Monday, February 29, 2016

Michael Kors [Collection] is 90% Off

Once upon a time, before Project Runway and big fashion IPOs, Michael Kors designed for Celine and was one of the most highly regarded American designers. Today, all of the diffusion lines, mass retailing and licenses have tarnished some of the Michael Kors luster among the fashion elite.  One must only take a closer look at his main collection to be reminded of his refined American classic heritage.

When shopping at the beginning of the season it might be hard to justify spending $6000 on a Michael Kors skirt but at 90% off it's very hard to resist. Right now, Neiman Marcus Last Chance has listed an assortment of Michael Kors merchandise that's listed at 90% off retail.

Head this way to see a sequined green and black pleated skirt that's reduced to $612 from almost $7000, an emerald python pencil skirt is $840 from $6000 and a cashmere cardi set is just $165 from $1175. It appears as if some of the merchandise is from the fall and spring 2013 collections but Michael Kors is an American classic and that never goes out of style.

Sunday, February 28, 2016

Three Major Trends for Spring

It never really got cold enough to shop for seriously warm wool so we've decided to take a leap straight into Spring. After all, it is a leap year. Below are three of the top accessory trends that you need for Spring. There are surely more to come.

Interchangable Handbag Straps:
Disconnect your furry monsters and robot charms. This season we are replacing our shoulder straps with guitar straps or (buying bags that already come with them.) Fendi offers a studded floral strap alone, Valentino has an embroidered animal print and this Rockstud bag comes with a colorful Aztec shoulder strap. It's just as much fun to add an inexpensive strap to a fancier pocketbook or tote. Here's an embroidered floral pattern strap or here is a stained glass patterned version on white.

The Victorian ladies, hippies and 90s girls all have something in common with one of spring's biggest jewelry trends-- the choker. The newest wave of jewelry collars come in a variety of options including, velvet, metal, rhinestone or leather. This trend seems to be working it's way up from street style and we haven't seen that many designer interpretations of the trend. Many stylish girls are happy with a strand of velvet ribbon or a sting of leather. Keep a look out for Dior's short scarves that were shown on the runway wrapped around models’ necks and fastened with jewels.

Taste the Rainbow:
We've been playing with rainbows for almost two years but designers are still looking for their colorful pot of gold. Multi-colored statement pieces are plentiful. Some of our favorites include the Red Valentino shift dress, Aquazzura suede sandals, a Chloe maxi dress and Saint Laurent flip-flops.

Friday, February 26, 2016

Sonia Rykiel Returns to Madison Avenue

After a five year absence, walking into the new Sonia Rykiel boutique is like returning to your childhood playroom. It's a destination where your senses are delighted and your imagination is challenged.

From a design prospective, the boutique, which just opened today, is triumphantly similar to the flagship in Paris. Rich red lacquer covers the walls, shelves, and ceilings while an iconic surreal print carpets the floors.

The 2000-sq.ft. boutique even contains a Saint Germain replica library, which includes over 15,000 volumes of French literature, classic cafe tables and chairs. The most distinctive difference from the designer's Paris store is the black and white checkered floors that pairs seamlessly with the Mark Hotel, which is only 10 blocks North.

It only makes sense that Sonia Rykiel's artistic director, Julie de Libran, would choose to duplicate the boutique design in her first store in the United States. After all, it can't be easy to stand in the footprints of a woman who fearlessly designed clothing that pushed the boundaries of color, construction and composition.

We were delighted by the array of brightly colored furs and classic Rykiel stripes that can be found on soft sweaters, scarves and more formally presented in tweed on a jacket-shorts ensemble. A zipped lurex tweed coat is a sure crowd pleaser. It's a New York friendly black-on-black stripe that's both modern and true to the brand.

The brand's new "Le Copain" handbag is highlighted within the boutique and showcased in the store's two large display windows. The bag's design is cute but doesn't encompass the key elements of an it-bag nor does it translate the occult whimsy of the brand's namesake. Something along the lines of Elena Ghisellini's Felina bags may be a more natural fit.

