Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Madison Avenue Markdowns- Round II

Last week we started our roundup of luxury boutique markdowns. Today we are updating the list with the latest additions, and will continue to do so throughout the markdown season. New entries are in bold.

Chanel sales always take place during the second week of June. Prices on clothing, shoes and accessories will be discounted 40%. Leather bags are almost never marked down, but keep your eyes open for seasonal styles, which are occasionally discounted.
Amy: 212-535-5505

The sale has not "officially" started but customers can take their discounted merchandise anyway. The markdown is 40% on ready-to-wear, shoes and select bags.
Incus: 212-717-8220

Sales persons and their assistants insist that Dior no longer has any markdowns, but we hear through the Internet grapevine that there is indeed a private sale. Either way we're not too worried. There hasn't been anything good to buy at Dior in years.
Jenny: 212-249-5822

Dolce & Gabbana
Almost all of the boutique's marchandise is discounted 40%. Presale is already taking place, and the sale officially starts on Thursday.
Rodney: 212-249-4100

Giuseppe Zanotti
Most summer styles are 30% off. Some classic style shoes, like the $495 flat thong with toe crystals are full price at their store but we found them for $299 at DSW.
George: 212-650-0455

The sale started today and spring and summer merchandise have been marked down 30%. We hear there is a great variety of sizes and styles, but prices may still be expensive even with the discount. That is why we usually wait to make our purchases later in the season when the discount gets steeper.
Christopher: 646-439-0381

The sale starts VERY soon, right after Memorial Day. It hasn't officially begun BUT the main collection is (oops, will be) 40% off and the Addition Collection and Resort are 30%
Dana: 212-257-6907

Miu Miu
Prada may have stopped their presale practices but thankfully the trend hasn't spread to Miu Miu. Presale has already begun at the boutique. Unfortunately, the markdown is just 30% on clothing, seasonal shoes and a few select handbags. The sale officially starts Thursday.
Judith: 212-249-9660

Presale usually begins right about now with the sale officially starting the first week of June. Last season, however, Prada cut out their presales and became a lot less generous with their markdowns. You can expect a 30% discount in the next two weeks, but just don't expect a sales associate to secure your purchases before then.
Betty: 212-327-4200

Yves Saint Laurent
The "private sale" has already started. The discount ranges from 20% to 40% on accessories but shoes and clothing are almost all 40% off. If you're looking to save a bit on a classic style bag, we suggest opting for a seasonal color. The Roady, which is a simple hobo, is discounted to $999 from $1495 but is only available in white, baby blue, silver, olive green, bronze and gold.
Pablo: 212-980-2970

Net-A-Porter Summer Sale

Net-A-Porter has started their summer sale and there are lots of great items discounted 30% to 50% off. We suggest browsing quickly and checking out faster because sizes seem to be flying off the virtual shelves.

We found a dozen or so Christian Louboutin shoes for 50% off including the Mrs Propre, which is now $948 from just under $1000. The YSL Totem wedge is also 50% off and about the same price.

The bag section is less impressive but we found this adorable Milly tote for just $125 from $250 and a Bottega woven bag is 30% off at $1855.

On sale for $3000, we vote these shorts to be the most overpriced item of the season.

This Matthew Williamson butterfly looking gown is 40% off at $1175, a Chloe sequined top is 50% off at $1000 and the entire DRKSHDW by Rick Owens collection is half off.

These Balmian shorts win our award for most overpriced item of the season. At 50% off these horrors are still over $3000. We're not sure if we would pay $30 for them. What do you think?

Monday, May 30, 2011

Bottega Veneta Private Sale

Bottega Veneta is hosting a two day private sale that will run on June 1 and June 2nd. Shoes and ready-to-wear will be 50% off while select bags will be discounted 30%. The sale opens to the pubic on June 3 but bags will not be included.

This private sale is only available to prior customers of the boutique. So don't be surprised if sales associates plays coy when you inquire about the markdown. As a rule of thumb, it always helps to establish a relathionship with a sales person.

As an alternitive, we suggest contacting the Bottega Veneta outlet at Woodbury Common. Bags there are usually discounted 30% to 50% off and the sales people are always helpful and accomidating.

Angeline: 212-371-5511
Woodbury Common845-928-4563

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Gucci Presale Begins

The Gucci presale is already underway. Many bag styles are discounted by 30% and shoes and ready-to-wear are 40% off. The sale officially goes public on June 3rd.

If you can't make it to a Gucci store you can shop the online private sale using this link. Items ordered during the presale will ship when the sale officially begins. Last season, a second markdown occurred just weeks later and the discount went to 50% to 60% off shoes and clothing.

Contact: Nora 212-717-2619

Hot Designer Duds for Cool Charity Prices

By ManhattanMataHari

Sometimes shopping opens the door to lots of spending money guilt but that all seems to go to the wayside when you know you’re shopping for a good cause. The POSH Pop Up Shop charity sale is a great example of guilt free designer shopping. The sale is filled with wonderful designer merchandise and all the money raised benefits the Jewish Community Project Downtown. We just couldn’t resist.

Both new and used designer items ranges from 50% to 95% off retail prices. Some items are still pricey but sale organizers have already started to take additional markdowns. Highlights include a number of brand new heels still in their boxes. We spied Alexander Wang Tasha boots for $437.50, black leather lace-up Givenchy booties for $562.50, Chanel black suede slingback pumps for $100 and Chanel linen wedges with a cream camellia flower for $225. In addition, there is an assortment of gently loved to designer shoes. Fans of Manolos will be pleasantly surprised to find a great selection in the $150 and under price range.There was even a pair of Manolo “Timberland” style boots for just $20. We also spotted gently used Christian Louboutin wedges, Lanvin flats and Hermes slides for all under $200.

