Thursday, October 31, 2019

Barneys Destined to Close: Now What?

This afternoon the gavel fell and the fate of Barneys was determined. Authentic Brands Group and B. Riley will be the new owners of Barneys and of all its assets and intellectual property for the price of $271 million.

ABG has been forthright that their purchase plan includes the closing of all Barneys’ locations — including its 275,000-square-foot flagship property owned by Ashkenazy Acquisition at 660 Madison Avenue.

“It’s a sad day,” said Judge Cecilia Morris as she determined the fate of Barneys, which includes the loss of 1,500 jobs and the end of an era for New Yorkers.

Jeff Trexler, attorney and associate director of Fashion Law Institute, based at Fordham School of Law, observed the proceedings and in an interview with Mad-Spy said, "There was a palpable sense of loss. The sense of losing more than a store. Barneys has been important to so many for much of its history."

The question of how ABG will liquidate inventory remains a question. Texler told Mad-Spy that the jewelry vendors are among the only merchants that have prior authorization to retrieve its merchandise. That means that everything from Chanel shoes to YSL bags are up for grabs.

Some experts believe that ABG will keep stores open for a limited time and slowly reduce merchandise until most of it's sold. Other experts believe that the most valuable inventory -- from Louboutin to Gucci-- will be sold behind the scenes.

The perception that Barneys is dead has to be factored into any decision, " Trexler said.  A fire sale will only diminish the value of the label, which will primarily be used for licensing.
Another expert with whom we spoke agreed that customers shouldn't be too optimistic about paying pennies for Prada. "If ABG decides to liquidate its inventory, you can bet that the best merchandise will be removed. Off-price stores from TJ Maxx to Gilt are already placing offers," he said.  "At stores, you will most likely see the Coop brand reduced to liquidation values along with fixtures and odd accessories."

The individual brands have worries about seeing major disicounts too.  A comment noted that big companies, like LVMH, are attempting to buy back their merchandise in order to maintain control.

Inside sources say that all NYC employees have been called to a meeting on Friday morning. We anticipate that it will be a somber day.

On a personal note: The Madison Avenue Spy team is very thankful to all of our friends at Barneys. You have made our lives more colorful, stylish and fun. Our stories of shopping at Barneys and eating lunch at Fred's will be told as a legend and be repeated to future generations. We wish everyone lots of luck and success and look forward to sharing new beginnings.

Tuesday, October 29, 2019

Inside a Trip to Nordstrom NYC Flagship

New York City is buzzing about retail. Local headlines are dominated by stories about Barney's likely closure and Nordstrom opening its first NYC store. This is within a year of Saks Fifth Avenue closing it's downtown location and Neiman Marcus opening at Hudson Yards.

It's hard to gauge if NYC retail is dying a slow and painful death or experiencing a rebirth. A trip to the newly opened Nordstrom woman's store would lead anyone to believe that a Renaissance is underway. Today, I took my first trip to the new 57th Street department store and spent several hours exploring and trying to understand what makes Nordstrom any different from the 15-alternative sources you can procure Prada boots.

In a landscape of specialty, Nordstrom offers a little bit of retail magic for everyone, It's a little Macy's, a dash of Bloomindales, a twist of Saks, a sprinkle of Bergdorfs and a hint of Dover Street Market. It's hard to believe but it's true.

The first floor contains a bright and cheery array of Fjallraven backpacks, which would make any school girl squeal with excitement. The lower levels are focused on luxury brands, which include shoes and handbags from Valentino, Fendi, Dior, and fashion from Saint Laurent, Balmain, and Erdem. There is even a section of Comme Des Garcons. (That's where the Dover Street Market flavor comes into play.) The upper floors contain contemporary lines from a variety of brands including Nili Lotan, Alice & Olivia, Ted Baker, and Halogen. I have lots of pics in the jump.

What makes this Nordstrom a little bit different than other stores is that there is also encourages exploration. I was surprised to see Perrin in the designer handbag section and discovered D'estree--a brand I didn't know! Their bags have the visual intrigue and a price point close to Danse Lente but offers far superior quality. I got to get up close and personal with a great assortment from Nanushka and have a newfound appreciation for the quality and affordable price. (Slide through to see pictures from inside the store.)

Unfortunately, my food experience was not on par with what draws me to Barneys several times a week or even the sustenance provided at Forty Carrots. Bar Verde, on the fifth floor,  offered reasonable menu options but all of our food was served cold. The quality of the individual ingredients surpassed the final product. The french fries, which is the barometer of any bistro, were even barely "fine". On the bright side, my Lavender Chai, from the basement level children's section, was delicious even if I was upsold whole milk. The final price for my small Chai was $7 and I would prefer to overpay at Sant Ambroeuse.

Throughout the entire day, the Nordstrom store was buzzing with curious customers. I noticed diversity you don't normally see at NY stores. There were people coming from surrounding offices, Upper West Siders, tourists, and various Nordstrom executives. I even spotted the fashion icon, Fern Mallis.

I think that this type of diversity is what will set Nordstrom apart from other NYC retailers. As most venues have their own tribe, this is a destination that seems to accept everyone and a curated assortment of everything. Perhaps this is the true future of retail and the beginning of a Golden Age. You can click here to take a visual tour via pictures and commentary.

Monday, October 28, 2019

Neiman Marcus "New Sale" Added

Neiman Marcus started a "First Call" sale on contemporary merchandise last week. It hasn't been much time but the store has continued to add more sale options. The discount ranges from 30% to 40% off, which is less then some sample sales currently in session.

At the Tibi sample sale, which officially starts on Tuesday, this leather-ette skirt is $250 but it's priced in the Neiman Marcus sale section for $296 from $395. Other new standouts include this Parker green jumpsuit that's $200 from $300.  It would pair perfectly with this season's hot-trend combat boots. Here is an RtA sweater that's $200 from $300 and a puff sleeve dress from Kobi Halpern that's $300 from $400. These Stuart Weitzman sandals are really a very good value at $240 from $400.

Through Monday, clearance is an extra 25% off. We spotted this Palm Angles sweatshirt, which is basically unisex, for $174 from $475, a red letter moto jacket is $185 from $500 and Fendi slides are only $230 from $690. This Yves Salmon puffer is $1000 from $2800 and a Herno puffer with a fur collar is $870 from $2325.

