Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Meatpacking District Discounts- Round I

Who needs a gym membership when you can shop those pounds away? All those heavy bags and hiking up and down Manhattan city streets in 4-inch heels must account for some body toning and calorie burning. Well, today, we focused our shopping efforts-- yes we are going to call it that--on the Meatpacking District. When you're done reading here, be sure to check out the rest of our sale hunting series, which includes, department stores, Madison Avenue and Midtown and Soho.

Alexander McQueen
Presale started almost a week ago at Alexander McQueen but the sale doesn’t officially start until Thursday. Clothing is 40% off while shoes and handbags are cut 30%. There’s still a nice selection of merchandise and we truly loved the underwater inspired collection. Just beware some sales people –aham, Max-- can be a bit short but that isn’t reflective of all the store’s employees.
Mosell 212-645-1797


Although some Missoni, Jason Wu, Oscar de la Renta, Burberry and Stella has been marked down, the remainder of the store is still running at full price. We expect the sale to start before the weekend, so this would be a perfect to start sorting out your purchases with a sales associate.
Charles: 212-206-1272

Matthew Williamson
Our mouths begin to water like Governor Chris Christie at a Thanksgiving table when we hear that one of our favorite designers has started the season with a 60% markdown. The only items not included in the sale are shoes designed by Charlotte Olympia.
Lindsey: 212-255-9881

Nicholas Kirkwood
Although we think Nicholas Kirwood chose the wrong neighborhood to open a boutique—we are bit bias—we won’t hold it against him. To start off spring on the right foot, Kirkwood is reducing spring and summer style shoes by 30%. Exclusions include staple pieces like the bow shoes and suede varieties.
Kayla: 646-559-5239

Nicholas Kirkwood

Meatpacking District newcomer Owen, carries brands like Surface to Air, Suno, Karen Walker and Cheap Monday. For their first neighbrorhood sale they are starting with a 30% price cut. The only brands not included in the markdown are Jen Kao and Genetic Denim.
Phil: 212-524-9770

Yigal Azrouel
While their 40% markdown may not be as inexpensive as a sample sale, you just can’t discount the boutique experience. A Yigal leather jacket cannot be underestimated. Unfortunately, accessories are not included in the markdown, yet. Only some older belts and scarves are eligible for the seasonal discount.
Willis: 212-929-7525

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

New Designer Discount Boutique Opens

We love markdown session but when you're in the market for certain luxury designers a 30% discount may not be enough. That's when we head to our favorite discount stores. Our recent favorite is an intimate boutique, which just opened right near Grand Central Station.

The Lux Brands store has an astonishing array of top-designer clothing, shoes and accessories. In addition, the prices are mouthwatering. A Lanvin sequined dress is just $495, a stunning Prada print blouse is $149. a Pucci silk tunic is $199 and an amazing Fendi dress is $299. There's even a great selection for men, including Gucci, Hickey-Freeman and Valentino.  It's never too early to scout out the perfect Father's Day gift!

Moving onto the accessories, a Bottega Veneta flap wallet is $299 and an exquisite Prada chandelier necklace is $499. The pièce de résistance is a fully beaded Fendi Baguette with a malachite and lizard skin clasp. You might want to grab this particular item because Fendi is celebrating the Baguette's 15-year anniversary and making a huge push to resurrect the status of the popular style. Finding them discounted may become increasingly difficult.

We are also told that Lux Brands is expecting to get in some insanely priced marquee shoe brands. (We aren't allowed to name them but bet you can guess.) We suggest scoping out the store for the great clothing now and coming back later for the shoes.

Lux Brands
331 Madison Avenue (on 43rd street between Madison & Vanderbilt)
Sunday- Friday 9:30am to 7pm

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Soho Markdowns Round I

Even a hot day like today couldn't keep us away from scoping out the best markdowns. After exploring the department stores, Madison Avenue and Midtown, we set our sights on Soho. Below is the markdown status at some of the best stores South of Houston.

Acne is moving on June 8th and is holding off on their summer sale until the move is complete. In the meantime, the sizzling hot fashion label is hosting a promotion on their fall and winter overstock. The sale starts on Wednesday and past season merchandise and assorted denim will be 70% off. The sale runs through June 8th and we suggest going getting there fast. Although the stock is plentiful, it will not last long at such a discount.

Acne SS2012

Alexander Wang
There is currently no markdown at Alexander Wang boutique but online customers were recently sent a promo discount code for 40% off. You can use this link to access the online sale. For this season, we are especially into the brand's iconic asymmetrical draped dresses.
Myra 212-977-9683

Derek Lam
Presale has started at Derek Lam and the discount is 40% off spring and summer merchandise. The markdown officially starts Friday, but you can request that merchandise “be sent for approval.” This means that a sales person will messenger you your desired items and charge your card for the ones you keep. What you don’t want can be sent back to the store. Usually this type of customer service is reserved for a boutique’s best clients. If you do take advantage of such a program, we suggest that you’re respectful of the boutique and immediately send back whatever you’re not going to keep. Our personal rule is less than 24-hours
Leah: 212-966-1616

IF has a number of hard-to-find international designers and high-end mainstays like Dries Van Noten, Ann Demeulemeester, Comme de Garcons and Rick Owens. Presale is already underway and most clothing is 35% off and shoes are 30% off. The sale officially starts Thursday.
Mizyo 212-334-4964

Kirna Zabete
The sale at Kirna Zabete starts Wednesday. Just be forewarned that the chic boutique has already sold out of many hot items. If you make it down to the boutique, take advantage of the store’s stylists. It’s always nice to get a fresh perspective and they are really good!
Lauren 212-941-9656

Vera Wang SS2012

Nannette Lepore
This designer’s flirty frocks and separates have been marked down 40%. Fun print swimsuits are included in the markdown but the new swim is excluded, along with an array of runway pieces.
Jenny 212-219-8265

Vera Wang
We must say that we desperately miss the Vera Wang markdowns on Madison. Since the brand moved to Soho, sale shopping has not been the same. On the bright side, presale has already started and clothing is 40% off and shoes are discounted 20%. The sale officially starts later this week but select items like sunglasses are not included.
Marina 212-382-2184

Monday, May 28, 2012

Giutzy's Amazing Summer Shoe Sale

We've been doing a bit of thinking, as we occasionally do. If Black Friday is the unofficial start of the Winter shopping season then why isn't the Spring equivalent coincide with Memorial Day? It would make sense to celebrate a full day of shopping on "White Monday," right?