The sale's notable accessories were a Chanel pearl belt (or necklace) for $450, a metallic brown Fendi Spy bag for $550, a small green Goyard tote for $500 and a new Alaia black patent corset belt still in its box for $500. A Christian Louboutin raffia clutch was $100, a well worn Marc Jacobs black quilted purse is $500 and a vintage Hermes classic belt kit in gold was priced at $525.

There were some great ready to wear towards the left of the shop. A cream silk Balenciaga dress is just $265, while a red chiffon Valentino number is $450. There was one lone Herve Leger bandage dress currently marked at $495 and a brand new (with the $3050 retail tag still attached) Dolce & Gabbana jewel wasted black evening dress is $1000. There are lots of Marni, assorted Stella McCartney, Prada and Miu Miu clothing in addtion to good amount of contemporary brands. T

Overall the new designer stock is dwindling fast but further markdowns are on the horizon. We suggest browsing the sale Thursday afternoon or Friday. After all, who doesn’t love shopping for a good cause and getting a great deal?

POSH Pop Up Shop
64 N Moore St (Between Hudson and Greenwich)
Thursday, May 26 9am -9pm
Friday, May 27 9am – 4pm

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Searching for Barney’s Castoffs

By ManhattanMataHari

Ever wonder about the destiny of the unsold merchandise from the Barney’s warehouse sale? Well, we did a little digging and found the final resting place for the department store's castoffs. Filene’s Basement, in Union square and the Upper West Side, are the main beneficiaries while many shoes are diverted to the Park Avenue Syms. One way to quickly spot the Barney’s merchandise is to look for tags with red stars.

With this knowledge, we set out looking for great deals on Barney’s less than window worthy wares. For the best selection and shopping environment we suggest the Union Square Filene’s Basement where they have an entire area dedicated to designer apparel. Here, you will find racks full of colorful Missoni knits that range in price from $99.99 for t-shirts to $199.99 for dresses. In addition, there are several racks dedicated to Piazza Sempione, Marina Rinaldi and Dolce and Gabbana.

White D&G linen blazers are currently $219.99, while a cute blue fabric bustier style dress is a steal at $139.99. We also spotted, dresses by Marni, Lanvin, and Balenciaga for $299.99, $399.99 and $599.99, respectively. Vena Cava, Tocca, and Marc Jacobs dresses were also substantially discounted and range in price from $59.9 to $99.99. If you are looking for slacks and shorts, brands include Miu Miu, Balenciaga, Marni, Jil Sander, Lanvin, The Row, and Celine range in price from $39.99 for Marni white capris to $179.99 for Lanvin tuxedo pants.

Whatever you do, don’t overlook the glass display cases. We found Tom Ford belts for $199.99 and Ferragamo scarves for $99.99. The highlight, however, Yves Saint Laurent leather satchel for $599.99.

At the Upper West Filene’s Basement we found most of the merchandise to be similar to Union Square, although the assortment was smaller. Some standout items that were a Chanel black and white tweed camellia flower for $249.99, black dresses by Balenciaga priced under $400, black Proenza Schouler jeans for $69.99 and $100 Ports 1961 dresses.

Fellow shoe-addicts will want to check out Syms on Park Avenue. Here you will find a great selection of Dolce & Gabbana shoes for $199.99 to $219.99. While browsing the shoe department we also found Marc Jacobs pumps ($149.99), Chloe flats ($99.99) and Pierre Hardy heels ($159.99).

While the shoe department here is quite organized, you are going to have to do some digging to find worthwhile clothing. Downstairs is where you will find the best selection of designer clothing and accessories. We spied Prada and D&G belts for $99.99 to $129.99, Vena Cava dresses for $59.99 to $79.99, a Bottega Veneta dress for $479.99 and black chiffon Givenchy gown for $799.99.

Obviously the atmosphere of these stores are a world away from Barney’s but if you don’t mind sorting through a few racks you might find some amazing deals

Monday, May 23, 2011

Madison Avenue Markdowns- Round I

Memorial Day weekend is just days away, which means that boutiques all along the Avenue are starting their sales and presales. For the uninitiated, presales are when top customers are given first dibs on sale merchandise. Usually a sales associate puts the merchandise aside and rings it up once the sale officially begins.

The Chanel sales always take place during the second week of June. Prices on clothing, shoes and accessories will be discounted 40%. Leather bags are almost never marked down but keep your eyes open for seasonal styles, which are occasionally discounted.
Amy* 212-535-5505
*This is a good contact to keep. Amy oversees all the NYC Chanel boutiques.

The sale has not "officially" started but customers can take their discounted merchandise anyway. The markdown is 40% on ready-to-wear, shoes and select bags.
Incus* 212-717-8220
*He can can have an icy attitude but has been with the boutique for years and knows his customers and merchandise. If he's being evasive, tell him Lila said to play nice.

The sale started today and spring and summer merchandise have been marked down 30%. We hear there is still a great variety of sizes and styles. Prices may still be expensive even after the discount. That is why we usually wait until later in the season, when the discount gets steeper, to make our purchases.
Christopher* 646-439-0381
*Helpful and not pushy or too stuck up.

Presale usually begins right about now with the sale officially starting the first week of June. Last season, however, Prada cut out their presales and became a lot less generous with their markdowns. You can expect a 30% discount in the next two weeks just don't expect a sales associate to secure your purchases before then.
Betty* 212-327-4200
*Madison Ave shoe specialist. She is sweet and very talkative. She makes shopping fun.

