all ready to post a long story about the great deals you can find online for Cyber-Monday ...but we really couldn't find anything worth mentioning. There's no interesting markdown for luxury brands online at Barney's, Net-a-Porter or BlueFly.

So, if you're feeling too busy to get out of your, chair you're going to have to hit the phones. Starting Monday, the Neiman Marcus, in Paramus, will start their designer presale where cloths will be 40% off and shoes and bags will be 33% off. We hear that there will even be a small assortment of reduced Chanel bags. Before you get too excited think less Reissues and more Camara Bags and 2009 styles. The sale officially starts Wednesday, December 1.

Barney's will also start presale on designer clothing, bags and shoes. The discount is 40%. The markdown is not reflected online but we hear-- in stores-- you will find a hefty sale selection of Lanvin and Miu Miu shoes. There are also scattering of Louboutins included in the sale like, ChiChis and Delics.

Following the Markdowns: Alexander Wang

At the start of the season, we asked for your most wanted 2010 desires and pledged to help you find the best deals. It took a while but sale season is heating up and some of your favorite items are beginning to get marked down.

Although the very popular Darcy bag has not been reduced, we did realize that OakNYC.com sells the same bag for over $60 less. Then over on the Alexander Wang website, our lusty tall zip boots are now 40% off. The boots started at $895 and are now reduced to $537. There are only a few sizes left but you can still snag the $1400 pony hair version for $837.

Obviously, the leather style is a better deal. We have a feeling that if you look through Alexander Wang's store locator, you can find a store to price-match the website's sale.

In the meantime. we will continue to keep our eye out for that Darcy!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Upping Your Fashion Net Worth

The biggest shopping season of the year is moments away and we know everyone is hyper-sensitive about the best way to spend their hard earned money. We have grown so tired of hearing fashion editors, stylists and retail sales associates go on about "investment" pieces that we thought it would be a good time to actually research the topic.

It's hard to believe that a great pair of skinny jeans or a fitted jacket is a good investment, no matter how good they look. A true investment turns a hard cash profit. Truthfully, fashion is like a great car that depreciates the moment you drive it off the lot. There's not a lot of items that will hold much value once you walk a mile or even cut the tags. There are some items, however, that do tend to hold their value better than others.

Basically, items that are limited in quantity or produced from iconic fashion houses tend to hold the best value, according to Corri McFadden, who owns Chicago-based eDrop-Off, the second largest seller of luxury goods on eBay. eDrop-Off sells about 1000 items per week on eBay but the items that hold their value best are Chanel, Hermes and Louis Vuitton.

Corri laughs that some of her clients' closets are worth more than their husband's stock portfolios. "A mother of five children might love Hermes, but how practical is it for her to own five Birkin bags?" she says. "I might suggest that she sell three and spend the money on items that are more useful to her daily life."

In addition to the bold name French fashion houses, some fast fashion collaborations have held their value. "Jimmy Choo for H&M still sells for above retail," Corri says. "Lanvin for H&M is going to be a good one and even some of the Target lines have shown great resale values."

Tammy Fluhr-Gates, a third-generation family member of the famous Madison Avenue consignment store Michael's, agrees with Corri, "Chanel, Hermes and Pucci are always popular brands." It's the classic and distinct style that has kept Pucci relevant through all this time. "When you want Pucci there's only Pucci."

"Some very well known designers who have fallen off in the secondary market are Armani and maybe Valentino and Versace," Tammy says. The reason why these icons have decreased in value is unknown, but it's clear that they aren't as desirable as they were in decades past. The great thing about fashion is that they can always come back.

When it comes to jewelry, Divorce Your Jewels' Missy Schorr has helped clients unload everything from a 12-carat flawless diamond to scrap gold. Her advice is to stick with full cut diamonds and colored stones. Jewelry with semi-precious stones and pave diamond settings are very hard to sell. You want to buy 18-karat gold jewelry and find stones that come certified with GIA papers, Missy advises. Brands like Cartier, Harry Winston and Van Cleef tend to maintain the best value of the high-end jewelry houses.

When it comes to watches, even the ladies should go for the men's styles. Men's watches hold their value better than women's, Missy advises. The Rolex Daytona, Patek Philippe and Audemars Piguet tend to hold their value best.

Like all designer items--from bags to watches-- Missy suggests, holding on to boxes and paperwork. "The more information you have, the better off you are." We would say those wise words hold true with all investments.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Madison Avenue Round-up Part 1

For the past few weeks we have been uncovering the best discounts along Madison Avenue. As Thanksgiving approaches, the discounts are about to get more attractive. Below is a list of current and upcoming promotions that haven't been mentioned. Click here to see a list of all of our Madison Avenue stories, which include Gucci, Valentino, Dior, Missoni, Prada and Sigerson Morrison.