These more extreem discounts are only valid through Monday. The next big extra discount on clearance will be in early November.

Bottega Veneta Raises Prices AGAIN

It hasn't even been a month since Bottega's last price increase but they are at it again. First, on October 3, we reported a price increase of $100 on the popular leather pouch, which brought the total price to $2500. Today, we found out about another price hike that brings the cost of the it-bag to $2700. That's an increase of $300-- over 10%-- in less than a month.

It appears as if the metallic style pouches are the best deal at the legacy price of "only" $2400. The cost of the woven "Intreccio" got a bump earlier this month but seems to be holding steady at $3100.   The small Pouch 20 was $1100 only last month, was upped to $1200 at the start of October, but now has a new price of $1390. The woven Pouch 20 is now $1580.

Retreating to the Mansur Gavriel version might seem like an even better alternative now. Think again. The clones also went up in price from $395 to $595. Happy holidays!

As the economy seems to be slowing, brands are not shy about taking advantage of hot products. Earlier this week, Louis Vuitton raised prices 7% on many popular styles. Dior added $400 to $500 on popular Saddle Bags and Lady Dior styles, according to Spotted Fashion. On November 1, Chanel is slated to take a major price hike on many of it's most popular style bags.

The fashion cycle has become as fast-moving as Billboard's Hot 100. Fashion brands are becoming increasingly savvy in taking advantage of any trend while it's hot. There was a time when Dior book totes were under $2000. That should be a lesson to us all.

Sunday, October 27, 2019

Sale Reminder: Global Fashions Sample Sale

Monday Morning, Global Fashions will open it's doors to the public for a sample sale. Discounts range from 55% to 80% off. Men's and women's clothing are all 80% off. Rockstud shoes are discounted 55% off. All other shoes, sneakers, boots, bags, and accessories are reduced to 70% off. We have pictures and detailed pricing here.

Some of the sale highlights include an assortment of Rockstuds in nude, hot pink, black, and even some tri-colored pumps and flats. Lots of boot options at 70% off. Among the bags, is a gold chain shoulder bag from the Love collection that comes to $825 from $2745 and a butterfly embroidered backpack is $900 from $ 3045. Don't miss the great boot options. Sizes are limited.

Global Fashions Sample Sale
Monday, October 28 through Wednesday, October 30
9am-6pm daily
49 West 38th Street

Sponsored Mention

Saks Kicks Off Sale Season 40% Off

It's not even Halloween but Saks Fifth Avenue is already kicking off sale season. Today, we took the rainy day to investigate the department store's 'Sneak Peek' sale, which offers customers up to 40% off many designer shoes, bags and clothing.

Our first stop was express to shoes. The markdown ranges from 25% to 40% off. We were most surprised to find a full range of beautiful lace Manolo Blahnik Hangisi shoes are 30% off. Here are the denim Hangisi heels reduced to $696 from $995.  Other standouts were Nicolas Kirkwood Beyas flats are $297 from $500 and are available in a variety of colors. Boots with a pearl on the inner heel are $570 from $945.

We spotted these really pretty Aquazzura pearl slingbacks come to $626 from $900. The flats are $500 from $725. Jump over to see pictures of what else we found on the shoe floor. There is a small  Valentino assortment and tons of Stuart Weitzman options.

Most of the clothing that's on sale is 40% off. There are little racks of nearly every designer. A wool blazer from The Row is $1470 from $3670, an MSGM blazer made of a neoprene-like fabric is $540 from $900, a Balmain sweatshirt is $390 from $650 and the tank with gold buttons at the shoulder is $240 from $395. Online you will even find some Gucci deals. This lace trim dress is $1700 from $3400 and leather pants are $1750 from $3500. Click over to see pictures from inside the store.

The sale options withing the bag section aren't great. The best discounts are on Chloe bags. Online we found this Valentino tote reduced to $822 from $1175. Store pictures are over here.

The discount signs get taken down on October 31 and everything goes back to full price. Presale for Black Friday should begin in about two weeks and the big sales should begin a week before Thanksgiving. See ya then!

Friday, October 25, 2019

Global Fashions Sample Sale

Sample sale season is on fire and Global Fashions will be fueling the flames as it opens its doors to the public on Monday morning. Global Fashions, which is the official luxury distributor for several Italian designer brands including couture items. This is an excellent opportunity to shop for top designer items for serious markdowns.

If you've been to a Global Fashions sale before you probably know the treasures that behold. We got a sneak peek while the sale was being set up and are thrilled to share what we found. Discounts range from 55% to 80% off. Men's and women's clothing are all 80% off. Rockstud shoes are discounted 55% off. All other shoes, sneakers boots, bags, and accessories are discounted 70% off. We have pictures and detailed pricing in the jump.

Among the bags, we found a gold chain shoulder bag from the Love collection that comes to $825 from $2745. A butterfly embroidered backpack is $900 from $3045 and a studded clutch is $690 from $2295. (You can stalk pictures of some of our favorites over here.)

We think that men especially appreciate this sale. There is a large selection of men's studded sneakers that are all reduced 70% off. Most stiles retail for $800 to $900. There are also great men's backpacks. A blue and read leather style is $1131 from $3375. Men's coats, suits, and clothing are 80% off and worth of a serious look. Pictures and detailed pricing in the jump.

We love all the boots available for women but sizing is a little spotty. If you see your size, grab it fast because there is no backstock. There are also lots of women's sneakers. The best assortment is size 38.  Rockstud shoes are a little spotty but there are some great styles on the racks in limited sizes. Take note, there is a three-pair maximum n the Rockstuds. (This should be very helpful in keeping the quantities in check.) Pictures and detailed pricing in the jump.

Global Fashions always offers a great shopping experience. There is a great designer find for most every budget. This is a sale you're not going to want to miss. Don't tell us we didn't warn you.

Global Fashions Sample Sale
Monday, October 28 through Wednesday, October 30
9am-6pm daily
49 West 38th Street

Sponsored post

Thursday, October 24, 2019

Inside the Manolo Blahnik's (Last) Sample Sale

Today marked a very sad day. We believe that today's Manolo Blahnik sample sale will be the last. This sale has been a bi-annual highlight of the shopping season for as long as we can remember.

