Thursday, November 29, 2012

Early Access to Nancy Gonzalez 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 Monday, December 3 but Madison Avenue Spy readers have been invited to the Sunday VIP pre-sale.

Shoppers can attend the pre-sale by giving a $36 donation, which will go to New York Cancer Center. Please (sorry the list is closed.) email us here if you would like to attend. Space is limited. There will be a guest list at the door, on Tuesday. 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 Sunday, December 2 from 12pm to 5pm
Public Sale: Monday, December 3 & Tuesday, December 4
Flat0TEL- 135 W. 52nd St. (5th FL) Btwn 5th & 6th
Cash & Credit Card. No Strollers.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Markdowns: Bergdorf, Barneys & Saks

By ManhattanMataHari

This is a big week for department store shoppers. Almost all of our neighborhood department stores started their official first markdowns on designers clothing and shoes. Universally, the only exclusions are Chanel and Louboutin but that should be coming in the next two weeks. We know that you may be light on time but are always hungry to shop. So we put together a handy guide to sale season at our local department stores. Gobble it up!

 Bergdorf Goodman 
Over at Bergdorf’s there is a great selection of handbags discounted about 40% off retail. We found of Nancy Gonzalez hobos, totes and clutches, now $819 from $1350. There is even a decent selection of Valentino's Rockstud styles that are mixed with seasonal accents. Tom Ford handbags are plentiful and priced approximately the same as outlet prices, although there are no Jennifer zipper flaps to be found. The markdown handbag section also includes select Fendi and YSL styles.

This 40% cut has also been applied to designer clothing. The sale racks over at the Tom Ford, Fendi and Dolce & Gabbana boutiques are quite plentiful. Shoes are 30% off and the racks are stacked with some of the best styles of the season. Getting through the crowds of discount shoe lovers can be a difficult task. We are told that the second markdown is likely to happen around December 15th. The discount will likely be up to 60% off.
Handbags: Bruce (212) 872-8796
Shoes: Bill (212) 872-8940
2nd Floor: Temy (212) 872-8817

The sale inventory is much more uniform over at Barneys where nearly everything is 40% off retail. There are some nice Bottega Veneta Intrecciato bags but no no classic veneta styles. We liked a fun chain version that was priced $1489 from $2480. The Fendi sale selection is especially good and includes one tan version of the popular “Peekaboo” style with pony hair priced at $2799 from $4680. The Balenciaga selection was much and no classic styles were on sale. Sadly, no Celine handbags are on sale or will be going on sale. Period. Bummer.

The shoe deals are better at Barneys than Bergdorfs, with all designers (including Alaia) priced 30% to 40% off. We found a good amount of Chloe shoes in the sale section. A pair of Chloe boots was $649 from $1095 and smoking slippers were $479 from $795.

In the clothing departments the sale racks are all 40% off. We were most pleased by the amount of sale choices from Lanvin and Chloe. Fendi and Bottega are similarly discounted but there’s a much better selection at Bergdorfs.
Handbags: Anita (212) 833-2031
Shoes: Shawn (212) 833-2141
2nd Floor: Lucy (212) 833-2555

Saks Fifth Avenue
If you are going to Saks you are most likely hitting the shoe department. Most of the sale style shoes (say that five times fast) are 40% off. Smaller and larger sizes are very well stocked. The discounted inventory includes popular YSL Tribute sandals and Jimmy Choo glitter pumps. Both are priced at $556 from $795. As mentioned, Chanel and Louboutins are not yet included in the sale along with Givenchy and Dior. We expect these to be added to the sale in the next couple weeks at a 30% cut.

The designer clothing at Saks is also 40% off retail, with plenty of merchandise available in each of the designers’ boutiques. We also noted a rack of Herve Leger dresses on sale, although most were in size XS.
Shoes: Antionette (917) 806-6579
Third Floor: Julie (212) 753-4000

Amazing Fur Sample Sale

When it comes to staying warm and looking great there's no better option than fur. Either faux or real you have to look stylish and stay warm. 

Starting Thursday, you can get a jump-start on winter chic and save a bundle at the Annabelle/ Jocelyn sample sale. The three-day sale will include a variety of luxury furs and outerwear that will be priced up to 80% off. The sale will include fur vests that were originally $700 for $140, fur scarves that retailed for $600 will be $200 and an assortment of great gift items will start at just $25.

In addition to the anticipated vests and coats, we are also told there will be a great selection of scarves, hats, wraps and ponchos. Lets see her turn up her nose at that! 

Thursday, November 29 to Saturday, December 1 
Thrus & Fri 10am to 6:00pm, Sat 10am to 4pm 
150 West 30th Street (@ 7th Ave), 5th Floor 
Cash and Credit Cards Only 

 Sponsored Post

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Manolo Blahnik Sale Rescheduled

Right after Hurricane Sandy pranced all over our town, Manolo Blahnik canceled their legendary sample sale. (Talk about raining on our parade.) But fear not, the sale is back on.

On Thursday, December 6th, Manolo fans will be able to shop an assortment of hugely discounted shoes. We anticipate that a majority of the selection will be from summer 2012.

At the last sale basic shoes started at $100 and prices went up to $500 for exotic leather boots. We found that the bulk of the inventory was a size at and the smallest selection was size 8 through 9.5. You can read a full rundown of our past season coverage here.

The sale is slated to start at 9am but sale regulars usually get there much earlier. Once the sample sale organizers arrive, each attendee is given a ticket with a letter, starting with A. Each letter group is called into the sale as enough customers leave. Be warned, the wait can take hours but once you have you're letter ticket you're free to leave and return later.

