Thursday, March 31, 2016

The IT-It: Fishnet Clothing

In fashion, even trends come in their own distinct subsets. There are mainstream trends that blanket women's fashion, like skinny jeans or bucket bags. Then there are micro trends that percolate in small batches among stylists and editorial directors.

Photo credit: Tom & Lorenzo
Fishnet clothing would fall into the category of a micro trend. They evoke a combination of beach, sea and sports and are perfect for straddling the Spring to Summer transition. It's open enough to show the optimism of Summer but is covered enough not to feel naked. Most recently, Allison Williams wore a Derek Lam fishnet dress on Jimmy Fallon and this Rag & Bone mesh shirt has been all over style blogger feeds. (It's regularly paired with white bell bottom jeans and a micro cross body bag.)

This holier than thou fashion trend has found it's way from the top to the bottom of categories. This way to fishnet sportswear from Moschino, here are fishnet Christian Louboutin shoes and Atlas has a laser-cut dress that resembles fish scales. Scroll below to see more options from our favorite micro trend.

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Bloomingdales Friends & Family

Pre-sale for the upcoming Bloomingdales friends and family has begun. The sale officially begins on Monday but those in the know can start pre-saling their purchases in the store now. The discount is 25% off fashion and home and 20% off jewelry. Online shoppers can use the code FRIENDS.

In the past, the exclusions haven't been too extensive. Designer collections, beauty and fragrance are never included in the promotion. Although the discount can't be applied to beauty purchases there is usually a gift with purchase incentive.

If you're interested in buying designer merchandise, including Chanel, we suggest you take advantage of Bloomingdale's power points. For the term of friends and family you can earn $25 Power Points for every $100 you spend. That means that if you purchase a $2000 Prada boots, you will receive a $500 gift card that can be applied in 60-days to anything in the store. To get your Power Points you must be a loyalist but that really means just signing up for a bonus card.

We admit that Bloomingdales can sometimes be a nightmare to shop --too much merchandise, too many promotion exclusions, conflicting incentives. Friends have had lots of luck taking advantage of in-store pickup. On product pages you can sort according to "In-Store Pickup" and all your purchases will be pulled and waiting for you at the customer service department on the 3rd floor. Once you get there, you can try everything on and just take the items you like.

The friends and family promotion runs through Sunday, April 10 and the discount can also be applied to sale items. This striped Milly trapeze dress will come to $350 from $800, a Vince cotton mesh dress will be about $225 from $400 and Rebecca Minkoff dress with fringe will be $175 from $300.

Azhar 4th Floor Shoes 206-790-5910 (text only)

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Kanye's Yeeze Now 50% Off

Kanye West's Yeezy line is known for causing a retail frenzy. Just like every other designer, however, Kanye's line isn't impervious to the gravity of markdowns. It's not hard to imagine considering sweatpants were priced at $300 and jackets were over $3,000.

While innocently browsing-- as we often tend to do-- we found an assorted selection of Yeezy merchandise that's discounted 50%. Over here, at Matches, a woman's ribbed wool sweater is $622 to from $1381 and an oversized shearling coat is about $2000 from $4040. Luisaviaroma also has a handful of items discounted 45% off after all extra promotions are tallied.

Forward by Elyse Walker, also has a selection that 30% off. This hoodiea is now $312 from $600, a sports bra is $72 from $155 and this trench is $1400 from $2860.

Is this fashion? Who is to say? One thing is for sure many 'real' fashion designers would be thrilled to post numbers like Kanye's. (Even if he is $15 million in debt.)

Monday, March 28, 2016

Proenza Schouler Bags 50% Off

This isn't the easiest time of year to find good markdowns. If you're feeling the urge to buy a new Spring bag we suggest you head over to Proenza Schouler. The designer's online store is offering shoppers a 50% savings on select bags. The discount is also available online here.

We found a cheery raspberry suede PS1 for about $900 from almost $1800, a nude version with fringe is $950 from $1900 and a black bucket back lined with ultra-blue is $700 from $1400. The assortment also includes wallets and courier style bags.

We admit, the assortment isn't large but it's better to give way to temptation with a good markdown than pay full price. To some, present company included, May (i.e. sale time) can't come quickly enough.

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Tracking Down Timo Weiland x Banana Republic

For the past several weeks we have been stalking our uptown Banana Republic store as we've been eagerly waiting for the Timo Weiland collaboration. Unfortunately, each time we've inquired at the store we've been met with looks of confusion and given misinformation.