The sale starts VERY soon, right after Memorial Day. It hasn't officially started BUT the main collection is (oops, will be) 40% off and the Addition Collection and Resort are 30%
Dana* 212-257-6907
*Always willing to help a girl out, when she can.

Sample Sale News: DVF & Tibi

We've been getting email and comments all season long asking about the DVF sample sale. We finally have the information and you still have a few weeks to start panning your strategy. The sale will officially take place from Tuesday, June 7 to Friday, June 10. (Monday is reserved for press and friends and family but don't let anyone know we told you.)

Prices usually run about 40% to 70% off. You can see last year's full price list here. Lines can run long on the first day and the wait for the common area fitting room can be tortuous. We suggest waiting until later into the sale if you don't have your heart set on a specific item. Prices usually drop Wednesday afternoon and again Friday morning.

Diane von Furstenberg Sample Sale
Tuesday, June 7 to Friday, June 10
Tues 9am to 6:30pm, Wed 10am to 8pm, Thurs 10am to 7pm, Fri 9am to 3pm
260 5th Avenue @ 28th Street

If you're looking for bright flirty prints now you may want to consider hitting the Tibi sample sale, which starts Tuesday. Prices aren't usually amazing-- about $100 to $100 for dresses-- and this space can get uber crowded. If possible, we suggest heading over early and getting a head start.

Tibi Sample Sale
Tuesday, May 24 to Thursday, May 26
Tues 12pm to 7pm, Wed 10am to 7pm, Thurs 10am to 7pm
Happy Monkey Studio
348 West 36th Street, Ground Floor

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Saks First Markdown Presale

Saks has already started sales in many of their contemporary departments. Unfortunately, the prices of most of their high end designer merchandise -- we are referring the the third floor--has remained unchanged. Until now, that is...

Shoppers can now work with a sales associate to put their choice merchandise aside in preparation for the first markdown. We hear the discount should be 40% off clothing and 30% off shoes and accessories.

We imagine the markdown will officially begin on Wednesday so that shoppers can take all their new summer purchases with them to their long-weekend vacation destination. Most boutiques should begin first markdown at about the same time. Keep an eye on the Spy for updated markdown information.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Opening: HomeGoods

Move over West Elm and Ikea, New Yorkers now have a new destination to shop for the home. HomeGoods, the housewares and home furnishing arm of TJ Maxx and Marshalls, is opening on Sunday, in Columbus Square, on the Upper West Side.

In addition to home furnishings, HomeGoods is also stocked with accessories for the kitchen and diningroom, bedding and bath, kids décor, toys, pet and storage. Unlike many of the products in West Elm and Ikea, however, many of the products from HomeGoods are high quality and very well priced.

It might seem a little provincial but we must admit we are over-excited for the opening of this store. Perhaps some product and price examples we got from an early walk through of the store will give you a better understanding. You know those really cool over sized mirrors you can lean against a wall and usually cost hundreds of dollars? Well, HomeGoods has many styles that are just $80. Table lamps usually cost several hundred dollars each but here they were just $29, $39 and $59 and the styles were really sophisticated-- even Baker worthy.

In the children's and baby department we spotted Maclaren Triumph strollers for $99 from $170 and the double strollers were $179 from $320. Plush beach towels are $10 from a suggested retail price of $16. We even scoped out $1100 Pratesi sheet sets for just $499. A full assortment of All-Clad pots and pans are priced at about 50% off retail. We also found an exquisite Italian urn that looks as if the paint is still wet from Venice for $2000 from $4000.

Did we mention that there's also an amazing gourmet food section? Hard to find Campanini Risotto is just $4 and we can't imagine the price for the same product at Eataly. Black truffle oil is $12 from a suggested retail price of $20. (We are sure Eli's is several times more than the retail price.) Across the street, at Whole Foods, Madhava Agave is $10 but is priced at just $6 at HomeGoods. Are you getting the picture?

We are told that the buyers from HomeGoods are given the ability to travel the world to curate the incredible assortment of brand name and non-brandname merchandise that fills the store. That's how you get vases from Africa, tureens from Portugal and wall hangings from Africa.

Worried about over shopping and getting your haul home? Don't worry. HomeGoods will deliver five bags of merchandise for just $17. That's less expensive than most cab rides. Unfortunately, furniture deliveries are a bit more complicated and expensive to sort out.

Opens: Sunday, May 22nd @ 8:00 a.m.
795 Columbus Avenue (@99th Street)

Photo credit: Paige Turner

Weekend Sales: Best & Co and Jonathan Adler

We have recieved word of two very good sample sales that you should consider adding to your weekend shopping calender:

Best & Co.
260 5th Avenue @ 28st
Saturday, May 21st to Saturday, May 28th
May 21st 9am to 5pm, May 22-27th 10am to 6pm, May 28th 9am to 4pm

The children's brand, Best & Co. announced last year it was filing for bankrupsy and closed their Greenwhich, CT store and their boutique withing Bergdorfs. We've heard from two independant sources that the liqudation inventory is HUGE. Classic girls and boys clothing from 6 months to 12 years of age will be on sale at discounts of 50% to 75% off original retail prices. Don't worry if you love Best & Co., we hear the brand was purchased and is relaunching in 2012.

