Thursday, February 28, 2013

You Must Be Kidding: $20,000 Vintage Fur

The second-hand fur market has never been stellar. Realistically, a coat that's more than 5-years-old has likely depreciated much as the bride's maid dress you wore to your sister's wedding. The technology used in manufacturing new furs make the old, heavier, bulkier styles almost completely undesirable.

It's for this reason that we almost fell off our chairs when we came across this ad on Craigslist: "Vintage, Exquisite, 1 of a Kind Natural Tourmaline Arcturus Mink Coat- $20,000." We were so intrigued by this post that we gave the seller a call. Turns out that the coat is currently in Arizona, was purchased in 1983 (truly vintage) and has been appraised for $25,500.

Now, this old, out-of-style, out-of-date, coat can be yours for just $20,000. But it gets better! Act now and ready yourself to enjoy the monograming of the prior owner. Tempting right? Unfortunatly, a complimentry trip to Arizona is not available even if you would like to try on this minx of a mink. (For clarity, we are still taking about the coat and not the woman.)

How much, if anything, would you pay for this blond beauty? Again, the coat!

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

McQueen Coming to Madison

The Meatpacking District had a good run. The neighborhood was anchored with the opening of Jeffery in 1999. Then there was Pastis. A few clubs opened and then swanky lounges like APT. Soon high-end designers like Alexander McQueen, Stella McCartney, Moschino, Matthew Williamson and La Perla were opening large downtown-cool boutiques to swoon the pre-botox customer.

After almost 14 years, luxury boutiques are slowly leaving the neighborhood as tourists and mass retailers begin to populate the area. Most recently, Alexander McQueen announced that they will be opening a 3,300-sq-ft boutique at 747 Madison Ave (near 65th St.) The new boutique will take over the old Valentino store, which was more recently temporarily occupied as Escada.

We hear that McQueen is paying $1300-sq-ft or $65 million for the duration of his 15 year lease. That means, that each day the store needs to sell at least 57 scull scarves or eight of these knuckle box clutches just to break even on the rent. No sweat, it's Madison Avenue. We think this change will definitely inject some additional fillers into McQueen's bottom line. Now if we could only get some better resturants and nightlife to move uptown too.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Diptyque Sample Sale

The Diptyque sample sale starts Wednesday and shoppers can expect to find finely scented candles and room sprays for $30 from $60 and shower gels for $22 from $44. Now that the sale is in a larger space you there will be less overcrowding but we wouldn't count on stellar variety.

Room sprays dominated the last sale in a variety of scents including Myrrh, Cyprès, Galliano, Thé, Feu de Bois, Pin Sylvestre, Ambre, Patchouli, Santali and Oranger. Those who hold out for the last day of the sale might be rewarded with a 2-for-$30 markdown.

Diptyque Sale
Wednesday, February 27 to Friday, March 1
Wed 10am to 5pm, Thurs 11am to 8pm, Fri 9am to 3pm
225 Fifth Ave (btwn 26th & 27th St)

Monday, February 25, 2013

David Yurman Sample Sale

We hope you've been stashing cash because the David Yurman sample sale is set to start this Thursday. Discounts normally  range from 30% to 60% off retail and 10% of all proceeds on the first day of the sale will be donated to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation.

During the last sale we didn't find many classic Yurman pieces but shoppers did get to save 30% on an assortment of sterling jewelry, which included an variety of bangles. The 18K collection and yellow gold and silver assortment were discounted steeper at 40% and 50% respectively. There was a great selection of white gold rings and earrings and lots of long necklaces with semi-precious stone beads. The watch selection was also quite limited, but all timepieces were 50% off retail. You can read a full review of last season's sale here.

There aren't additional markdowns taken throughout the sale, so were suggest going early to get the best selection. The David Yurman outlet is always a good alternative if you can't find time within your day to make it to sample sale.