The children's collection is not yet on the sales floor but is available at the boutique by request. We are told that the kid's merchandise will be displayed once the opening frenzy dies down. We are quite sure that after a five year hiatus, Rykiel  fans and superfans will celebrating for some time.

Sonia Rykiel
816 Madison Avenue @ 68th Street

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Bogner Warehouse & Sample Sale

If you haven't done so already, now is the time to replace all of your ski and winter outerwear. In doing so, we suggest you take advantage of Bogner's warehouse and sample sale.

The brand is really one of the best resources for fashionable and functional ski-gear and cold weather accessories. We are told that merchandise will be reduced 50% to 75% off retail. The selection will include items from Bogner Sport, Bogner Fire + Ice, Bogner Woman, Bogner Man and Bogner Kids. Most of the selection will be comprised of the fall/winter 2015 and spring/summer 2015 collections.

You should take advantage of these discounts while the assortment is plentiful. You know if you don't, you will be regret it next Winter.

Bogner Warehouse & Sample Sale
Friday, February 26th through Sunday, February 28th
Fri & Sat 11am – 7pm, Sunday 11am – 6pm
350 West Broadway, between Broome & Grand

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The IT-It: Gucci is Back

One day, someone young will look at a picture of you and say, "Wow, you were really pretty when you were young."

One way to disrupt this phenomena is to follow in the footsteps of our legendary eccentrics-- Iris Apfel, Zelda Kaplan or Daphne Guinness. Fact is, that nobody pays attention to your wrinkles when you're dressed exceptionally well.

Alessandro Michele, the creative director of Gucci, articulated the art of eccentric dressing with spectacular success at today's Gucci Fall 2016 runway show, in Milan. The designer said he was inspired by 70s renaissance and this is certainly a re-birth for the fashion house, which hasn't had much direction for more than a decade.

The show's highlights included a riot of of vibrant colors and textures. A monochrome ensemble paired flamingo-pink fur with matching leather gloves, tights and a cross body bag. A teal cape with trompe l’oeil details reigned the runway as marched with oversized spectacles, red tights and a restyled Gucci loafer.

The collection's formalwear offerings were also quite abundant and editorial ready-- ranging from green sequined dresses to feathered skirts and bountiful ruffles cascading from colorful gowns. (Click here to see  our favorite looks from the show.)

The most Instagram-able item was a tote bag designed by Brooklyn-based graffiti artist Trevor Andrew (aka GucciGhost), who is known for tagging the iconic double-G logo on everything from trash cans to tees. The platform Mary Janes and the updated Dionysus bag are also social media ready and a retailer's dream.

These looks won't be in stores for another six months but we can't help from wanting to celebrate the new Gucci. Below are some items from the spring collection that caught our eye. After all, one can only wish to go out the same way as Zelda Kaplan. At 95-years-old she passed away while sitting front row at the Joanna Mastroianni fashion show at Lincoln Center. What fashion lover wouldn't mind going out the same way? The difference is today she would be wearing an ensemble from Gucci Fall 2016.

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Spring Valentino Rockstuds 20% off

Impulse buying the season's hottest trends will always cost a premium. The upside is that you get to buy what you want without any compromise on style or fit and establish yourself as a bona fide trendsetter.

Photo Credit: BY_MD
Real trendsetters could even save a bit by shopping around. Right now, you can save 20% on spring shoes at Forzieri. Just use the code REDCARPET at checkout. The promotion is eligible on a full range of Valentino Rockstud shoes, Charlotte Olympia's and Giuseppe Zanotti.

Stay tuned. It's just a matter of time until the site releases a discount on bags. We wouldn't mind getting a discounted Fendi bag when they become available. How about you?

Todd & Duncan Cashmere Discounted at Banana Republic

Todd & Duncan is known for spinning the finest cashmere in existence. As a matter of fact it's the yarn that is used by Chanel and Hermes. Just a brush of the hand and you know you're touching something special. Needless to say, cashmere made from T&D yarns can be quite pricey.