Jonathan Adler
Friday, May 20 Sunday, May 22
Fri 10am to 7pm, Sat 10am to 5pm, Sun 10am to 2pm
513 Irving Avenue, Bushwick, Brooklyn

Lifestyle guru, Jonathan Adler is hosting a three-day warehouse sale featuring brand-new merchandise including furniture, rugs, lighting, pillows, and accessories at discounts of up to 70% off retail prices. Parking is free and delivery is available at an additional price. Saving and service might make the trip to Brooklyn worthwhile. Full details can be found on his site here.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Closing: Sonia Rykiel

The Queen of Knits, Sonia Rykiel, is saying good-bye to Madison Avenue. Saturday will be the last day the boutique is open. Until then, all merchandise is being cleared out at a 50% discount.

Rykiel fans lined up the first days of the sale to snag spring merchandise at a deep discount. The store is starting to look a bit bare but there is still a nice assortment of sweaters, which normally retail between $600 and $900. We also spotted a few dresses on sale for about $550 from $1100 and tees from $250 to $175.

Sonia Rykiel is best known for her knits, exposed seams and wild red hair. She started designing in 1964. Her collection was first picked up by Bloomingdale's more than 35-years ago. Fortunately, the department store will still continue to carry her collection along with the Boston Sonia Rykiel boutique.

Sullen sales associates say the designer is looking for a new retail location but we happen to think the brand needs a full resurrection first. Unfortunately, Sonia Rykiel isn't adored as much by the cool crowed of 2011 as it was by those who embraced her “braless” dress in 1964.

Sonia Rykiel Closing Sale
Last Day: Saturday, May 21
849 Madison Avenue @ 71st Street

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Louboutin Sample Sale Lowdown

So our coverage has unofficially blacklisted us from the Louboutin Sample sale, but that doesn't mean we can't get you the details. Today and yesterday were the first days of the invite only sample sale and guests included Louboutin employees, fashion icons, celebrities and industry royalty... or so we assume. Wednesday and Thursday the sale opens to press and Friday are invited guests who rank way down on the Louboutin totam pole. (But who are we to judge? We're not even ont he totam pole.)

The Feast's, Tiffany Davis spent the day in the rain covering the sale and interviewing. She says most people-- we're assuming the non-celebs-- waited for about four hours before getting into the sale. Shoppers were allotted 20 minutes of shopping before being asked to finalize their purchases. Use of cell phones and cameras are prohibited and will get shoppers booted from the sale, so don't expect a lot of inside intel.

Prices examples are as follows:
Yellow loafer heels: $170
Canvas (green) espadrilles: $150
Classic matte closed-toe red pumps: About $200 each
Classic black patent slingbacks and pumps: $250 and $325 respectively

Our takeaway: It's gong to take a lot more than that to get us to wait in the rain for four hours. We're not even sure we would be game if they were giving away the red-soled shoes. What's your sample sale tolerance threshold?

Christian Louboutin Sample Sale
Tuesday, May 17 to Friday, May 20
Tues & Wed 8am to 6pm (Press)
Thurs. 9am to 5pm, Fri. 9am to 3pm
306 West 38th Street, 3rd Floor

Photo Credit: The Feast

Now Open: Milly Boutique

By: TJ Kennedy

Even the misty rain couldn’t keep us away from checking out the new Milly boutique on Madison Avenue at 73rd Street. Michelle "Milly" Smith has officially stocked the former Sharper Image store with her feminine-chic frocks, which just gives us another good reason to never leave Madison Avenue.

This entices shoppers with a bright and colorful window display. Indise, vibrant vintage-inspired print maxi dresses line the walls and bold statement jewelry cover the surfaces. The handbags were mostly orange and black and are perfect weekend getaway styles. Signature Milly mini dresses were in full supply. There were only a few styles in the limited swimwear section, but these select pieces were simple and unique, following the bold colors of the rest of the collection.

Adjacent to swimwear, is an adorable kids corner full of printed dresses and striped tops. Now Upper East Side moms and their chic toddlers can perfectly coordinate.

This new addition is just what the Madison Avenue retail scene ordered-- there's always room for Sharper Image in the anywhere USA subruban mall.

Monday, May 16, 2011

La Perla 40% Off

By: TJ Kennedy

Just because it's dreary and rainy outside, doesn’t mean you can’t turn up the heat in the bedroom. Our favorite luxury lingerie line, La Perla is having a 40% off sale on the second floor of the Madison Avenue boutique. The sale features the entire collection from the prior season and includes the regular La Perla line, Limited Edition and the Studio collection.

It's already a few days in to the sale and there are still tons of merchandise (with more sizes in the back). It's a full wall of sleepwear heaven! Gorgeous, long silk robes that retail for $575 are 40% off and available in off-white, black, red, and navy. Sexy nighties in every color are marked down to around $180 and there are plenty of styles to suit your mood. Comfortable cotton short nightgowns are just under $100!

Signature bra and panty sets range in prices based on material, but classic lace styles are only $99 and panties are $49. More ornate designs with silk embroidery retail for $315 but are also discounted 40%. Unfortanilty swim wear is full priced but who needs to cool down when there's a lingerie sale as hot as this?

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Sigerson Morrison Blowout Sale

Design duo Kari Sigerson and Miranda Morrison announced in March that they were saying fairwell to their namesake shoe company. For their final kick, the design pair will be hosting a final three-day “Crazy Sale” at Steven Sclaroff, in Tribeca. Prices will start at just $25 and most items will be up to 75% off.

We are told you can expect to score and save big on signature Sigerson Morrison and Belle styles like t-strap wedges, skimmer flats, ankle booties and platform sandals. The extensive stock includes bold colors, metallics and exotic skins. In addition, shoppers can look foward to discounted handbags gloves, books, scent, candles and stationery from Mad et Len, Pilot, Assouline, and more.