David Yurman Sample Sale
Thursday, February 28th to Sunday, March 3
Thurs 3pm to 8pm, Fri &Sat 10am t0 7pm, Sun 11am—5pm
135 W. 18th St (The Altman Building b/w 6th & 7th Ave)

Sunday, February 24, 2013

LOL Kids End of Season Sale

Our favorite children's store, LOL Kids, is ending the winter season with a bang. Everything from the past winter collection is being slashed to 70% off. Of course, there is a full selection for boys and girls of all ages but we are told that the there is enough merchandise to fully wardrobe your sons and grandsons for next winter and the winter after. Sale brands include Monnalisa, Florence Brands, Miss Grant, Sylvian Heach, Aston Martin, Sarabanda and Ki6.

The best part of the LOL sale is that Madison Avenue Spy readers have been invited to shop early and take advantage of snatching up the best selection and the best discounts of the season. You can get yourself on the private sale list by emailing us here. Don't worry, even if you can't make it to the private sale event you can stop by during the next two weeks and still shop the deep discounts. While supplies last, of course!

LOL Sample Sale
Mad-Spy Private Sale: Wednesday, February 27 to Friday, March 1
Regular store hours: Mon-Fri 10am to 6pm, Sat & Sun 10am to 5pm
22 West 21st street

Sponsored Post

Following Bergdorf Goodman's Overstock

If you've ever wondered what happens to all that wonderful merchandise at Bergdorf Goodman that nobody purchases, we have the answer. Apparently it pops up at the parent brand's discount store, Last Call.

If you're looking for the winter merchandise that just left the store then you're going to have to wait about six months. This Bergdorf Goodman shipment is primarily from summer 2012 collections.

During a recent trip to Jersey Garden's Last Call our spies found a variety of items from Celine, Erdem, Miu Miu, Louboutin and Prada. Promos say that prices are up to 75% off but we found a selection of BG-tagged items for less. A print Erdem dress was originally almost $1000 but with additional promos and markdowns the dress came out to under $200. There were also lots of Prada shoes and skirts from last year's 1950s inspired hotrod collection and YSL Palais pumps were marked down to $125 from about $650.

We are told that additional Bergdorf Goodman merchandise can be found at other participating Last Call stores, which include Arizona Mills, Arundel Mills, Austin Brodie Oaks Shopping Center, Camarillo Premium Outlets, Franklin Mills, Grapevine Mills, Great Lakes Crossing, Gurnee Mills, Jersey Gardens, Katy Mills, Livermore Valley Premium Outlets, Milpitas Great Mall, Potomac Mills, Sawgrass Mills, Sugarloaf Mills, Tanger Outlets at the Arches, The Outlets at Orange and Woodbury Common Premium Outlets

Thursday, February 21, 2013

You Must Be Kidding: $30,000 Chanel Hobo

All things fashion are a matter of taste and we are taking a definitive stand and stating that whoever spent $30,000 on this white matte croc Chanel hobo bag is out of her mind. This bag looks more like a white garbage bag on a chain than a year's rent for a luxury studio apartment.

Well, it seems that even the woman who purchased this Largerfeld mishap is having second thoughts too. She is trying to find a sucker to take the bag off her hands for $12,000, which less than half of what she says she paid. In contrast, this classic looking Chanel croc bag from 1991 is selling on eBay for a reasonable $2000.

How much would you reasonably pay for this Chanel crocodile calamity?

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Ralph Lauren Home Sale

If you feel at home surrounded by the lush surroundings of Ralph Lauren design, here's your chance to decorate for less. Ralph Lauren Home is hosting a sale where furniture, lighting, home accessories, decorative pillows, gifts, vintage items and antiques will be significantly discounted.

The sale runs from Friday through Monday. In prior years, this promotion was only open to Ralph Lauren employees but the discount was great with markdowns up to 75% off. During past sales picture fames were $35, cashmere throws were $75, table lamps were about $200 and bed frames were in the $5000=range from nearly four time that amount.