Today's attempt was not very different than the others and we were told that the collaboration had not launched. When a Google search proved the sales person wrong, she called a floor manager. We were then informed that the collaboration with Timo Weiland is only available at three stores in New York-- SoHo, Rock Center and Herald Square. (An online search later showed that you can also find the designer selection at the Flatiron too.)

To further set the record straight, the collection is officially a partnership between Banana Republic and the CFDA and launched online and in stores on March 15. The collaboration was created not only to support emerging talent, but also American manufacturing. The Timo Weiland collection for Banana Republic was designed, cut and sewn exclusively in New York.

Many of the items in the capsule collection are already sold out online but the SoHo store still had many of the most in-demand dresses and skirts. The rack, which can be found at furthest most depths of the store, is full with floral print skirts, dresses, denim and gingham. You can see pictures from our shopping trip right here.

Prices are a bit more expensive than one would expect from Banana Republic. A floral print dress is $300 and a tie-waist crop top is $128. The worst part is that the collection has been excluded from Banana's discount promotions. Be sure we will continue to keep our eyes open for any markdowns.

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

The IT-It: Varsity or Bomber jacket

We really can't complain too much about this past Winter. It would be hard to imagine it any more mild. Nonetheless, it will be nice to store away those puffers and trade them in for something a bit more transitional.

For the past few seasons the moto jacket has been one of the hottest fashion must-haves. This season, the heavy leather and zippers are starting to feel a bit too dark and heavy of a look for Spring. This season, we are again loving the the ├╝ber-preppy varsity jacket or a packed bomber as an alternative.

The look is light and playful and quite versatile. We love the look of the jacket when its a bit over-sized or hitting the hip. The style looks particularly adorable on kids. Try it with a short flared skirt, shorts, or jeans (skinny or boyfriend). As far as footwear,  espadrilles, heels, or slip-on loafers all do the trick.

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Baccarat Annual Sample Sale

When it comes to buying crystal, almost all the brands seem as if they are too fussy and dated. Baccarat has invested in taking their brand to a modern level by partnering with some of the most talented designers of our time.

Philippe Starck, Nicolas Triboulot and Eriko Horiki are just some of the design geniuses that have made Baccarat one of the most desirable brands in home goods. There has even been more buzz since the Baccarat Hotel opened in midtown. (If you haven't had the opportunity to sip champagne in the lounge-- we suggest you do.)

For two days, you can dig into the home goods luxury world as Baccarat discounts their delectable items up to 70% off. Unlike past years you don't even need to drive to their NJ warehouse. This season, you can shop the discounts from the comfort of the D&D building. We are told the sale will include barware, vases, decorative pieces and a large selection of Baccarat jewelry.

Baccarat Sample Sale
Wednesday, March 23 & Thursday, March 24
10am-5pm daily
979 Third Avenue, 10th Floor (D&D Building)

Monday, March 21, 2016

Tibi Online Sample Sale 80% Off

Tibi's effortlessly cool essentials are now available online at up to 80% off during the company's sample sale. The online-only sale started today and runs through Thursday.

Most of the merchandise seems to have come from this past season's summer collection. We would suggest the sale would be more appropriately named a 'clearance sale' as there are no samples. Sale highlights include, a two tone dress that's reduced to $80 from $400, dropped culottes are $157 from $525 and Tibi x Del Toro slippers are $182 from $365.

Take note, that all sales are final. So be sure that whatever you buy you will want to wear.

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Inside the UWS Bloomingdales Outlet

New York's first Bloomingdales Outlet opened on the Upper West Side in November. After months of procrastination we finally left Madison Avenue for the likes of Columbus Avenue.

Upon entering the store you'll notice lots of the same contemporary brands that you would find on Lexington and 59th. We found racks separated by designer, which included Alice & Olivia, Rag & Bone and Helmut Lang. The best selection is the denim arrangement, which includes 7 for All Mankind, Citizens for All Humanity and Paige Denim. Citizen jeans are $90 from $200, a skinny Paige denim are $75 from $180 and Not My Mother's Jeans are $55 from $154.

If you're looking for more upscale designer brands, we suggest you head towards the display cases that contains designer bags and accessories or head downstairs to the shoe department. Among the fancier bags we found a small selection from Alexander McQueen. A mini Heroine tote is $1235 from about $2000 and a classic skull scarf is $235 from about $300. Among the Balenciaga section there is a Mini City for $611 from $765 (We believe that the retail price is quite a bit higher.) A larger size Mini City is $1457. Click here to see pictures.