While toiling away a few moments we took a quick spin into Banana Republic. While admiring a rack full of heavenly feeling cashmere sweaters we were floored to see that they were ... you guessed it.. Todd & Duncan. What's even better is that all the reduced sweaters and scarves are an additional 40% to 50% off. A boatneck pullover sweater in grey or black is $173 from almost $300, a chunky turtleneck is $180 from $350 and a grey scarf is $105 from $250. There is also a really nice selection for men.

Granted that these prices are more than we would usually budget for a trip to Banana Republic but we never question spending a little extra money for great quality. We just hope that Banana Republic continues to offer top shelf products such as these.

Sunday, February 21, 2016

Neiman Marcus Online Consolidation Sale

Just when you thought that sale season was over, Neiman Marcus has posted thousands of some of the most titillating looks from winter 2014 at discounts of up to 65% off. It seems as if Neiman Marcus has consolidated their designer merchandise from all over the country and uploaded it to the online store.

Grab these Gucci leather leggings while it's still officially Winter for $500 from $1660. A floral Valentino dress that was a common editorial feature. The original price was about $5000 and it's now $1900. Here's that rose print Dolce & Gabbana marked down once again. The sale also includes a great selection of merchandise from The Row and Tom Ford, which is discounted pretty close to the sample sale markdowns. Our favorite piece is this v-neck leather dress for $1200 from about $3000.

Take note that some of these items were reduced up to 75% in stores. We wouldn't be surprised if there were additional discounts intermittently. Keep in mind however, there isn't a big inventory of these items and once they are gone...

Friday, February 19, 2016

Fashion Trends: Long Hanging Sleeves

Fashion week is just about wrapped up. We are serving up all the smoking hot trends. These top trends are what you can expect to see on the street and in the pages of your favorite fashion magazines next fall.

Do your sleeves hang low, do the sway to and throw? Can you tie em in a knot, can you tie them in a bow? If you answered yes to any of these questions, then you must be sporting one of Fall 2016's biggest trends: Oversized sleeves.

Designers like Proenza Schouler, Marc Jacobs and Nicopanda captured a oversized and relaxed silhouette by adding extra length to sleeves. If you're going to give this look a try, we suggest making sure that the sleeves are the only exaggerated element of your ensemble. Otherwise you may end up just looking like an elephant.

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Fashion Trends: Caressed Thighs

Fashion week is heating up. We are serving up all the smoking hot trends while we get through a marathon of shows. These top trends are what you can expect to see on the street and in the pages of your favorite fashion magazines next fall.

Fashion has a knack for focusing on women's erogenous zones. This season, the targeted lust point is the upper thigh. Thighs took the spotlight on the catwalk from Alexander Wang's printed stockings to Pamella Roland's mini skirts with thigh bands. Thighs peered through slivers cut out in trousers and thigh high boots paired with an ultra-mini sweater brought the eye and imagination torturously close to the nether regions.

Taking the trend one stop further, there was an entire set of front row bloggers that opted out of wearing pants. Although we wouldn't suggest casting your pants aside, we are eagerly looking forward to seeing how this trend translates to the European runways. We wouldn't be surprised to spot a Merry Widow or two framing luscious thighs.

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Fashion Week Trends: Shearling

Fashion week is heating up. We are serving up all the smoking hot trends while we get through a marathon of shows. These top trends are what you can expect to see on the street and in the pages of your favorite fashion magazines next fall.

BLK DNM, Coach, Rodarte

Fur has been the luxury item of choice for designers since before the last big recession. Coming next winter, luxe outerwear is going to get a bit more rugged. We've seen a proliferation of shearling making a turn on the runway.

Shearling jackets and coats can be seen as the lovechild between the rough and edgy moto jacket and a luxe and glamours fur. Coach, BLK DNM and Rodarte are just some of the labels that showcased lambskin outerwear on their runways. Streetwear has become a ordinary part of our fashion vocabulary. It's not wonder that the grungy lambskin is the next big layer to add to our wardrobes.

Monday, February 15, 2016

Fashion Week Trends: Summer Whites

Fashion week is heating up. We are serving up all smoking hot trends while we get through a marathon of shows. These top trends are what you can expect to see on the street and in the pages of your favorite fashion magazines, next fall.