Perhaps this is the perfect time to take a spin through the MoMa? Then you can justify your shoe purchase as part of your appreciation of fine art.

Manolo Blahnik Sample Sale
Thursday, December 6
9am to 4pm
The Warwick Hotel
54th Street and 6th Avenue, 2nd Floor
Cash only

Monday, November 26, 2012

On Sale: Prada, Bottega & Valentino

Last week we reported about several boutiques starting their presales. Some highlights were Tom Ford, which has discounted their entire inter collection of shoes, clothing and handbags 50% off. Gucci and YSL are also on sale with discounts that range from 30% to 50% off.

Today we are adding several more Madison Avenue boutiques that have joined in on the joy of sale season. The details are below:

Presale at Prada started today. For the winter clearance clothing is being discounted a shocking 50%, shoes 50% and this season's handbags 40%. The sale will officially start Thursday. This is the largest first markdown Prada has offered in several seasons. We would suggest grabbing the items you most want immediately.
Ramone Alanzo 212-327-4200

Bottega Veneta
Getting an appointment to Bottaga Veneta's private leather goods and handbag sale may not be easy but it's worth a shot. For a few hours this Wednesday, shoppers will be able to shop from a limited selection of merchandise that will be reduced 30% off. Clothing and shoes will be reduced even further at a discount of 50% off. If you have a problem obtaining an appointment for the Wednesday private sale, we suggest contacting the brand's outlet at Woodbury Common.
Yuko: 212-371-5511

The Valentino boutique has started their presale. The discount on shoes, handbags and clothing is 40% off. Most of the Rockstud collection is not included int he markdown but you can use the seasonal discount towards a metal studded bootie that's now $597 from $995 or a flower embroidered handbag that's now $1797 from $2995. Online shoppers can use the code EXCLUSIVEVALENTINO at checkout to access the discount. The only problem with shopping the sale online is that you can't see what's on sale until it's already in your cart.
Neusa 212-772-6969

Sunday, November 25, 2012

So-Called Cyber Monday

Chances are that you've been shopping or browsing online and offline all weekend. Nonetheless, marketers sill insist that the Cyber Monday continue after Thanksgiving.

Chuckle as you might, we are a stickler for tradition. To find the best places to surf on Monday we reached out to the mother of all online sale trackers, Shop It To Me. Site founder and CEO, Charlie Graham says, "When it comes to shopping online for clothing, shoes and accessories--the past two years, on Thanksgiving weekend and Cyber Monday the deals have been the best at online-only sites--such as Zappos, Net-a-Porter, Shopbop, Piperlime, followed by department store sites and specialty retailer sites."

We decided to take Charlie Graham's cyber sale knowledge and play it against our "real world" experience. Below are our ratings of of Charlie's favorite e-railers followed by our master conclusion.

Milly Dress from Piperlime

The online shoe and clothing retailer is hosting a fall sale where we found select merchandise is 5% to 25% off. Although the markdowns not much, shoppers love the site for its free standard shipping for both deliveries and returns. Through Cyber Monday, Zappos is offering free overnight shipping on all orders with at least one article of clothing.
Madspy rating: C-

As of Sunday night, the online luxury retailer dropped their markdown to 50% off on on a small selection of merchandise. A dazzling Hakaan dress is $920 from $1840, a RED Valentino jacket is $312 from %625 and sparkly Jimmy Choo ballet flats are $2212 from $425. Most of the best merchandise from this is still just 30% off but we know that NAP is always the first retailer to start their end-of-season sale.
Madspy rating: A-

The designer e-tailer is hosting a spend some-get-some campaign where the more you spend the more you save. For example, if you spend $250 you save 20% but if you spend $1500 or more you save 35%. The downside is that most of this season's designer merchandise is not marked down at all. On the bright side, the site has a decent sale section where you can save even more with the stacked discount promotion. We spotted a Sonia Rykiel vinyl rain jacket for $275 from $550 and a Elise Overland leather bolero for $690 from $2300.
Madspy rating: B

The site is offering shoppers a straight 20% off savings site wide. In the site's sale section we found a great Milly dress for $346 from $495 and a Cut 25 blazer for $347 from $495.
Madspy rating: B+

Master Conclusion:
Most luxury designer boutiques and department stores have started sales and presales that range from 30% to 50% off. We think that you should refrain from clicking this Cyber Monday if you're favorite online retailer is offering any less of a discount than your local store. We agree with Shop it to Me's CEO when he says, "At this time of year, use 40% off as your barometer of what's a good deal."

Thursday, November 22, 2012

16 Black Friday Deals on Madison

It's hard to think of tony Madison Avenue stores offering door busters to Birkin carrying shoppers the day after Thanksgiving. If you're sceptical, think again. Luckily there are more contemporary stores than ever on the Avenue, which means you can participate in the holiday shopping spirit, save big and never set foot into a mall or shopping center.

BCBG Max Azria
770 Madison Avenue
The deal: Through Monday you can save up to 50% off the brand's most popular styles.

35 east 85th street
The deal: Enjoy 25% off your purchase

935 Madison Avenue
The deal: Save an additional 25% off your purchase and take 50% off already reduced merchandise

655 Madison Avenue
The deal: Save 30% off holiday dresses through Saturday

J Crew & CrewCuts
1035 Madison (Women)
1040 Madison (Men)
769 Madison (Collection)
1119 Madison (Kids)
The deal: You can save an extra 25% off your purchases in stores and online

1196 Madison Avenue
The deal: Save 20% to 30% off

1003 Madison Avenue
The deal: Save an additional 30% off sale items for a total of up to 70% off.

Joe Fresh
1055 Madison Avenue
The deal: Save 30% off all regular priced merchandise from 5am to 10am on Friday.