The sale doesn't officially start until Friday but you can preshop the discounts now. Shoes, clothing and a limited variety of bags will all be discounted 40% off.
Gisella 212-717-8220

Lisa Perry:
For Black Friday all black dresses will be discounted 30% off. We don't know if that means solid dresses--does the store even sell solid dresses--or if any dress with black detailing is included in the markdown. If you find yourself in a color dilemma, wait until December 1 and receive 20% off as part of a Shopafrolic event with Liz Lange and Jane Wagman. We can't get enough of the little girl dresses or the hoop bags.
212-334-1956 or esty@lisaperrystyle.com

Michael Kors:
The prefall collection is already reduced 50% and winter merchandise will be marked down the same amount following Thanksgiving.
Tony 212-452-4685

Presale has not yet started but we hear that the markdown is coming soon. The first discount should be 30% but a 50% price reduction usually comes shortly later.
Dana 212-257-6907

Norma Kamali:
The Norma Kamali Black Friday sale will begin Wednesday. We hear that there will be seriously good deals. Select merchandise will all be priced $200 and under-- with most in the under $100 range. Sleeping bag coats in pink, cinder and cloud will be $125 to $175 from $650. (Perfect for keeping warm during the parade.) Silk satin gowns that were originally $2700, will be marked down to $200. The promotion takes a break for turkey day but will resume Friday.

Presales will begin next week and the discount should be 30% to 40% off, depending on the item. The 57th Street location is plush with merchandise. We also hear that other locations will be transferring their merchandise to NYC too. We have a feeling there will be super discounts come January/Feb.
Everest 212-980-2970

Saks Presale Begins

For the first time in many seasons, consumer confidence is returning to the department store. Investors and analysts unanimously agree that Christmas 2010 will be the end of declining luxury sales. Unfortunately, consumer optimism translates into a more cautious discount season.

Saks Fifth Avenue still seems to be settling their Black Friday shopping incentives. For now, you can shop the eighth floor, designer shoe presale, where the markdown will officially be 30% Friday morning. In the contemporary department, fourth floor, items that are already discounted 40%, will be an additional 50% off until noon Friday. (There's really not a big selection but the markdown is substantial.)

Third floor, designer clothing is still a mystery. We imagine that there will be 30% markdowns on some designers, like Oscar and St. John and maybe Dolce. We hear that many more collections will be added to the discount list starting December 7.

So the plan is to be patient and wait. Good deals exist even in the best of times. Everyone would agree Winter 2010 might be an improvement but it's still not 1997.

Contact: Fifth Avenue Club (Eric) 212-753-4000

December Opening of Dior 57th Street

We have received conformation that the remodeled Dior boutique will be opening on 57th Street on December 9. At that time, the Madison Avenue store will close.

In light of the big move, Dior sales associates are unsure of this season's sale schedule. We are told, all the merchandise from Madison Avenue will move to 57th street but can't imagine the boutique moving an old collection. Some sales people say the markdown period will be truncated and start on December 1. Other Dior employees speculate, there will be no boutque sale and the winter merchandise will be swiftly shipped to outlets.

Needless to say, we will be following the fate of Dior's winter 2010 merchandise and the new boutique opening. I think it's fair to say that we will all miss the Lady Dior scaffolding... and the Madison Avenue boutique.

Contact: Jenny 212-249-5822

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Gucci Sale @DSW Union Sq

Last week we uncovered a fabulous $99 Gucci sale on DSW.com. This weekend, we sent spies to Union Square to survey the physical merchandise.

Our spies report that the store is packed with designer shoes and replenishments are occurring frequently. "It's amazing! People are buying tons of this Gucci stuff and they keep coming out with more," observed our Gucci obsessed shopper.

We are told that the sale will continue until the merchandise runs out. We suggest you don't wait too long. The steady supply of Gucci can't last forever.

DSW Union Square
40 East 14th Street
Holiday Hours 11/21 thru 11/27:
Sun. 10am-8pm, Mon.-Wed. 10am-9:30pm,
Closed Thanksgiving, Fri 8am-9:30pm, Sat 10am-9:30pm

Sigerson Morrison Pre-Thanksgiving Sale

Sigerson Morrison Lab/Boutique is hosting a pre-Thanksgiving sale. Select merchandise has been reduced to 40% off. Red suede booties are $297 from $495 and polka dot flats are $270 from $450.

The sale list is expected to expand as the holidays approach and styles are deemed discontinued. Check back often, in the case that there's an item that has your heart.

Sigerson Morrison Lab/Boutique
19 East 71st Street

Montblanc Friends & Family Sale

Montblanc's "private" friends and family sale is always a great place to pick up stately gifts without spending a mint. This sale is usually a reader favorite. You can always count on legitimately good deals, like $600 fountain pens selling for $150 or $1,000 leather bags marked down to $250.