Edun, Tibi Brock
Once upon a time it was a fashion faux pas to wear white after Labor Day. Those rules have long passed and designers are even taking winter white to the extreme. The whites being shown on the runway are as bright and sunny as the July sun.

Edun, Tibi and Brock are some of the designers whose collections showcased flat white. The fabrics are soft knits and stiff heavy wool. We find this bright contrast looks best when paired with a just-back-from-St-Barths tan.

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Giuliana Teso Sample Sale

We've said it once and we'll say it again-- this is the year to stock up on coats. Mild weather has left fashion designers with an abundance of overstock inventory and furriers are perhaps the biggest victims.

When we heard there was a Giuliana Teso sample sale, we knew we had to get on it. Starting Monday, you can save up to 70% off on a variety of fine furs. Among the inventory will be mink, fox, sable, chinchilla, raccoon, beaver and rex.

Giuliana Teso has been a trendsetter in the fur industry for almost 40 years and has a loyal following throughout Europe, the United States and beyond. Bergdorf Goodman and Neiman Marcus have carried her exclusive furs for decades.

We are told that prices will start at $75 and go up to $8000. Regardless of what you buy, you can be sure it will be a rare shopping opportunity.

Giuliana Teso Sample Sale
Monday, February 15 through Wednesday, February 17
10am-6pm daily
224 West 30th Street, suite 808 (between 7th & 8th Ave)

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The Best President's Day Sales

Hurray! It's a happy holiday Monday. That means there is more time to rest, stalk fashion shows and, of course, shop. Taking arctic temperatures into account it my be safe to say that the best shopping is at your fingertips.

Here are some of our favorite online sales for post-Valentines Day and past Presidents:

ASOS- Save an extra 20%
Favorite item: Maison Scotch Varsity Cardigan
Note: Sale runs till February 16 at midnight

Athleta-Extra 20% off Sale
Favorite item: Derek Lam cashmere sweaters
Code: Extra20
Note: Sale ends February 15

Bloomingales- Get a $25 reward card for every $100 you spend
Favorite item: Vince color blocked sweater
Note: Through February 15

Forzieri- 20% off sale merchandise
Favorite Item: Pucci shoulder bag
Code: EXTRA20
Note: Sale ends February 15

Neiman Marcus Last Call- Extra 30% to 60% off everything
Favorite item: Fausto Puglisi cocktail dress
Note: Sale ends February 15

Scoop- Take an extra 60% off
Favorite item: BLK DNM leather moto
Note: Sale merchandise is final

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Century 21: Valentino Gowns at 90% Off

We've spent the last week spying the final markdowns at all of our local department stores but couldn't help but wondering about our local discount stores. So we set out to gather intelligence on Century 21, in the Financial District.

Most all of the designer selections from this past Winter are now reduced to 90% off retail prices. We were thrilled by the markdowns but after two hours of sorting through racks and several runs to the fitting room we felt defeated. Most of the remaining merchandise was either highly undesirable, misfitting or damaged.

But then we noticed the gowns...

Towards the back wall of the third floor, there are two racks of sensational evening gowns reduced 90% off retail. Among the selection is an amazing assortment of off-the-runway Valentino gowns. For example, a Valentino beaded dress is reduced to $1047 from $14,125, a white gown that is bridal acceptable is $474 from $6200, a v-neck lace jumpsuit is $349 from $4370 and a breathtaking, dusty rose, lace and satin gown is $1033 from $13,140. Not to be missed is the perfect red gown with a leather halter and silk bottom that's $1047 from $1322. The formal evening wear assortment also includes a few dresses from Rochas and Oscar de la Renta. You can click here to see pictures of our favorites.

This is a shopping trip you need to take if you anticipate needing a gown any time in the near or distant future. If you can't make it to the downtown Century 21, we suggest you take advantage of their personal shoppers that will pull clothing and ship anywhere You can click here to make a styling appointment or contact a personal shopper by phone.

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

The IT-it: Net-A-Porter Launches Mansur Gavriel Shoes

Mansur Gavriel took the fashion world by storm with their modestly priced utilitarian bags. The key to the company's success was partly the price point but also reacting quickly to fashions aversion to logos.

