Thursday, January 31, 2013

Lululemon SuperSale Weekend

Not sure what you should do while the boys prepare for the Superbowl? Perhaps Yogabowl could be an ideal alternative. Racked reports that Lululemon will be taking over the Nassau Coliseum starting Friday for an epic weekend warehouse sale.

During previous Lululemon warehouse sales-- in Chicago and Ottwa-- prices ranged from $4 to $99 and included a full assortment of products. Everything will be organized by size with sections for men, women and Ivivva --that's the kids line. This sale is expected to attract huge crowds and shoppers are even being encouraged to tailgate starting at 6:30am Friday.

We are personally skittish about coliseum sized sales but we can understand the thrill of a shopping adventure. Just keep in mind that parking is $10 cash and purchases can only be made with a credit or debit card. No strollers will be permitted and customers will be asked to check all of their belongings. (Considering that this isn't a Hermes or Roger Vivier sale we would suggest leaving anything of value at home or locked up well in your car.)

Those to prissy to take up such an endvor (guilty) can always check out the Lululemon website that continuously has a We Made Too Much section were prices are discounted up to 50%. Also the Lululemon in Roosevelt Field mall tends to have a large discount section.

Lululemon YogaBowl Warehouse Sale
Friday, February 1 through Sunday, February 3
Fri & Sat 8am t0 8pm (last entry at 6pm), Sun 8am—6pm (inventory dependent)
Nassau Coliseum, 1255 Hempstead Turnpike, Uniondale

Domenico Vacca Sale- Final Day

Domenico Vacca is known for their classic lines, luxurious fabrics, and handmade construction. All items are crafted with a Nepalese tradition, which translates to an adorning European tailored look. Not too stuffy but quality from seam to seam.

Of course there's a huge price tag that accompanies what some call the Lamborghini of fashion but right now you can snag this great tailoring  for a small fraction of the retail price at the Madison Avenue boutique's sample sale. A varied selection of fall and winter fashion is now 70% off the retail.

Today is the last day of the sale but there are still a lot of items from which to choose. A small rack of women's dresses includes a gold lame number for about $600 from $1900, gorgeous suede high boots are a great deal for $255 from $850 and a silver fox fur coat is $4500 from $15,000. Moving over to the men's side of the basement sample sale, we found a lively turquoise puffer jacket for $480 from $1600 and a sublime unstructured cashmere jacket with elbow patches for under $600 from $1950. There is also an assortment of smoking slippers and dress suits from which to swoon.

We are told that the sale will wrap up on Thursday but we wouldn't be surprised if the merchandise was left out over the weekend. Remember Valentine's day is just two weeks from now and we couldn't think of a finer sweater to melt your man's heart.

 Domenico Vacca
781 5th Ave
(212) 759-6333

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Gucci Galore at DSW Clearance

By ManhattanMataHari

Shoe lovers and Gucci fans need to visit to Union Square’s DSW since the store has started marking down their designer footwear. In addition, the discounter has received a shipment of Gucci shoes and handbags that will delight fans of the Italian brand.

The designer shoe section, to the right of the store, is filled with assorted shoes that are discounted 40% off. We found shearling Prada Sport boots for $300, amazing Sergio Rossi high suede boots for $360 and Giuseppe Zanotti pumps for $240. Matronly style Manolo heels are still too highly priced, between $500 and $600.

The real attraction, however, is the huge variety of classic leather monogram Gucci peep toe pumps, heels and flats in the $230 to $270 range. In the handbag department, shoppers can also choose from a wide assortment of canvas monogram styles. Although these bags are not the most highly desirable, there are some decent messenger styles for $499 from a retail price of $898.

More adventurous shoppers will want to peruse the clearance racks at the back of the store. We nearly had a heart attack spotting red-soled pumps before realizing they were $60 Charles Jourdan. (Lawsuit anyone?) Marc by Marc Jacobs silver metallic ballet flats were our best find at $45. Basic nude patent Zanotti pumps are $240 and black velvet Sergio Rossi pumps are $150. With some searching you can also find $68 Coach monogram loafers and $60 lace up Frye boots.