The sale is only two days and starts Monday. There aren't usually any lines, the sale is well organized and the staff is helpful. See, that's a sale we can dig.

Montblanc Friends & Family
Mon., Nov 22 and Tues., Nov23
Monday 8:30 am to 5:30pm, Tuesday 8:30 to 4:30pm
Roosevelt Hotel
45 East 45th Street (45th and Madison) @ Vanderbilt Suite

Friday, November 19, 2010

Gucci Presale

The Gucci presale is scheduled to begin Friday, November 19. We hear that most bag styles will be discounted by 30%. Shoes and ready-to-wear will be 40% off.

We will post the online private sale link as soon as it's received. Items ordered during the presale will ship when the sale officially begins, on November 30th. Last year, a second markdown occurred just two weeks later and the discount went to 50% to 60% off shoes and clothing.\

Update: Here is the Gucci.com presale link.

Contact: Nora 212-717-2619

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Gucci Shoes $99 on DSW.com

Don't you love finding a now hassle great deal? Well, we've got a great one for you! DSW.com is having a sale on Gucci shoes that could turn Terry Gross into a fan waving fashionista.

The site has discounted most of their Gucci footwear inventory, including men's loafers to just $99.95. Nude round-toe pumps were $475, a classic men's moccasin was $595 and a low heel woman's slide was $395. All the above are now under $100. We aren't sure how appealing those Gucci logo hobos are but they are also priced very attarctivly at $199.

While you're on the site, take a look at the Sergio Rossi selection. They may not have the Gucci logo but we think they are even more stylish.

There also seem to be several online coupons available. A bit of online searching might be able to turn up an additional 30% off. Just be forewarned: The site keeps crashing. Use the link posted above for the best search results.

Thakoon Sample Sale

Today we received late word about a Thakoon sample sale, which has been going on for the past few days. Friday is the last day of the sale and attendendies' reviews are mixed.

Mizhattan writes that boots were $290 and sandals were $190 but sizes were limited to 39s and 40s. Most of the clothing selection is summer inventory and prices but there seems to be a good selection of coats too. Prices range from a $75 summer dress to a $525 mirrored coat.

We always find Thakoon to be inspiring, even when we don't find the perfect piece. Don't be surprised if prices to dip even lower as the final hours of the sale tick away. Few things are better than an 11th hours sale.

Thakoon Sample Sale
Friday, November 19th
8:30am to 6:30pm
270 Lafayette, suite 1005
Cash and Checks Only

Neiman Marcus Last Call Studio

Neiman Marcus is best known for exclusive brands and lofty price tags. Today, the tony retailer opened a new concept of off-price stores in called Last Call Studio, which is located in Paramus, NJ.

Unlike Neiman Marcus clearance centers, the Studio sells clothes, shoes and accessories that have never passed through a Neiman Marcus or Bergdorf Goodman, for that matter. All of the the Studio's inventory is purchased specifically for this off-price boutique. Many of the brands are mid-priced and appeal to a wide range of suburbanites.

Last Call Studio closely resembles a Nordstrom Rack or a Saks Off Fifth. Brands include, Joie, Lafayette 148 and 7 For All Mankind. On a preview of the store, we found DVF wrap dresses for $179, which is very good considering that wrap dresses are $250 at the DVF sample sale. There was also a great selection of jeans, including Joe's which were $99 from $158. There was also a big selection of James Perse. Tees were $59 from $95.

In addition to women's clothing there is a nice assortment for men and children. The biggest draw, however, will be the shoes and bags. Handbag brands include, Michael Kors and Marc by Marc Jacob. Shoes brands ranged from Cole Hann to Charles Jordan, which are now produced in China! (That was a surprise.)

Overall, we know the concept will be a popular destination for great value basics but we did miss the excitement of the brands that have made Neiman Marcus famous.

Neiman Marcus Studio
Monday through Saturday from 10:00 am to 9:30 pm. Closed Sunday.
Bergen Town Center
500 Bergen Town Center Paramus, New Jersey

Madison Avenue Spy Tip: You can do triple duty while visiting Last Call Sudio, there is also a Century 21, Whole Foods and Target in the same shopping center.

Louboutin Sale: Final Notes

We received the below email today. We promise that this will be our last post about the Christian Louboutin sample sale. Well, at least for the next six months!

I just wanted to report that I just got back from the Loubie sale and it wasn't as bad as people were saying. I got there at 7:30am, and was let in by 9:45am. The check-in ladies were very nice and turned away crashers politely. Upstairs the staff was very helpful with locating shoes, guarding your pile, and anything else you need.