The best part-- according to us-- is that both Kari and Miranda will be on hand to meet and great fans and loyal customers. It may not be Vogue's Andre Leon Talley or a personal invite to Christian Louboutin but we can gurantee that there will be no wait and a lot more fun.

Sigerson Morrison Blowout Sale @ Steven Sclaroff
Friday, May 20 to Sunday, May 22
Fri & Sat 1pm to 7pm, Sun. 2pm to 5pm.
44 White Street

Friday, May 13, 2011

Louboutins Galore at DecadesTwo Pop-Up

By ManhattanMataHari

Once again DecadesTwo, the renowned LA-based consignment company, has brought their finest to their popup shop in Soho. We got a sneak peek of the sale and were pleasantly surprised by the selection of accessories and the pricing.

If you’re like most of us mortals who have no hope of snagging an invite to the Louboutin sale, you might want to check out the vast variety of both new and used Louboutins. After all, most of the inventory is pretty close to sample sale prices. The famous red soled heels to run from $175 for basic pumps to about $450 for more embellished or exotic styles. Brand new Louboutins are priced significantly cheaper than department store sale prices – $270 for black Mary Janes to $390 for boots.

In addition to Louboutins, we spotted Chanel ballet flats, Chanel heels and fabulous pair of Yves Saint Laurent gray suede Palais booties, all priced at about $340. Other shoe brands include Alaia, Giuseppe Zannotti, Miu Miu, and various other high-end designers. One drawback is that there is only one size in each shoe and the best selection is size 37.

The handbag merchandise was even more impressive than the shoes. The prices, however, are a bit steeper. Mini Chanel flaps in brown suede and patent black leather were priced at $1900 and a small Chanel beige patent flap was $2350. A black lambskin Chanel clutch was $895. Other high-end designer bags include Nancy Gonzalez, Louis Vuittons, Versace, and Valentino. The best purse deals seemed to be for Lanvin ranging from $650 to $895. We also spotted a few Fendi baguette styles for about $400.

Looking for Chanel jewelry? You won’t be disappointed. A glass case replete with Chanel jewelry ranged from $345 for clip-on earrings to $3400 for intricate large necklaces. A classic black leather woven chain necklace is $895, while a thick chain-link bracelet is $1350 and cuffs were priced at about $1600.

Overall, the ready to wear section pricing was a bit steeper than we hoped, but then again the items are mostly rare. Courtesy of Decades, there was one rack of vintage dresses loaded with sequined and embellished contemporary dresses. A few highlights include, a white sequined Lanvin jacket and a to-die-for red Marchesa strapless dress (Neiman’s $2950 tag still attached) both for $1100. We also spotted a lone white Herve Leger bandage dress in the mix for $550. Emilio Pucci silks were priced around $450 for dresses, while a blouse was $180.

Since the selection is limited, we suggest shopping as early as possible. While they will be replenishing some stock on Saturday, all ready to wear and highly desirable items --think Chanel purses and Louboutins--will sell out quickly.

DecadesTwo Pop-Up
@ Kiki de Montparnasse
79 Greene Street (at Spring)

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Christian Louboutin Sale Uncovered

If early birds get $100 Manolos, than it's the vertous who get sample sale Louboutins. Shoppers with extreem amounts of patience will be excited to learn that the Louboutin sample sale is scheduled for next week. The bad news is that the sale is closed to the public and by invitation only. An RSVP is required.

During past season's sales, a few readers commented that they were able snag invites. Just expect the line for discount Louboutins to run longer than the wait at the DMV. If you're able to brave the standing on West 38th Street, you may not be able to overcome the disappointment when you find out that a celeb-- like Blake Lively -- already ravaged the sale. Rumour is that the Gossip Girl star purchased 50 pairs of discount shoes. Lets hope you don't share her shoe size.

The official comment on the aforementioned situation: "In regard to VIP/celebrity shopping habits, we never disclose that information in order to protect the privacy of our clients." You can't blame an insider for not yapping. As spies, we can appreciate a tight lip. As for this sale, the cover is officially blown.

Christian Louboutin Sample Sale
Tuesday, May 17 to Friday, May 20
Tues & Wed 8am to 6pm (Press)
Thurs. 9am to 5pm, Fri. 9am to 3pm
306 West 38th Street, 3rd Floor

Manolo Blahnik Sale Reminder

Just a friendly reminder: Manolo Blahnik sample sale will take place tomorrow (Thursday.)

There are three ways to succeed at this sale:

1. Be an early bird.
2. Hire someone to be an early bird for you.
3. Be connected enough attend the sale during the press hours, which means prior to the 11am public shopping

We actually fall into the category: "none of the above." Shopping the final markdown at the boutique may cost a bit more but saves lots of time and aggravation. Either way, we have you covered. TJ Kennedy will be covering the sale all morning and will be reporting back with unfolding sale news.

Manolo Blahnik Sample Sale
Thursday, May 12
11am to 3pm
Warwick Hotel 65 W. 54th St @ 6th Ave
Cash only

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Neiman Marcus First Markdown

Neiman Marcus is about to begin their first markdown. This is great news because once one department slashes prices they all come following.

Starting Thursday, May 12, Nieman Marcus will be discounting spring and summer merchandise up to 40% off. if you have an established relationship with a sales person, we suggest you start shopping and presale your purchases now

The markdowns will go as follows:
40% off designer sportwear, selected couture apparel and evening wear, dress collections, and career and contemporary sportswear
33% off women's shoes and intimate apparel
30% off designer jewelry
25% off children's apparel

We hear that many stores have a great assortment of Manolo and Valentino shoes included in this markdown. You can always check out the sale online if you can't get out to the burbs. Some items have already been markdown online. You can browse through the selection here.