Well, in honor of the start of the Summer shopping season our favorite online shoe store, Giutzy is hosting a huge sale where almost all spring and summer shoes are 30% and 50% off. Almost the entire collections from Chloe, Rochas, Marc Jacobs, Jil Sander, Michael Kors, Nina Ricci are 50% off. That's a better discount then Saks, Barneys, Bergdorfs or Bloomingdales!

Giutzy has also marked down contemporary designers brands like, See by Chloe and Veronique Branquinho. While you're shopping, don't miss the sale assortment that's 70% off. You can't feel bad storing knee high Chloe boots when you grab them for about $400 from an original price of almost $1400.

Iris, Giutzy's affiliated Meatpacking District boutique is offering a similar promotion. So, welcome Summer in Spy style and snag great discounts on Giutzy today!
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Midtown Markdowns Round I

Temperatures are heating up and so is sale season. Last week we started our series of sales roundups with the department stores and Madison Avenue. Today we are investigating our favorite mid-town boutiques.

Bottega Veneta
While sales associates have been kept largely in the dark about what styles of shoes and ready-to-wear will be included in their June 4th sale, we anticipate it will be mostly seasonal colors from the Spring/Summer or Resort collections. The discount will be a whopping 50%, although the handbag sale is usually by invitation only. You may have some luck finding intreciatto flats or sandals, especially since there is no pre-sale.
Yuko: 212-371-5511

The spring and summer sale just started with markdowns ranging from 30% to 50% in all departments. Not many items, however are marked down more than 35%. Since these are all seasonal markdowns, don’t expect to find classic colored trench coats or quilted jackets. Instead, you will find some ultra lightweight nylon trenches in seasonal colors that are now $699 from $995. Select shoes and handbags are also on sale, even some rain boots, although sadly no discounted umbrellas. Be sure to look for classic $125 novacheck trimmed polo shirts reduced to $89 and $99 in seasonal colors.
Chris: 212-407-7100

We are told that Dior is trying to completely stop marking down merchandise. With nobody buying the Dior we are surprised the brand is so determined. Even the sales person we spoke with said she wished they would do a markdown. Last season, the boutique only hosted a two-day shoe sale but that hasn’t even been planned yet. As we predicted, those bright colored collaboration bags done with Anselem Reyle are still available. We imagine that they will end up at the outlet at some point. You bet that we will be keeping open for those.
Contact: Jenny 212-249-5822

The Fendi sale will officially start on June 1. Presales are currently being accepted with the security of a credit card. Clothing and shoes are discounted 40% but there are no bags included in the markdown. Furs and evening wear are also excluded from the seasonal sale.
Noah 212-759-4646

The Ferragamo sale is scheduled to begin June 15. We are told that it’s still too early to presale but orders will begin to be accepted some time around June 10. As in past sales, clothing will be discounted 40% and select bags and shoes will be discounted 35%.
Sal: 212-759-3822

Miu Miu
While the public sale is set to start on May 31st, a private sale invitation was sent to select Miu Miu customers. Select bags and accessories are 30% off, clothing is 40% off and shoes are 50% off. Do not expect to find any classic handbags on sale from the Matelasse collection or the popular Coffer line. Rather point your interest at bags and shoes that were part of the runway collection.
Alex: 212-641-2980

Yves Saint Laurent
While their Private Sale started last Friday and will last one week and you can definitely still score some of YSL’s popular handbags, shoes and ready-to-wear for 30% to 40% off. There will be a few discontinued classics marked down, like the Muse II in patent leather or with color blocking, the Roady and the Easy bags in seasonal bright colors. Classic Muse handbags in white, light brown or with textured and unique materials will also be discounted. Expect to find a good selection of popular Tribute and Tribtoo pumps and sandals in seasonal colors.
Eli: 212-980-2970

DVF Sample Sale

We are happy to announce that this year's dates have (finally) been released for the Diane von Furstenberg sample Sale. Starting Tuesday, June 5th shoppers will be able to sort through racks of wrap dresses and wonderful prints that are all priced up to 75% off.

Last season the prices were: $80 for pants, skirts, blouses and sweaters, $125 for dresses and jackets, $150 for wrap-dresses, $250 for leather and $275 for gowns/ cocktail dresses and coats. Our favorite section, however, is always the $50 sample rack.

Here's a little insider tip: The DVF sale may officially start on Tuesday but at about noon on Monday friend's and family are invited to shop. By mid-afternoon, the sale is usually open to the general public. Bargain shoppers should wait until mid-week, prices usually drop along the lifespan of the sale.

DVF Sample Sale
Tuesday, June 5 through Saturday, June 9
Tues 9am to 6:30pm, Wed 10am to 8pm, Thurs 10am to 7pm, Fri 9am to 5pm, Sat 10am to 3pm
260 5th Ave. (bet. 28th & 29th St.)

Net-a-Porter Summer Sale

Online shoppers get clicking! Net-a-Porter has announced that their summer sale will begin Tuesday, May 29th. First markdown on NaP usually ranges from 30% to 50% off.