We also suggest hitting up the DSW website for the best designers and styles even if the site's prices tend to be a bit higher. We found Bottega Veneta metallic leather platform boots for $350 and Givenchy leather gladiator sandals for $400. Prada reptile leather bow flats come in just under $200, and Sergio Rossi’s signature platform pumps are just under $300.

Whether you're shopping online or in the store we suggest you hunt around for coupons and sign up for email updates. The store often sends and emails additional savings that quickly add up. For example, we recently received an email offering an additional $25 off a purchase of $199 or more.

Monday, January 28, 2013

You've Must Be Kidding: Office Shoes

In this week's edition of You've Must Be Kidding we are shinning the spotlight on a Craig's List ad where a woman is looking to sell her collection of "office shoes" for $2025.

One might imagine that $2000 for pre-owned shoes would buy you a Louboutin pump, a Trib2 sandal and maybe a Prada slingback. Not here, this office gal is extending a pair of Franco Sarto (retail $90-ish), Worthington (retail $50-ish) and Christian Siriano ($150 if they aren't from Payless). Our calculations bring this haul to a retail value of just under $300.

Perhaps this prospective seller is hoping to attract a buyer with a fetch for mediorce shoes? Either way, we've got to ask Is She Kidding? 

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Extra 25% Off at Saks Consolidation

If you listened to our advice and waited to attend the Saks Fifth Avenue Consolidation Sale, your patience will be rewarded. Right now, a more plentiful assortment of winter merchandise is an extra 25% off for a total savings of up to 75% off.

When Saks started their end-of-season sale earlier this month we found the designer selection on the ninth floor to be rather small. The selection still isn't huge but there many more interesting items that can cause a fashion lover to obsess. For example, we found a Thomas Tait moto jacket reduced to $1836 from $6110, a long Oscar de la Renta sweater coat is about $1200 from $3390 and a magenta Stella dress is $509 from about $1700.

Heading down to the eight floor --to the shoe department-- we found an assortment of novelty style designer shoes for 60% off. Those very popular Celine shoes that were "inspiration" for so many off-priced brands are $300 from $750 (silver). Touch-me-and-I-might-fall-over no-heel Giuseppe Zanotti booties are $398 from $995 and Louboutins with feather and pom-poms are $950 from $2450. That's what we mean by novelty.

We are told that the sale should last through the weekend. If you're nerves are strong enough to wait, we wouldn't be surprised if there was an even steeper additional discount. Lets keep our fingers crossed.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Schutz Shoe Sale

Schutz, the Brazilian footwear emporium opened their first state-side store just this past Fall and is already creating quite a reputation for offering customers high fashion shoes at fast fashion prices. The boutique, which is across from Barneys and next door to Brian Atwood store, is stocked with fashion forward shoe styles that are all priced very attractively. We like to describe the store as a footwear-only version of Zara.

Most shoes are spiked and studded and are normally priced between $125 and $300 but it's discount season and Schutz shoes are on sale. Right now most items are 50% off. While shoe shopping today we found color blocked suede pumps that resembled Celine for $100 from $200, platform sandals that resemble something of YSL are $110 and studded ballet flats are $90.

We love that this shoe store is expanding the current trend of fancy-shoe/budget-clothing into a quality-clothing/budget-shoe option. The boutique also offers a selection of handbags and leather jackets but it's the shoes that draw the crowds.

655 Madison Avenue
(212) 257-4366

Reed Krakoff End of Season Sale

By ManhattanMataHari

One of our favorite designers, Reed Krakoff has taken their final markdown of the season. Their popular handbags are now 50% off and shoes and clothing are discounted 60%. Those who are too warmblooded to venture outside can shop a similar selection of sale merchandise on the company's website.

Assorted seasonal colors of the brand's popular Boxer bag is now $595 from $1190. There are also a good variety of wallets and clutches, including a basic black minaudiere perfect for the upcoming gala season that comes in just under $1000.

If shoes are your thing, a scoop neck bootie is $477 from $795 and lacquered python monolith knee high boots are $798 from $1995. Resort-friendly exotic leather Boxer sandals are now $350 from $875 and our favorite off-season is the cut-out heel hooded sandal in python for a reasonable for $380 from $950. You also can’t go wrong with ballet flats under $200.