While you’re conducting your online shopping, don’t miss the online clearance center. There’s lots of Lanvin that’s marked down 75%.

We're just bummed Bergdorf doesn't follow the same markdown schedule. Really, what's the deal with that?!

Monday, May 9, 2011

TJ Maxx Runway: Prada, Pucci and Gucci!

By ManhattanMataHari

After dissatisfaction with the high prices and chaotic crowds at Century 21, our attention turned to discount staple TJ Maxx and their designer friendly Runway section. We surveyed Manhattan’s four TJ Maxx stores and bringing you the highlights.

Before we start our overview and you begin to shop you should keep in mind a couple of pointers. Always go straight to the Runway and clearance sections. If you see blue tickets, those are the Runway designer pieces. Red clearance stickers are the first reductions, while yellow stickers are the final markdowns. If you find something you like at one store, chances are one of the other stores may have it as well --and in different sizes. Lastly, as with all discount shopping, check your items for damage prior to purchase. Even though they have customer-friendly return policies, there is nothing worse than the disappointment of your designer treasure being damaged when you go home.

UES TJ Maxx: 59th Street and 1st Ave.
The Runway section is located conveniently at the bottom of the stairs ad Emilio Pucci’s colorful designs and bold print immediately stood out. Silk dresses and skirts ranged from $399.99 to $149.99. In addition, we spotted a red Prada trench coat for $599.99, black blazers by McQueen ($169.99) and Emporio Armani ($199.99) and Bruno Cucinelli beige blazers in suede and fabric for $299.99. There was a gorgeous beige satin silk Prada dress for $499.99, and a good mix of Gucci, and Dolce & Gabbana, although the Gucci was a bit too pricey for our liking. This location happened to have a great selection of contemporary designers (think 5F) like Soft Joie, Theory, Elie Tahari, and See by Chloe, but their shoe and jewelry selections left much to be desired.

Chelsea TJ Maxx: Avenue of the Americas & 18th St.
This location had a stellar selection of Judith Ripka jewelry, most under $400. This downtown TJ Maxx had a similar selection as the one located on the UES but there was a larger assortment of sizes. If you are looking for summer white pants and jeans, they have a great selection of Valentino and Versace ($129.99), Dolce & Gabbana ($199.99) and Gucci ($249.99). We also found great Dolce & Gabbana corset tops for $149.99 (less than Century 21). They also had Runway items on clearance. (This spy couldn’t resist a slinky Halston Heritage dress for just $34.99). Many of the clearance designer shoes were mixed in throughout the racks. We found Giuseppe Zanotti and Gucci pumps for $199.99 and $289.99, respectively and Dolce & Gabbana and Valentino strappy sandals for $229.99 and $399.99..

Mid-town TJ Maxx: 57th Street and 8th
Unlike the other stores, this location has a Runway shoes on prime display. Giuseppe Zanotti formal and casual evening styles dominated the racks and various styles ranged from $199.99 to $359.99. Miu Miu, Sergio Rossi and Hogan had a number of sandal styles available from $199.99 to $399.99. With black suede and a buckle detail, there were dozens of pointed Dolce & Gabbana flats in various sizes for $199.99.

The Runway apparel was our favorite. We found white McQueen and Ferragamo skorts that were on clearance for $39.99 and $79.99. A Love Moschino dress was on sale for $34. A beautiful floral Dolce & Gabbana dress was $399.99 while a fuchsia satin Versace was on sale for $249.99. This location had the best prices for Runway clearance, but it did take an effort to find them.

TJ Maxx UWS: 98th Street and Columbus Avenue
This location was most organized and pleasant shopping experience. Their Runway section is spacious and neatly organized. While they have a good variety of designers they did not have a good range of sizes. We found a very wide selection of Miu Miu, including a gorgeous violet and black chiffon dress for $499.99. Ralph Lauren Black label button up tops were $139, Fendi cotton tee shirts in black and white were $149.99 and few Chloe jeans were $179.99. All the designer shoes were in the clearance isle, but the best pricing and selection goes to the Judith Ripka and Charriol jewelry.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Comme des Garcons Prices Slashed

By: TJ Kennedy

Word has certainly gotten out about the Comme des Garcons midtown sale, and everyone from New Jersey to Queens (along with their mothers) were willing to wait in line. After over an hour waiting, we finally got into the sale and were not surprised to find that there wasn’t a whole lot of merchandise left and people were relentlessly scrambling for the remaining cool pieces.

The good news is that many prices have been cut in half! A pair of shoes that were marked at $300 Friday is now down to $150, as are most of the remaining shoes in limited sizes. All sneakers are only $50, but shoe selections were running low (we’re talking 1 or two pairs left), especially popular styles and sizes.

As far as clothes go, there were only one or two of each style and mostly eccentric, out-there pieces were left; tons of plaid, sequins, and prints. Although prices were more affordable than usual for these vintage pieces, they were still pretty steep. Skirts, jeans, and sweaters were around $100, while tailored jackets and blazers ranged from $200 to $500 depending on style and material.

There wasn’t much for less than $100 besides the remaining vinyl bags and t-shirts and a few men’s collared shirts. Men’s button downs and slacks were just over $100 and selections were plentiful. If you can get your man to wait through the long lines for a day of shopping, it may be well worth revamping his wardrobe. Same goes for those who have yet to attend the sale; tomorrow is the last day and if you’ve got the time, and missed your Sunday worship, visit the church of fashion for this iconic sale celebrating a decade of Japanese design genius.