We suggest you start browsing tonight and check out quickly because NaP's sale merchandise usually flies off the virtual shelves. Last season, we found a dozen or so Christian Louboutin shoes for 50% off including the Mrs Propre, which was $548 from just under $1000 and YSL Totem wedges were also 50% off and about the same price.

Usually the bag sale isn't as impressive as the shoes or clothing. This year we have our eyes on a sheer Valentino top and this Lanvin one shoulder top. We are just waiting to see if the prices here are better than Barneys.

Sale goes live Tuesday. Let us know what you think!

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Retail Therapy: Bethenny Frankel

As temperatures rise even conservative New Yorkers begin to peel back the layers. Finding the fine line between hot and hoochie are always up for debate but we couldn't think of a better person to ask than straight-talking Bethenny Frankel, who just launched her Skinnygirl Solutions Shapewear.

During our conversation we got to talk about her famous lingerie, the sexy line, and oh yes, shopping! Let us know what you think:

What were the most important elements when you sat down to design shapewear?
Functionality, fashion, comfortable, sexy and affordability. Is shape wear you actually want people to see, which was really important. It is less than $50 an item and it's comfortable. I think of it as lazy lingerie. You can wear it in the daytime into the night and be sexy afterwards with your husband, boyfriend or date. You are actually wearing a bra, tank top and lingerie.

What's the line between sexy and hoochie?
Showing too many body parts at the same time. Racy colors. It should blend in and shouldn't be shocking. It shouldn't be like, "Oh there are your boobs." It should be subtle.

What are your top shopping tips?
I am an online shopper. I look for deals and buy things that are not of the season. I am not the first person to get it because it is now. If you buy classic it will always be good. I like to buy classic pieces on sale. I'm an online hunter.

What's your prize deal?
A Christian Louboutin Sweet Charity bag, which was $400 on eBay that was originally over $2000.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Madison Avenue Markdowns- Round I

By ManhattanMataHari

Memorial Day may not offer the best discounts but some consider it the warm weather equivalent of Black Friday. Pre-sale has started at many Madison Avenue boutiques and most stores will officially begin their markdown next week.

For the uninitiated, pre-sale is when stores allow their top customers to pre-shop the sale collection. Pre-shopping a sale, or “pre-saleing”, usually requires a credit card to hold the merchandise, which is sent or available for pick-up once the sale officially begins. Throughout the coming weeks we will continuously bring you the most up-to-date sale coverage from stores all over Manhattan.

Of course, we must start on Madison Avenue:

Chloe’s presale is already underway, however, some stores may require an invite. Stephanie, the store manager at Madison Avenue Chloe, will likely extend the invitation if requested. The sale officially opens to the public on May 28th. A 30% discount will be applied to most spring/summer shoes, handbags and ready-to-wear. The popular scalloped edge ballerina flats are excluded along with select handbag styles. On the plus side, the sale may provide an opportunity to score Chloe’s $2695 Madeleine tote in fun colors for under $2000. Second cut usually starts at the end of June and the discount is often 50%.
Stephanie: 212-717-8220

Dolce & Gabbana
Dolce&Gabbana is kicking off their private sale today. The public sale is not scheduled to begin until June 1. Most of the Italian designer’s spring merchandise is 40% off. A nice selection of the popular corset-style dresses are included in the markdown down, although they aren’t likely to last once the sale goes public.
EJ: 212-249-4100

Giuseppe Zanotti
While the Giuseppe Zanotti sale will begin their sale Friday, May 25. Expect to find plenty of spring and summer styles for 30% off. None of Giuseppe’s popular Swarovski crystals platforms are included but some of their crystallized flats should be part of the discounted merchandise. If you are a popular size 37, be sure to call ahead or go early since there is limited stock in the popular sizes.
George: 212-650-0455

Hérve Léger
Max Azria’s iconic bandage dresses are now 40% off. Normally, the basic styles start at about $780 and go up to about $1200. None of the intricate bathing suits are included in the markdown, but our tan-line free abs will probably thank us for that in the long run. More sales merchandise is expected to come the Madison Avenue boutique in the coming week.
Alex: 212-794-7124

Jil Sander
Expect to score minimalist chic ready-to-wear and accessories at a 40% discount starting the first week of June. Pre-saleing could be a bit difficult but we suggest making the attempt if you are worried about a possible sell-out. This collection is the last season of designs by Raf Simons. Jil Sander’s personal designs will again stock retail spaces beginning with the Fall 2012 collection. Raf (yes, we are on a first name basis) has found a new home at Dior.
Kendra 212-925-2345

Head to the Lanvin store to shop presale from the spring and summer collection. The markdown on clothing, shoes, bags and kidswear is 30% off. Some classic bag and shoe styles are not included in the seasonal discount. Lanvin usually takes their markdown  to 50% off  in late-June. You can never go wrong grabbing a piece of playful statement jewelry.
Christopher: 646-439-0380

Pre-spring clothing is currently 30% off, with an additional 10% off until Thursday. While this sale started last week, you can expect to find a good amount of heavier fabric dresses, fitted blazers,and cropped lightweight peacoats.
Kat: 212-395-9100

Missoni usually doesn’t play pre-sale games and starts their sale a bit earlier than most stores. Today marked the beginning of their first markdown. Nearly everything seasonal is 40% off, including patterned bathing suits. Certain accessories like, head bands, scarves and the Missoni x Converse collection are excluded.
Brian: 212-517-9339

Prada has eliminated their presale practices, however, some habits cannot be completely stopped. While sales people are unable to complete a transaction until next week, a good sales person can keep a watchful eye. Most clothing, shoes and seasonal bags will be discounted 30% to 40% off. Prada used to take another price cut at the end of June and host a friends & family blow out at the end of the season. This tradition too has gone the way of the phone booth.
Joanna: 212-327-4200

Valentino’s presale is already underway. The spring and summer collection is discounted 40% off. The sale officially begins next week. Seasonal Rock Stud colors are included in the markdown but you can forget about snagging basic black. Fancy jelly’s are also being excluded from the markdown, however, department stores are more likely to discount the seasonal sensation.
Sonia: 212-772-6969

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Pre-Sale: Barneys, Bergdorf, Saks

As you're finalizing your Memorial Day plans, retailers are beginning to start their seasonal clearance. As always, we will be starting our markdown roundups. First up, are the department stores.