Despite its popularity, the Manolo Blahnik staff always treated customers with a warm and cozy place to wait and true sample sale prices. As the Manolo Blahnik brand readies to change US operations, we celebrated in the best way possible-- sample sale shopping!

Early birds first arrived at the Warwick Hotel starting before dawn. Ticket numbers were handed out at 6:30am. For the first time, shoppers were given priority numbers to those who arrived the earliest. The sale officially opened at 8:30am to VIP shoppers, who reportedly bomb dived and quickly accumulated any embellished style shoe. By 10:30am all the Lurum-Hangisi-Nadira selection were captured and stashed aways in large plastic bags and under tables.

Prices started at an unbelievable $100, which means no tax. The earliest shoppers were treated to oodles of $300 Lurums, $250 Hangisi and $250 Nadira style shoes. All BBs and basic style shoes were only $100 and there were a plethora of options. You can see the full price list in the jump. For the first time, the sale had a number of small novelty items, including towels ($30), candles ($10), and stationary.

The best selection of shoes, as always, was size 37. Even at noon, boxes of size 37s were neatly stacked on standby for restocking. On all size ables there was an assortment of BB heels in almost every color and heel height. We also spotted lots of sandals and boots. We have some great haul pictures in the jump and some 'no line-online' shopping options above too.

With all the crowds, checking out was the most tedious component of the sale. Most shoppers waited 30 to 60 minutes to pay for their shoes. All the crowds died down by mid-afternoon and the sale was extended until 6:30pm. We have a feeling that TheRealReal will be flooded with Manolos in the next week. Keep your eyes peeled.

We usually prefer the end-of-season sale at the Manolo boutique but the rock-bottom ticket price of $100, makes the sample sale impossible to dispute. We are told that the 54th Street boutique will close at the end of the year. We anticipate that there will be one more boutique sale before the current ownership kicks out their heels.

As we morn another loss of a great New York institution, the Madison Avenue Spy team would like to thank everyone at Manolo for all the wonderful memories and amazing shoes. Decades from now we will still discuss the amazing experience of shopping at a Manolo Blahnik sample sale. Cheers!

Wednesday, October 23, 2019

Hermés Sample Sale: Everything You Need to Know

The NYC Hermés sample sale kicked off to a small number of VIP invited guests, on Wednesday afternoon. The sale opens to the public on Thursday morning and is expected to draw huge crowds.

Wednesday's VIP invites were limited to about 200 shoppers who were admitted to the sale at 12pm. Most early shoppers reported waiting for about 30 minutes. One shopper said: The entire trip, from arrival to checkout, was two hours.

That will not be the case once the sale opens to the public. Sample sale shoppers are reporting that they will arrive at 2am in hopes of being the first customers to gain entrance in the morning.

Today's VIP shoppers say that the sale was "okay". Accessories are 50% off and are limited to a total of three units and just one from each category--leathers, enamels, Rivals, Hapis, Clic Clacs etc. Shoes are 50% off. There are no Oran sandals but there are jumping boots but only in the Moka color. Besides that, there are very few classics.

Cashmere and silks are 50% off. There is a limit of two cashmere items and four silk items. There is a four tie limit. All ready to wear is 60% off. At the last sale, clothing was reduced by 80%. There are no housewares at the sale but there are some winter accessories such as gloves, hats and heavy cashmere scarves. (Click for pics.)

Keep in mind, purchases made at a Hermes sample sale do not come with boxes. All items are marked with the letter "s" symbolizing that they were purchased at a sale. You can click here to compare notes with the Summer sale in NJ.

For the opening day of the public sale, shoppers began arriving at 11pm the night before. By 7am there were 100 people on the line. By the afternoon the crowds thinned out tremendously and at 4pm there was no line at all. After work, the lines began to swell again and numbers stopped being distributed at 5pm.

Attendees said that the line inside to shop the jewelry was reportedly very long and each shopper was only given 10 minutes to make their selections. Some people reported making out very well while others weren't so impressed. We noticed that men seemed to make out a lot better at the sale then women.

Unless you're a die-hard, we would suggest watching from the sidelines. It seems as if that late afternoon lull -- before the after-work rush-- is the best time to attend the sale. We will continually update this post as pictures and intelligence become available.

We have pictures from inside the sale and haul images over in the jump. We will have a team of spies reporting live from the opening at the public opening of the sale. Feel free to send tips, leave comments and follow along on Instagram. You can comment on the most recent Hermes post to ask questions and share info.

Hermes Sample Sale
Open to the Public: Thursday, October 24 through Sunday, October 27
9am-7pm daily
Soiffer Haskin: 317 West 33rd Street

Inside: The Jimmy Choo Sample

This morning, the Jimmy Choo sample sale kicked off for press and VIPs. Just before 10am, there were only about thirty people waiting in the cue for general RSVP admission but that was just a temporary situation. By 11am, the line nearly reached Sixth Avenue, almost a full city avenue.

Inside, shoes are organized by color on racks and bags are on tables. The best deals are men's shoes, which are all $150. Women's shoes start at $250. Usually, anything with embellishment falls into the $325 category but they were much more generous with pricing categories this season. Most shoe styles are in the $250 price range. Boots are priced at $375. Click here to see.

The most popular items, this season, are the sneakers. Most people had stacks of them from the early portion of the sale, which limited the options from other shoppers. Handbags weren't attracting many shoppers but there were some well-priced standouts. An ornate hard clutch evening bag is $350. You can see pictures over this way.

So, what will you find? Shoes are priced much more fairly than past seasons. Even the men's selection is filled with sneaker options. Sizes start at 34 and go up to 42. Size 37 to 40 had the best selection. On the bright side, we saw the racks being replenished with back stock.

Jimmy Choo has great new styles but we didn't see anything from the newer collections at the sale. Maybe next season? You can click this way to see pictures of what we found at the sale. The sale runs through Friday. Even though the weather is beautiful, we would avoid waiting in line for hours. The crowds should die down by Thursday afternoon.