My pics from the lines inside/outside and a few of the pairs I got are attached. I'm a size 38.5/39.5, and the blogs are correct that it's mostly bright colors and wacky patterns left. But please caution your readers to explore the other sizes. Some of the boxes are mislabeled/categorized incorrectly, so a few of the pairs I got were actually in the 38 and 37 piles.

Your readers can follow me on Twitter @ACrinerSaga

Maybe it is worth a shot...

Louboutin Sample Sale
Friday, November 19 9am to 3pm
306 West 38th Street, 3rd Floor

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Elin Divorces Her Betrayal Jewels

Tiger Woods romantically proposed to the beautiful Elin Woods while on Safari in Africa. The 6-carat brilliant cut engagement ring was a symbol of their love and commitment.

Only a few years later, that ring and all the other jewels given to Elin during her short marriage have become a symbol of dishonesty. Now Sotheby’s is being trusted in liquidating Elin’s approximately $2.5 million worth of betrayal jewels.

When the relationship tarnishes, so do the jewels. Better to move on than to languish with the dreadful memories of dreams not realized. DivoriceYourJewels.com knows this situation all to well. The company has assisted 1000s of customers move on without dealing with the questionable ethics of 47th Street or the huge fees of auction houses.

DivorceYourJewels.com is a full service company with a personal touch. Missy, the company’s founder, meets with every client personally –even at your home-- to review their needs and furnish them with gemological certification, if necessary.
Missy has helped customers unload everything including, a virtually brand new Rolls Royce, huge diamonds, designer jewelry and scrap gold.

If you’re not in the market to sell, you can check out the DivorceYourJewels.com online store to get great deals on designer jewelry and watches, like Rolexes, a diamond encrusted Chanel J12, a Chopard Love ring and many other irresistible pieces.

Missy Schorr

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No Presale at Prada!!!

We have received news of the most shocking sort: Prada will no longer allow presales! Yes, you read correctly. Several sales people have confirmed that the company's Italian headquarters had decided to do away with the long standing tradition. In fact, employees have been warned that if they do take presale orders their employment will be terminated immediately.

Crazy, huh? Did Prada ever strike you as a democratic shopping emporium? Maybe it's Miuccia's old communist ways coming back.

Employees are not happy with the policy change... and neither are customers. In place of presale, sales associates are working with client's one-on-one and making "wish lists." A sales person told us that she would try prioritize our order, if we left an card imprint and a signature on file. Seems pretty similar to presale to us.

The sale officially starts December 1. Good luck to all those competitive shoppers.

Contact: Betty 212-327-4200

Missoni On Sale

Missoni has started their first markdown, which is 50% off fall merchandise and 40% off the winter collection. Winter accessories like scarves are not included in the markdown. (We suggest Century 21 for those types of items anyway,)

It's hard to tell which items are from fall and which are from winter but most sales people will be glad to point out the better deals if you express that you're shopping on a budget. You can also get a feeling for both collections by browsing through the Missoni look book online before you head out to the store.

Contact: Connie 212-517-9339

Louboutin Disappointment

The Christian Louboutin sale hasn't even officially started and customers are already sending word of disappointment. One reader who attended the sale today writes:

I just went to the sample sale, but, not huge selection for size 7.5/8. If you have petit foot as 35, it might be worth it to go ...

We are starting to feel like this entire sale is a bit out of control. Another reader says:
You have to be on the list, they are very strict. I went today and no you can't get in with a friend who has an invite if your names not on the list. Plenty of big sizes, 40, 40.5 and 41. Loads of 35s.

Click here to see sale details and invite. If you brave the sale, we would love to hear your experiences. Again, Madison Avenue Spy does not control the invite list or take RSVPs.

Monday, November 15, 2010

The Row Sample Sale

Mary-Kate And Ashley Olsen's fashion line, The Row will be hosting a sample sale on Thursday. Earlier this month, the brand held a sample sale in LA where prices were quite discounted.

A spokesperson for the company, says that the discount for the New York sale will be the same as LA. According to Racked LA's coverage of the West Coast sale, you can expect to find:

Basic white tees and tanks for $30
Button up white blouses $30
Black and navy pencil skirts for $40
Long black (velour, modal, silk) dresses $50-$80
Women's white blazers $80
Men's clothing available, included coats, blazers, sweaters, leather jackets

Normally, a classic white tee is $250, button up blouses $590, skirts $600, dresses about $1,000 and blazers can range from $1,000 to $3,000. Needless to day, these prices alone make this a worthy sample sale!

THE ROW sample sale
Thursday, November 18th
4pm to 7pm
72 Gansevoort Street, New York NY

Did the Louboutin Sample Sale Begin?