While most shoppers favor the designer's accessories, we find Reed Krakoff's clothing to always be the real highlight. Expect to find lots of outwear and dresses and separates on the sale clothing racks. A long a-line coat is $1200 from almost $3000 and a sweater with leather sleeves is $476 from $1190.

Reed Krakoff
Jonathan: (212) 988-0560

Monday, January 21, 2013

You Must Be Kidding: Hermes Kelly

It's always fun to browse through eBay and scour all the products that are unburied from people's closets. Sometimes the items are in fabulous condition and priced well. Other times, you read the listing and think: You Must Be Kidding.

Today we are starting the beginning of a new column where we identify items that are in rediculous condition or insanely priced or sometimes both. On eBay, a 1964 black lizard Hermes Kelly bag is priced at $2500. The seller says, "It has been used. It shows wear. The lower price reflects this."

This bag shows much more than wear and is pealing and cracking in almost every direction. As a matter of fact, cars in better condition than this bag have been junked. This may be the saddest Kelly bag we've ever seen. Did we mention that the keys are also missing (surprise, surprise) but there is an orrigional dust bag!

Would you spend $2500 on this sad piece of Hermes history?

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Manolos Now Half-Off

Now that chunky heels are following in the steps of skinny jeans, woman are even more anxious to get to Manolo Blahnik boutique's next markdown. Wait no more. The newest markdown will start Monday, January 21 with a discount of 50% off.

This most recent markdown follows the 33% discount but proceeds the final and best shopping opportunity of the season. The final markdown is always one of our favorite sales and normally occurs the first week of February. Prices range from $195 to $350. Most shoes and low boots-- even highly ornate styles-- are priced at $250.

We took a quick browse through the boutique last week and were a bit worried because the assortment does not seem to be as extensive as usual. We did spot a variety of classic Manolo Marry Janes in two-tone combinations and Timberland style boots with fur trim.

In the meantime, Bergdorf Goodman still has a great assortment of Manolos that are currently 55% off and Barneys markdown is at 60% off. I'm personally waiting for February! After all, it is the month of love.

Manolo Blahnik
31 West 54th Street (b/w 5th and 6th)
Monday to Friday 10:30 to 6pm
Saturday 10:30 to 5:30
Sunday 12pm to 5pm
Store will close from 2pm to 3pm for restocking

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Scoop Warehouse Sale

Scoop's semi-annual warehouse sale starts tomorrow and men and women can expect to find discounts that total more than 75% off. We got a sneak peak and found several items marked less than average sample sale prices.

A great DVF dress is $75 from $375, AG jeggings are $45 from $172 and a Richard Chai Love blouse is $45 from $415. Correct me if I'm wrong but that's closer to 90% off. Just be warned that it may take some work to find the best deals and men may even find a better selection than women. For instance, a Paul Smith overcoat is about $350 from over $1000, an Etro men's shirt is $90 from $310 and DSquared2 kicks are $180 from $600.

Although you can find discounted merchandise at Scoop stores all over the city we are told that the best deals will be at the Soho location. So get out this weekend and give you and your man a make-over.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Bergdorf Goodman Final Sale

Bergdorf Goodman will begin their latest markdown on Thursday with discounts ranging up to 75% off. Today we took a spin through the store to see what sale items are left for poaching. You can see a full photo album of clothing from our shopping trip right here and shoes and accessories are right this way.

In the handbag department all of the sale items have been moved to the 57th Street accessories atrium. Sale shoppers will find a small assortment of bags including a variety of Fendi bags and clutches, Alexander McQueen scull box clutches. Christian Louboutin bags and clutches, and several Proenza Schouler Kiri bags. Most bags are currently 50% off but we wouldn't be surprised if a few extra percentage point were removed in the near future.

Moving onto shoes, we were surprised to see how many shoes were still around this late in the season. We found an amazing variety that included Chanel, classic Loubtouin, McQueen, Charlotte Olympia, Manolo, Tom Ford and Celine. All shoes are currently priced at 50% off but we would be surprised if this wasn't the last markdown considering the vast amount of inventory that's still in stock.

