Thursday, September 29, 2016

New Discount Store is Downtown Cool

We can spend the day debating the demarcation line that separates Uptown from Downtown. Like everything in life, it all depends on your prospective.

One issue that is beyond debate is that Downtown will always have a cooler edge. Perhaps that's why the owners of Luxury 9, designer discount stores, decided open a pop-up shop on the Bowery. The Downtown location, which just opened this week, has the same great designer items as midtown but the collection is edited an avant-garde eye.

Among the selection, we spotted Celine's pointy toe pumps that are priced at $245, Karl Lagerfeld x Fendi sweatshirts that are $1130 from $1750 and insane (in a good way) Guiseppe beaded heels that are just $427 from $1425.  You can also find Gucci Ghost slippers, Gucci fur slides and Chanel flats nicely discounted. The store also has a lot of Margiela all priced at 60% off. (Some items are even from this season's collection.) You can check out pictures in the link here.

Among the bags, there is a selection from Fendi, Christian Louboutin and even Chanel. A gorgeous Buscemi backpack is $1787 from $2750. YSL Sac du Jours, Givenchy Antigona, Fendi 2Jours and Monsters are discounted from 20% to 40% off retail.

Don't let your attention for great shoes and accessories be stolen from the clothing. Among the racks are gorgeous pieces from Vionnet, Prada, Saint Laurent, Givenchy and Marni that's all priced up to 90% off retail. The most spectacular items are the Versace coats that range from $800 to $1500 but the retail prices were several times that much.

The store accepts phone orders and will ship purchases. They will even schedule personal shopping services. The hours of operation are irregular through the end of October. So we suggest you call before heading over.

Luxury 9 Bowery
Sunday through Thursday 12pm to 9pm, Friday 10am to 5pm
Closed Saturday
352 Bowery (across from the Bowery Hotel)
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Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Forzieri Fall Collection 70% Off

When everything in store is full priced it's refreshing to find anything seasonal that's on sale. That's why we were so excited to find out that European online luxury store, Forzieri is hosting a Fall sale where many items are reduced up to 70% off. The sale includes an assortment of shoes, accessories and home decor items for men and women.

Among the most heavily reduced sale items are lots of shoes, bags and jewelry. Ironic Moschino 'No Heele' heels are $226 from $555 and Proenza booties are $260 from $875. Metallic Vivier heels are are also $350 from $865 and Paula Cedemartori lace-up sandals are $322 from $805.

Surprisingly enough, there are a considerable amount of bags that also reduced to 70%. This Charlotte Olympia bag with a transparent handle is just $780 from $2300, a Roberto Cavalli fringed bag is $670 from $1670 and this Pucci 3-D clutch is $465 from over $1550. We dare you to resist this Mary Katrantzou rainbow box clutch that's now just $453 from $1510.

Forzieri always seems to have some good coupon codes floating around. It never hurts to do a search or add an item to your cart and let it sit for a while. Usually some sort of discount or promotion will pop-up after awhile.

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

The Results of See-Now, Buy-Now

When we speak about fashion trends, it's usually focused on skirt lengths and particular hues. This fashion season, however, the most talked about trend has been how designers are opting to use their time during fashion week.

Designers ranging from Tommy Hilfiger to Tom Ford have opted to use the fashion week media spotlight to showcase fashions that can be purchased by consumers immediately. This strategy diverts from the traditional system where designers show their next collection to buyers and journalists but shoppers need wait six to eight months for the opportunity to buy the items they love.

So, how successful is the see-now, buy-now system? Frankly, it's hard to tell. It's difficult for a company outsider to know how much of a single item was produced or the in-store effect on sales. Despite our unscientific method, we decided to take a closer look at how retail fared when it was shared immediately off the runway.

Alice & Olivia
Stacy Bendet has a mastery of eye-popping and kitchy designs that jump off the runway. Her collections are the perfect fodder for those who impulsively need-it-now. This was the designers second show that was made available right off the runway. Neiman Marcus was the exclusive retailer and the entire collection appears to still be available through pre-order. Presentation highlights include this moto jacket that's embroidered with "Always Right" and a "Loving You" embroidered boyfriend shirt.

Tommy X Gigi
Gigi Hadid took over the Tommy Hilfiger runway to a great amount of media fanfare. The collection highlighted chunky sweaters and bell bottom jeans. Heading over to the Hilfiger website it appears as if many of the trendiest fashions, like this wool bomber jacket and this Hadid/Hilfiger hoodie-- have sold out. There is still a lot to choose from but shoppers are warned that many items are running low in stock.