Olive & Bette
1070 Madison Avenue
The deal: Shoppers will be given the opportunity to pop a balloon and earn a special coupon towards their purchase.

Ralph Lauren
867 Madison Avenue
The deal: Save an additional 25% off already reduced merchandise in stores and online

Rebecca Taylor
980 Madison Avenue
The deal: Take an additional 25% off markdowns in stores and online. While you're there don't miss the Origami windows, which were designed by photographer/ artist Elle Muliarchyk.

900 Madison Avenue
The deal: Save 20% in stores an online

Juicy Couture
860 Madison Avenue
The Deals: Save 40% off already reduced merchandise, Track and Bird, handbags, shoes, jewelry, outerwear, sweaters and cold weather accessories

755 Madison Avenue
1157 Madison Avenue
The deal: Enjoy 30% Off Wear-Now styles

Tory Burch
797 Madison Avenue
The deal: Spend $300 at Tory Burch this Friday through Monday, and receive 30% off your purchase. Excludes Reva, GC's and Foundation Product.

980 Madison Avenue
The deal: Save an additional 20% off through Monday

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Midnight Madness at Woodbury Common

By ManhattanMataHari

The thought of Black Friday fills us some with dread but others love the energy of overflowing stores and unbelieveable deals. To some, traveling to Woodbury Common is as much of a holiday tradition as visiting the tree at Rockefeller Center.

We sent our spies upstate to the notorious outlet center to get the inside scoop. Luckily, our sources have made it easier than ever to determine if it's worth diving right into the holiday season. To check the store hours and for additional sale information, visit the Woodbury Commons website. Those who prefer a more pieceful shopping environment are encouraged to call the outlet and have your purchases shipped right to your door.

Women’s fall/winter 2011 merchandise will be an additional 25% off while spring/summer 2011 inventory is a whopping additional 60% off outlet prices. Some handbags and accessories will be marked an additional 25% to 30% off. Popular City bags are not included but there are some smaller classic First versions available for normal outlet pricing (30% off retail) in camouflage ponyhair, navy and white canvas, and black leather with gold hardware. One lucky size 42 lady can take home a popular $2650 brown moto jacket for just $1499.
Percy: (845) 928-2006
Friday: 12am-10pm
Saturday: 7am-10pm
Sunday: 8am-9pm

Bottega Veneta
Don’t count on getting any additional markdowns on popular woven style handbags or shoes, but certain seasonal purses will be an additional 30% to 50% off outlet prices this weekend. The Veneta fall/winter 2011 collection is 30% off retail with older pieces discounted 50% to 60%. Generally, outerwear and shoes are a 50% cut. Intrecciato fans won’t be disappointed to find lots of brightly colored seasonal purses like satchel styles for $2389 and totes $1529 to $1579.
Akiko: (845) 928-4563
Friday 12am-10pm
Saturday: 9am-10pm
Sunday: 9am-10pm

The early bird clearly gets the worm at Chloe, with a door-busting additional 30% off everything in the store in the morning and then 20% after 6am. All outlet handbags are currently 50% off retail already (except for popular Marcie and Paraty styles). Lucky shoppers will be able to score these popular styles at a 20% to 30% discount, with small Marcie hobos (retail $1465 to $1500) now $1200 to $1300. Medium size Marcies in python (retail $3580) will be $2700 and a medium Paraty in rock color ($1895 retail) will be about $1600. We suggest you skip the chaos and presale these popular bags over the phone now for the 20% cut because they may not stick around until Friday. There is a plentiful selection of shoes already an additional 40% off outlet prices, including lots of exotic and leather boots, rain boots and wedge booties. Clothing is already 40% off retail and will be marked down about 50% off.
Jerry: (845) 928-6260
Friday: 12am-10pm (additional 30% off 12am-6am; 20% off for rest of weekend)
Saturday: 6am-10pm
Sunday: 6am-10pm

Fendi opens at Midnight on Thanksgiving but additional markdowns don’t start until 6am. Outlet prices for handbags and accessories are already 30% off retail and the store will offer an additional 10% off starting in the early morning. Just be warned that there are no baguette or peekaboo styles at the store. You will find the international totes and a monogram Boston bag. Ready-to-wear will be the best bargain (outlet prices are already 65% to 70% off retail) and there will be an additional 20% cut. Shoes, including some boots will be an extra 15% to 30% off the outlets already halved prices. Furs are not included in this sale but they are 40% off retail.
Lauren: (845) 928-5455
Friday: 6am-10pm (possible in-store sale 12am-6am TBD Wednesday evening)
Saturday: 8am-10pm
Sunday: 8am-10pm

We are told that there will be an additional Black Friday discount but the amount has yet to be determined. Women’s clothing is already 50% to 70% off retail but there are no furs or outerwear available. There are a decent amount of dresses but not many gowns. There are lots of handbags and a mix of leather a monogram styles for about 30% to 50% off retail.
Jessica: (845) 928-8034
Thursday: 9pm- Friday 10pm
Saturday: TBD if sale will continue
Sunday: TBD if sale will continue