The expansive sale inventory isn't only in the shoe department but extends to  incredible ready-to-wear pieces from most every designer in the store. Just keep in mind that the store is still in a transitional phase and price stickers are still being adjusted to reflect new markdowns. We imagine that the process will be completed by the end of the week. Shoppers can expect to find markdowns on clothing that range from 50% to 75% off.

Our first --and most dramatic-- find was a Dolce & Gabbana gown marked $33,000 from $55,000 (Calling this dress a gown is an understatement.) Items that are more versatile include a shift dress from The Row that is marked $795 from $1890, a Stella McCartney hot pink dress for $369 from $930, Proenza Schouler dress $1000 from $2600, a geometric print Miu Miu coat is $900 from $2250 and chunky Marni sweater is $300 from $760.

One floor up we found a selection of sale items from the more traditional designers like an Oscar de la Renta gown for $6000 from $1490, a Lanvin heart print wrap dress is $700 from $1790 and a Giambattista Valli dress for $709 from $1785.

As you can see some of these designer items are highly discounted but some holdouts include Bouchra Jarrar, which is still only 40% off.  We would expect a lot of price shifting through the end of the month and suggest shopping now and shopping later and then shopping again, of course!

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Charlotte Olympia Sale

Starting Thursday, The OutNet is launching a huge Charlotte Olympia sale where the Brit's whimsical high-stacked shoes will be highly reduced. Most of the selection is from this past summer, which means it's a perfect time to stock up for your next vacation.

We got a sneak peek at the sale collection and spotted the popular Leaf Me Alone style priced at $430 from $1395, seashell embellished heels are $490 from $1445. As a matter of fact those seashell shoes are still on the Neiman Marcus site priced at $650. We are told that most of the selection will be priced between $200 and $600.

All of Charlotte Olympia's shoes are vintage inspired style, handcrafted in Italy and features the label’s signature spider-web stamped sole. These sky-high heels have won the hearts of fashion industry insiders and celebrities alike, with fans in Alexa Chung, Blake Lively, Olivia Palermo, Sarah Jessica Parker and me.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Norma Kamali Cleans Her Closet

One can only imagine the amount of clothing a fashion designer accumulates over the term of her career. Like most mortals, it comes a time that you must clean out your closet no matter how much you treasure your archives.

Well, this week New York fashion icon Norma Kamali is cleaning out her personal closet and 10 years worth of archives. The best part is that all sale items will be priced at between $5 and $100.

The warehouse selection includes one-of-a-kind samples, development and archive from Norma’s warehouse. We are told that the sale will include everything from sleeping bag coats to bathing suits to vintage print all-in-ones and batwing cardigans.

Of course, you can shop a selection if sale items all week but spies say that fans of the designer will not want to miss the private Thursday evening event night. The sale will include an extra special assortment (we're not at liberty to share details) and run from 5pm to 7:30. You can rsvp right here.

Norma Kamali Warehouse Sale
Through Saturday, January 19
10am to 6pm
11 West 56th Street

Special Shopping Evening:
Thursday, January 27 5pm to 7:30

Sunday, January 13, 2013

What You'll Find at Saks Final Markdown

By ManhattanMataHari

While the Saks consolidation sale isn’t quite as good as it used to be back in the day, you can still score some deals at 70% off retail. Head straight to the 9th floor and prep your eyes to scour the racks – while everything is mostly organized by designers things can get a bit disorganized.

The most plentiful racks are two large Piazza Sempione and Giorgio Armani, as well as three racks of Akris and Ralph Lauren Collection. Expect to also find smaller racks of Oscar de la Renta, Jil Sander, Burberry (with a couple of coats included), Moschino and MaxMara. We were pleased to find a couple of (size small) seasonal Stella McCartney celeb-beloved illusion dress now $527 from $1755 and a whole rack of lovely Giambattista Valli dresses.