Rebecca Minkoff
Part of Rebecca Minkoff's see now, buy now strategy was to employ a bevy of blogger celebrities to walk her need-it-now collection down the runway. Big name blogger/models included Chriselle Lim, Arielle Nachmani, Gala Gonzales, Caroline Vreeland and Shea Marie. It appears as if most of the collection is available in full size runs except for this shearling moto and this leather jacket are both sold out in medium and large.

Banana Republic
The chain store, Banana Republic may not have a creative director but it does Olivia Palermo as a brand ambassador. The socialite curated a collection that became available online immediately following the presentation. A classic white shirt dress is sold out in several sizes as are these tie slacks but most of the biggest winners have been completely removed from the site after selling out.

Monday, September 26, 2016

Save the Date: David Yurman Sample Sale

We hope you've been stashing cash because the David Yurman sample sale is set to start Thursday, October 6. 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 were pleased with the small amount of classic Yurman. Most jewelry was discounted 40% and sunglasses were priced at 60% off retail. Prices started at $150 for silver and leather bracelets. Most of the iconic cable pieces were discounted just 30% off. The watch selection was quite limited, but all timepieces were 50% off retail.

There aren't additional markdowns taken throughout the sale, so were suggest going early to get the best selection. The David Yurman outlet closed but we've been able to find a steady stream of discount Yurman from sites like The Real Real.

David Yurman Sample Sale
Thursday, October 6 through Sunday, October 9
Thurs 3pm to 8pm, Fri & Sat 10am-7pm, Sun 11am—5pm
135 W. 18th St (The Altman Building b/w 6th & 7th Ave)

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Bloomingdales Friends & Family Presale

Pre-sale for the upcoming Bloomingdales friends and family promotion has started. The sale officially begins later this week but those in-the-know can start pre-saling their purchases in stores 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. To make up for the lack of beauty discounts, many brands offer a generous 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 $2000 Prada boots and 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 signing up for a rewards 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. Online product pages have a "In-Store Pickup" button and you can have all your purchases pulled and awaiting for you at the customer service department on the 3rd floor. Once you get there, you can try everything on and only take the items you like.

This season, some Bloomingdales highlights include Fenty Puma x Rihanna, the launch of Charlotte Tilbury, and, oh, who would ever want to miss the relaunch of Juicy Couture? We've also noticed that Bloomies seems to get the best designer exclusives.

The friends and family promotion runs through Sunday, October 2 and the discount can also be applied to sale items. There are few better things than a sale on a sale.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

DVF Friends & Family 25% Off

Diane von Furstenberg's friends & family sale is here. You can save 25% off almost all items by using the code “FRIENDS25”.

The promotion runs online and inspires through Monday, September 26th. The best part of this promotion is that the discount can also be applied to sale merchandise. Highlights from this season's include this color block fitted dress, this mix print wrap dress and this fabulous velvet wrap jumpsuit.

If you're the type that values sample sale prices over the newest styles, we suggest you use the discount opportunity on sale merchandise. If you're going to have to do a bit of scrolling if you're looking for merchandise that has already been marked down.

The sale section is virtually empty but there are lots of reduced items like these leather culottes come to about $400 from nearly $1000 and white wide-leg pants are about $130 from almost $370. Even this pretty pink wrap dress is discounted to $185 from almost $500. (That's better than a sample sale!)

The IT-It: Ballerina Tie-Ups

Ballet flats have been in style for more than a decade. We've seen them in numerous iterations-- with studs, bejeweled, tweed, cap-toe, bows, and emblems. The list goes on and on and they are all boring, boring, boring.

This season, the fashion crowd is turning the ballet flat on its toe by offering a variation that includes lace-ups and ankle straps. Some of the most popular styles of the season come from Valentino, which offers a version with chains and leather straps. Miu Miu's on-point with with an embellished Mary Jane strap and velvet ankle ribbons. Isabel Marant has gone more edgy with a pointy toe and studded ankle straps. Gianvito Rossi takes much more minimalistic approach by rounding out the toe, widening the vamp and using a delicate suede ankle strap. Marni's offering also includes a thin ribbon but their vamp is a lot thicker and seems less sexy than the Rossi option.

We even found a version by Chloe that's especially designed for babies!

If you're looking for a cheap thrill, Asos offers a pretty gold flat with a black ribbon that's on sale for just $85, a leopard style is $35 and nude is $36. Steve Madden's iteration comes in an assortment of colors and is available for just $70.