The official invite for the Christian Louboutin sample sales states that the sale doesn't begin until Wednesday (for press.) Our spies, however, that say that the Louboutin sample sale has already started.

Blake Lively was spotted trying on her discount shoes along with a host of other celebrities. It seems as if today and tomorrow are the true VIP days. (How is it that the more you have the more you get for free? It's one of those oxymorons of life.)

For the record, Madison Avenue Spy does not handle RSVPs for the Louboutin sample sale. As usual, we will keep you posted on this breaking news. See the official invite here.

Louboutin Sample Sale
(Press) Wednesday, November 17 8am to 6pm
Thursday, November 18 9am to 5pm
Friday, November 19 9am to 3pm
306 West 38th Street, 3rd Floor

Valentino Presale 40% Off

Here we go ladies: It's the first presale of the season. Valentino is unofficially discounting their fall and winter collection by 40% off. This includes bags, shoes and cloths. Purchases made during the presale period can either be picked up shipped on Black Friday.

From what we witnessed, merchandise is going fast. We are told that the boutiques were especially conservative with their inventory and there is only one item in each size. We saw lots of ready-to-wear still available. Shoes and bags are going quickly but there are still great pieces from which to choose.

If the Madison boutique doesn't have what you need, ask a sales associate to check another store. Just beware that moving merchandise between boutiques can be especially difficult. An item may show up in the computer system as available but it could already be committed from presale.

Contact: Wassa 212-772-6969

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Perricone and Phyto Friends & Family

This week is going to be a huge week for presales. We expect everyone from Missoni to Prada to offer their best clients fist crack at markdowns. In addition, we are awaiting word of YSL's private night, which is usually right before Thanksgiving. For this first round of markdowns, discounts up and down Madison should range from 30% to 40% off.

For now, it's a good time to stock up on some beauty items for yourself and various holiday friends. Phyto, the French brad that specializes in high quality hair products at very high prices, is offering friends and family 30% to 40% off from Monday, November 15 until Wednesday, November 17.

Phyto shampoos and conditioners usually cost between $25 to $35. In France, the same products retail for about 8 euro. We usually stock up while in St. Barths but this discount makes it inexpensive enough to make the purchase right now, in NYC.

A bit farther uptown, Perricone is offering their friends and customers 25% off. The sale runs through Friday, November 19 and online shoppers can use the code FF2010 when checking out. We would personally suggest the Cold Plasma cream, which is our last cry for help before Botox.

Sale online only

NV Perricone
791 Madison Avenue @ 67th Street

Thursday, November 11, 2010

In the Spotlight: Courtney Love

Courtney Love has been the celebrity of the week. The front page of Sunday Styles was dedicated to uncovering the topsy-turvy world of the sensational persona. Later in the week, we spotted an entire E! segment on Courtney's fashion metamorphosis. More recently. she won an auction for tea with Adrien Brody‎ for a mere $17,000.

Just last month, we had the chance to meet the actress/singer/comedian at an amfAR benefit, in LA. She was surprisingly gracious and sociable. (We think even Adrien Brody was taken with Courtney as they sat together at this event.) She almost seems like the crazy aunt you love to death but everyone else in the family rolls their eyes at her throughout the Thanksgiving meal.

We happened to shoot some video of her performance covering Lady Gaga's Bad Romance. At first we wanted to cover our ears and hide under the table but upon second glance we found her performance to be quite amusing. Our favorite part is when she goes to pull up her strapless dress and for a moment it seems as if it might come off altogether.

Let us know what you think. (Can you tell we just learned how to upload videos to YouTube?!)

Ralph Lauren's 4D Explosion

Wednesday night, Ralph Lauren fans were treated to a wonderful 4-D light show presentation in honor of the tenth anniversary of RalphLauren.com and the launch of the UK version. Using architectural video mapping technology, the façade of the new woman's store was illuminated with larger-than-life models, polo players four stories tall, and iconic accessories.

(The video kicks off at about 56 seconds)

Ralph Lauren has a long history of integrating technology into its brand. When Polo.com was launched, it uniquely included magazine-type editorial and pictures along with e-commerce. It was the architecture of the site and the multiple listing categories, like resort or purple label, that made the site truly groundbreaking in 2000. (These were the days of 56K modems, my dears.)

More recently, Ralph Lauren added touch-display technology to his store's windows. Customers who arrived at the boutique could literally window shop through an interactive display that lets passersby browse and order outfits by tapping on the storefront glass.

We don't know how this 4-D technology can be applied to future business applications but for now, we are simply happy being wowed!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Louboutin Sample Sale, NEXT WEEK

We have received official confirmation that the Christian Louboutin sample sale will be next week, Wednesday, November 17 to Friday, November 19. At this time, we are still unsure if our original dates were incorrect or if the sample sale organizers changed the date.