There are some small divided racks with Marni, Carolina Herrera, Marc Jacobs, Dolce & Gabbana, Reed Krakoff, Derek Lam, Roberto Cavalli and Calvin Klein Collection. We also found some random Altuzarra pieces haphazardly on the racks. There are hardly any pieces by Jason Wu, Erdem, Missoni, Fendi, Thakoon, Versace and Prabal Gurung. Despite the sparse selection some elbow grease paid off. We found a nice eastern-inspired Pucci print dress now $399 and a classic fire-engine red McQueen signature cowl neck dress for $599 from $1985.

As of now, it seems the selection available is mostly clothing from the store floors. Around Wednesday sales associates expect to receive merchandise from the Saks Fifth Avenue stores around the country. It is probably best to check later this week for the best selection since there won’t be any additional markdowns.

After sorting through the 9th floor racks, be sure stop by 10022-shoe (8th floor) where everything including a limited amount of Chanel and Louboutins are all now 60% off retail. Brian Atwood fans should be sure to check out the variety of Maniac pumps available and there are enough Manolos and Choos to suit everyone’s taste.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Singing Saks Consolidation Sale Blues

The Saks Fifth Avenue bi-annual consolidation sale starts tomorrow, but like most time honored retail experiences-- it's just not the same as it used to be. The markdown, the selection and the shopping atmosphere have drastically shifted since we've been covering this end-of-season event. Some may blame the shift on the rising popularity of off-price discount stores but whatever the reason it ain't  like it used to be.

In the "old days," like 2007, the consolidation markdown would be an additional 25% off the lowest ticketed price. That would mean that the final price would range between 75% and 85% off retail. Today the discount is generally a straight 70% off. That's not bad but not epic either.

The selection within the sale has also changed over the past several years. Recently, we've noticed the absence of designer clothing from Missoni, Pucci, Herve Leger, Dior, Fendi and Chanel. Poof not an item to be found. It's even been difficult to find items from designers like, Dolce & Gabbana, Chloe, Jason Wu, Yves Saint Laurent and Alexander McQueen.

The most undesirable part of the sale, however, is how all the merchandise is exiled to the 9th floor of the department store. Sure, we understand that it might be a bit gauche for fall 2012 to mingle with cruise 2013 but velvet ropes that corral shoppers seems a bit disrespectful to the the customer. Is there no difference from shopping at Saks to shopping an H&M collaboration launch? We wouldn't be surprised if the store started handing out color coded bracelets at the start of the sale.

We have also noticed that this markdown promotion has inched forward by several weeks. In 2009, the consolidation sale started January 21 and ten days is practical a life time in retail. As a matter of fact the Saks Fifth Avenues in Short Hills, Paramus, Stamford, Greenwich and Garden City all still have some winter sale merchandise, which means that most of the consolidation has been within the flagship store itself.

Of course, we will bring you a full report of the sale on Monday but we wouldn't hesitate to stand this one out. If you wait a bit, you might be able to take advantage of true end-of-season discounts or you can just wait for next year to begin stalking your local Off-Fifth.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Keeping Track of Gift Cards

Earlier this season I misplaced a Prada store credit/ gift card with a hefty balance. Even after several calls to multiple stores and discussions with the company's corporate office nobody could find a record of the credit.

It's easy to forget that those flimsy credits and gift cards should be treated like cash and stored away in a safe (or vault) depending on the value. While still mourning over the loss of the Prada card, I started to take inventory of what other cards are stuffed carelessly in my wallet and in my desk draws. There's $500 to Saks, $200 to Barneys, $mucho to Hermes, $200 to Bloomingdales, $50 to Scoop, $25 to Target... the list goes on.

Gift Cards

Although I always anticipate using the credits for a delicious purchase, I never seem to have the right card when I need it. (The Prada situation is just one example.) And I'm not the only one. According to The National Retail Foundation, the average American Family has over $300 in unredeemed gift cards and more than 40% of gift card recipients never even use the entire balance.

Of course, you can sell your gift card on eBay but we've heard too many horror stories of scammers buying the card using the balance and then returning the card. Alternatively, there are dozens of websites that will purchase your gift cards.

Obviously some cards maintain their values better than others. The website Gift Card Granny is somewhat like the Big Board of gift cards and will give you a competitive analysis of the value of your credit at up to a dozen different buying sites. For example, a Saks Fifth Avenue gift card is worth 82% of the value at but GiftCardMonkey will only give you 77%. A payout for a Barneys New York card is much less valuable and worth only 70% of the face value on Giftcard Zen and just 66% on Gift Card Monkey.