The minimal design, functionality and moderate price point propelled the brand to the top of the fashion blogosphere. It also didn't hurt that production was limited and wait lists were endless. Now, Mansur Gavriel is entering the world of footwear.

Net-A-Porter is the exclusive online retailer for shoes, which were just put live today. You know it won't be long until this shipment is gone. After all, shoes are made for walking.

News on Madison: Flowers in Bloom

As temperatures drop this weekend, the flowers on Madison Avenue go into full bloom. 'Platinum Jewels in Bloom' is a flower and jewelry show that will run through the weekend. Jewelry boutiques located on Madison Avenue between 57th and 86th Streets will feature elaborate floral and jewelry arrangements in their store window displays.
Participating jewelry stores include, Alexis Bittar, Asprey, CH Carolina Herrera, Chanel Fine Jewelry, Chopard, David Yurman, de Grisogono, FabergĂ©, Fred Leighton, Graff, Hueb Fine Jewelry, Ippolita, Kwiat Boutique, Lalique, Paul Morelli, Pomellato, Sidney Garber, and Stephen Russell. In conjunction with the event, participating jewelry stores and Platinum Guild International gave a sizable donation to support of Central Park Conservancy’s Playground Partners.

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Bergdorf Goodman 75% Off Final Days

This year's sale season has gone much longer than usual. The usually warm weather has clearly put a crimp in retail sales but that only means there is more for us to buy at a discount. We are told that Bergdorf Goodman will be shipping out their sales merchandise in about a week and we couldn't help from wondering what treasures could still be found.

Shoes are discounted 50%, which is not very alluring at this time of year. On the bright side, we were able to find some really great shoe and boot still left. Christian Louboutin Follies Cabo 120 are $700 from $1395, Givenchy shark bit booties are $725 from $1450 and Roger Vivier suede fringed pumps are $525 from $1050. It's possible that the store will offer an additional 25% off promotion before the sale comes to a complete end. Lets keep our fingers crossed.

Moving upstairs to check out leftover clothing, we found an abundance of coats, jackets and dresses. Perfect for Chinese New Year is a Mary Katrantzou print dress is $882 from $3535, a Christian Dior shift dress is $875 from $3500 and a Mugler dress with silver edging is $537 from $2150.

Further upstairs, there is a full range of outerwear still available. Perhaps the most alluring section is the Moncler boutique. There are still three full racks of coats and jackets that are discounted 40%. We are told that another markdown is coming in about two weeks, which will bring the savings to 60%. If you're still looking for a winter coat, we suggest that you start scoping out the merchandise now and keeping your eyes peeled.

Moving online, the discount isn't as good as what we found in the store but there are still a few sale options. Below are a few items that  we found online or click here to see pictures of what we found in the store.

Manolo Sale: Ohhhh, Man-no-no

The Manolo Blahnik boutique's final clearance sale started Monday and we couldn't help from being the first scope out the deals. This sale is legendary for the plush discounts that tip 75% off. This season the markdowns are similar to prior seasons but the selection is much smaller. For this reason, we are calling this sale a 'Ma-no-no.'

As usual, the prices are marked by colored dots that start at $195 for very basic suede pumps and go up to $550 for high leather boots. We are a bit disappointed that only the most basic shoes were marked with blue dots ($195)-- these shoes are often the styles marked $100 at the sample sale.

Most of the selection had orange dots ($255), which is only $60 more but it seems to be a mental hurdle. We spotted one style of Hangisi, a satin open-toe slingback, that was offered in assorted colors. They are marked with a navy dot, which indicates that they are  t$325 from $935. You can see an assortment of pictures right this way.

Unlike most years, women didn't have towers of boxes surrounding them as they tried on multiple styles. You can see why in the pictures in the jump. There aren't very many eye popping styles and some pairs we even recognize as being several seasons old.

There was no reported line to get in on Monday. Just be sure not to show up at 2pm, when the store closes to restock. Lets agree to understand that restocking means reorganizing the merchandise. The boutique sale does not usually receive new inventory throughout the sale.

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

Sunday, February 7, 2016

The Best Monolo Sale of the Season

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 Winter markdown. 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.