Downstairs, is the shoe department. Most of the designer shoes can be found together near the foot of the stairs. We spotted Dior sling backs for $500 from $930, Prada sandals for $430 from $720 or a floral print Prada slingback for $455 from $760. The best finds in the store are the Chloe espadrilles that are just $200 from $500 and gold horse-bit Gucci sandals that are $300 from $500. To add to the temptation, the Bloomingdales Outlet is offering an extra 20% off all shoes. If you don't see your size among the designer section it might not hurt to search the other racks too. Pictures are right here.

Now that we made to the outlet store it will be hard not to jump-in and browse the shoes when in the neighborhood. Those in the market for jeans will undoubtedly find what they need-- for a lot less than  Bloomingdales. We would dare to say it would even be worth the cab fare.

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Tory Burch Private Sale 70% Off

The warm weather and bright sunny skies have us counting down the days to vacation. We aren't normally the biggest fans of Tory Burch but her online private sale boasts discounts of 70% and there is a great assortment of Spring break travel options.

Right this way we found bikinis discounted 70%. This print top is $39 from $150 and the matching bikini bottom is $39 from $95. Here's a print one piece reduced to $80 from $250. This eyelet tunic is $99 from $295 and white short-shorts are $70 from $175.

The sale also includes the designer's famous ballet flats which are also on sale. A pair of basic black and gold Revas are $179 from $200 or gladiator wedges are $99 from $300. Shoppers can also choose from an assortment of bags and jewelry. There is even lots of winter merchandise but we are purposely avoiding them.

Take note, the sale ends on Monday. All sales are final and shipping is free. White sands and blue waters-- here we come.

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Saks Super Kids' Sale

Saks Fifth Avenue is hosting a children's sale --not a sale of kids but for them-- where a cross-section of merchandise is discounted up to 60% off. The sale runs online and in stores through Wednesday, March 23.

Among the girl's clothing we found 7 For All Mankind skinny jeans reduced to $25 from $70, an Ella Moss velvet and sequined dress is $30 from almost $80 and an Imoga tweed moto jacket for $45 from $120. There is also a large selection of Milly Minis summer collection, which is reduced about 25% to 50%.

For boys, the higher discounts aren't as plentiful. After digging for a bit we found a Ralph Lauren denim jacket for $50 from $135, a Polo pony polo is $26 from $50 and a Gucci suit jacket is $330 from $660.

This is really the opportune time to seek out discounts ahead of packing for Spring break. Alternatively, it's never too early to start filling that camp trunk.

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

The Best Sample Sales this Week

It may feel early in the season for sample sales but the frenzy is about to begin. This week there are dozens of sample sales scheduled all over the city. Obviously, no sane person could attend them all-- nor should try. Instead, we carefully curated a selection of our favorite sample sales for the week.

Isaia Sample Sale
Through Friday, March 18
Wed & Thurs 8am-9pm, Fri 8am-6pm
C21 Edition, 21 Dey Street (btwn Broadway & Church)
This Isaia sale is always the perfect place to up your look. The sale always includes Italian made suits, sports coats, shirts, ties, trousers and accessories. Prices at the last sale ran from 50% to 75% off retail. Real deal seekers should wait until the end of the sale to load up. As a rule of thumb we stock up when shirts go down to $150.

J Rosen 
Through Friday, April 1
Mon-Fri 10am to 6:30pm
231 West 39 St., Suite 1101 (btwn 7th & 8th Ave)
The J Rosen showroom is hosting a sample sale where many of the designers they represent will be greatly discounted. Expect to find lots of boxes and racks of samples and a small assortment of open stock. At the last sale, we were thrilled with the assortment of Zara Terrez leggings and swimsuits that were all priced at $20. Also expect to find discounts on #PilyQ, L Space, Solkissed, Tiare Hawaii, Ipanema and more.
(Update: There are very few Zara Terrez leggings but lots of swim and coverups. Prices start at $35 for kids suits and $15 for flip-flops.)

Roger Vivier
Friday, March 18 through Monday, March 21
Fri 10am-7pm, Sat & Sun 9am-6:30pm, Mom 9am-5pm
Soiffer Haskin, 317 West 33rd Street (Off 8th Ave)
Every year we attend the Roger Vivier sale with so much excitement but rarely have successful experience. Shoes are usually discounted to $330 or $360 and basic pumps were as low as $225. The sale usually offers a bountiful assortment of styles but sizing can be sketchy. Small handbags started at $300 and went up to about $1500 for exotic styles.