Prices are usually reduced to $100 the last day. Last season, hoarders were holding bags of shoes waiting for the markdown that happened at 3pm. That's when the fun really began!

Jimmy Choo Sample Sale
RSVP Link: Code: samplesale19
Through Saturday, October 26th
Wed 11am-8pm, Thurs & Fri 8am-8pm, Sat 10am-6pm
Metropolitan Pavilion Upper Events Space, 123 West 18th Street, 2nd Floor

Inside the Bonpoint Sample Sale

The Bonpint sale officially started on Tuesday but you couldn't tell considering the hustle and bustle of this morning's crowd. There was a short line but nothing compared to the line for Jimmy Choo, which extends to Sixth Avenue.

Bonpoint sample sale alumni will identify this year's sale as better than usual. There is a great mix of Summer and Winter merchandise. There are lots of beautiful sweaters, coats, and boots. Most items are reduced by 60% off the retail sticker. Most shoes, pants, socks, and tights are 70% off.

The highlight of the sale was the small selection of Golden Goose x Bonpoint collaboration sneakers, which are reduced 60% off.  The retail prices ranged from about $395 to $525. (Pics are over here.) By the time we left many sizes were depleted but there were some in size 34 and smaller. The coat selection is also incredible. Most coats retail for about $1000 and come to $400 after the discount. Baby down buntings are about $260 from $665.

More formal style dresses are normally priced in the $300-range and come to $120-ish. More casual dresses are about $80 from an original price of $200 at the boutique. Boy's trousers are about $60 from $150 and the collared shirts come to $48 from $120. You can click here to see pictures we snapped from inside the Bonpoint sample sale.

Sorting through the clothing, there is almost something for everyone-- spanning from the tiniest newborns to tweens. The slimmest inventory is usually size 2, which consists only of one sparse table. Size three and up is pretty plentiful and the baby's selection is pretty plush too for those looking under 18-months.

The sale also includes hats, gloves, blanks, sleepsacks, and pajamas. Many shoppers were loading bags of merchandise but most were sorting through the assortment to make thoughtful purchases. We suggest that Bonpoint shoppers take a spin through. If you're lucky you can walk downstairs and hit Jimmy Choo too.

Bonpoint Sample Sale
Through Friday, October 25
Wed 9am-8pm, Thurs 9am-7pm, Fri 9am-2pm
The Metropolitan Pavilion, 123 West 18th Street (btwn 6th & 7th Ave), 5th FL

Tuesday, October 22, 2019

Neiman Marcus First Markdown - Contemporary

For the fast few months, we have been tracking lots of reward shopping incentives, sale-on-sale discounts and friends and family promotions. Sale season is about to get serious as stores begin their markdowns on contemporary designer merchandise.


Today, Neiman Marcus started its First Call Sale, which translates to the first markdown on contemporary labels. The sale isn't public yet but you can use this private sale link to access the markdowns now.

The discount is 30% to 40% off on most merchandise. Over this way, we found am Alexis crochet blouse that's $400 from $550, a Veronica Beard blazer that's a Balmain clone is is $490 from $650 and these mid-rise Mother jeans are $111 from $230. One of our favorite sale items are these Golden Goose Western boots that are $1100 from $1700. They are still pretty pricey but you can bet we will stay on high alert for more markdowns.

Chances are that you're no longer in the market for swimsuits and coversups. If you're in the market, there are a lot of vacation friendly options. Here is a Melissa Oberdash caftan for $180 from $520, this kimono from Fuzzi is $190 from $540 and a Seafolly one-piece is $82 from $140.

There will be some additional promotions and more merchandise added in the next few weeks. Designer merchandise officially gets markdown down on November 24. Don't forget to check back for updates.

Monday, October 21, 2019

Chanel: Get Ready for a Major Price Increase

Chanel shoppers should get ready to brace themselves for a new set of price hikes. Starting November 1 Chanel will raise prices considerably across the board. We have been told that a Large Classic Flap will go from $5600 to $6200. No need for a calculator, that's a $600 price hike!

You can see a full updated price list clearly by clicking on the spreadsheet image below. Please note, these prices have not been verified and we can't promise that they are completely accurate but they will give you an idea of what to expect. (We will be sure to update the post if adjustments are needed.)

(Click on the image for an expanded view.)
We think it's rather quite convenient that Chanel price increases happen almost annually right before the holiday shopping season. We strongly suggest that you execute your purchase now if you have been considering a new bag. Usually, Chanel withholds inventory this time of year. but it appears as if stores are well stocked with many popular styles.

Since the beginning of Madison Avenue Spy, we have been tracking the prices of Chanel bags. In doing so, we have created a rich archive of pricing history. Since 2009,  the price of most style bags have increased by about 110%. You can refer to the chart above and see how prices have changed over the years. Please take the time to click on the picture and review all the information. (It took hours to compile.)

The increasing trend of characterizing a Chanel bag a "good investment" is not at all accurate. The safest and most conservative investment is a Series EE treasury bond, which will essentially double your money in 20-years. So, your T-bill would be worth still only half as much as a new Chanel bag. On the flip side, nobody will sit and crush your T-Bill at a crowded bar in Brooklyn.

If we look at the S&P 500, it has delivered a return of 180% in the past decade. That means if you invested your money in the S&P 500 in 2008, you could buy yourself a new Chanel bag and a wallet with the same money. We can go even further and compare a Chanel "bag" investment to Apple stock. In 10 years an investment in AAPL has gone up nearly 1000%, which means that if you took the $3200 you paid for a Jumbo classic bag in 2009 and purchased Apple it would be worth about $23,000. Now, that's a good investment.

We would never question the validity of a new Chanel bag but let's all understand that it's a luxury, not an investment. If a new Chanel bag is on your wishlist we suggest you give yourself a holiday gift now and enjoy using it for the foreseeable future. As an alternative, we pulled a variety of new and preowned Chanel bags that are all priced under $2800-- the same price as a Classic Jumbo in 2009. You can buy the bag and make a meaningful financial investment.