Sale 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 $225.

The markdown event will begin this Monday and run through Thursday, February 11. Once the sale ends the Blahnik boutique will close for a breather. The planned re-org will continue until Monday, February 15th, when the store will reopen with the new collection.

The boutique is often crowded and don't expect your calls to be answered. On the bright side, unlike the sample sale there usually 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.

Head this way to see the full rundown of last year's final markdown sale.

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 and reorganize (read: for lunch)

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Paul Morelli Fine Jewelry Sample Sale

There's a way to really knock the socks off of your sweetheart this Valentine's Day in true Madison Avenue Spy style. Fine jeweler-- Paul Morelli-- is hosting a sample sale at his Madison Avenue boutique. We are told that discounts will extend to 70% off retail prices.

Paul Morelli is will known for his modern pieces that are manufactured with profound attention to detail and delicacy. Each piece is handmade and reflects his dedication to superior craftsmanship and artistic curiosity. All of Morelli's pieces are singed and produced on-site, by hand, in his own workshops from conception to completion.

The jewelry line can also be found at Neiman Marcus and  1stDibs but is seldom found discounted or on sale. For this reason, we suggest you take advantage of this opportunity and stock up on diamonds as lovely as your true love.

Paul Morelli Sample Sale
Sunday, February 7 through Tuesday, February 9
Sun 120m-5pm, Mon & Tues 10am-6pm
895 Madison Avenue @ 72nd Street

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Valentine's Day Sweets for Your Sweetheart

Valentine's Day always feels like a hugely manufactured holiday that is maintained by the restaurant and flower lobby. Truth be told it is a welcomed ray of sunlight admist the gray gloom and slush of February.

Valentine's Day doesn't always require a huge grand gesture but rather something sweet and thoughtful. However, we don't know a girl who would turn down anything from Paul Morelli. Below are some of our favorite gift ideas for him and her (and even the kids).

Lanvin clutch | Tom Dixon Charcoal Scent Diffuser | CDC Tee | Thom Browne Polished-Leather Holdall | Diptyque candle | CDC Canvas Sneakers | Catbird ring | Uniqlo Ultralight Down | Heart glasses | Kate Spade emoji earrings| Smoking slippers | Girl's Pizzasauras outfit | Czech & Speake manicure set | Del Toro Bee Happy smoking slippers | CDC Sweatshirt (on sale)| Optic socks | Fendi monster belt

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Madison Avenue's SHI Cashmere Sale

If you have a crush on cashmere then quickly grab a hot coffee from St. Ambrose and head over to SHI Cashmere. The Madison Avenue boutique is hosting a very rare sale where their top quality Scottish cashmeres and linens will be discounted 30% to 70% off. The sale is slated to start on Saturday but friends and family have been invited to come in for a sneak peak.

For the uninitiated, SHI is a British brand that is best known for their fine traditional knits and linens that come in a variety of contemporary designs, ranging from body-con to more relaxed silhouettes. The cult insider brand started in 1980, out of an abandoned Scottish farmhouse and has grown into what is known as one of the finest privately owned Scottish cashmere mills in the world. Our spies tell us the mill only uses the best yarns such as Loro Piana and Todd & Duncan. That's the same yarn Chanel uses for all there knits.

The sale will include discounts on the current season collection and an arrangement of samples and prototypes that have been shipped directly from the factory in Scotland. Two ply cashmere turtlenecks, in an assortment of colors will be priced at $125 from $850, fine gage tunics that are perfect for spring will be $95 from $650 and a hand intarsia moon tunic is $860 from $1650. Discounts hot off the loom are almost more heart warming than coffee.

SHI Cashmere Friend & Family Sample Sale
Friends & Family: Friday, February 5 from 10am-5pm
Public Sale: Saturday, February 6 through Sunday, February 7
10am to 6pm
944 Madison Ave @ 75th Street
(212) 717-7115

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Inside the Final Sale at Saks

The discounts have been good for some time but this is likely the final week to snag what's left of the winter collections at department stores. Today we checked in at Saks Fifth Avenue to take stock of what merchandise is left and their prices.

