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Above The Fray: Reports from Rafe

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It's a little late this season, but Rafe's bi-annual sample sale is upon us once again. Their last one back in December was top banana among the handbag sample sale bunch, but their winter sales (with discounted fall collections) are known to be superior to the summer ones. Uncertainty loomed, so we arrived on the scene at their Flatiron showroom early. Good news: the sale is solid. Not spectacular, but definitely solid.

The sheer variety of bags stood out: lots of bright colors, materials, and styles. High-end purses topped off at $200 each, and there were plenty of stunners to choose from, including woven patent leather totes and ostrich-stamped leather satchels and shoulder bags. Surprisingly, there were bags for all seasons selling; some made of fur and other heavier, more luxe materials. 'Tis the season for clutches, and they were in abundance. We spotted printed floral canvas, floral jacquard, embroidered, metallic, snakeskin, bejeweled, raffia and wicker-woven versions in assorted shapes and sizes.

Once again, the gals with size 7 shoes hit the jackpot, with shelves upon shelves of adorable flats, peep toe mules, and heels selling for a mere $50 a pair. There's a good selection of size 6, 9, and 10, but nary a size 8 in sight. A small leather accessories section of fancy wallets, wrist wallets, and business card holders are good investments.

Unlike the usual sample sale frenzy, the shopping scene is calm and organized. Prices range from $25-200, which is beyond reasonable for the quality here. Rafe’s trim and hardware detailing is second-to-none, so it’s definitely worth a gander.
· Dealfeed: Rafe [Racked]
Rebecca Prusinowski