Just remember, these tie-up ballerinas can only be used as transitional shoe or until the weather starts requiring more sturdy footwear. If you're going to buy into this trend we suggest you quickly jete´.

Monday, September 19, 2016

Saks Fifth Avenue Gift Card Promotion

Neiman Marcus started their double gift card event just at the right time if they wanted to beat Saks to the punch. Starting today, shoppers can weigh their options at Saks Fifth Avenue where loyal customers can be awarded with gift cards totaling up to $700.

Online shoppers can use the code SEPT2016 and receive their gift card in the mail. As with most promotions, there are some restrictions but there aren't as many as usual. Louboutin, Valentino, Chanel, Prada, Gucci and Jimmy Choo are just a few of the exemptions but you can go crazy shopping for Dolce & Gabbana, Manolo Blahnik, Chloe and McQueen.

The promotion runs in stores through September 21st but starts in stores on Thursday, September 22 and Friday, September 23. (Take note, the sale does not run through the weekend.) Below are the gift card thresholds and some of our favorite items that are included in the promotion.

$35 Gift Card with your $250
$75 Gift Card with your $500
$150 Gift Card with your $1000
$450 Gift Card with your $2000
$700 Gift Card with your $3000

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Neiman Marcus Offers Double Gift Cards

Neiman Marcus just started their latest electronic gift card promotion. The shopping incentive started online today and runs through next Thursday, September 22. Online shoppers can receive a gift card when making purchases on regularly priced merchandise.

The best part of the promotion is that you can earn double gift cards, up to $600, with the purchase of clothing, shoes or handbags. That's double the gift card, double the fun. Did we fail to mention that beauty and fragrance products are also included?

Some hot items that we have been eyeing include this retro Tory Burch rainbow eel-skin bag (really, it's great), Alice & Olivia embroidered bell bottom pants and  Stuart Seitzman over the knee boots.  As with all gift card events there are some exclusions. Make sure to read the fine print before you begin browsing. Nobody likes getting disappointed.

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Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Fashion Week Trends Spring '17: Sneakers on the Runway

Fashion week is starting to wind down. There is only one day left but we are still rounding out the top trends. Expect to see these looks on the street and in pages of your favorite fashion magazines next Spring. Today, we take a closer look at how designers swapping out heels for sneakers.

We are used to watching models hobble down the runway with four, five and even six inch heels. This runway season, stands out for the large variety of designers that kicked off the heels and opted for, well, kicks.

Alexander Wang was an early show that showed high-top sneakers with fringe ankle details. The all-white low-top court sneaker was first popularized by the Stan Smith and the look has only gained momentum with top designers like Band of Outsiders, Adam Selman and Tommy Hilfiger.

At DKNY, designers Maxwell Osborne and Dao-Yi Chow, went in a the opposite direction and offered a maxi sneaker. It's a hybrid sneaker-boot that goes all the way to the knee. The body of the boot was constructed of neoprene and the soles were made of chunky rubber.

While we understand the allure of a sneaker--especially when pounding the concrete pavement--we will always opt for the calf workout of heels. After all, the streets are our runway.

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Fashion Week Trends Spring '17: Clashing Prints

New York fashion week is now more than half-way done. The shows don't officially wrap until Thursday, but there are some trends that have quickly taken the spotlight. Seasonal dressing is getting blown out of the window as designers realize that it's still quite chilly when Spring fashion appears in stores.

Yigal Azrouel, Tory Burch, Thom Browne, Threeasfour, Zimmerman
In addition to wearing heavier fabrics, designers are mixing prints and textures. Tory Burch layered a window pane print jacket, over a toile print blouse and paired it with a plaid skirt. Yigal Azrouel showed clashing wallpaper prints and Threeasfour piled unstructured flowey fabrics in corresponding prints.

Fashion Week Trends Spring '17: Florescent Colors

We are just a few days into fashion week and it doesn't take long for trends to emerge. We are rounding out the top trends. Expect to see these looks on the street and in pages of your favorite fashion magazines next Spring. Yesterday, we highlighted how sleeves are taking the spotlight. Today, we take a closer look at how designers are attracting customers with bright florescent colors.

Cynthia Rowely, Zac Posen, Libertine, Sies Marjan, Jeremy Scott, Thom Browne
A broad spectrum of bright colors lit up the runway and came in a variety of textures including lightweight silks to heavier sweaters. The trend is not exactly targeted to fashion risk takers but broad enough to attract those who normally wear more conservative colors. Get on board and find the hue that will make you glow.