Selling an Hermes or Prada gift card is a bit too specialized for these big clearing houses but there are steps you can take to ensure you don't have the same misfortune as me.

1. Literally treat you gift cards like cash. You would shove $100 bills carelessly into a dresser draw. Experts suggest using an envelope or folder to store all of your gift cards together and storing them in a safe place. Your in home safe isn't a bad idea.

2. Keep a master list of your gift card inventory on your phone or mobile device so that you can reference the values when you're out shopping.

3. Take a photocopy or picture of the card so that if it's misplaced you can contact the store with all the ID numbers. We can's say for sure that the store will be able to reissue the card but the extra information could be very valuable.

4. Rather than wait for the next big sale, use your gift card quickly because the longer it lays around the less likely you are to use it. Remember it's a gift, treat yourself even if it's just a lipstick.

5. Spend all your gift card dollars or give a small remaining balance to a fellow shopper. The chances are unlikely that you're going to track a card that doesn't have much money on it anyway. Sharing a gift can sometimes be the best gift!

I'm keeping my fingers crossed that my Prada gift card will resurface. In the meantime, I'm going to make an effort to follow my own advice and spend the remaining gift cards-- immediately! Please feel free to share any gift card/credit tips in the comment section below.

Century 21 Clearance and Revamp

By ManhattanMataHari

Usually the thought of shopping at the downtown Century 21 fills us with dread. A renovation has turned the formerly cramped chaotic floorspace into a much more pleasant shopping experience, taking the edge off from dealing with pushy tourists.

This way for more photos
Be sure to stop in at the new sunglasses display on the first floor where there are a whole slew of $130 Tom Ford (in mainly one aviator-esque style) along with over sized $100 Chloe, $120 Tod's, as well as less expensive Marc Jacobs, Dolce & Gabbana and Versace.

Head upstairs to the women's floor and you will find lots of popular wool Missoni scarves for just $79. All silk scarves are still kept in the glass display which has been relocated. Classic large Pucci scarves are $130, but we also noticed some smaller silk versions for $49.

On to the clothing, nearly everything in the European Designer area is on clearance with the exception of some new arrivals racks replete with loads of Lanvin (with some pieces marked as exclusives for RTW Charleston), Cacharel, Rochas and Derek Lam.

Just because the shopping layout is better doesn't mean you will get to avoid picking through the sales racks. However, with some time and determination you will be rewarded with great finds like a $480 Jason Wu black and red lace dress or a Stella McCartney frock just over $500. We found Carven dresses for about $175, a $282 Balenciaga, and a great little black Celine dress came out to $268. It was quite surprising to find some $289 Agnona for Bergdorf Goodman "exclusive" dresses. There are also lots of diffusion lines like McQ, See by Chloe, Moschino Cheap and Chic and Philosophy di Alberta Ferretti.

This way for more photos
Shoe addicts should definitely head downstairs since there are discounted Missoni, Manolo Blahnik, Casadei, Lanvin, Oscar de la Renta, Dolce and Gabbana, and Tory Burch heels all 25% to 30% off the already discounted Century 21 prices. Oscar's heels were heavily discounted at a top 65% off. Our favorite finds were $188 metallic leather Blahnik D'Orsays and black and jewel adorned Lanvin ballet flats for $268.

With the much improved shopping experience now we can actually look forward to heading downtown for our bargain hunting!

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Lila Dishes for the NY Post

December 26th is historically the most popular day of the year for retail returns. You might have smiled when you received that oversized Frosty the Snowman sweater from your mother-in-law but the splendor of the gift quickly faded. What seemed ironically cool happens to take up way too much space in your closet. Back to the store it goes!

The New York Post (12/26/12) reported on what's officially known as the biggest return day:

Lila Delilah, editor of, recommends shoppers start early today for the deepest discounts on clearance items.

“I’m a big proponent of in-store shopping,” Corwick told The Post, adding that many stores have incentives just to get you inside. “People might not have gotten exactly what they wanted, so they’ll go in to return something and pick up something extra, too. That’s the stores’ strategy.”