We are just happy that we will be able to concentrate our full energy on Manolo tomorrow. The Louboutin official sale details are below. As stated earlier, there is an RSVP line and the guest list will be very strict. Only invited guests will be admitted-- or so they say!

Louboutin Sample Sale
(Press) Wednesday, November 17 8am to 6pm
Thursday, November 18 9am to 5pm
Friday, November 19 9am to 3pm
306 West 38th Street, 3rd Floor

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

ABC Carpet & Home Bronx Warehouse Sale

Whether you’ve just moved into a new apartment, been in the same home for 15 years or recently caught the reorganization bug that’s been going around, you need to head to the ABC Carpet & Home Bronx Warehouse Sale- pronto!

Fashionable one-of-a-kind treasures from the iconic mecca of interior design are available at a steep discount from Thursday, November 11th until Sunday, November 14th. In addition to stocks of gorgeous rugs from around the world, you will find linens, antiques, children’s furniture and wonderful accessories to punctuate any décor.

What could be better? Think rich upholstery, luxurious bedding & bath products, cutting edge lighting and hundreds of rug and carpet varieties priced up to 75% off. Luxury bedding, which was originally $900 is just $70, 8” x 10” rugs that were $4499 are now $1499, chandeliers that were $1,195 are now $349 and uber chic sleeper beds from the new Crashpad Collection are as low as $995!

Come armed with a large car if you can, and don’t underestimate the power of a convertible- top down, rug in! Parking is free.

ABC Carpet & Home Bronx Warehouse Sale
Thursday, November 11 to Sunday, November 14
Sale Hours: Mon. to Fri: 10am-7pm, Sat: 9am-7pm, Sun: 10am -6pm
1055 Bronx River Avenue, Bronx, NY 10472
Click here for more information, including bus and subway transportation

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Bloomingdales Friends and Family

Another Bloomingdales friends and family will begin Wednesday, November 10. It feels like just yesterday we were announcing the same promotion. In fact, it was just six weeks ago. Maybe we should just start calling a sale, a sale.

Well, the discount is 20% off and you can use the codes THANKS, HOLIDAY, or FBOOK at checkout. In addition, if you spend over $500 you will get a $100 gift card to use towards purchases of $250 or more. Seems kind of convoluted to us.

The sale runs through Sunday, November 14 and, as usual, cosmetics, designer and leased departments are excluded. New Yorkers, this means just about the entire fourth floor. We would hold out for a better discount, unless you need a specific item immediately. Black Friday is a mere two weeks away and we suspect bigger and better discounts will strike at any moment.

These mini-sales are starting to remind us of color war false alarms. What do you think?

Monday, November 8, 2010

Petit Bateau Overstock Sale

It’s been a while since we have been able to report a great sample sale focused on children’s clothing. Magia, which distributed brands like Simonetta, Cavalli, Il Gufo closed last year. Then Groupe Zannier, which represents brands like Kenzo, Cantimini, Tartine et Chocolat and Floriane, moved their warehouses overseas.

We have missed our European clothing discounts so much. That is, until now. Petit Bateau is hosting a huge warehouse sale, which will include infant's, children’s and women’s clothing at 50% to 60% off retail.

We hear there will be a huge inventory, encompassing all seasons. That means there will be plenty of those adorable yellow rain jackets, pink and blue buntings, chic hats and gloves, adorable swimsuits and delicious sleep ware.

What’s even better? If you spend over $200, Petit Bateau will reimburse your cab far to their Tribeca warehouse. Now that’s discount shopping in style. Just don’t forget to keep your cab receipt!

Petit Bateau Overstock Sale
Wednesday, November 10 to Monday, November 29
8:30am to 6:30pm daily
105 Chambers Street, 2nd floor (@ Church Street)
Cash, visa, Mastercard and American express

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Now Open: Disney Times Square

Disney is usually not situated with brands like Chanel or Roger Vivier but all types of NYC moms love a child-friendly activity that does not require a plane ride and seven-days of standing on line. As of tomorrow, the new Disney store will be officially open in Times Square.

In order to get the fully skinny, we enlisted our most jaded Upper East Side pre-schoolers to take an early spin through the 20,000-square-feet of Disney magic. The two girls came loaded in their favorite Disney costumes and from blocks away their eyes were wide from the 65-foot animated billboard/facade. Their excitement didn't wane a bit upon entering the two story fairytale boutique, which is essentially divided into character neighborhoods.

The first floor is mainly dedicated to NYC/Disney branded merchandise. (This is Times Square, after all.) There is also a huge raised carousel with assorted characters. "Oh no, Tigger looks like he is going to fall out," said our fairy, after looking up. After being assured he was safely fastened we moved on to the back of the store, which was furnished with Disney holiday themed items, assorted stuffed animals and Vinylmation, which is Disney's answer to Kidrobot ($9 to $238).