Beware, the first day of the sale brings some huge lines but if you wait too long the merchandise gets thin. And this is one instance where thin is not a good thing. On the bright side, shippers will be on premises to assist you with your purchases but costs and arrangements are the responsibility of the customer.

Ralph Lauren Home Sale
Friday, February 22 to Monday, February 25th
Fri 12pm-7pm, Sat & Sun 9am-6pm, Mon 9am-5pm
110 West 19th Street
For more information: (718) 747-1656

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Bottega Veneta Bags 70% Off

Browsing through a store and being told that a particular item NEVER goes on sale is especially infuriating when you know for a fact that the item has been marked down in the past. This is often the case when we inquire about Bottega Veneta bags.

 "Oh, our bags never go on sale," a willowy sales person has scolded.

"We never have markdowns on bags," we were admonished on another occasion.

As we all know, most items do go on sale at some time and place. As a matter of fact, we just found out that the Bottega Veneta outlet is having a major sale on-- you guessed it-- bags! Soft Lambskin Soffios in army green and a dark rose red are priced at about 70% off or $374 from $1100.

Woven bags may not be discounted so steeply but a 50% cut is pretty nice. Mini-shoulder bags/ evening bags are $573 from $1150 and a large handbag with a woven flap is $1252 from $2550. There is also a full range of last season's floral and mesh large bag is $3289 from $6700. (The same bag is on Bluefly for $4685.)

So now we just need to come up with a good answer next time we are told bags don't go on sale! Suggestions?

Mike 845-928-4563

Monday, February 18, 2013

Barney’s Warehouse: Same Same, but Different

By ManhattanMataHari

A change in ownership almost always means a change in sale strategy and Richard Perry’s purchase of Barneys is no different. Official word is that Barneys will no longer extend the bi-annual warehouse sale to women’s merchandise--we doubt it. Brands like Alaia would pull their merchandise if it ever showed up on Hence, there will always be a place for a good old-fashioned sale.

Enough with our hypotheses and onto sale talk. Unfortunately, you will need to work harder than ever to find great deals at this sale. Starting in shoes, we couldn’t help but notice vast amount of CO-OP leftovers from the previous few warehouse sales. The markdown for the high-end designer shoes is still just around 50% off retail and “irregulars” are 70% - but they are likely to be worn or damaged. The smaller and larger sizes have the best picks. There are no iconic styles but we did find $1200 Prada snakeskin sandals for $598, $865 hot pink snakeskin Manolo pumps for $349, and $1175 Chloe boots for $469. There were smaller numbers or one of each pair of Rochas, Theysken’s Theory, Jil Sander, Hader Ackermann, Pierre Hardy, Marni, Fendi, Derek Lam, Alexander Wang and Balenciaga. By contrast, the online sale has a number of popular styles including Yves Saint Laurent Tribute and Tribtoos, Sergio Rossi platform pumps, and Miu Miu’s glitter peep toe pump all around 60% off retail.

After our underwhelming experience in shoes, we were pleasantly surprised by the accessories tables that were actually better stocked than sales past. Expect to find lots of Marc by Marc Jacobs iPhone (3G) and old iPad cases, as well as some Prada printed iPad cases for $149. The scarves are also plentiful and include some Etro style for $319 and Dries van Noten for $299. The belts selection really stole our attention with all Alaia corset belts in black and white that ranged in price from $359 to $479. 3.1 Phillip Lim and Ralph Lauren collection belts rounded out the selection but were still a bit pricey in the $120 to $160 range.

Honestly, the clothing racks are pretty terrible. It is mostly CO-OP, diffusion lines and contemporary designers. With some searching you can find better labels only to be disappointed later when you see the damages. On the high-end we found a Boudicca cap sleeve sheath dress for $569 from $919, a multicolor wool Jil Sander number is $709, a brocade Zac Posen dress is $349 and a bright red L’Wren Scott dress is $679.We also found an A.L.C. orange silk shirtdress for $319 from $794, and a Diane von Furstenburg colorblock dress for $209 from $345. Our favorite finds were a Thakoon Addition for Barney’s blue silk dress for $219 from $550 and an awesome Rodarte top for $919. The best items were often those without price tags on them.