Department stores are often the first sign of sale season.  It's generally taboo for a brand-owned store to begin a sale before the department stores. After all, a department store has to buy their inventory for a wholesale markup while a brand-owned boutique keeps the extra profit from a straight-to-retail model.

Chanel and Louboutin will not be marked down at any department store or boutique until the beginning of June. Nonetheless, it's never too early to plot your purchases and share your acquisition wishes with a good sales person. Second markdown usually begins at the end of June and discounts usually range from 50% to 70% off.

For now, we have a roundup of first markdowns at our favorite department stores.

Pre-sale at Barneys started today. Most designer collections and shoes are discounted 35% off. The official sale starts May 30th. We are especially drawn to the peplum blouses that seem to be abundant throughout the store. Our favorites include a crisp white Celine cotton blouse and a bright silk Thakoon print.
Contact: Kyri 212-833-2088

Bergdorf Goodman
Wednesday will be the first day of pre-sale at Bergdorf. The discount is 30% off shoes and 40% off clothing. Purchases will be shipped or available in the store on Sunday, May 27. We always crush for Balmain leather-antyhing but it might take us an additional discount before we jump on this season's biker jacket.
Contact: Allison: 212-872-8732

Saks Fifth Avenue
Pre-sale orders will begin Wednesday and merchandise will be available to be picked up or shipped on May 31. Shoes will start at a 30% discount while clothing will be discounted 40%. Most designer merchandise is included. We always appreciate the Vionnet collation at Saks, although we believe it could be a bit larger.
Contact: Fifth Avenue Club (Eric) 212-753-4000

Parisian label Maje is having their first markdown of the season. Starting Thursday, almost the entire Spring 2012 collection will be reduced by 20%, 30% and 50%! For example, a cobalt blue leather jacket will be $511 from $730. Not to be missed at, 417 Bleecker Street, 10 Prince Street, 145 Spring Street and select Bloomingdale's.

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Monday, May 21, 2012

Gucci Pre-Sale Online and in Stores

Gucci has stated their spring and summer presale, or private sale--as they like to say. The markdown is about 50% on clothing and shoes. Bags are reduced about 30%. The sale officially starts on June 1. Here is the private online sale link.

While browsing, we found a dress that showcases this season's color blocking trend for $1000 from $2000, a gold triangle bikini is $229 from $450 and classic riding boots for $639 from $1250.

Fashion insiders seem to love Frida Giannini but we haven't seen a lust-worty Gucci collection since Tom Ford left in 2004. What do you think?

Contact: Nora 212-717-2619

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Cash in Your Sample Sale Overstock

High sample sale season is officially upon us and even us veteran shoppers can get swept up in the discount mania. You know as well as we do that you didn’t need eight pair of Christian Louboutin shoes. That’s even if they were $350 each.

Have no fear--we know exactly what to do with your personal over stock. The RealReal, an online luxury designer consignment store, offers sellers a huge percentage from their well-curated flash sales.

Unlike most neighborhood consignment stores, which only give sellers a 50% cut, The RealReal offers much more. From now until June 15, The RealReal will give you a straight 70% cut when you consign your opps-I-over-did-it merchandise.

So round up those extra Louboutins, Manolos, Lanvin beaded dresses and Thakoon prints and make room in your wallet and closet for the remainder of sample sale season. After all, retail sale season hasn’t even started.

Click here to sign up with The RealReal.
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Chuckies Private Sale

Chuckies is hosting a private sale where summer shoes and accessories will be marked down. We are told the discount will range from 30% to 50% off. The sale will run from Monday, May 21 through Friday, May 25.

We highly suggest jumping on the Alexander McQueen gold pumps with skulls, which will be $597 from $995. Other good buys include, Lanvin python flats discounted 30% and Marni pumps that are half off.

Chuckies Private Sale
Monday, May 21 to Friday, May 25
1073 3rd Avenue 212-593-9898
1169 Madison Ave 212-249-2254

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Tod’s and Hogan Sample Sale

By ManhattanMataHari

With a major spring and summer shoe trend being loafers, we were really excited to check out the Tod’s and Hogan sample sale down in the Meatpacking district. Interestingly, the sale is not affiliated with Tod’s and Hogan directly.

Usually an independent sale would deter us but Tods isn't usually steeply discounted. As a matter of fact, Shop it to Me, which is amazing for tracking online sales from assorted retailers, gave us a great tidbit of information. "Of all women's brands, Tod's has the lowest average discount. On average, the brand is discounted 25% off, compared to the overall average discount of 44% off," according to Shop it to Me analysis.

Information like that is just enough to get our mouth watering for a big markdown. The prices for Tod’s handmade leather shoes range from $110 for flat sandals to $229 for boots. Tod’s famous loafers and driving shoes with rubber stud detailing are available for $129. Unfortunately, the selection was rather matronly and we didn’t find any brightly colored driving shoes, as we were hoping. There are also some cute Tod’s heels available for $149.

In addition, we found lots of $99 Hogan sneakers, as well as plentiful $89 sandals. Their demure styling, however, isn’t really to our taste. Since there are no plans to drop the prices, we suggest you go early for the best selection. After all, Tod’s retail prices range anywhere from $350 to $600.