Below is a list of trusted Chanel sales associates at various stores:

Saks Fifth Avenue: Marjorie 646-552-7292
Saks (Columbus) Mojie: 614-581-3142
Bloomingdales: Dean 646-537-5995
Bergdorf Goodman: CJ 347-229-6159
Barneys: Joseph 212-833-2092
Hirschleifers: Tova 516-627-3566
Jeffery New York: Kenya 212-206-1272

Sunday, October 20, 2019

Need Supply Co: Discounts Top 80%

Need Supply Co. is a multi-brand lifestyle in Richmond, VA. The vibe is a mix between Intermix and Shopbop. Right now, the store is hosting a friends and family sale  where most everything on the site is 30% off, including sale merchandise. The final discount comes to nearly 80% on some items.

Outside the most reduced items, the 30% off is akin to a first markdown on many items. Here is a Jacquemus belt bag that's sold out at many stores and it's $332 from $475. A new-in-stores Saks Potts unicorn tie-dye theme puffer is $614 from $878 and Stutterheim raincoats are $200 from $300.

If you're looking for a more extreem discount, direct your attention towards this Calvin Klein/ Brook Shields tote that's $52 from $250. Off-White floral print pants are $286 from $1384 and a last season's Saks Potts puffer is $370 from $880.

Need Supply isn't one of those stores that has something for everyone. If you happen to be a Ganni-Acne-Dris shopper, it's worth a scroll.

Friday, October 18, 2019

Moncler Genius Showroom Sale

Moncler Genius started a sale at their Showroom on Wednesday morning. Initially, shoppers needed to show corporate ID and an invite to gain access. As the week has progressed the door policy has become less stringent and more shoppers have arrived.

Inside, you will find a variety of Moncler jackets, vests, clothing and accessories for men and women.  Most of the merchandise is this season's collection and the men's assortment includes collaboration items with Palm Angles. Down puffer jackets start at $450 but most are $900. Fur ski jackets are $2000, ski pants are $150, vests are priced mostly at about $500, and sweaters are $200. Sizes and styles have started to dwindle and the line has continued to balloon.

Officially, this sale is not open to the public but names have not been checked stringently all day Friday. The door policy can change at any moment. The sale will be open all day on Saturday if you would like to try your luck. Pictures are in the jump. Enjoy, and don't forget to keep us posted.

Moncler Showroom Sale
Friday, October 18 open until 7pm
Saturday, October 19 opens at 11am
155 Wooster Street, 8th Fl

Thursday, October 17, 2019

Barneys Bankruptcy: End of an Era?

Barneys New York has reached an agreement to sell its assets to  Authentic Brands Group and investment bank B. Riley Financial for $271.4 million in cash. Alternative bids will still be accepted until October 24 but the chances of a higher bid are becoming increasingly less likely.

If Authentic Brands Group, which owns Juicy Couture and Aéropostale, wins the bid it would close all Barneys locations and use the iconic name for licensing. Saks Fifth Avenue said it is interested in using the Barneys brand as a store-within-store concept. (This idea seems absolutely ridiculous, especially on the heels of the failure of Gilt shops at Saks Off-5th stores.)

Good-bye Freds. Good-bye iconic New York shopping destination.

Barneys troubles started when the landlord of Madison Avenue store nearly doubled the annual rent to $27.9 million. It's speculated that the real estate owner would prefer to use the property as condos and a hotel than maintain the spot as a retail destination.

Some news articles site that a buyer for Barney's remaining inventory has already been lined up. If you scroll the Barneys website and Barneys Warehouse outlet, you will see lots of discounted things to buy. We linked to some key items above.

In the meantime, we will keep our fingers crossed that a new buyer emerges and revives that Barneys tradition in pushing the boundaries of retail innovation. "Barneys till I'm dead."

Wednesday, October 16, 2019

Inside: The Row Sample Sale

Instagram influencers appear to share everything in their daily lives.  It's peculiar how clicking through the feeds of top NYC Insta stars won't reveal even a mention about The Row's sample sale preview. Yet many where there.

This evening, The Row's sample sale was open for previews to VIPs, the press, celebrity types like Leandra and lots of Spence moms. Each season the crowd for the preview keeps getting bigger and the space more crowded.

UPDATE 10/19: Clothing is 80% off. Shoes are 70% off. This year, all merchandise is discounted 70% off. Shoes and bags are 60% off. Most of the merchandise is from past collections and some items can even be found at stores for nearly the same discount.

Shoppers will notice that there are more shoes than usual but fewer bags than last year. We spotted this shearling belt bag for $980 from $2450.  It's currently $1350 at Bergdorfs. The Bindle bag is $680 from $1700 and Medicine pouches are under $400 from $990. A top handle leather satchel comes to about $1800 from $2950.

For the first time, there was a small selection of men's fashion. There are leather jackets, sweaters, and overcoats in very small quantities.

For women, the sale has a handful of blazers in each size. They normally range in price from $1400 to $2500 and come to $420 to $750. The best selection was among the pants, which are always great for work for more formal moments. We also spotted a handful of slinky gowns, which were quickly snatched up. We didn't find any leather, denim or sunglasses.

There are four big tables of sweaters. Most are virtually unidentifiable except for the exquisite yarn quality. Most options are black or grey. (Big surprise!) There are a few acid green varieties. A cashmere style like this is about $400 from $990 and a long duster style with a belt is about $600 from $1490.

Among the shoes, we found a lot of The Row's classic loafers that come to $320 from $800.  Kitten heels with an ankle tie are the same price. Egon sandals are $275 from $690.

If you're a big fan of The Row, you know what to expect when it comes to prices and styling. We would suggest you go. Not every shopper loads up $3000 fashion items that don't have a single logo. Remote fans of The Row can browse from the sale assortment we collected from online.

The Row
Thursday, October 17 through Sunday, October 20
Thurs & Fri 9am-7pm, Sat 10am-6pm, Sun 10am-3pm
Metropolitan Pavilion: 123 West 18th Street, 5th Floor
Only Credit Cards Accepted

Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Unfolding Story: Hermés Private Sale

Hermes has been hosting sample sales on LI for the past several seasons. This Summer, we were shocked when the sale location was changed to the Short Hills Mall. We all assumed that the days of NYC Hermes sample sales were over. We were wrong.