Additional markdowns should happen later this week and the last few days of the sale will have the best discounts. We don’t anticipate much to be left by then but maybe there will be a few items without price tags that go unnoticed.

Barney’s Warehouse Sale
255 West 17th street (between 7th and 8th Avenue)
Monday, February 18 - Friday, February 22: 10am – 9pm
Saturday, February 23 – Sunday, February 24: 9am – 8pm

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Fashion Week Trend: Metallics

By ManhattanMataHari

The next big fall trend is undeniably metallics. It is wearable and chic. Some designers incorporated black with  metallic elements for a tasteful balance. Other designers opted for heavy bronzes that included read-to-toe gold ensembles. Silver and metallic pink are another hues with dazzle.  Not quite ready to invest in metallic clothes? Try incorporating heavy metals into your outfits with big bold jewelry. See our favorite takes on the bold gold metallic trend below.

Michael Kors
Marc Jacobs

Jenny Kanye
 Christian Siriano
Dennis Basso

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Fashion Week Trend: Tux Detailing

If it were up to us, every day would be a dress-up day. Unfortunately, that would look a bit strange for daily visits to Fairway. This season, designers dressed up numerous outfits with a satin sheen that's usually reserved for a tuxedo. Models tore up the runway with satin sheen on skirts, jackets and pants. Here are a few different ways designers played with the theme:
The Row
Jill Stuart
Douglas Hannat
Reed Krakoff

Rachel Zoe

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Fashion Week Trend: Prints

We keep anticipating that fashion will take a hair-pin turn and steer away from jewels, sequins and prints and return to an era of Calvin Klein minimalism. Next fall, however, is not the time. Designer after designer showed prints, prints and more prints. Not that we don't love the prints but we are excited for a change in ascetic. For now, here is a sample of our favorite print makers.

Mara Hoffman


Vivian Tam

Misha Nonoo

BCBG Patterned Fur

Monday, February 11, 2013

Devi Kroell: Current Spring Merchandise 90% Off

By ManhattanMataHari

The Devi Kroell sample sale started today and we are glad to report that our initial post didn't overstate the deep discounts and wonderful merchandise that can be found at the designer's sample sale. As a matter of fact, we may have understated the greatness of this sale.

The 80% to 90% off discount is so good that before you enter the sale,  you're required to check everything but your wallet and sign a waiver not to hoard, resell or even discuss the fantastic prices (oops). Most items are still above a Benjamin but these days a C-note doesn't cover much, especially from a high end designer.

When it comes to shoes sample size 37 addicts should take advantage of exotic skin platform pumps and loafers. Normally, most of these shoe styles retail upwards of $600 but are just $100 at the sale. In fact, all shoes were priced gently with the exception of a few styles double the price. The higher priced items included boots (literally, there are only a few) and sandals. There is some non-sample overstock sizes, but not nearly as plentiful or stylish.

There are quite a few of the wooden bejeweled clutches and minaudieres left over from the last sale and they are still priced about 70% off their $1000 plus price. There are a couple of suede totes for $100 but those were scooped up as soon as they hit the tables. (I'm still having major regrets about putting one down).

Instead of three pairs of shoes you may opt for fold-over exotic clutches and small leather bags with exotic trim. Medium bags and hobos are $500. The highest discounts are on the large and extra large exotic signature Kroell hobos which usually retail over $3000 and now are a mere third of that price. While the sales staff claim there is no more stock, we think they are either holding out or getting more shipments so the sale can extend the entire week. (Vegas baby!) There isn’t exactly an excess of inventory – so hurry downtown to get your Kroell fix for the best discount you will find. Just remember to make an appointment first. All the sale rules and protocol can be found here.