Marni is kicking off sale season with an additional 25% off outlet prices for fall/winter 2011 merchandise. Older inventory will be an extra 50% off their outlets prices, which are already 50% from retail. Nothing in the store will be excluded and the sale will continue well past this weekend --until everything is sold.
Michelle: (845) 610-2240
Friday: 12am-10pm

While there will be no additional discounts the store did receive a few shiny puffer jackets in green and purple yesterday. You should call now if you're interested in these because they will likely be gone by Friday. The selection of matte puffers is much better and are available in brown, taupe and black. Small sizes are limited but at least you will save 35% off of retail.
Britney: (845) 928-3045
Friday: 12am-10pm

While there will not be any additional Black Friday discounts, the outlet is 35% to 40% off retail. There are handbags, clothing, shoes (lots of boots), as well as two styles of furs. The Prada outlet is expecting a large shipment of merchandise on Friday and should be well stocked.
Britney: (845) 928-3706
Friday: 5am-10pm

Tom Ford Outlet

Tom Ford
There is an extensive selection of leather handbags, shoes and ready-to-wear available at one of our favorite designer's outlet store. While there aren’t any popular Jennifer flap zipper bags, there are loads of discounted exotic leather bags. Brown and black crocodile (retail $19,990) are normally $7996 at the outlet, but will be discounted an additional 25% making them a cool $5997 each. Ford’s dresses will be priced between $530 and $650, including the extra 25% to 50% off outlet prices. Men and women’s shoes will be an additional 50% off and jewelry will be an additional 25%. Our jaws dropped when we found gladiator style s $71 to $78 for gladiator style sandals (retail over $650), flats around $60, and heels ranging from $122 to under $500 for exotics. You can view a price list and inventory for the sale here.
Jessica Graziadio: (845) 684 – 3100 (in store Wednesday 21st from 1pm – 9pm for requests)
Friday: 5am-10pm
Saturday: 7am-10pm
Sunday: 8am-9pm

Yves Saint Laurent
Starting Wednesday, handbags and shoes will be an additional 30% off the normal 30% discount. The YSL outlet is currently stocked with Tributes and Tribtoos, although size 38s are out of luck. They also have some oversize Muse handbags in orange and white and large versions in crackled black leather ($1183) and metallic silver ($714). Clothing and sunglasses will be an extra 60% off outlet prices. Pre-sale over the phone with a credit card is available, although all sales are final.
Shirley:(845) 928-2169
Wednesday: 10am-9pm
Friday: 12am-10pm

Monday, November 19, 2012

Fashionista's Gift Paradise

Right about this time of year we start brainstorming on how to wow the most fashion savvy of our friends. Really, what do you get someone who can get themselves almost anything?

We have the answer!

The CFDA & Vogue Fashion have created a charitybuzz auction to benefit those affected by superstorm Sandy. This auction is not just any auction. The biggest names in fashion have donated some truly amazing prizes that would make even the most irreverent fashion insider crack a smile.

Auction prizes include attending fashion week with Anna Wintour, which is already priced at $10,000 and a personal styling session with Charlotte Ronson with two front row tickets to her fashion show and after party. That one has a current bid of just $2000 but is valued at $10k.

There is really a gift for almost everyone: You can win your fashion obsessed daughter a week internship at DKNY. You can even wow your hedge fund husband by winning him a round of golf with NYC Mayor, Michael Bloomberg.

Our personal dream gift is the week at Diane von Furstenberg's Harbour Island Beach House. Everyone needs to get out of the cold. The auction ends December 5th and we couldn't think of a more fulfilling way to help others!

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Presale at Gucci & YSL

Early this week is the best time time to get shop if you're looking for a bit of savings and beating the crowds. Department stores and high-end boutiques have started taking presale orders for holiday promotions.

Most recently, Gucci and YSL started their presales. Right now, you can save between 30% and 50% off at Gucci boutiques. If you prefer to shop online then you can use this private online presale link and your order will ship on November 30th. In-store shoppers, who find a compassionate sales person, may be able to take their purchases with them immediately.  While browsing the Gucci boutique, we found a lilac Soho tote for $979 from $1395, a black wool cape is $1100 from $2200 and Betty platform booties are $500 from $1000.

Over at Yves Saint Laurent/ Saint Laurent/ Saint Laurent Paris --still can't figure out the rebranding and don't really care-- you should be able to presale your intended purchases within a boutique. There is no online presale link, yet. The discount is similar to Gucci with bags marked 30% off but clothing is 40% off. While the store is fully stocked, we suggest grabbing a pair of these metallic silver pumps or a leather miniskirt.

Those who have an affinity for YSL beauty can save 20% off during the brand's friends and family beauty event. Shoppers can use this link take advantage of the is private link. The sale runs through November 22 and you can use the code PREVIEW12.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Busting the Saks Door Buster

Want to pick up some great deals at Saks Fifth Avenue for Black Friday but loath the idea of shopping among the throngs of early morning shoppers? Our trick is presaling the items we most covet.

Starting Monday, you can ask a Saks sales person to set help you set aside the purchases you would otherwise make the day after Thanksgiving. If you play your cards right you can save yourself 70% off.

It may not seem like great-discount-shopping season but the markdowns add up quickly. Right now the  many items are discounted 40% off. Then the Saks door buster is usually another 50% off if you shop before noon. Before you know it, you have a November markdown of 70% off.