Sizes range from 34 to 40 but those who wear a size 37 will be delighted with the plentiful selection. There were supposedly a small selection of men’s shoes and women's handbags in but they eluded us entirely since they were not prominently displayed.

If you're a true Tod's fan we suggest browsing this sale. After all, Shop it to Me never lies.

Tod’s and Hogan Sample Sale
May 17th through May 20th: 11am to 7pm
407 West 13th Street (between 9th Ave & Washington)

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

YSL, Lanvin, Gucci Plentiful at Fashion Fundraiser

By ManhattanMataHari

We simply can’t resist shopping for a good cause like the Jewish Community Project downtown. This year’s sale is better than the previous and is poised to please even the most discriminating designer shoppers.

Clothing racks are filled with gently used Lanvin, Comme de Garcons, Marni, Gucci and Dolce & Gabbana among other high-end designers. There are also a number of designer dresses that are brand new and still have their original tags. We found brand brand new Zac Posen dresses for $450, Yves Saint Laurent separates and dresses from $200 to $800 and lovely new Valentino pieces. A black leather three-quarter length Jil Sander jacket is $895, while Moncler red label jackets are $250 to $795. A unique Marni reversible leather and Mongolian lamb mink hooded vest is just $795.

After sorting through the clothing racks we set our focus on shoes and accessories. Ladies with small feet will fare best since there is a wall full of designer shoes size 5 to 6.5, some of which are new or barely worn. New Manolos will set you back $165 while $285 Celine sandals and Christian Louboutins are among higher priced designers. There are some Jimmy Choos and YSL shoes to be found, but we are told that there is going to be a large shipment of Jimmy Choo and Dior shoes in size 38 to 39 in the next couple of days.

If pre-broken in shoes aren’t your thing, there is a good selection of brand new designer shoes from Edon Manor. New in box Alaia and Giambattista Valli leather flats are $357 while Nina Ricci boots are $375, and there are some Balenciaga and Loeffer Randal sandals too.

We weren’t stunned by the handbag selection even though we did crush on the $375 neon pink Marc Jacobs Stam bag. A small green square Goyard is $475 while a new Stella McCartney purse --sadly, not the Falabella-- is $550. There were a couple vintage Louis Vuitton bags, but not the most desirable styles. We were most tempted by the new $650 Alaia belt.

We are told that a shipment of vintage classic Chanel flap bags is coming at the end of this week or beginning of next. Prices are said to range anywhere from $1000 to $1500. There may also be some Hermes Birkens and Kelly’s coming in at some point as well.

To spare yourself the ride downtown, feel free to email for specific item queries. With a credit card number they will hold your item over the phone until you can get to the shop. If you are having trouble finding your size at the store, ask for Mali or Jenna since they may have more items and sizes in the basement.

JCP PopShop
64 N Moore St (between Hudson & Greenwich)
May 14th through 25th Sunday 11am – 6pm Monday – Thursday 9am – 8pm
Friday 9am – 5pm
Closed Saturday

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Inside the Christian Louboutin Sample Sale

By ManhattanMataHari

This year, the organizers of the Christian Louboutin sample sale shook things up a bit, changing the access hierarchy for the sale. Friends and family got first dibs starting today --after all the ultra VIPs on Monday. Press access begins on Wednesday and we are told that the public may get their chance to shop on Friday.

This counter-spy arrived at the sale just before 5pm and there was no line to get in. As expected, an Louboutin employee was checking names in the building lobby.  Once we were cleared, our right wrist was marked with a blue stamp. After, it was straight to the fourth floor. A coat check stripped us of everything except our wallet. Cell phones are absolutely forbidden. That means, no texting your friends outside the sale and no pictures. As a matter of fact, there are signs that say, no tweeting or posting to social media.

The shopping scene was far less hectic than anticipated, although there were only a handful of chairs for try-ons.  As always, the shoe selection is best for ladies size 36.5 and below and 40 and up. Already, there are no size 38.5 shoes (Blake Lively’s size, perhaps?) and size 37.5s were dwindling quickly. However, the selection of 37 and 39 shoes was still decent, although it may not last very long since those are more popular sizes. Prices for this sale start at $100 although we had no luck finding any shoes for so little. Unlike years past, it seemed like even some of the wedges were $225 instead of the expected $150, and most of the desirable styles were $350 and above. Boots are $500 and up, while the exotic skin styles are priced upon request. There are also a number of handbags marked down about 50%, although we couldn’t focus on much besides the shoes.

If you are a larger or smaller shoe size and do not have an invite it may be worth your while to stop by the sale. Staff informed us that they may be opening the sale to the public on Thursday and Friday. If you don't have a invite, Friday is your best bet.  If you have a more common shoe size, however, it may not be even worth the trip since they will probably sell out by Wednesday afternoon.

Christian Louboutin Sample Sale
306 West 38th St, 4th floor (at 8th Avenue)
Wednesday, May 16th: 8am to 5:30pm (Press)
Thursday, May 17th: 9am to 5pm
Friday, May 18th: 9am to 3pm
Credit Cards ONLY

Monday, May 14, 2012

Rimowa Luggage Sale

Attention dads, grads and anniversary-types. Ramowa, the jet-set's favorite luggage brand,  is marked 20% off at Venture. Several styles including Salsa and Salsa Airs are included in the markdown.

The Madison Avenue store, which has transformed from a Vera Bradely-populated stationary store to a chic variety gift shop, also has a nice variety of Rimowa colors. Our favorite is always purple but silver and red are always lovable classics.

Rimowa luggage is partly popular because of the high-tech light-weight Polycarbonate and it's sleek shine and fresh design. Rimowa was honored with the Innovation Award by the Travel Goods Association and named Best Luggage by Travel + Leisure Design Awards. Retail prices normally range from $400 to $900 depending on size and style.