Much to our surprise, select Hermes customers were sent invitations to shop a private Hermes sale at Soffer Haskin later this month. Following the private segment, the sale will open to the public for four days starting on Thursday, October 24.

Take note, the Hermes VIP list is very strict. Guests are not welcome and IDs are checked against the invite list at the door. The last big public sales at Soiffer Hasken have been a disaster. Crowds of shoppers were corralled in an empty parking lot for hours. At the last Soiffer Haskin sale, in 2015, shoppers waited over eight hours and got turned away at the door when the sale closed at the end of the day. You can see a video and read about it here.

At the last sale, discounts were 50% off most items. Men's clothing was 60% off. There were several canvas beach bags ($1000) and canvas cosmetic cases in assorted bright colors and prints. The biggest highlight was the shoe department where shoppers snatched up Oran sandals and jumping boots. You can click here to read about invites to the Short Hills sale and find out about pricing and what items were available over here.

Hermes Sample Sale
VIP Private shopping: Wednesday, October 23 ; 12pm-6pm
Open to the Public: Thursday, October 24 through Sunday, October 27
9am-7pm daily
Soiffer Haskin: 317 West 33rd Street

Monday, October 14, 2019

Bandier Friends & Family Sale

When Bandier hit the upscale athletic-wear market it attracted the attention of everyone from Barry's Bootcamp warriors to the SLT contortionists. It's hard-core workout chic. The company's sample sales attract miles of shoppers and the good merchandise is gone fast.

Better than dealing with sample sale crowds, we thought it would be a good idea to hit up this friends and family sale. Everything online (and in the store) is now 25% off. No code is needed, the discount is automatically applied during checkout and there are no exclusions.

Aviator Nation has been excluded from most all other friends and family sales but is applicable here.  This classic lightning bolt zip-up sweatshirt is $133 from $178. I hate to admit it but they are really nicer than the less expensive options. This tank top has been touted by most every influencer and may be worth a test drive at $49 from $65. Do you think it could be that much better than Jockey? Let's see!

Then there always the staples like Ultracore leggings with shiny stars that come to $150 from $200. Golden Goose running sneakers come to $412 from $550. You can also try these All Acecss biker shorts as a fashion look at $63 from $85. It's never a bad idea to stock up on grippy stocks too.

The discount promotion also works on sale items. A Monrow sweatshirt comes to $88 from $170, PE Nation leggings are $70 from $138, and Heroine sport bra is $30 from $85.

Buying new athletic wear is a great motivation to keep your latest package from expiring. After all, aren't we all working out so that our clothing looks even better? Right, and for health and brain function, but we all know it's for the clothing!

Sunday, October 13, 2019

Fivestory 35% Off Everything

We've been getting used to these nominal discounts on new season merchandise. Fivestory, however, is starting to get serious about discounting even on new season merchandise. Right now, you can use this link and the code FW35 to engage a discount that will save you 35% off everything on the site.

It isn't hard to find ways to put the discount to good use. My initial impulse was to seek out Balmain staples. The classic blazer in navy velvet comes to $1500 from $2300. There is black velvet too. Fivestory always has a great edit of Nili Lotan. Cropped twill pants are $211 from $325 and a chunky turtleneck sweater is $585 from $900.

Speaking of turtlenecks, here is a white style from Joseph ($370 from $565) that I would love to pair with a long maxi skirt and ankle boots or wear it as shown with leather pants. I love the orange on this V-neck from Maison Ullens ($470 from $720). I would even wear it backward to create a sexy back look.

Perrin Paris is one of my favorite indi bag brands and they are almost never found on sale. Here is a classic style that comes to $780 from $1200. There is also a lot of jewelry that isn't discounted very often.  A Nora Kogan pendant 14k pendant with pink sapphires is $1290 from $1985 and linear hanging rainbow gemstone earrings are $429 from $660.

This Fivestory promotion runs through the holiday weekend and ends Monday night. Items are already running low on sizing options. I suggest you focus on purchases that might not be available once the first markdown comes around.

Thursday, October 10, 2019

Weekend Shopping:Obsessions & Impulses

In this episode of Weekend Shopping: Obsessions & Impulses I dive into my attraction to Balenciaga's new square toe shoe. It's quite a contrast to the pointy toe knife shoe and follows along with the trend: it's square to be cool. (Or is it cool to be square?)

Either way, MyTheresa is hosting a sale where Balenciaga and Off-White are 20% off with the code SHOPSTYLE. The promotion runs through Saturday.

In other news, it's come to my attention that I don't currently own any long pleated skirts. I think I've given them all away, which means it's time to shop. I posted a few qualifiers below. I would love some help in making a decision. The Calvin Klein styles are ages-old but the quality and weight are fantastic.

What else is there? Stay tuned. I'll add more finds throughout the weekend.

Wednesday, October 9, 2019

Quero Shoes Opens Madison Avenue Pop-Up

The American-born, European-handcrafted shoe brand, Quero opened a pop-up store on Madison Avenue. All of the company's men's and women's shoes are handmade in Spain and the quality matches or surpasses what you would find at most Madison Avenue luxury stores but at a fraction of the price. Each style utilizes the highest quality leathers from France and Italy and all the shoes are hand-stitched with Blake, Bologna and Goodyear construction, not glued like other brands. The best part is that most styles range in price from just $165 to $255.

Quero is primarily a direct-to-consumer online store but having a physical space on Madison Avenue allows the company to meet with customers to ensure a perfect fit. The store will be open through the holiday season and it's a great opportunity to touch, feel and explore the brand. If your size is out of stock, the company will have a pair made for no additional charge. If you want to personalize with your own pair from 31 types of leather and suedes and many soles and details. It's only $50 over the base price. Not even Berluti offers that type of service on

You can click here to see pictures from inside the store or click here to shop online.

Quero Shoes
485 Madison Avenue @52nd Street
Mon to Fri 10am-6pm, Sat & Sun 10am-5pm
Phone number?

Sponsored Mention

Tuesday, October 8, 2019

BIG NEWS: Manolo Blahnik Sample Sale

We have great news! The Manolo Blahnik sample sale will be on Thursday, October 24. We predict that this sale will be the best sample sale ever and it may even be the last.