There's one hitch, not all items are included. The extra 50% only pertains to items already marked down. You might need to sift through some racks to find what you want but it's better than waiting for the consolidation sake. So, we highly suggest you go to Saks early next week if you're looking to take advantage of the unbelievable deals presented by Saks. Otherwise, you can always door bust with the best of them.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Madison Ave Loan Co

Madison Avenue Loan Co. is a private loan company that offers high-end clients collateralized bridge loans on jewelry, art, exotic cars and other valuable items. For more time sensitive needs Madison Avenue Loan Co. can appraise and purchase your valuables immediately.

Just think of it,  from the time you have performance evaluations to when your company actually cuts the bonus check can be agonizing. Madison Avenue Loan Co. can take the edge off that pain and allow you to finance your annual New Year's vacation or the second half of your children's private school tuition.

Professional discretion is always a priority. Meetings take place in a plush office located conveniently in mid-town Manhattan. No transaction is too small or too large. All inquires are confidential and regarded with a high level of sensitivity. Call today to find out more information.

Madison Avenue Loan Company

Sponsored Post

Presale Lanvin & Tom Ford

Can you believe that Thanksgiving is just a week away? It's certainly hard to believe but the approaching holiday season means that sales are about to spring into action.

While many shoppers think it's necessary to wait for "Black Friday" to get the best deals we are true believers in shopping ahead of time, or presaling our purchases. Most high end boutiques and department stores allow good customers to set aside their purchases until their sale officially begins. Usually all you need to do is leave your credit card information. Some boutiques will even messenger your packages!

This week two of our favorite designers will begin preselling their winter collection. Lanvin's sale will officially start the November 26 but you can begin shopping the sale right now. The discount on bags, shoes, clothing and accessories is set to be at 30% off. Almost everything except classic items are included in the markdown. The next markdown is usually after Christmas when the discount goes to 50%.

Over at Tom Ford, the markdown is even better at 50% off. Most fall and winter fashion is included in the sale. We suggest snagging a dress or top with oversized zippers and booties with similar gold accent zippers are a must have.

Lanvin, Rick 646-439-0380 
Tom Ford, Melissa 212-359-0300

Maison Martin Margiela x H&M

Maison Martin Margiela goes on sale at H&M at 8am Thursday but we were given a sneak peak to the sale this evening. After months of marketing teases we were excited to see how MMM's avant-garde designs translate on Main Street.

We all agree fast fashion on the cheap is fun but H&M's price points on this collection are much higher than usual. Maison Martin Margiela's H&M booties with a plexiglass wedge are $350, a leather clutch is $150 and leather bondage jacket is $400. Yes, these are some of the more expensive items. In contrast, shoes from the  Lanvin x H&M collection were $99, a faux fur jacket was $150 and bags were $50.

So is the MMM collection worth the premium? That all depends on how much you like the French design house. For most of the general public the proportions are a bit intimidating. The candy wrapper clutch and over sized duvet coat coat are not wearable for most of the fashion buying population.

On the other hand, those who understand how to fuse together the exaggerated proportions with the stiffness of other designs will be thrilled. So to answer our original question, the $350 H&M booties and $350 leather pants are amazing but tread lightly unless you're sure you know how you work the over sized peacoat into your current wardrobe.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Thakoon’s Actual Sample Sale

By ManhattanMataHari

It’s hard to find a true sample sale nowadays – where sample actually refers to often one-of-a-kind designs in a model sample size. Well, as predicted the Thakoon sample sale is bringing the sample to sample sale in a big way.

While there are a few pieces of overstock from seasons past in various sizes, it seems the majority of the clothing on the racks were true samples. This is definitely a sale for skinny minnies since Thakoon’s sample sizes are 2 and 4. We didn’t spot anything in a size 6 and one lone size 8 dress.

The size range may scale towards the small size but so do prices. We found $50 printed cotton maxi dresses available in size XS or S. These may even accommodate a model that had a tiny-rainbow cupcake for lunch. In addition, there is a mix of seasonal clothing, with everything from summery maxi dresses and skirts to sweaters and even a $350 tweed peacoat.

The price points are generally $50 for tops, tanks and pants, with some nicer silk blouses, knitwear and skirts set at $100. Expect to find most of the dresses to be $200, including some nice solid silk, silk print and wool versions. However, some simple dresses can be found in the mix for $150. There were a good amount of pants too.

There are also some items that are specially priced as marked. Popular croc-embossed metallic dresses and blazers are $300, while some blue leather Addition jackets are $500, with a collection patent crop jacket next to them going for $600. A fun multicolored silk dress with a leather woven skirt overlay is $500.

We love that the sale is predominantly Thakoon collection, although there is a small selection from Thakoon Addition too. Prices for the lower end line mainly range from $150 to $200.

Overall, the shopping atmosphere was pleasant but we aren't exaggerating when we say that the sample sizes are so small that Lady Gaga shouldn't even waste her time.

Tuesday, November 13 through Saturday, November 17
8:30am—6:30pm daily
270 Lafayette St at Prince St, suite 1005

No Line at Christian Louboutin

We just got an email that the Christian Louboutin sale is going to close a day early making today the last day to shop for discounted red soles. We did a quick spot check and found no line to get into the sale.

Although this sale is by invitation only it seems as if the door policy is becoming more lax, in the way of two year old club. We were surprised that there is still an okay assortment of size 7s and 7.5s but size 8 seems to be running a bit thin. There is good variety of the sparkle party shoes and exotic skin shoes both priced at $900.

As expected, there are not many boots left but if you won't be sorry if you're a fan of the brand's statement shoes. Still unsure, stylist June Ambrose made out like a bandit. When she finally checked out she had more than 20 pairs of shoes.