Monday, March 14, 2016

The Outnet Discounts Offer Savings of 85%

Just when you're starting to look at full price collections for spring break, The Outnet begins its clearance sale. Right now, you can save up to 85% off a great assortment of fashionable fashion, so to speak.

Unlike many sales that boast big discounts, this sale lives up to it's hype. A simple black Alexander Wang sateen dress is just $119 from $800, a houndstooth Valentino jacket is $440 from almost $3000 and a Jason Wu one piece swimsuit is $132 from $660. We even found Ancient Greek sandals for just $65 from $325.

Before you check out, be sure to browse the accessories. There are lots of cute rings, necklaces and iPhone cases for about $10.

Take note that items are selling out quickly. We suggest putting anything you like in your cart and not taking too long to check out. Few things are more crushing than proceeding to checkout and find that the items you want are gone.

Sunday, March 13, 2016

Save the Date: David Yurman Sample Sale

Now is the time to start stashing some cash because the David Yurman sample sale is set to start Thursday, March 31. Discounts normally range from 40% 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 were pleased with the small amount of classic Yurman. Most jewelry was discounted 50% and sunglasses were priced at 60% off retail. Prices started at $150 for silver and leather bracelets. Most of the iconic cable pieces were discontinued just 40% off. The watch selection was quite limited, but all timepieces were 50% off retail.

There aren't additional markdowns taken throughout the sale, so we suggest going early to get the best selection. The David Yurman outlet-- at Woodbury Common-- is always a good alternative if you can't find time to make it to sample sale. (Unfortunately, the outlet store has closed.) As an alternative we trolled the internet for discount Yurman. Have fun browsing the pics below.

David Yurman Sample Sale
Thursday, March 31 through Sunday, April 3
Thurs 3pm to 8pm, Fri & Sat 10am-7pm, Sun 11am—5pm
 135 W. 18th St (The Altman Building b/w 6th & 7th Ave)

Thursday, March 10, 2016

The IT-it: Pink is the Color of Fashion

Pink it's my new obsession 
Pink it's not even a question, 
Pink on the lips of your lover, 
'cause Pink is the love you discover

Fashion month has officially come to an end and if there is one thing that we took away after watching constant feeds is that: Pink it's the color of passion, 'Cause today it just goes with the fashion.

Pink stole the spotlight at designer shows ranging from Commes de Garsons, Chanel and Gucci. Take note not to confuse this trend with bubble-gum cuteness. This pink lingo, oozes power and confidence.

There is no reason why we need to wait until Fall to start showing off our best shade of flamingo. Below are some of our favorite 

Pink it was love at first sight
Pink when I turn out the light  
Pink it's like red but not quite 
And I think everything is going to be all right 
No matter what we do tonight

Can Saks Off 5th Fill the Void Daffy's Left?

Last week, Saks Fifth Avenue debuted their first outlet store in Manhattan in the space formally occupied by Daffy's, on East 57th Street. Saks Off 5th hopes to modernize off-price retailing by incorporating a designated space for Gilt flash sales and filing showcases with uber-luxury items like pre-owned Hermes bags and Rolex watches.

We couldn't help but ask if Saks' parent company, Hudson Bay, can fill the void that Daffy's left when they closed all of their stores in 2012. Lets jump in and see if we can answer the question.

There is no doubt that Saks Off 5th is ideally located. It's nestled between four of the world's most illustrious retailers-- Barneys, Bloomingdales, Saks Fifth Avenue and Bergdorf Goodman. The are no lack of shoppers within the ten block or half-mile radius.

The success of Off Fifth, however, will depend on the merchandise and the discounts provided to their customers. The Gilt in-store concept is located prominently at the foot of the escalator. The space is brightly lit and includes a obligatory classic Gilt countdown clock that indicates the beginning of the next sale. We are told that flash sales that start at noon each Wednesday. Off 5th's Gilt department kicked off with Zadig & Voltaire and on Wednesday an assortment of beachwear caftans and sun dresses occupied the space.

The Gilt concept is actually genius as it has the potential to continually bring customers back into the store and create excitement beyond the discounter's seasonal shipments of merchandise. We are sure that future Gilt sales will generate the excitement of a seller sample sale.