In April, it was announced that Manolo's U.S. partner George Malkemus would not be renewing his licensing agreement with the parent company after a 37-year relationship. Manolo will be taking over stateside operations beginning January 1, which means this might be the very last sample sale.

The morning segment of the sale will only be open to Manolo's invited guests. Everyone else will begin to start shopping at about 11am. As is tradition, the second-floor salon of the Warwick Hotel will be the site of the event.

This sample sale is a bi-annual sample sale highlight for as long as I can remember. Not everyone has the same sentiment. As you can imagine, the wait time can be worse than the line at DMV. I usually prefer the boutique sales, even if prices are a bit more expensive. There may be another boutique sale before ownership transitions. (Fingers crossed.)

Those who can't make it to the sale can shop an assortment of brand new discount Manolos from the scroll above. I even found a Manolo beach towel!

At the last sample sale, early birds first arrived at the Warwick Hotel starting at 4am. Ticket numbers were handed out at 7:30am, which made many shoppers unhappy because there was no priority given to those who arrived early.

Prices started at $125 for styles that are plain, suede, leather or satin. Add some ornamentation and you'll pay $150. Boots cost a bit more but are priced equally as attractive. Shoe booties, styles below the ankle are $200 and those above the ankle are $250. Styles from mid-calf to the knee are priced at $300 and OTKs $400. Prices on boots top out at $500 for OTK styles with fur, lizard, embellished or shearling.

You can click over here to read the full report from the sample sale last season. If you attend the sale, please keep us all posted in the comment section below and follow along live on Instagram.

Manolo Sale Sample Sale
Thursday, October 24th
Sale opens to the public at: 11am and closes when the inventory dwindles (usually 3pm - 4pm)
The Warwick Hotel, 54th Street and 6th Avenue, 2nd Floor
Cash only!

Monday, October 7, 2019

FWRD Markdowns: Discounts 75% Off

Mid-season discounts can be hard to find but it's always a good idea to scroll an aging sale section. Today we cruised through FWRD and were impressed by some of the items we found discounted up to 75% off.

Here is a Valentino V logo bag that's $1700 from $3045. We love these Gianvitto Rossi suede and denim boots at $470 from $1200. Here is a Loewe Flamenco knot bag for $1630 from $2550 and the basket bag is reduced to $650.

These Saint Laurent studded slingbacks are a good deal at $400 from nearly $1000. Check out this zebra blazer from Brognano that's $390 from $557. It seems like a fun piece to style. We love anyohne who is willing to dare Versace print leggings and I might try styleing this RtA cardigan backwards with leather pants.

Take note, this is a forever sale section and the most reduced items are only available in limited size ranges. To avoid too much frustration, we suggest you eliminate anything that's not in your size. It also never hurts to check back periodically.

Sunday, October 6, 2019


The mums on Park Avenue are the most visible sign that Fall has officially arrived. The changing leaves and cooler weather means that sample sale season isn't too far away. Like post-season baseball, shopping gets serious in October. It's the perfect time of year to be on the lookout for holiday gifts, outerwear and, of course, boots!

We've exclusively listed only the sample sales that we think are worthy of your time and effort. Some big ones haven't been released yet but we will continue to be updated throughout the month and remain just a click away in the right sidebar. You can also follow along on your favorite social media platform to get quick and immediate updates or check Shopdrop for a complete list of all New York sample sales. Feel free to leave feedback in the comments section, so that everyone can benefit from the 'Spy' network.

Gerard Darel Sample Sale
Parisian contemporary designer, Gerard Darel is best known for his contemporary chic designs. His collections are great wardrobe building blocks and not too expensive even at full price. This is the designer's first New York sample sale and we are excited to explore the collection and discounts up to 80% off.
Wednesday, October 9 through Sunday, October 13
Wed to Sat 10am-7pm, Sun 10am-5pm
450 West 14th Street (Eclipse Sample Sale)

Cushnie Sample Sale
Cushnie is known for its minimal, sculptural collections that include the perfect balance of structured and fluid silhouettes. The last sample sale was held at the showroom and the move to a more official format is a signal of more merchandise but also possibly higher prices. At the last sale, clothing was discounted between 85% and 95% off. You can familiarize yourself with the collection here. Let's hope that the discounts stay the same. 
Tuesday, October 15 through Sunday, October 20
Tues 10am-8pm, Wed to Sat 11am-7pm, Sun 11am-4pm
260 Sample Sale: 151 Wooster St

The Row Sample Sale
We can't count on Céline for refined female elegance, which leaves The Row as one of the few brands catering to women who desire excellent quality coupled with a refined silhouette. At last season's sample sale the discount breakdown went something like this; Ready to wear was 70% off, bags and shoes were discounted 60%, fur was 40% off and exotics were 50% off. Usually, additional discounts occur during the final days. This sale is only once a year, We suggest you take advantage. Read up on last year's sale and stay tuned. We will post here and on Instagram as we receive more details. The full report is now live. 
Thursday, October 17 through Sunday, October 20
Thurs & Fri 9am-7pm, Sat 10am-6pm, Sun 10am-3pm
Metropolitan Pavilion: 123 West 18th Street, 5th Floor Only Credit Cards Accepted

Manolo Blahnik Sample Sale
This season's Fall Manolo Blahnik sample sale will open to the public on Thursday, October 11th. We expect that prices will run along the same lines as last season. Plain shoes, including leather, suede satin, and printed fabric start at $125 ($136 with tax) and go up to $150. Shoes with embellishments like glitter and studs were priced $175. Boots started at $200 for basic versions and went up to $400 for over-the-knee styles. All the details can be found in our most recent blog post.
Thursday, October 24th
Sale opens: 11am and closes when the inventory dwindles (usually 3pm - 4pm)
The Warwick Hotel, 54th Street and 6th Avenue, 2nd Floor
Cash only!