Devi Kroell Sample Sale
Monday, February 11 to Friday, 15
By appointment
55 Fifth Avenue, 17th Floor

Fashion Week Trend: Peplum Waist

Just when you thought that Forever VV1 put the stamp of death on the puplum waist we find it reserected for another season to come. Next winter you can expect to see a whole new crop of flared waist tops, skirts and dresses. Truth be told, there are some designers who encoporate the tend better than others. Here are some of our off the runway favorites.
 Alexandre Herchcovitch 
Ralph Rucci
Yigal Azrouel

Prabal Gurung

Monika Chiang

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Fashion Week Trend: Oversized Coat

The silhouette of an over sized coat with big rounded shoulders stems  edgier European designers like Maison Martin Margiela, Marni and Celine. The look is rather simple and is usually paired with pants and heavy eyeliner. Historically, oversized garments aren't a retail winner and are often found dominating the sale racks at the end of the season. Lets hope for the sake of these designers that more woman cast aside their body conscience choices and embrace this boxy trend.
Alexander Wang

Derek Lam
Victoria Beckham

Louise Goldin


Thursday, February 7, 2013

You Must Be Kidding: Selling #NYFW Invites

New York fashion week has started off with a bang but before we start calling out trends we thought we might point the spotlight on a desperate act of capitalism: The sale of fashion week shows! Sure, we understand the fashion show crashers, the wannabes, the stressed PR interns and the swag whores but we are dumbfounded by those who have turned fashion week into a TKTS hotspot.

A quick search on CraigsList turns up dozens of listings for entrée to fashion shows. Apparently, a fashion show seat is worth somewhere between $75 and $500. We were so intrigued by this act of corruption -- yes, we take fashion week very seriously-- that we even contacted a few of the seat sellers.

Turns out that one of the online sellers was even hocking an invite without a seat assignment, which means that the buyer may not even get into the show if it's too crowded. We won't give away the names or affiliations of the people with the people with which we spoke but lets leave it to say that the seat sellers were not lowly fashion students or rent strapped recent grads. Turns out that one person is an accessories designer and the other is a mid-level PR executive.

Sure we realize that American Express facilitates that same transactions with their platinum card customers but we see it more as a desperate cry for publicity. Hocking your own seat or those of your clients' is more closely related to eating your young. If you can't make it to a show, share the seat with your friend. If you really want to go to a fashion show, make a friend. And for those standing in the back row, just be content knowing that you weren't the sucker who paid to be there.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Bergdorf Last Call 75% Off

We are well into end of season sales and we couldn't think of a better time to freshen our wardrobe before fashion week. We did a last lap around Bergdorf Goodman to see what little surprises we could find.

We headed straight to the second floor to browse through the overstock of premium designers. We found a heavy wool Fendi sweater for $400 from $1600 and a Tom Ford gown is $970 from about $3900. One floor up we found that the deals were even better. A Proenza dress is $250 from $995, a Balenciaga dress is $239 from $945 and a Givenchy print cocktail dress is $1059 from $2660.

If you're looking for shoes you might still find a couple of winners but the discount is just 50% off. Most stores have already discounted their shoes 65% or more. Sale bags and accessories are all completely gone. We don't expect this sale merchandise to hang around much longer so we suggest getting to Bergdorfs quickly. Do we need to remind you, IT'S FASHION WEEK!!!

I Spy: Manolos at 75% Off

By ManhattanMataHari

The Blahnik boutique’s final cut is one of our favorite sales of the season – you can get their drool worthy shoes at just a hint above sample sale prices without the fray. Even though their final 75% markdown started on Monday, there are still plenty of popular styles left. As per usual, the prices are marked by colored dots ranging from $225 to $375 and available sizes are marked on the bottom of each sole.