Beyond the Gilt shop-in-shop, customers can also set their fancy towards display cases of pre-owned Hermes bags, scarves, jewelry and accessories. Luring the aspirational shopper with cases of vintage Hermes is becoming increasingly popular. Retailers from Barneys to Mango have started to use Hermes as a way of stimulating the aspirations desires of their customer's.

Moving beyond these promotional concepts, our Off 5th investigation started in the handbag section. We found a whole table of Moschino bags reduced about 50% off. Totes are priced at $140 from $265. On another designer focused table we spotted a Proenza PSII for $1400 from $1990 (just 30% off) and a denim tote for $300 from $550 (about 50% off).

The shoe department is where we found the most exciting assortment of merchandise. The downside was that the best items were discounted the least. It's not unheard of for a store to debut with exceptional product. As a matter of fact we think some items are a product of the store opening. For example, we found a great assortment of Valentino Rockstud shoes and boots but the discounts were most stingy first markdown at the full price store. For example, green and white Rockstud heels are $830 from $1045 (that's just 20% off).  Red flat Rockstuds are priced at $879 from $1095 (18% off) and these exact Noir Rockstud biker boots are $1260 from $1575 (20% off). You can click here to see more of the Valentino assortment.

Beyond shoes of the studded variety, there are plenty of Giuseppe Zanotti, Todds, Lanvin, Dolce & Gabbana and Alaia shoes from which to choose. Discounts are on a case-by-case basis. The best deals we found were of the Lanvin and Miu Miu variety, which were clearly past season shoes from Saks Fifth Avenue. Lanvin suede low top sneakers are about $260 from $645 (60% off) and Miu Miu sandals were priced at $212 from $850 (75% off). Most Giuseppe shoes are priced between 50% and 60% off but one far out pair of high boots were reduced to $720 from $2250 (70% off). The Todds shoes are 50% off. Driving moccasins are $320 from $625. You can see lots more pictures and price examples in the jump.

We were disappointed while sorting through the designer clothing. We can assume that all the press tours and opening celebrations depleted the most attractive merchandise. The most plentiful brands are Armani, Akris and St. Johns. Other racks were operated by designer and included a few pieces from a variety of big names like Gucci, Givenchy, Dolce & Gabbana and Fendi. A floral Dolce & Gabbana dress is reduced 75% from retail and comes to $830 from $2900, a leather Fendi skirt with cutouts is 60% off or $1940 from almost $5000 and a Givenchy blazer is reduced 75% or $790 from $3150. (Click for more pics.)

As with all discount stores, you will find an abundance of contemporary brands like Vince, DVF and Theory. We just wish that off-price stores would limit the amount of made-for-discount designer clothing and start sourcing great quality non-designer merchandise. Daffy's was famous for its no-name European crafted inventory. Thees days there is a whole movement of companies like M. Gemi and Everlane that produce top quality fashion for no-frills prices. Saks Off 5th could benefit from a smattering of this new wave.

If you move back up to the sunglasses section you will find the best deals in the store. As a matter of fact, the assortment is so large and the discounts are so great that it's a wonder why anyone would ever pay full price for sunnies. We found entire sections dedicated to Celine, Fendi, Prada, Miu Miu and Gucci. A pair of studded Prada glasses are reduced to $120 from $275, Celine frames are $150 from $400 and Miu Miu glasses are $240 from $275.

While we continue to morn the loss of Daffy's we must remember that it wasn't all perfect. There was the merchandise that made no sense and the inventory that was just bad. Overall, we are thrilled to have Off 5th within walking distance of our neighborhood and look forward to stalking these items whose prices are not yet where we would like them to be.

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Norma Kamali Clearance $50 to $100

Friends have be asking about updating their summer wardrobe and my best advice is to check out Norma Kamali's sale. The sale, which is Wednesday, only will feature an assortment of merchandise that will be all marked between $50 and $100.

Among the merchandise will be the designer's famous little black dresses, denim and denim bags, activewear, swim, coats and beauty products. For example, a black jumpsuit and a long black dress will be priced at $50. We are told that sale will include "very special" one-of-a-kind pieces. (We imagine that "special" means that they will be priced closer to $1000.)

Norma Kamali has really hit a cord with the fitness crowd. Her activewear is some of the most coveted of the designer labels. We suggest you set your sights on what you're going to wear to you next class at Physique57. (Kampala is a a known fan of the barre.) We are also super excited at the chance to find denim carpet bag

Norma Kamali Sale
Wednesday, March 9
10am to 6pm
11 West 56th Street