Bonpoint Sample Sale
The discounts will go up to 70% and apply to every clothing collection (newborn, baby, girl, boy, teenager). At the last sale, most items were 60% off the retail sticker. That means that more formal dresses, which are normally priced in the $400-range were reduced to $260-ish. More casual dresses were about $200 in the boutique and come to about $80 at the sale. Boy's trousers were about $60 from $150 and the collared shirts came to $48 from $120. Read our last Bonpoint review over here.  The most recent review is now live
Tuesday, October 22 through Friday, October 25
Tues 1pm-8pm, Wed 9am-8pm, Thurs 9am-7pm, Fri 9am-2pm
The Metropolitan Pavilion, 123 West 18th Street (btwn 6th & 7th Ave), 5th FL

Hermes Private Sale
The Hermes sample sale is back in NYC after many seasons of satellite locations. A private sale invite was sent to select VIP Hermes customers. You can click here to read full details. We will be sure to update this section as information about public shopping hours becomes available. You can click here to read about invites to the Short Hills sale and find out about pricing and what items were available over here. Insight and pictures from the VIP portion are now live
Wednesday, October 23 through Sunday, October 27
Wed 12pm-6pm, Thurs to Sun 9am-7pm
Soiffer Haskin: 317 West 33rd Street

Jimmy Choo Sample Sale
The Jimmy Choo sale opens to the public mid-morning on Wednesday, October 23 at 11am. Each individual must have a confirmation number to get into the sale. The RSVP site isn't open just yet but we will send out an alert as soon as it's available, Last season, the lines wrapped around the entire avenue and block and the assortment weren't even very good. We would suggest saving yourself some time and agony and not attending the first day. Last season, women's shoes started at $250 but anything with embellishment fell into the $325 category. Boots, last season, were priced at $375. Women's shoes run from size 35 to 42 and men's go from 43 to 46. You can read all about it right here. Insights are now live in our most recent post over here
RSVP Link: Code: samplesale19
Wednesday, October 23 through Saturday, October 26th
Wed 11am-8pm, Thurs & Fri 8am-8pm, Sat 10am-6pm
Metropolitan Pavilion Upper Events Space, 123 West 18th Street, 2nd Floor

Nicholas Kirkwood Sample Sale
Last season, the Nicholas Kirkwood sale was one of our favorites from the season and we expect that this round will be more of the same. Prices start at just $90 for flats and range up to $425 for shearling boots with a pearl heel. On most items, the markdown is between 50% to 80% off. Click here to read the full review from last season.
Thursday, October 24 through Saturday, October 26
Thurs 2pm-8pm, Fri 8am-8pm, Sat 8am-4pm
807 Washington Street

Global Fashions Designer Sale
Global Fashions is the official luxury distributor for several Italian designer brands. The showroom will be opening its doors to the public for a sample sale. Expect to find a variety of Italian designers and even some great classics. Discounts will range from 50% to 80% off. Stay tuned for more details or click over to see pictures from the last sale.
Monday, October 28 through Wednesday, October 30
9am-6pm daily
49 West 38th Street

Aquazzura Sample Sale
Another day, another new sample sale of shoes. At least season's sale, pumps were $240 , booties were $285 and loafers were $200. Keep in mind, Aquazzura tends to become highly discounted during sale season at retail stores. We would try to focus shopping for styles that are at least 60% off retail prices.
Tuesday, October 29 through Sunday, November 23
Tues 10am-8pm, Wed 10am-7pm,  Fri & Sat 10am-8pm, Sun 10am-5pm
260 Sample Sale UWS: 2151 Broadway (Between 75th & 76th St.)

Thursday, October 3, 2019

Obsessions & Impulses: Bottega Price Hike and Great Finds

This week's installment of Obsessions & Impulses brings  news of a Bottega Veneta price hike. The price hike started today at all brand owned retail stores.

The prices on many popular items were raised $100 to $200. Classic smooth Pouches are now $2500 from $2400, the woven style is now $3100 from $2950 and the small variety is about $100 more expensive too.  (Metallic color Pouch prices remain the same.) Cassette bags are the next most popular style at BV and prices were bumped to $1900 from $1800. The Nodini, which doesn't have as much traction is $50 more at $1700. Those boots you saw all over the runway and are almost sold out are now $1150 from $990.

I suggest you move now if you have a Bottega Veneta bag under consideration. The new prices have not been populated in other stores. Saks Fifth Avenue has a large style pouch available in white and brown for $2400. Farfetch has a blue and blush for the $2400. If you're looking for a Cassette bag Harrod's has them for $1456 ($1550 with taxes). Saks skill has some Cassette bags for $1800 but the new colors are priced at $1900. Here are the boots for the $990 price but there aren't a lot of sizes left.

In other news, I've have been locking eyes with the matte black square toe Balenciaga slides ($695) and this Veronica Beard denim blazer ($500). Both are sale-worthy stalking.

This week, Saks Fifth Avenue and Neiman Marcus are hosting friends and family sales. The discount is 25% off most verticals but the exclusion list is immense. Yoox is hosting a sale where designer merchandise is discounted up to 90% off. It takes a lot of scrolling but there are some great finds.

24S is my favorite online store. Right now they are hosting a promotion where most designer items are 15% off with the code HAPPY15. There are only a few designer exclusions like LV, Celine, Dior and Gucci. The code also works with sale items. Some of my top picks are in the scroll above.

Keep your eyes on this space over the weekend. I'll be sure to add new items as I scroll through. Also, feel free to send over any hot tips.

Wednesday, October 2, 2019

Shopbop's First Official Markdown

Online retailers don't quite run sale season the same way traditional store calendars negotiate markdowns. Shopbop, for example, just started its first full markdown on Fall clothing, shoes and accessories. Meanwhile, most retailers won't start markdowns for at several more weeks.

The discount seems to run from 30% to 40% off retail. An R13 leopard print tuxedo jacket could be a little much or absolutely fab. It's now $900 from $1300. This Ronny Kobo floral print dress is a great price at $116 from $388. APL sneakers are $140 from $200, an Alice & Olivia form fitting crew-neck dress is $245 from $350, a black Halo jumpsuit is $117 from $390 and a Fila sweatshirt is $42 from $60.

Of course, there are items even reduced more from prior seasons. A Dion Lee blazer is $690 from $2290, a Silvia Tcherasssi plunging neckline dress is $570 from $1900 and Proenza Schouler boots are  $330 from $1090.

If the item you're watching isn't included in this markdown it is likely to be added in the next sale drop. Usually, the site adds batches of merchandise every few weeks.