Flats, sandals, moccasins and even a pair of $625 basic nude patent Lisa pumps  are a budget friendly $225. We were also surprised to find many iterations of Carrie Bradshaw’s favorite Mary Janes at this price point in various tweeds and leathers, as well as some seriously head-turning glitter D’Orsays. All of the crystal embellished pumps and flats are $275 and the same goes for the fun Oxford style booties and pumps. Regular booties are all $325 while high boots are the most expensive (aside from the alligator collection) at $375. We were surprised to find so many basic colors and styles of boots available. Alligator pumps, sling backs and one sole short boot style all range from $1000 to $3000 (priced as marked) and many seem familiar from the last sale.

There are still lots left to choose from and the prices are certainly right. Our favorite picks were the black or beige pony fur chunky pumps that are a steal at $225 and the gore-tex quilted over-the-knee black boots for $375. Be sure to avoid dropping by between 2pm and 3pm since the boutique is often closed to restock.

Manolo Blahnik
31 West 54th Street
Abby: 212-582-3007
Monday-Friday 10:30AM-6PM

 The boutique will close from 2pm to 3pm to restock when necessary.

Monday, February 4, 2013

Private Devi Kroell Sale

When designers have private sample sales it sometimes comes off as if the brand is utilizing exclusionary marketing tactics to drum up attention. The privacy rules are usually more a necessity than a marketing ploy as department stores-- which are often a brand's biggest customer-- frown upon being undercut.

photo credit: NowFashion

Next week, Devi Kroell is hosting one of these "private" sample sales and we can only imagine that the sale has gone private to protect the amazing discounts. At the last sale, in October, we found lots of shoes and bags including hobos, envelops and an wide array of minaudieres. Prices of the in-season samples ranged between 80% and 90% off of retail.

The sale will run from Monday, February 11 to Friday, 15. To attend, shoppers must email for an appointment. Once your email is received you will be given a time slot and a long list of instructions. Shoppers are warned not to you not to arrive before their time slot and all belongings including cell phones will need to be checked. This is, after all, a no photos allowed private sample sale.

Devi Kroell Sample Sale
Monday, February 11 to Friday, 15
By appointment
55 Fifth Avenue, 17th Floor

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Valentine's Love

Valentine's Day is one of the most challenging holidays to shop for a man. You can't buy flowers, chocolates or sexy lingerie. One item that can turn the head of the most discerning man is Blake Green Cufflinks.

Male fashion icons including Pierce Brosnan and other boldfaced names are fans of the brand. Men love Blake Green because of the high level of quality and craftsmanship. All of the designs are made of solid sterling silver or gold and features a combination of precious and semi-precious stones. In addition, every piece is hand made in New York. There is no question, this is a gift for your leading man if he appreciats quality and attention to detail.

Prices range from $250 for the Nuuk, which is sterling silver set with vibrant green chrome diopsides to $3000 and up for those made of 18k gold. In addition, Blake Green offers customized, hand engraved and bespoke orders so that you can truly create a personal piece of expression.

There are so many choices it's hard to choose. Garnet is an appropriate V-Day option as it represents success, fidelity, loyalty and love. What more can you ask for?

Blake Green New York
(917) 426-2525

Sponsored Post

Manolo's Final Markdown

We have made it through two markdowns at Manolo Blahnik and the final price cut is finally here. Starting Monday, Manolo will begin their final markdown of the season. This four day sale is the perfect opportunity to stock up on classic and ornate shoes from the winter collection at up to 75% off.

This year, we are told that the saving are "not to be believed!" Styles are from the exclusive boutique collection and include some alligator. Prices are always marked by sticker dots, which usually range from $195 for a red dot up to $350 for a green dot. Most shoes and low boots-- even highly ornate styles-- are priced at $250.

The store maybe crowded but at least there isn't a long line to get in. The sale will only run for four days and styles and sizes run low quickly. If you're looking for a great deal we suggest you switch out of your heels and take a run over to the boutique asap.

For a full rundown of past final markdowns you can check out past story from the summer here.

Manolo Blahnik
31 West 54th Street
Abby: 212-582-3007
Monday-Friday 10:30AM-6PM

The boutique will close from 2pm to 3pm to restock when necessary