Venture Stationers
1156 Madison Ave (between 85th St & 86th St)
(212) 288-7235

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Alain Mikli Sample Sale

This time of year always inspires us to revamp our eyewear. After all, last year's sunnies seem so boring. There's no better way to make your eyes dance for joy than with a discount pair of Alain Mikli glasses.

This week, Alain Mikli is hosting a sample sale, which will also include a selection of glasses from Starck Eyes and Vuarnet. The sale will run from Wednesday through Friday. Most styles retail between $200 and $800 and will be discounted between $45 and $150.

Alain Mikli is known for their handmade eyewear. The iconic styles are very square shape but we tend to like the more punk-rock styles and colors. This is a great sale to hit you're looking to deviate from the stayed designs of licensed glasses.

Alain Mikli Sample Sale
Wednesday, May 16 to Friday, May 19
Wed to Friday 9am to6:45pm
242 Elizabeth St. (btwn Prince & Houston St)

Thursday, May 10, 2012

It-it: Eyelashes

We've been thinking an awful lot about eyelashes and that was even before last week's article in The New York Times. We all know that the aging process could include sagging cheeks, droopy eyelids, a falling butt and deflated boobs but nobody ever mentioned eyelash thinning.

Anyone under 30 can consider this post a public service announcement. In addition to all the aforementioned signs of aging you can plan on your luscious, think lashes going the way of your size 22 waist.

One friend says, "I thought that Lancome's mascara formula had changed." Another friend says, "I thought I just kept buying old mascara that was too dried up to accomplish the desired results." I personally hadn't even noticed the change until other's started talking.

We sincerely regret spending our 20s avoiding mascara because of the messy removal process. Hell, who needs mascara when your lashes already reach your lids? Now, we spend our days trying to make up for the lashy loss.

We did a bit experimenting and have a few suggestions:

For $8 a makeup artist at Sephora will apply falsies (eyelashes, not boobs!). The look is as awesome as the price. If you go for the full makeup application, we suggest answering no when asked if you would like to be made up like Kim Kardashian. (Who says yes to this anyway? This is New York!)

Illegal Length by Maybelline $10
As far as drug store brands go, Illegal Length wins Mad-Spy's top honors. The mascara uses fiber technology to lengthen the lashes. The brush has a jagged bristle, which seems do quite well at avoiding the clump factor. We also love how easy it is to remove the washable version. Our everyday cleansing soap seems to do the job just fine.

Lancôme Hypnôse Doll Lashes$26
Once you go to the beauty level you can easily be overwhelmed with the variety of mascara choices. The most popular, and our personal favorite, is Lancome's Doll Lashes.The brush does a great job separating lashes and catching the little one's that you can easily miss. Application is easy and your lashes eyes look bright and flirty with just one swipe.

Correction: Barney's

Yesterday we posted about several great sales and included information about a designer markdown at Barney's. Unfortunately, we were given misinformation and the sale is not as we reported. There are some items discounted at the department store but the sale does to include any premier designer clothing or shoes.

We apologies for the inaccurate information and any inconvenience it could have caused. On the brighter side, Barney's pre-sale should begin in the next few weeks.

Department Stores First Markdown, and more

By ManhattanMataHari

A thoughtful gift of flowers is always a go-to for treating Mom on her big day, but this year why not treat her to a day of shopping. That's at markdown-style, of course. Gifting procrastinators will be happy to know there are several sales going on throughout the weekend. Take mom along and impress her with your shopping prowess.

D&G One Day Final Sale
Whenever we are reminded that D&G is coming to a close we get a bit sad. It's an end of an era! The So-hos would not have been anything without D&G. Our inside sources tell is this weekend will be the final D&G sale. Going forward, the diffusion line from Dolce & Gabbana will no longer exist. This sale is one of your last chances to scoop up D&G apparel and accessories at the boutique for 40% off retail. Real die-hards will be happy to know that the D&G will still be available at outlets-- while supplies last.
D&G One Day Final Sale
Saturday, May 12th
Soho Store: 212-965 – 8000

Bloomingdale’s Private Designer Sale
Bloomie’s is quietly hosting an  “unadvertised” private designer sale. (I know, unheard of!) This is their first markdown on resort and spring designers like Yigal Azroel, Burberry London, Zac Posen, Vera Wang and Jean Paul Gaultier. For 40% off retail and loads of loyalist points, a brown bagged gift for Mom is like a gift for you too.
Bloomingdale’s Private Designer Sale
May 9th through May 10th
59th St: 212-705 – 2000

Barney’s Spring Sale
Barney’s spring 40% off sale has officially begun. The online sale selection is plentiful, but historically we always suggest going to their Madison Avenue brick and mortar. There you will find the best selection of apparel and accessories. Not to mention the Barney’s website is notorious for overselling sales items and disappointing customers with orders canceled e-mails. Hit up the shoe salon first since popular shoe styles and sizes tend to go first. Also Saks and Bergdorf shoe markdowns normally start at a 30% cut, so this is the best discount in town.
Barneys Frist Markdown
Madison Avenue: 212-826 – 8900

Saks Fifth Avenue
Saks has just announced a "sneak preview" of their first markdown. The discount is 40% and an assortment of designer cloths and shoes are included.  It seems, however, if the higher-end designer duds are not yet included. We suggest waiting a little longer before shopping or speaking to a sales associate about future purchases.
Fifth Avenue: 212-753-4000

