Sample Sale Bonanza Day 1 – Furla, Le SportSac, and Catherine Malandrino

This week’s sample sale had thrifty buyers running out and pushing elbows on the clothing racks. While it may have seemed that this economy tempered the charge card consumerism of yore, buyers were seduced by some notable luxury brands slashing their prices up to 90% off retail.

Indeed, buyers not content with $0.99 Xmas shopping at Crazy Jacks were treated to deals at Furla, Le SportSac, Alexander Wang, Rag and Bone, and even Marc Jacobs to name a few. (And I’m talking about MJ’s high-end boutique, not the more ‘cheapo’ Marc by Marc Jacobs line).

Table full of Furla bags

Table full of Furla bags

As you might have spied on our Twitter feed, we started off the sample sales bonanza shopping Wednesday 9am sharp at the Furla sale on 552 Broadway. We spotted a few bags that were worth prying open our creaky coin purse, namely a gorgeous Black Pony Hair Purse for $375 from $700. Pricey, but we justified it because you can reverse the bag and have a purely gorgeous leather bag too. Two bags for the price of one, how is that not a deal?

Black Pony Hair & Leather Pochette

Black Pony Hair & Leather Pochette

We then took off to the Tracey Reese sample sale around the corner on 40th street. Not much was going on instore but maybe because it was only 10am and most folks were still getting their morning coffee. By the way, when you see a line at the mobile coffee stand and no one at Starbucks during morning rush hour, you know there’s a recession.

Le Sport Sac Sample Sale Sign

Le Sport Sac Sample Sale Sign

We then hopped into a cab on Broadway and headed to the Le Sport Sac sample sale on 18th street between 7-8th Aves. With no line outside at 11am, we headed upstairs and found nothing short of a knife fight for a ridiculous number of Tokodoki bags. Mayhem could not begin to describe the tenacity of these women as they clawed and snatched up as many Tokidoki bags as the crux of their arms could hold. Many queued up to checkout with 10 bags to an arm, this despite the fact that there were thousands of Le Sport Sac nylon bags to go around. We left shortly after arriving, unable to comprehend how the Stella McCartney for Le SportSac luggage bags were totally ignored but grabbing any Tokidoki Fannypack meant a back-alley fight with a short tempered Asian lady.

Tokidoki Mayhem

Tokidoki Mayhem

We headed toward coatcheck, grabbed our Furla loot, and bee-lined to next door’s Belthaus sale. Much to our chagrin, amidst the downpour hitting NYC, a one hour line appeared outside of Le SportSac by 11:20am.

Belthaus Sales Floor

Belthaus Sales Floor

Belthaus was located next door in the ground floor glass panelled Altman Building space. Wide, spacious, wood parquet floors with racks of clothing, bags and shoes from Givenchy, Bottega Veneta, Alexander McQueen made for an awesome sample sale shopping experience. Oddly it was kinda empty inside which I think scared the staff into ratcheting up the sales from 40% to a whopping 70% off in the ten minutes since we got there. Another sign that this is a buyers market.

Couture for a couple of coins

Couture for a couple of coins

Givenchy Pumps

Givenchy Pumps

After perusing through the well displayed shoe and bag collection, we fell in love with a pair of wine colored ballerinas with golden skull tassles by Alexander McQueen, priced at a reasonable $175 from a former $575 pricetag. Once we put them on, we felt whisked away to the fashion land of Oz – full of flying anoerixoc models, Mario “Tinman” Testino, Lagerfeld “the Lion”, and Wicked Wintouress herself.

McQueen Skulls and Wine Flats

McQueen Skulls and Wine Flats

As we headed out of Belthaus, we popped our heads into Malandrino’s sample sale next door. Not much was to be desired as the prices looked damn close to retail. We figured another day or a couple of hours might compell the sales reps to make like Belthaus and jack the discounts up another +30%.

Malandrino Price List

Malandrino Price List

Sales from other fashion houses were all over 18th street but alas our wallets were as empty as a Kathy Griffin book signing so we hauled our finds back home until the next round of sample sales on Friday.

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