Upstairs, however, is where the real magic begins. There is a 20-foot-high Princess castle that's punctuated with interactive magic mirrors, a dedicated Marvel comics area, a Cars section where you can, yes, customize your own remote control car ($50 to $70) and a theater with a 12" movie screen and coloring table.

"The goal of the store is to create the best 30-minutes of a child's day," said Paul Gainer, VP/GM of Disney Stores, North America. If this is the case, Disney has hit the ball out of the park. The girls were thrilled and enthralled with the shopping experience but this jaded mother feels like the store is more than a model for mass retail locations than a full on Disney extravaganza.

Where was Apple's big technology influence? This is New York City, home of only-the-best mentality. We imagined the Disney theater being a real size theater to screen Disney movies within their own environment. Disney Fifth Avenue may have been less organized but there were wonderful spaces to take pictures and meet Minnie and Goofy. Would you believe there isn't even a space to throw an overpriced birthday party?!

We are told that there will be a full roster of events, which will be posted on DisneyStore.com and the biggest reception will be held tomorrow, Tuesday, November 9. The store's official opening ceremony will include the closing of Broadway for a full-on Disney parade, which will include, dozens of Disney characters in horse-and-carriage. The opening ceremony events begin at 9:30am.

Disney Times Square may not be a substitute for a theme park but still a very fun 30-minutes, which for which two preschoolers will remember and continue to request return trips.

Disney Times Square
1540 Broadway @ 46th Street

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Manolo Sample Sale

We are told the not-so-secret Manolo Blahnik sample sale will take place on the same day as the Louboutin's sample sale -- Thursday, November 11.

If you're committed to shoes, you're likely to make it into at least one of the sales. Think of it as a day of soul searching. The Manolo sale is usually press only until about 11am but then opens to the public. Shoes range in price from $100 in leather, suede or satin to $300 for lizard boots. Hey, there's a reason why people wait hours.

Unlike the Louboutin sale, shoppers of the Manolo sale are invited to wait inside a hotel ball room and are furnished with water and coffee. Now, that's some stylish waiting. Shoe stock is usually replenished mid-day.

Calls to several Manolo Blahnik spokespeople were not returned. Last season, Madison Avenue Spy was lambasted for the "careless broadcasting" of otherwise industry-only information. We are more than happy to take the heat. Someone has to.

Manolo Blahnik Sample Sale
Thursday, November 11
9am to 3pm
Warwick Hotel 65 W. 54th St @ 6th Ave
Cash only

Photo credit: Racked NY

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Retail Therapy: Erika Belle

The New York of the 80s almost seems like a different world. Artists honed their skill on subway cars, models were muses and personal style was as unique as your DNA. If you don't believe us, just ask Erika Belle.

Erika who? Erika Belle! She is kinda like Madonna's Gayle King, except with a hell of a lot more style and talent. Erika and Madonna met way back when disco clubs were for dancing and stars could be born from the turntable of a DJ's booth. Together they danced, grooved, raided each other's closets and even shared shoes.

Erika was a featured dancer in five of Madge's videos: Everybody, Lucky Star, Poppa Don't Preach, Holiday and True Blue. In addition, she designed the clothing for Like a Virgin and Burning Up. Back in the day "you had to create your own look," Erika explains. "There were few places to go to buy the things you wanted." The goal was to get into clubs for free and ultimately snag free drink tickets. "It could change your life," she says.

Since the days of Fiorucci and Parachute Pants, Erika has worked with Yohji Yamamoto, curated art and is currently an integral part of Sigersson Morrison. (Don't you love how she is rocking those pony fur shoes?) Erika admits that both her and Madonna have a lot more designer clothing than they did when they were hustling drink tickets. At the same time "fashion is more immediate today. You have the Internet and H&M. You can just buy the look," Erika says. "Back then, the look was a lot more individual. Nobody wore jeans."

Erika admits she only recently purchased her first pair of jeans. Other Erika shopping secrets? Hugh Grant fell hard for Erika's pink Chanel suit, which she purchased at a vintage store for $10 and that's not it. Let us know what you think of Erika's individualized view of fashion.

What's your most prized deal?
A vintage, pink boucle and mint condition Chanel suit that fit perfectly. I found it at a thrift store for $10, no less! Ok, it was Brooklyn, but that is still NYC. The actor, Hugh Grant asked me out a few years ago when I was wearing this suit. His opening comment was, "What a great suit."  I declined going out with him. (I'm kinda dumb sometimes-'cuz he was truly very handsome and charming). I think he was dazzled by the suit. I know I still am.