We started off at the top, in the shoe mega-floor. The discounted shoes now make up less than 25% of the sales floor space. Actually, there are probably only 10 racks of sale shoes. Right now, the discount is an extra 20% off the sticker price. That brings the final discount to about 70% on most shoe styles. Shoppers will find lots of Manolo Blahniks, Jimmy Choo, Balenciaga and Stuart Weitzman.

A gold Manolo BB is now $180 from $595 and sparkling satin pumps $562 and $1875. We found a lone pair of platform Chanel pumps that come to $290 from $950, and Fendi sandals are $225 from $750 and Aquazzura leafy fringed ankle boots are $300 from $995. Online we found Fendi fur monster boots for $570 from $1900 and Lanvin hightop sneakers for $255 from $850.

If you're looking for discounted clothing you should head to the second floor. Most of the sale merchandise is discounted 75% off. To get an accurate price you might need to find a sales person. The stickers and markdowns seem to be all over the place. It's generally safe to just calculate 75% off the original price but it's not foolproof.

While browsing, we found one Valentino floral dress that comes to about $1500 from $4600, Aquilano Rimondi cream sweater dress that came to $150 from almost $600 and Alexander McQueen body con stretchy dress for $260 from $1161. Online we found Christopher Kane shift dresses $343 from $1430, a Fendi dress for $540 from $2250 and Yigal Azroual leather leggings for $676 from $1690.

You can check out lots of photos of what we found during our shopping trip inside the jump. Take note, all sales are final. You really can't blame Saks for not wanting to see the merchandise come back when they are selling it so highly discounted.

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Scoop Closet Cleanup 85% Off

The Scoop Closet Cleanup has started online and the Soho store. Prices are discounted an extra 60%, which brings the total savings of some items up to 85%. We couldn't find anything actually reduced 85% but we did find some compelling pieces.

Usually by this time of the season we only find private label merchandise, but this sale has plenty of designer merchandise that's worth taking home. This IRO leather jacket comes to $400 from about $600, Frame Denim bell bottoms are $80 from $230 and a Sea sweater with a poplin back is about $100 from $390.

As usual, the section for men is even better. These AG jeans are $50 from $225, a Stutterheim raincoat is $110 from $388 and a Rodd & Gunn sweater is $40 from $150.

Scoop Soho
473 Broadway
Mon - Sat: 11am – 8pm, Sun: 11am – 7pm

Monday, February 1, 2016

Inside: Alice & Olivia Sample Sale

It's been a long time since we've seen the inside of a sample sale. With discounts at department stores tipping 80%, it's hard to argue the purpose. As a Stacey Bendet fan, however, we just couldn't resist checking out the VIP preview of the Alice & Olivia sample sale.

Inside the private event space-- at the downtown Century 21 store-- is a small collection of some of the  designer's more ornate gowns, dresses and accessories. Prices are reduced 65% to 70% off retail. Much of the selection is from Spring 2015 and some of the best pieces (and most highly discounted) are from the CFDA Fashion is Art collection. Take note that the length of the longer dresses and skirts are highly exaggerated and even at 5'9" you're going to need to factor in the price for hemming.

Among the items reduced 70% are exaggerated long skirts and ball gown length dresses. One skirt with an iridescent floral print comes to about $540 from $1800, a more impressionist art print is $180 from almost $600, a fully embroidered jacket is $160 from $550 and a red and white dress with cap sleeves is $430 from $1600. The sale also includes some less expensive items that are not as ornate but those resemble the special gowns that hang in the windows of garment district retailers.

The sample sale also includes a selection of evening bags and clutches that range from fully embellished box bags to more quirky shapes and styles. A bag with a hand silhouette and flashy 'diamond' is discounted to about $140 from $400 and a fan bag is $70 from $200.

You can head this way to see pictures of the sample sale selection. The sale runs through Friday. We suggest you wait for further markdowns before heading over unless you desire one of the more artful items.

Alice & Olivia Sample Sale
Tuesday, February 2 through Friday, February 5
Tues to Thurs 8am-9pm, Fri 8am-6pm
21 Dey Street (@Century 21)