Christian Louboutin Sample Sale
306 West 38th Street, 4th Floor @ 8th Ave
Credit cards only. No phones, no pics, no tweeting!

Monday, November 12, 2012

On the Inside: Yigal Azrouel Sale

The Yigal Azrouël and Cut25 sample sale kicked off for VIPs today and we sent our brand loving spies in to get a lay of the land. While most merchandise is discounted between 60% and 75% off, we were a bit disappointed that there wasn't more from the higher end collection.

The sale includes past season merchandise in addition to current season inventory. A Yigal peplum shirt was $125 and a leather jacket that was left over from the last sample sale was an additional $100 off or $400. There was the Leo knit dress for $250, crepe and leather dress $250 and light blue gabardine pants and blazer $125 and $225, respectively.

Your best bets will be from the Yigal sample rack, where everything is just $50. Just look over your sample purchases carefully. Some items look like they have been deconstructed and not entirely put back together again.  From the Cut 25 collection we found a good assortment of knits $125, stripped jersey dress $120 and the zipper overcoat jacket $350.

The shopping environment today was very civilized but once doors open to the general public it will get a bit more crowded. Thankfully, this isn't one of those sales where you ever have to wait very long. If you're a fan of the brand we suggest attending early but those who wait until Wednesday may make out with better deals.

Yigal Azrouël, Cut25
Tuesday, November 13 & Wednesday, November 14
9am—7pm daily
225 W. 39th St between 7th & 8th Ave, 5th fl

Sunday, November 11, 2012

This Week's Worthy Sample Sales

We are hitting the height of sample sale season and we know that everyone is bombarded with sale information. Sometimes it's hard to know where you should focus your valuable time. So we weeded through piles of sale information and made a list of the best of the week. Let us know if you agree!

Yigal Azrouël, Cut25
Tuesday, November 13 & Wednesday, November 14
9am—7pm daily
225 W. 39th St between 7th & 8th Ave, 5th fl
Impt Info: VIP preview is Monday! Expect to find dresses for $125, blouses $75, skirts $50, knits/cardigans $75 and tees for $50.

Up to 85% off fall 2012 and previous seasons
When/Where: Tuesday, November 13 through Saturday, November 17
8:30am—6:30pm daily
270 Lafayette St at Prince St, suite 1005
Impt Info: VIP preview is Monday! Here is coverage of past Thakoon sales.

Tuesday, November 13 through Friday, November 16
Tues—Thurs 10am—7pm, Fri 10am—1pm
225 Fifth Ave between 26th and 27th St
Impt info: Highly covetable Italian-made suits, shirts, ties and pants will be up to 75% off. Wait until the end of the sale if you're looking for the best deals. There are always extra discounts taken throughout the duration of the sale. During past sales shoppers found suits reduced to $900 from $3,100 and dress shirts were $130 from about.

3.1 Phillip Lim
Thursday, November 15 through Friday, November 16
10am—7pm daily
304 Huston St between Spring & Vandam St, 8th fl North
Imp Info: Expect to find coats for $300 to $800 (fur), sweaters & cardigans for $150 to $200, dresses for $150 to $300 and $100 for shoes.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Inside the Louboutin Sale

The Christian Louboutin invite only sample sale kicked off yesterday with VIP appointments. We headed over in the afternoon and found an atmosphere that could almost be described as civilized compared to the usual press days which always start with at least an hour wait in the sleet or rain.

The sale is currently well stocked with a assortment of red sole shoes from various seasons including current boot styles. Over course there are the obvious over-the-top Louboutin styles but there is also a good assortment of Ron Ron pumps in various colors. Fellow shoppers included B and C-list celebrities like Miss Universe and Amanda Lepore.

Prices typically run in the same range as last season. Shoes on the racks start at $250 and run up to $500+. Naturally, the $250 category was either snatched up by the 8am appointments or so unattractive that we didn't even notice them. The most desirable styles were in the $350 category. Classic style boots were $500 from a retail price of about $1000 or more.

In addition to the shoes on the racks, there is a table of the Louboutin sparkly party shoes that are priced at $900. The retail prices for these gems usually start at about $2500. There is also a selection of croc and lizard styles that are shown to customers individually.

Although Louboutin isn't known for their handbag selection you will not want to skip grabbing a few of his girly accessories. Box clutches are $100 and larger hobo styles are $200.

While you're browsing around don't miss inspecting the details on the shoe boxes. We were humored by the documentation that provides a shoe's history. Some boxes were marked display, return or with the name of the celeb that last borrowed the shoe.

The Christian Louboutin sale is by appointment only for the remainder of the week. Starting Monday invited press and company friends who have RSVPed will likely wait on line for hours to grab whatever is left. For those who are lucky enough to get in, play it cool. It's never attractive to have a shoe-gasim in public.

Christian Louboutin Sample Sale
Monday, November 12 through Wednesday, November 14
Mon & Tues dam-6pm, Wed 9am-1pm
306 West 38th Street, 4th Floor @ 8th Ave
Credit cards only. No phones, no pics, no tweeting!

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Saks Private Night

Saks Fifth Avenue's "Private Night" is the unofficial start to sale season. The department store's best customers are invited to shop the discounts before the store officially goes on sale. Unlike friends and family and other prior promotions, this sale includes priemier brands. (We're talking many thrid floor designers.) This year, the private sale started tonight and runs through Friday. The discount is a straight 40% off.