Comme des Garçons Sale
Monday, May 9th
Mon 10am to 7pm
The Croatian Church, 504 West 41st Street (@ 11th Ave)
Cash and Credit Cards

Friday, May 6, 2011

Mother's Day Jewels of Wisdom

In New York everyone is looking for the best; the best doctors, the best private schools and even the best hair stylist. Finding the right names usually isn’t a problem but “getting in” is a whole different story. When it comes to selling your old jewelry and diamonds the go-to woman is undoubtedly "Missy Schorr," from DivoriceYourJewels.com.

When one socialite was ready to convert the jewels from her mother into a sizable charitable donation, she discreetly tapped Missy on the shoulder at a cocktail party. Both women didn’t say a word but understood a private meeting would be in order. When a Wall Street powerhouse was ready to liquidate an unworn 14-carat diamond that she had tucked in her safe for decades, she went directly to Missy. And when a hurt wife wanted to rid herself of the betrayal jewels from her cheating ex, she called Missy too.

Cartier Trinity Ring: Mother's Day Special $7200

Are you ready to start fresh? Lucky, you already have the name of who to call.
DivorceYourJewels.com is a full service company with a personal touch. Missy, the company’s founder, meets with every client personally to review their needs.

If you’re not in the market to sell, you can always browse the
DivorceYourJewels.com online store. It's almost and Missy always has a revolving cast of wonderful jewels that can be purchased at a steep discount.

Missy Schorr

Sponsored Post

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Comme des Garçons 70% Off

Hey Jersey folk! Yes, we're talking you J Woww, Snooki, Teresa and Caroline...

You know that little Church on at the mouth of the Jersey bound entrance to the Lincoln Tunnel? Well, it's about to become a huge fashion destination. From Friday, May 6th through Monday, May 9th the Croatian Church will be home to the Comme des Garcons sample sale/ shopping festival.

All merchandise will be marked 70% off and include inventory spanning many years of overstock and samples. In addition to the continuous replenishment of merchandise, there will also be food and beverages catered by a variety of street vendors. Did we mention that there will also be entertainment?

Sounds like a worthy destination to us and that's not even taking the fashion and discount into account. We just hope that Pauly D and The Situation stay under control. After all, this is still our side of the Hudson.

Comme des Garçons Sale
Friday, May 6th through Monday, May 9th
Fri, Sat & Mon 10am to 7pm, Sun 12pm to 8pm
The Croatian Church, 504 West 41st Street (@ 11th Ave)
Cash and Credit Cards

It still boggles our mind how a simple pair of Chanel ballet flats can cost over $600. How nice would it be to have a $500 gift card to put towards your favorite spring shoe? Well, this Friday ScoreLuxe.com is auctioning off a $500 gift card to Bloomies.

What are you waiting for? Bid at Scoreluxe.com and send your taxi straight to 59th and Lex.

Sponsored Mention

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Crowed Pleasers: Devi Kroell and Thakoon

It's hard to have a day when there are two wonderful simultaneous sample sales. We spent the morning sifting through the past collections of one of our favorite Madison Avenue designers, Devi Kroell and our friends at Racked NYC headed to Soho to scope out the Thakoon sale.

Devi Kroell
All the brand's iconic hobo bags were snatched up first thing this morning. Prices ranged from $150 for a simple and plain bag (retail $900) to $800 for a metallic exotic skin style (normally $3100). Smaller bags and clutches ranged in price from $100 to $250. At about noon, all the bags were gone but we are told the sale is expecting a shipment from their Vegas store sometime Thursday afternoon.

Sample size shoes were $50 and $100 for boots. Most of the samples were a size 37 or 40. If you're not a sample size you may need to cough up a bit more for overstock, which were $100 for shoes and $250 for high boots. That's still an amazing deal considering that retail prices run from about $650 to $2000.

The prices for ready-to-wear were equally as attractive. Samples were marked $50 and overstock was priced up to $250. We found the sculptured blouse from this season for $50 down from $740. We were surprised that the dramatic mink hats were entirely ignored by customers. The retail price was $990 but they were discounted to just $250. Maybe everyone is still trying to forget about old man winter.

Devi Kroell Sample Sale
Wednesday, May 4th and Friday, May 6th
Wed & Thurs, 8:30am to 7:30pm, Fri. 8:30am to 5pm
55 Fifth Avenue @ 13th Street, 17th Floor
Cash and Credit Cards Accepted

Our friends at Racked were equally satisfied with their shopping trip at Thakoon's showroom. Most of the sample merchandise fell between the $125 to the $275 range and the majority of overstock ran from $150 for a simple black dress to $465 for a more iconic frock.

Giuseppe Zanotti for Thakoon heels are $250 from a retail price of $990 but there are mainly size 39's. Runway samples in size 39 are just $75. Sales people say there will be no restocking and no price reductions. So attending this sale sooner will earn you a better selection.

Thakoon Sample Sale
Wednesday, May 4 to Friday, May 6
8:30am to 6:30pm
270 Lafayette Street, suite 1005
Cash & Checks Only

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Manolo Sample Sale Dates Confirmed

We are told that this season's Manolo Blahnik sample sale will take place on Thursday, May 12. Vogue editor, André Leon Talley will again preside as Prince Charming and help women choose the right shoe.

Shoppers usually begin to arrive at the sale at 5am but the browsing and buying is limited only to press until about 11am. 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. We suggest you go early if you want have a popular shoe size or just wait for the boutique end-of-season sale, which we prefer.