POSH Fashion Sale at The Pierre
Even if your Mom isn’t a big fan of shopping, play to her philanthropic side by taking her to shop for a cause. The POSH sale has setup shop in the Wedgewood room at the elegant Pierre hotel. While the sale normally costs $10 for admission per person, in honor of Mother’s Day they are doing a two-for-one admission deal. (Seniors and students are always half price). Once inside you can expect to find over 10,000 new and gently used designer items with the proceeds to benefit Lighthouse International’s charity for the blind and visually impaired. Celebrities, socialites, and designers like Diane von Furstenberg, Badgley and Mischka, Joan Rivers, and Ivanka Trump have all donated items for the event. There is a great selection of vintage and designer furs, mostly ranging from $400 to $4000. (If you can find Suzette or Kay they may negotiate on the price). Since the seemingly endless racks of ready-to-wear were a bit overwhelming, the accessories will likely be the first to go. $195 Hermes scarves and unique $100 Oscar de la Renta snakeskin corset belts caught our eye, as well as the $195 to $250 Judith Leiber belts in the glass display next to a plentiful selection of fashion and costume jewelry. The shoe department was dominated by $150 Manolo Blahniks, and many boxes of new Krizia wedges for $100, with some Christian Louboutins in the mix as well.
The Pierre Hotel
2 East 63rd Street
Friday and Saturday, May 11th and 12th: 11am to 7pm
Sunday and Monday, May 13th and 14th: 11am to

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Spring Louboutin Sample Sale

The Christian Louboutin sample sale is legend among sample sale fanatics. It's closed to the public and invitations are as covetted as West Wing access. We are not sure where the security is tougher but you can always count on a flurry of excitement when word leaks of the Louboutin sample sale.

We just confirmed with the Louboutin press office that the sample sale will begin Monday, May 14th and run all week. Press invitations are scheduled to begin Wednesday, May 16th. Each press invitation includes a guest. So if you're looking to score a moment to shop your best bet would be with a media contact.

Prices are highly discounted but still generally start at $225 and go up to $550 for boots. Espadrille wedges may be found for $150 but that would be the bottom of the barrel.

For the record, this Spy has had her invitation privileges revoked. Nonetheless, we will bring you Louboutin sample sale coverage throughout the sale. Please feel free to email and tweet us info and pictures.

(On a side note, anyone who can stomach reading through the 50 Shades of Grey trilogy will get a chuckle from the miss-spelling lot Louboutin at the end of the third book.)

Christian Louboutin Sample Sale
Monday, May 14 through Friday, May 18
Daily 9am to 5pm, Fri. 9am to 3pm
306 W. 38th St. (bet. 8th & 9th Ave.)

Monday, May 7, 2012

Contemporary Designer Sample Sale

Several "contemporary" designers, including Hunter Dixon and Twinkle by Wenlan, are co-hosting a sample sale that will begin Thursday, May 10. The two-day sample sale will also include clothing from By Smith and Pinkyotto.

We are told that prices will be less than half of retail. A silk printed dresses will be $120 from $326, a color-blocking maxi dresses will be $80 from $154, black and white eyelet cut out dress will be $130 from $295 and a weekend dresses will be $98 from $278.

It appears to be a decent place to pick up flirty summer dresses. If you can't make it, you can be assured you will find similar markdowns in department stores by mid-July.

Sample Sale
Thursday, May 10 and Friday, May 11th
10am- 6pm
545 8th Avenue, 17th Floor
between 37th and 38th Street
Cash, Visa, MasterCard, Amex

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Kids Designer Sample Sale

This week, fashionable moms are going to want to take advantage of the L.O.L. Kids sample sale, which includes European kids brands like Sonia Rykiel, Monnalisa, Jakioo, Miss Grant, Microbe, Sara Banda and TroiZenFants. The sale starts Monday, May 7th and runs until the inventory is gone-- which should be at least two weeks.

We took a browse through the collection and was very pleased with the merchandise selection. Prices are wholesale, which is not as discounted as some in-showroom sample sales but still a good bite off of retail. We found wonderful Monnalisa coats with fur trim hoods for $200, a Sonia Rykiel hooded knit sweater was $326, a Miss Grant jacket was $160, a Sara Banda tee was $30 and a baby dress was $24.

As you can see, the brands and prices range widely. The collection is all winter 2012, which means it hasn't even hit stores yet. Sizes are abundant in the newborn to 9 month size and then picks up again at size 3 and ranges up to size 8. We suggest shopping this sale towards the beginning because there will be no restocking. It is possible, however, that whatever remains in a few weeks will be reduced.

L.O.L. Kids
Monday, May 7 through at least May, 17th
Mon to Fri 10am-6pm, Sat & Sun 10am-5pm
22 West 21st Street (Btwn. 5th and 6th Ave)
Cash & credit cards accepted

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Mother's Day Gift Idea: Buccellati Necklace

Want to double-wow mom for Mother's Day? You can treat mom to a fabulous Buccellati necklace and really wow her with your keen shopping skills.

This 18-karat gold Buccellati leaf ensemble, which includes matching earrings, will dazzle even the most jaded woman. The necklace's handcrafted-in-Italy details are classic Buccellati.

Buccellati dates back to the mid-eighteenth century and is famous for textural gold jewelry. All the designs have a style that references the great goldsmiths of the Renaissance. Buccellati is distinctively known for their rich textural quality, Mario Buccellati was the first to introduce the technique of texture-engraving.

A Buccellati necklace, such as this, was listed on eBay for $15,000 and another stunner with a tiny bit diamond detailing sold at the Doyle auction house for $25,000. Imagine how pleased your wife will be when she finds out you snagged this one for just $9,200 from That's almost 1/3 of the retail price!

You can check the online store to see a full range of sparkly diamonds, gold and watches or you can contact Missy to enquire about divorcing your jewels.
Missy Schorr

Sponsored Post

Last Day Manolo Sale

Today the Manolo Blahnik sample sale kicked off without a hitch. The sale officially opened to the public at noon and as promised, shoppers were ushered into the sale promptly according to their ticket letter, which started with A and spanned the alphabet.