RED Valentino Bow Dress $300 from $500

We are told that the official winter markdown will begin in a few weeks. (Can you believe it's already that time of year?) We expect that the sale for shoes will start a bit later but it may not hurt to get down to Saks and work on putting your favorite items aside. The sale is also available online rebranded as the Sneak Peek Sale.

Contact: Marie Jose 212-940-2536 (3rd Floor Premier Designers)

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Maison Martin Margiela and MM6 Sale

We know that you're eagerly waiting for the launch of Maison Martin Margiela at H&M on November 15 but after looking over the sample stock and prices we would urge you to hit the brand's sample sale instead. Yes, even the sample sale prices start off to be expensive but we have the scoop on how to get a real deal on the real thing.

The Staff USA is the American showroom and wholesale sales center for Maison Martin Margiela and MM6, in addition to Viktor&Rolf and Dsquared2. At a past sale tees were $75 hoodies were $100 and coats were $1000, $75 for a T-shirt and over $100 for hoodies. This season pants, skirts and shirts will be priced from $100 to $600 and jackets will start at $300 and go up to $1000.

Generally, prices start at wholesale but...but the showroom is famous for their intermittent price reductions. For example, by the end of the first day prices were cut an extra 30%, the second day was 50% off and then 60% off in the afternoon. By the last day prices were slashed an extra 70% off wholesale, which is a true deal.

The downsize is that most of the stock is samples, which is a European size 40 or 42. If you are on either side of the sample range the merchandise selection is drastically reduced. If you are lucky sample size we are sure you will walk away with your arms full and a bit smug about besting the H&M collection.

Dsquared2, Maison Martin Margiela, MM6, Viktor & Rolf
Thursday, November 8 through Saturday, November 10
Thurs 2pm—7pm, Fri 10am—7pm, Sat 12pm—5pm
220 W. 19th St btwn 7th & 8th Aves, 10th fl

Monday, November 5, 2012

Alexander Wang Sale: Near Fail

By ManhattanMataHari

Usually the Alexander Wang sample sale is one of the most popular sales of the year. Shoppers wait for hours in the hope of snagging a popular Rocco bag or a bit of downtown chic on the cheap. This season, however, shoppers who invest hours in waiting to get in and then longer to pay may leave feeling disappointed.

Today we visited the designer's VIP sale preview and if this evening was any indication you can be that there will be a VERY long wait to get in and check out tomorrow when the sale opens to the public sale. We stopped by the sale twice today – once during setup and again a few hours later after they opened. With only about 35 people on line in front of us we still waited 40 minutes in the evening cold.

During our first spot-check we got a glimpse of a couple of popular Rocco handbags in gray and mustard. Unfortunatly, these prized deals were gone by the start of the sale. By the time we got in there were still a couple large Emile totes (retail $975) for $400 and Diego Bucket bags. Other assorted bags are priced by size. Clutches and small bags are $250 to $300, medium bags are $350 and large bags are $400. Most of the bag selection was spring and summer colors. In addition, there were some small leather goods for $70 to $90, but nothing worth the checkout wait!

Moving over to shoes, we were disappointed not to find any of Wang’s covetable boots. Most of the sale selection was from the past spring and summer collection. At least the shoes were gently priced at $200, with the exotic leather versions for $300. The bright blue exotic leather stiletto pumps were a big hit.

While accessories were largely a fail, there were lots of $240 outerwear options, including some nice leather and fur options priced as marked. There are still a couple of lovely long fur vests for $2500 and less expensive fur trimmed jackets. We also found cropped red patent leather jackets for $300 and anoraks for $240.

The ready-to-wear is generally quite pricey. Causal vests are $175 and $140 and silk tops and tanks are $140. The $175 dress selection was not great, although we fell hard for a leather corset style dress for $300. The diffusion line, T by Alexander Wang, ranged in price from $35 to $120 for outerwear and the majority of clothing was in the $70 to $90 range.

The best savings are on the “Miscellaneous Stock” racks ($50) and boxes ($15 to $50). Just be sure to stay away from the ugly shrunken sweaters, leggings and jumpsuits in the boxes. (Sometimes there is a reason why items end up in a $15 bin and in this instance they should stay there.)

On the Miscellaneous racks we found some of leftover sequined dresses from the last sale, as well as really nice summer beige silk dresses for $50. Many pants and separates are also $50 near the shoe area. You can see more pictures from our shopping trip here.

Overall, we wouldn’t suggest spending all day waiting in line to get in and then lots more time to pay. Usually the sale includes a few additional markdowns  wait times decrease substantially during the following days. Also, be aware of the lighting, which is pretty terrible. In this instance it doesn’t even make sense to wait to use the fitting room.

Alexander Wang Sample Sale
Tuesday, November 6 through Saturday, November 10
Tues-Thurs 8am-8pm, Fri 9am-7pm, Sat 10am-6pm
131 Greene St. (bet. W. Houston & Prince St.)
Credit Cards only

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Updated Sales: Wang, Louboutin, Manolo & More

After a week of chaos and destruction it is hard to imagine life returning to any semblance of normal. We must always remember that we live in the greatest city in the world and no other place rivals the generosity of New Yorkers. For those wondering how they can help, we found a great list of donation and volunteering suggests from WNYC. You can see the desperation of those in need through the eye of fellow blogger, Sketch24blog here.

Looking forward to this week, many retailers have are rescheduled or canceled upcoming sample sales. We know this post is getting repetitive but the information has changed so much that we thought we would repost it all.