Sunday, September 11, 2016

Fashion Week Trends Spring '17: Dramatic Arms

We are just a few days into fashion week and it doesn't take long for trends to emerge. We are rounding out the top trends. Expect to see these looks on the street and in pages of your favorite fashion magazines next Spring.

From left to right: Monse, Prabal Gurung, Hood by Air, Diane Von Furstenberg, Jenny Packham, Cinq à Sept 

This past summer, drama was created with ruffles around the neck and shoulders. Heading into next Spring, fashion spotters should direct their attention towards dramatic sleeves. Many designers have devoted a segment of their collections to showcasing the arms with dramatic draping, pleating and ruffles.

A Very Special BabyCZ Trunk Show

Once the weather gets chilly, there is nothing better than wrapping your baby (or yourself) in cashmere. Jackets are too bulky and babies easily get overheated in their buntings. Cashmere is soft, light and warm and it doesn't get more luxurious than BabyCZ by Carolina Zapf.

Tuesday and Wednesday you can shop fall styles and pre-order spring merchandise. There will also be a special selection of cashmere on sale. Yay, we always love that!

BabyCZ by Carolina Zapf
Tuesday, September 13 and Wednesday, September 14
9am to 6pm
Surrey Hotel, 20 East 76th Street
Questions: or 212-590-5190

Sponsored Mention

Friday, September 9, 2016

The Best Fall Beauty Gift Bags

Mirror, mirror on the wall. Who has the best Fall beauty gift bag of them all?

Both Barneys and Neiman Marcus are hosting a beauty incentive promotion where you can receive a bounty of extra products and samples if you spend a set amount of money. Over at Barneys the threshold is $200 but Neiman Marcus only requires a $125 purchase.

The Barneys 'Love Yourself' gift promotion comes in a dopp kit-size travel pouch that is customized for men or women. The women's option contains 26 products, including fragrance samples from Byredo, Loewe, Dyptique and Rodin. There is a mini La Mer, Deborah Lippman polish, 3 Lab eye cream, Hourglass primer, Oribe Gold Lust, Shu Uemura Color Luster, Malin + Goetz recovery treatment, Lilah B eye guard, a Givenchy lipstick, Marvis Toothpaste and Chantecaille cream. Barneys gift bags are available through September 11.

Neiman Marcus beauty and fragrance customers can choose a full size tote in bronze or black. Goodies inside  include, Oribe shampoo, conditioner and hair Masque, Lancôme Paris cream, Bulgari and Starck Paris perfume, an Oshibori scented towel and a Smith & Cult nail file. If you spend $500, Neiman Marcus adds a beauty pouch with several deluxe size samples including, a RéVive clay mask, Supersmile toothpaste, Sisley-Paris lotion, Natura Bissé eye cream and Tata Harper eye mask.

Clearly, Barneys offers a better array of products but the tote bag offered by Neiman Marcus seems like a better bang for your buck. We also like that Neiman requires you to spend a lot less to participate. After all, we shouldn't be shopping only to receive the the gift.

Now that we've weighed the merits of each bag, it would be most appropriate to highlight interesting and new beauty and fragrance products. We suggest, taking a sniff at Christian Louboutin's newest fragrance offerings. There are three separate scents and we hear they are spectacular. We recently fell in love with Serge Lutens concealer palette, which comes with four different shades of concealer. Also, don't miss the new Tom Ford duos, which are 'only' $60.

Now the choice is all yours...

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Neiman Marcus Blowout Clearance Sale

While everyone has their attention directed towards new runway fashions, pop-up stores and glittery launches we were discreetly tipped off to a blowout clearance sale. Neiman Marcus is hosting a one day online sale where aged-out merchandise is reduced 75% off.

The sale officially runs September 8th but we found an early access link that can be used right now. Among the reduced fashion, we found lots of CoSTUME National shoes, including these pointed-toe wedge booties that are reduced to $280 from almost $900. They happen to look a lot like the popular Celine shoes, just nicer. This striking Yigal Azrouel lace blouse is $200 from $850 and this J. Mendel dress is perfect for a luncheon.

Understandably, the selection isn't entirely steller but a bit of sorting can provide some great deals even on inexpensive items like sweaters, jeans and pajamas. Better to browse sale selections than be tempted by full price fashions-- well we try.