As anticipated, the sale was well stocked with a wide assortment of shoe styles and sizes. The bulk of the inventory was size 7 and slimmest selection was size 8 through 9.5. Basic shoes start at $100 and prices go up to $500 for high exotic boots. We were especially happy to find a nice assortment of booties from the prior season. Even ALT said agreed that they were "very high fashion."

Remember, Friday is the last day. We suggest getting a ticket early and coming back later. Also, the sale is cash only, so you might want to hit the ATM on 55th and 6th.

Next up, details on Christian Louboutin sample sale...

Manolo Sale Details
Friday, May 4
9am to 2pm
The Warwick Hotel
54th Street and 6th Avenue, 2nd Floor
Cash only.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Nancy Gonzalez Exotic Sample Sale

Nancy Gonzalez is hosting her annual sample sale where her famous exotic skin bags will be significantly reduced. The sale doesn't open to the public until Tuesday, May 8 but Madison Avenue Spy readers have been invited to the Monday VIP pre-sale.

Shoppers can attend the pre-sale by giving a $36 donation, which will go to New York Cancer Center. Please email us here (sorry all full) if you would like to attend. Space is limited to the fist ten reader who respond. There will be a guest list at the door, on Monday. The remaining dates of the sale are open to the general public.

Past Gonzalez sample sales include an impressive inventory of exotic styles and colors. The prices at the last sale were almost as impressive as the assortment of merchandise: clutches were $750, small bags were $1,000, medium bags were $1,250, large bags were $1,450, extra large bags were $1,700. Bags comprised of mixed materials were $800, boxes were $300 and belts were just $100.

This sale is always very popular and can be quite chaotic. We suggest that serious Nancy Gonzalez shoppers should take advantage of this pre-shopping opportunity.

Nancy Gonzalez Sample Sale
VIP Fundraiser Monday, May 7 from 2pm to 7pm
Public Sale: Tuesday, May 8 through Thursday, May 10
Tues & Wed 10am-6pm & Thurs 10am-4pm
Flat0TEL- 135 W. 52nd St. (5th FL) Btwn 5th & 6th
Cash & Credit Card. No Strollers.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Manolo Spring Sample Sale

Ladies get your waiting shoes on. The Manolo Blahnik spring sample sale starts Thursday, May 3rd and runs through Friday afternoon. As usual, ALT will be on site at at the Warwick Hotel to help women with all their footwear needs.

This sample sale is a bi-annual highlight for shoe lovers. As you can imagine, the wait time can be worse than a passport agency. Personally, we prefer the boutique sales even if prices are a bit more expensive. Those who are up for the Manolo sample sale challenge should read our survival guide. At the very least, attendees are seated in a hotel ball room while they wait and offered coffee and water. (These are conditions much better than most sample sales, we might add.)

The Manolo sale is usually press only until about noon Thursday, but then opens to the public. Shoes range in price from $100 for leather, suede or satin to $300 for lizard boots. Hey, there's a reason why people wait hours.

This is the first time the sale is being held over two days. That's a good indication that there will be a good selection of merchandise. If you attend the sale, please keep us all posted by Tweeting at @MadisonAveSpy.

Manolo Sale Details
Thursday, May 3rd to Friday, May 4
Thurs. 12pm to 4pm and Fri 9am to 2pm
The Warwick Hotel
54th Street and 6th Avenue, 2nd Floor
Cash only.

Decades Uptown Sale and Shoe Extravaganza

The By ManhattanMataHari

Uptown gals will be thrilled to shop  gently used and vintage designer finds curated by Decades, right here in our own neighborhood. Decades has transformed the Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center’s Thrift Shop into a veritable archive of couture, including  socialite Lyn Revson’s immaculate contributions.

While the shoes are certainly a major draw, don’t ignore the racks of ready-to-wear. There are approximately 65 different chic Chanel boucle wool blazers ranging from $850 to $2000. The assortment and quality is arguably the best selection we have ever seen all in one place.

Those attending the Met Gala should browse the vintage Herve Leger, Emilio Pucci and Versace gowns. They are all truly Gala worthy.  There is also considerable Prada/Shiaparelli selection of clothing. The real highlight, however, was a gorgeous black Alexander McQueen number worn by Christina Hendricks of Mad Men. Although this dress is $4000, most of the gowns are priced much more affordably.

Designer purses are scattered throughout the store, with various Chanel styles ranging from $450 to $3900. A classic 2.55 flap is naturally the most expensive. There is a good selection of vintage Hermes bags (think Kelly styles) courtesy of Revson for $850 to $2200. A green Balenciaga “first” small city bag is $600, which is well under most consignment prices. With a bit of searching you should find gently used or new Miu Miu, Burberry, Prada, Fendi, Tod’s, and Ferragamo handbags all 60% or more off retail.

The sale's Chanel and Yves Saint Laurent jewelry are eye-catchers. Earrings will run you anywhere from $300 to $600 and necklaces are priced up to $1200, which is a bit steep for fashion jewelry.

The best part of this uptown venue is that Decades is donating 10% of the sale price to Sloan-Kettering’s Cancer Center. If all that isn't enough to get you shopping, MadSpy readers have been invited to access the $150 shoe extravaganza early on Tuesday, May 1st from 5pm to 7pm. The sale opens to the public on Wednesday. The blowout sale will include Christian Louboutin, Chanel, Yves Saint Laurent and Brian Atwood.

Decades Popup
Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center Thrift Shop
1440 Third Avenue (between 81st and 82nd)
Tuesday, May 1st 10am – 5pm; 5pm – 7pm: Exclusive $150 Shoe Sale for MadSpy readers
Wednesday, May 2nd 10am – 5pm $150 shoe sale open to the public