Monday, January 7, 2013

Nordstrom Markdown Hits 70%

If you're looking to shop the steepest discounts of the season we suggest you scope out a Nordstrom store. The department store's half-yearly sale includes lots of designer merchandise that is reduced up to 70%-- more than any local luxury retailers.

Unfortunately, there won't be a Nordstrom store in Manhattan until 2018 but that doesn't mean you can't score some amazing merchandise for top discount prices. If you're interested in scoping out the Nordstrom with the finest brands you're going to want to begin with the Nordies locations that carry Chanel. Those are Topanga, CA, Downtown Portland, Downtown Seattle and Mall of America.

We sent some spies into the Topanga store and were alerted about the great Celine selection. A classic dress with a wide belt is $630 from $2100 a collegiate sweater is $600 from $1300 and an awesome sleeveless leather dress with an exposed zipper is $630. In addition, you can grab a Versace glitter cocktail dress for $595 and a Alexander McQueen dress for $794.

Among the Chanel items, in Topenga, there is a print sweater for $900, a classic drop waste dress for $1219 and a hot pink tweed top for $1164. The best piece is a navy and teal tweed jacket with amethyst buttons for $2150 from $5700!

Over at the Portland store, the Chanel section includes a gold toned jacket for $4700 from almost $12000, a three color cardigan is $1064 from $2665, and a classic outerwear jacket is $1874 from $4690.  (You can click here to see pictures of all the items mentioned above.)

Those who are light on time and patience can always shop the designer section of While browsing we found a Lanvin dress for $600 from $2000, a Thakoon print dress for $288 from $960 and Versus leather sleeve jacket for $590 from almost $2000.

Nordstrom Topenga, CA
(818) 884-7900
Silvio in collections and couture

Nordstrom Portland, OR
(503) 224-6666
Libbie in Chanel ready-to-wear

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Ralph Lauren Final Prices

By ManhattanMataHari 

One of our favorite January sales is always Ralph Lauren. Right now, the Madison Avenue flagship is hosting a sale where prices that are already discounted 40% to 50% are an additional 30% off. The final discount on some items are as high as 80% off!

We found $7500 Beverly crocodile booties for $2100 and a $3200 crocodile clutch for $1200. Winter white Gatsby-themed items are still plentiful as well as a fierce. A $4498 black leather sleeved dress is now just $1098. We suggest heading to the store rather than shopping online because that same leather sleeved Collection dress is $500 more on the brand's website.

Our favorite items in the boutique are always the cashmere sweaters-- both men's and women's. A Collection women's black cashmere crewneck is $250 from almost $1000 and a men's classic cashmere cable sweater that comes in 13 different colors is under $200 from a starting price of almost $400.

We suggest you call or shop the store immediately if there's a particular item that's peeked your interest. We were told that the merchandise will not be around for very long but we hope that shoppers will seize opportunity while it lasts.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Gap Acquires Intermix

Homegrown Intermix is going Gap!

Earlier today, Gap announced the acquisition of Intermix for $130 million. That's a lot of J. Brand jeans and Givenchy jackets. The deal opens the door for the casual-centric retailer to expand into the lovable luxury market.

Intermix currently operates 32 boutiques across North America, in addition to a dismal e-commerce site. One can only assume that Gap will quickly use their online expertise to make Intermix an e-commerce sensation.

Fashion insiders haven't yet weighed in the deal but we can't help from asking about Piperlime, which has never seemed to create a fashion identity that extends beyond Rachel Zoe's style picks. We might go as far to suggest that Gap should rebrand Piperlime to Intermix and give the site a bit more of a fashion focus.

The Intermix stores on the other hand, will also need a bit of a fashion revival. Over the past few years Intermix has lost a bit of their cool factor while boutiques like Fivestory and Kirna Zabete have blossomed. For the retailer to remain successful it will have to continue to experimient with trends, which can perioutically mean a luxury misstep. Investors of public companies usually don't like those. Perhaps we should coin that an InterGap.