Unchanged Alexander Wang Sample Sale
Tuesday, November 6 through Saturday, November 10
Tues-Thurs 8am-8pm, Fri 9am-7pm, Sat 10am-6pm
131 Greene St. (bet. W. Houston & Prince St.)
Impt Info: VIP shopping is Monday and past coverage here.

Rescheduled Christian Louboutin Sample Sale
Wednesday, November 7 through Tuesday, November 13 (Invite Only)
8:30am to 6pm daily
306 W. 38th St. (bet. 8th & 9th Ave.)
Impt info: The CL sale is usually one of the most buzzed about of the year. Instead of starting Monday the sale will begin Wednesday and run through the following week. This season this invite only sale is being organized by appointment. Hopefully that will reduce line that often takes hours. Invitees were told that guests are not allowed and asked not to forward the email. (Oh, well.) Here's a link to past sale coverage.

Unchanged LOL Kids Sample Sale
Monday, November 5 through December
Mon-Fri 10am to 6pm, Sat & Sun 10am to 5pm
22 West 21st Street
Impt info: Significant savings on brands like Florence Brands, Monnalisa, Jakioo, Miss Grant, Sylvian Heach, Aston Martin, Sarabanda and Ki6

Canceled Manolo Blahnik Sample Sale
Tuesday, Nov 6th (invitation only) through Wednesday, Nov 7
Tues 9am -4pm, Wed 9am~2pm
Warwick Hotel, 65 W. 54th St, 2nd Floor
Impt Info: We will update you as soon as the sale is rescheduled

Rescheduled Shoshanna Sample Sale
Tuesday, December 4 to Thursday, November 6
Tues & Wed 10am-6:30pm, Thurs 10am-6pm
231 W. 39th St. (bet. 7th & 8th Ave.), Suite 422
Impt Info: This sale was supposed to start this week but will instead begin next month. You can expect to find dresses, swimwear and separates for up to 75% off.

Photo credit: New York Times

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Canceled: Manolo Blahnik Sample Sale

We just received word that Manolo Blahnik has decided to cancel their sample sale, which was planned to talk place Tuesday and Wednesday of next week. We assume the decision was based on the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy.

An email from a company spokesperson said: "Just wanted to let you know that we’ve postponed our sale. We haven’t confirmed the new date yet but I know you posted so I just wanted to give you a heads up."

Unfortunately, this means that snagging $100 Manolos will have to wait. In the meantime you can invest that money in helping the New York area return to business as usual.

Image credit: WWD

Huge Children's Sample Sale

If dressing well great is a priority than there’s no way that you’re going to let your little one slum-it but we all know you’re not about to pay full price either. Well, we are going to let you in on our little secret.

Downtown in the Flatiron District you will find LOL Kids, which is a lovely children’s boutique that carries the finest European brands. Twice a year the store has a huge sample sale where off off-the-runway samples are more than half-off.

This season the sale starts Monday, November 5. Shoppers can expect to find significant savings on brands like Florence Brands, Monnalisa, Jakioo, Miss Grant, Sylvian Heach, Aston Martin, Sarabanda and Ki6. For example Sarabanda tops will be $19 from $50, Monnalisa dresses will be $109 from $275 and Sylvian Heach dresses and skirts will start at just $19 where they normally retail from $50 to $100.

The sale will also include a selection of current merchandise for 50% off and winter samples for up to 70% off. All winter outerwear will be 25% off and that includes current season Monnalisa.

If you can’t make it downtown to the sample sale, we suggest stopping over at the Monnalisa Madison Avenue boutique. There you will find winter merchandise, including coats and jackets discounted 25% and a selection of past season merchandise for 70% off.

With discounts like these you might have to worry that your tot will have you looking like you’re the one slumming it. Mention Madison Avenue Spy at either location and get a $25 coupon to be used towards a future purchase.

LOL Sample Sale
Monday, November 5
Mon-Fri 10om to 6pm, Sat &Sun 10am to 5pm
22 West 21st street

Monnalisa Madison Ave. Boutique
Mon-Sat 10am to 6pm, Sun 11am to 5pm
1088 Madison Ave

Sponsored Post

Looking Ahead: Sample Sales

While most people are still recovering from the aftermath of hurricane Sandy, retailers are trying to resume to business as usual. Looking forward to next week, there are several sample sales that need to be highlighted:

Christian Louboutin Sample Sale
Monday, November 5 through Friday, November 9 (Invite Only)
8:30am to 6pm daily
306 W. 38th St. (bet. 8th & 9th Ave.)
Impt info: Usually the early days of the sample sale are restricted to screen and editorial stars but this year the entire weeks appears to be press by appointment. Lets hope you get a good appointment time! Here's past sale coverage.

Manolo Blahnik (Canceled)
Tuesday, Nov 6th (invitation only) through Wednesday, Nov 7
Tues 9am -4pm, Wed 9am~2pm
Warwick Hotel, 65 W. 54th St, 2nd Floor.
Impt Info: Past coverage here

Alexander Wang
Tuesday, November 6 through Saturday, November 10
Tues-Thurs 8am-8pm, Fri 9am-7pm, Sat 10am-6pm
131 Greene St. (bet. W. Houston & Prince St.)
Impt Info: VIP shopping is Monday and past coverage here.

Wednesday, November 7 to Thursday, November 8
Wed 10am-6:30pm, Thurs 10am-6pm
231 W. 39th St. (bet. 7th & 8th Ave.), Suite 422
Impt Info: Up to 75% off on dresses, swimwear and separates. Past coverage.

Image credit: Highsnobette