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Barneys Warehouse Sale Runs in Brooklyn

For decades the Barneys Warehouse sale was a shopping tradition. It was the subject of urban legend and lustful truths. In an era of online sales, markdowns and ubiquitous sample sales, nostalgia still draws customers towards the warehouse sale no matter where it travels.

Right now, the famous sale is set in Williamsburg, Brooklyn (ironically). Our spies scoped out the site over the holiday weekend and the report was about as cheery as L-Train construction. "The sale was a cramped, tiny space, much more hipster than it ever was," says our roving reporter.

Right now, the sale is an additional 20% off everything and we are told it will even dip lower. Bags are an additional 60% off the already reduced price but the selection is "sad". Among the shoes, our spy spotted Prabal Gurung, Kirkwood, Marni and some random Manolos in a size 40. You can click here to see pictures from inside the sale.

Sale highlights include Public School shearling bombers for men, a small selection of kids stuff, a few lacquer boxes for the home and vests for pups. Not exactly stellar by any account. If you're looking for a better selection, we suggest you go to the online Barneys Warehouse Sale.

Check out this emerald green, fur trimmed Alberta Ferretti coat that's reduced to $2000 (with a Labor Day extra promotion) from $7110, a Proenza Schouler black and white macrame sweater that's reduced to $370 from $1150 and a Philosophy di Lorenzo Serafini multicolored abstract-print dress is $280 from $750. Take note, the above prices include an extra 30% off promotion that ends September 7th.

Barneys Warehouse Sale
Through September 14
10am to 8pm daily
280 Metropolitan Ave, Brooklyn

Monday, September 5, 2016

Versace Blowout Sale

Bold prints and structured design have defined Versace for decades. The iconic Medusa logo is one of the most recognizable labels in the world. As a matter of fact, the image is that of the goddess Athena whose beautiful hair was transformed into snakes for allowing Poseidon to seduce her in the temple of the goddess Aphrodite.

The seduction of Versace is undeniable and has never been more irresistible. Starting Tuesday, the mid-town discount store, Luxury 9 is hosting a unbelievable Versace blowout sale. Merchandise is priced starting at just $25 and a large bulk of the inventory ranges between $50 and $100.

The selection comprises an assortment of inventory for men and children, which includes runway pieces, outerwear, gowns and accessories. A tunic with an abstract cloud print and a Madusa logo is $150, a dip-died coat with lace-up sleeves is $200 and a classic Versace print silk blouse is $100. A salmon color blazer is $50 as is a racer-back silk Summer dress. Among the children's items there is a red and black Versace leather jacket for $200 and a gingham trench coat for $100. (Click here for pictures.)

While you're shopping through the Versace selection be sure to scope out the assortment from Off White, Marcelo Burlon, Hood by Air and Palm Angels. Off White hoodies are $250 from about $1000, a Palm Angels shirt is $140 from about $315 and a leather jacket also from Palm Angels with an embroidered cannabis leaf on the back is $1000 from $1400. (Click here for pictures.)

We suggest you stop by the sale soon and continue to check back. We are told there will be restocking and other luxury brands may be added to the selection.

Luxury 9
375 Lexington Avenue @ 41st Street
Monday to Thursday 10am to 7pm
Friday 10am to 6pm
Closed Saturday
Sunday 11am to 6pm

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Thursday, September 1, 2016

Saks Fifth Avenue: Spend & Save Now

We have become all too familiar with department stores' gift card shopping incentives. You spend as much as you can for the opportunity to receive a gift card for a later purchase. More often than not, you get your gift card and think that you're going to save it to buy something special. By the time you commit to the purchase, the gift card is expired. It's all very disappointing.

Good thing, Saks Fifth Avenue is offering a promotion that doesn't require to use a gift card at a future date. Depending on how much money you spend, you can save money off your purchase right now. For instance, if you spend $250 you can save $50, spend $450 and save $100 or an expenditure of $700 will earn you a savings of $175. The promotion is only online use the code AUGSPEND at checkout.

There are designer exclusions and the list has grown vastly from last year. The discount can't be used on Chanel, Louboutin or Valentino but there are still some top designers to which you can apply the code. We were able to use the discount on these eligible embellished shoes we've been eyeing and eligible Rossi nude heels. This Alice & Olivia denim jacket with patches and this Mary Katrantzou shirt dress is perfect for post-Labor Day. The discount can even be used on Les Petits Joureurs bags. Take note, sale merchandise is eligible for the discount too.

Don't hesitate, the discount only runs through Thursday. Next time Saks is offering a promotion it could be one of those tricky gift cards.