5 UES Neighborhood Needs

We feel a bit remiss about not putting together some sort of New Year list. (Really, can you call yourself a publisher without one?) Today, we're making up for lost time and taking inventory of our neighborhood needs for 2013. The full list would normally run quite long but we're just jotting down some basic needs that shouldn't be too hard to fulfill. Let us know if you agree or if we missed any of the biggies.
5 UES Neighborhood Needs

1. Zara (with Kids)
Sure there's a Zara across from Bloomingdales but we can't figure out why the company hasn't stocked this location with a children's department. The Upper East Side is one of the most kid friendly neighborhoods in all of New York City. Even J. Crew opened a Crew Cuts in the northern part of Madison Avenue. Why not a Zara with a children's department ... and housewares while we are at it?

2. Barry's Bootcamp
Soal Cycle is so 2010. There's even an outpost in Scarsdale and you know what that means! All the hard bodies have migrated to Barry's Bootcamp, in Chelsea.  It's unfortunate that this downtown health craze is so difficult to access. Up here, women are as serious about their workouts as they are about their private schools and you know what that means too. Come on Barry, can't you envision a line Escalades out front?

3. Homegoods
Have you ever seen anyone throw $1000 into a trash can? We have! You don't need to linger at S. Feldman or Gracious Home to witness a time pressed house manager grabbing a garbage can that costs almost a grand. An Upper East Side Homegoods would be a welcome oasis for foodies, decorators and, yes, that black card holder.

4. Michael White's, Ristorante Morini
Finding a good place to eat on a Saturday night on the Upper East Side is as difficult as getting your Co-Op board to sign off on renovation plans. We are keeping our fingers crossed about Michael White's Ristorante Morini, which planned to open in the space once occupied by Centolire, on Madison and 86th. Hopefully, the new restaurant is as good as Marea and getting the secret phone number to the inside reservationist won't be too hard.

5. Iviva/ Lululemon for Kids
Lululemon may have taken the athletic category by storm but their kid's brand, Iviva, has been much more sheepish. We only found out about the Upper West Side "showroom" after our kids inquired about tot sizes while shopping at the parent store. Turns out that Iviva carries a great variety of merchandise specifically for dancers, gymnasts and ice skaters. They even co-braded with Disney's Shake it Up. (I know!) The East Side can definitely support this experimental concept store. Just one word of advice: Rebrand to look more like Lululemon. Kids, tweens and teens love the brand as much as their mom's and dad's and nobody can make sense of that Iviva logo.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013 Final Reductions

Net-A-Porter started a their final markdown where many reduced items are about 70%. To get the most enjoyment out of your online shopping, go to Net-A-Porter's prior magazine issues and browse from there.

This season's final reductions sale seems to be more limited than prior seasons. Yes, there is an assortment of merchandise that's marked 70% off but not nearly as much as usual. That's a good thing for the retailer but not ideal for sale shoppers.

Nonetheless we were able to find some great items in the sale section. A cheeky Karl sweatshirt is $55 from $185, a Jil Sander sweater dress is $670 from $2230 and a fashion week must-have tee from Moschino Cheap and Chic that says "Only Front Row" is $124 from $415.

There are lots of great bags, shoes and accessories in the sale section but we found most of the prices are the same or better in department stores or designer boutiques. For now, stick to clothing that's 70% or more.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Intermix 70% Off

While you've been basking on the beach of St. Barths and swishing down the slopes of Davos, stores have been strategizing how to best say good-bye to fall/winter 2012 to make room for spring 2013. Right now, most of the department stores are waiting to make a third markdown but many boutiques are getting aggressive with their discounts.

Intermix is offering shoppers an additional 40% off one or two items but 50% off if you purchase three or more pieces. Winter clothing is currently discounted between 40% and 50% right now, so the extra discount brings the savings to 70% to 80% off.

While browsing the uptown store, we found a Theyskens' Theory sweater for $100 with the additional 50% off from an initial price of $400. A Thakoon Addiction dress is $80 from $450 and J Brand coated skinny jeans/ pants are $80 from $220.

Although the store will likely have another markdown, we suggest picking up three items now and settling with the 50%. Sometimes you have to take advantage of getting back from vacation early.