Biggest regret that you didn't purchase?
A loft in Soho in the 80s for $10,000! That was the going rate then. Ugh! Fashion wise, my biggest regret was not purchasing a pair of Sigerson Morrison white patent leather boots that went to the knee and had a one inch black patent leather stripe down the center of the back! I pick out outfits to wear with these boots even though I don't own them. Yup, I'm codependent with a pair of boots. I'm absolutely heartbroken about it.

This season you are looking for...
The perfect hat. I need to go down to The Hat Shop, on Thompson Street, and ask the lovely owner, Linda what she has for this season. She's my favorite NYC milliner. I also get at least one Mischa Lampert hand knit wool hat each winter. I have very short hair, so I need a hat for warmth.They are they warmest hats in the world.

What's your number one shopping tip?
Before I purchase anything, I imagine myself in the item. I am NOT the owner of a plaid bustier because of this trick.

Is there an item for which a shopper should never mind paying full price?
Shoes! Great quality shoes need to be current season. They need to fit and you need to wear them as soon as they hit the floor. I can play "catch as catch can" with clothes, but never shoes. My Sigerson Morrison over-the-knee black boots ARE my outfit.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Louboutin Sample Sale Rumors

We have received information about the upcoming Louboutin sample sale but the dates have not been officially conformed. Our spies say that the sale will take place on Thursday, November 11 and Friday, November 12. Again, these dates have not been "officially" confirmed and are subject to change at any time.

Before you go racing off to the garment district, please note that this sale is strictly invitation only. In prior years, the rules have been more lax but the publicity of the sale has caused organizers to flex their security muscle.

As chance would have it, the day of the sale usually has the most awful weather and the wait can be hours, even if you are on the list. If you happen to make it into the sale, chances are the only selection will come in a size 36 and under and 40 and over.

One reader from the last sale waited in line for some time before deciding, "I'd rather spend $550 on the basic black loub pump than $250 on the same crazy Loubs you would find on bluefly.com or theoutnet.com for the same price without the line."

On the other hand, another reader toughed it trough and was pretty pleased after she "waited just two hours to get in and got neon yellow pumps for $250." Two hours, $250 and yellow pumps. You tell me if that's worth it?!

Christian Louboutin Sample Sale
Thursday, Nov. 11 to Friday, Nov. 12
Thurs: 9am-6pm Fri: 9am-3pm
306 West 38th Street 14th Floor (Between 8th & 9th Streets)

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

No Increase on Chanel Maxi and Jumbo

Last month, we reported that Chanel was redesigning their Maxi and Jumbo style Classic Bags. In addition, we were told that Chanel would be raising prices on these styles as part of the design re-vamp.

Chanel shoppers, can sigh a breath of relief. Iana dos Reis Nunes, a spokeperson for the House of Coco, confirmed that the iconic bags were being restyled but stated that the prices will not be increased. In August, the prices of all classic style Chanel bags were increased 20% to 30%. And that's it, for now!

For the record, the Maxi bag is $3,700 and the Jumbo size is $4,000. The updated Maxi and Jumbo bags will more closely resemble the large-style Classic bags with an extra flap, a large double CCs clasp, three flat pockets, a zipped inside pocket and a lip-stick pocket. The new designs will be in stores as part of the Cruise collection, later this month. Full bag details and cruise colors are detailed below.

The Chanel Classic Maxi Bag ($3,700)
20 x 30 x 10 cm
Washed Caviar with White Metal available in: light beige, brown, dark brown, taupe, rust and black
Patent Calfskin with White metal available in: salmon, pink fuchsia, dark red, dark blue and black

The Chanel Classic Jumbo Bag ($4,000)
23 x 33 x 10.5 cm
Washed Caviar with White Metal available in: light beige, brown, dark brown, taupe, rust and black
Patent Calfskin with White metal available in: salmon, pink fuchsia, dark red, dark blue and black

Monday, November 1, 2010

BlueFly.com Extra 20% Off

After shopping for weeks for the perfect boot, we settled on a pair from Prada. Knowing that pre-sale is just weeks away, we figured it would be best to wait. After getting home, however, we decided to shop the web for competitive prices.

Usually we ignore Bluefly, because nobody really wants to overpay for past season's merchandise. In this instance, Bluefly couldn't have been more perfect. We found the identical Prada boots on the discount site for about 20% off. In addition, Bluefly is offering customers an additional 20% off for a limited time. The total savings was 36% and we didn't need to wait for Prada's presale!

Bluefly's sale is only scheduled to run until 3am (Tuesday morning) but we spoke to a customer service representative who said that the site would likely extend the promotion through the morning. Just call customer service immediately to inquire: 1.877.BLUEFLY or 877.258.3359.

In addition to our lusty boots, we found great coats, purses and accessories. Yay for BlueFly!