Keep your eyes posted to the site for details about the Christian Louboutin sale. These shoe masters usually schedule their sales within days of each other.

Manolo Blahnik Sample Sale
Thursday, May 12
9am to 3pm
Warwick Hotel 65 W. 54th St @ 6th Ave
Cash only

Devi Kroell Sample Sale

While all your fashion friends are fighting there way into the Thakoon sample sale, we are going to suggest you take a detour to the Devi Kroell sale. This was one of our favorite sales of 2010 and we expect it to deliver similar results.

Last year, we found $3000 metallic python hobos marked down to $800 and shoes that normally cost from $500 to $1200 ranged in price for just $50 to $200. Most of the shoe and boot selection fell in the $150 category. The best deals were in the ready-to-wear section where most items were discounted 90%. Whatever you do, don't miss the production rack where sample were all priced at just $50.

There are not a lot of sales we get excited for but this is one. See ya at 8:30am!

Devi Kroell Sample Sale
Wednesday, May 4th and Friday, May 6th
Wed & Thurs, 8:30am to 7:30pm, Fri. 8:30am to 5pm
55 Fifth Avenue @ 13th Street, 17th Floor
Cash and Credit Cards Accepted

Thakoon Sample Sale
Wednesday, May 4 to Friday, May 6
8:30am to 6:30pm
270 Lafayette Street, suite 1005
Cash & Checks Only

Monday, May 2, 2011

European Designer Shoes

Looking to brighten up your spring wardrobe starting at the toes? Well, this is the perfect time. Starting Wednesday, you can snag a great variety of designer shoes for up to 70% off. Yes, we are talking about the "8th Floor" designers, like Prada, Miu Miu, Bottega Veneta, Marni and more.

In addition, to the large selection of the above listed designers, there are also limited quantities of Tory Burch, Nini Ricci,
Manolo Blahnik, Lanvin and ... Christian Louboutin!!! We hear that those who wear small size shoes will be super satisfied with this sale but there is also a great assortment for those with average size and larger feet to walk away with too.

While you're shopping, don't miss the limited selection of lady's Burberry and Coach jackets and current season Gucci handbags, which are all substantially discounted. We don't know if we could spell this out any more simply for you: Great Mother's Day gift ideas!

Designer Shoe Sale
Wednesday, May 4 to Friday, May 13
Sun. to Thurs. 11am to 7:30pm, Friday 11 am to 4:30pm
Closed Saturday
605 Fifth Avenue (btwn 48th & 49th Streets)

Sponsored Post

Coach Discount

Coach may not be your cup of tea but for some it's the cat's meow. For those who purr for the company's classic American can save 25% off spring merchandise from May 3 to May 13. We are told that coupons went out to customers in the mail but sales associates will honor the discount if it's mentioned.

So what's there to buy at Coach? Hmmm. Maybe your mother-in-law or mother would love a white eyelet zip around wallet ($258). Kristin linen embossed python hobo is modern, practical with a touch of girly ($698). It's hard to go wrong with a beach tunic ($198).

It's the thought that counts, right?

595 Madison Avenue (@85th Street)
(212) 754-0041

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Join PhotoOp in Central Park

May is undeniably the most beautiful time of year in Central Park. The combination of warm weather, blossoming trees and flowers make this destination literally picture perfect.

Unfortunately, no matter how many pictures we take with our digital cameras and smartphones, they will never match up to the quality of a professional eye. Fear not,
photoOp, our very favorite photo studio, is scheduling outdoor photo shoots in Central Park on Saturday, May 7th.

You and your entire family are invited to strike a pose and capture a special moment with
photoOp’s professional photographers. Each session is priced at half the regular sitting fee and is just $100. Each park session includes a 30-minute photo shoot, online viewing and sharing of photos, and a meeting with your photographer to select your photos.

There are only a very limited number of sessions still available. For more information and to sign-up for this special offer call the studio at 212-362-1911.

Sponsored Post

Nancy Gonzalez Sample Sale

By: TJ Kennedy

The Nancy Gonzalez sample sale is always popular with the uptown crowed. After all, it's the perfect supplement to a birthday lunch at Atlantic Grill.

For the uninitiated, Nancy Gonzalez is best known for her exotic skin handbags and accessories. The current sample sale features a plethora sizes, styles and hues. There is only one bag of each particular style or one of each color but sheer quantity of bags won’t be disappointing.

Prices are still relatively high for a sample sale, but it’s only the first day. Clutches that currently retail from $850 to $1450 at Saks and Bergdorf Goodman are marked at $750. Small bags are $1000, while mediums are $1250 and large are $1450. Whether the bag of your dreams is actually considered a small or a medium size is up to the sample sale organizer's discretion.

The exact large crocodile hobo that is on the Saks website for $3650 is at the sale in a tan color for $1700. A hobo is considered “extra large” and therefore priced higher, but hey, that’s still more than half the price of Saks.

The mixed material bags, those not completely crocodile, are marked down to $800. These styles, however, are not commonly featured in the high-end department stores. All of the imported luxury bags are lined with a durable suede-like material and most have magnetic clasps.

If you’ve yet to add an exotic skin handbag to your collection, now is your chance to score one from the queen of exotic’s herself for a fraction of the price. Next up, a birthday lunch at Atlantic Grill.

Nancy Gonzalez Sale
Monday, May 2 and Tuesday, May 3
Mon 10am to 7pm and Tues 10am to 3pm
Flatotel: 135 West 52nd Street (5th Floor)