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Our menswear correspondent returned from the sale with a number of pictures, a wealth of useful details, and a pair of black slim-cut Prada pants for $109. His report:
I got there at a few minutes before 8 AM, and the line was almost to Seventh Ave. Once they opened things moved fast, and I was in by 8:08.
Denim bins had plenty of Levi's Capital E (as usual!) for $69. A decent load of Varvatos USA, Stitch's, and Earnest Sewn. There were a few pairs of Diesel (I saw $119 from $295), and some good looking Prada (sz 30) for $189, from over $400.
The designer sport shirt selection was impressive, and that section always seems to be calm. They had a bunch of Steven Alan, which was exciting, in patterns and in plain (blue and white), for $69-$79. Also a lot of Elie Tahari, Trovata and Guy Rover ($134). Around the corner were rows and rows of Barneys house label shirts, strong selection of colors and patterns, for $69 and $84 (down from $155-$170).
Some of the security guards didn't know about the famous no-dressing-room policy and told me I couldn't try on pants. We got that straightened out. The pantslessness is part of the scene.
The pros all headed right for the shoes, which was the only area that felt chaotic, but not out of control. A light mood. Many house labels. There was still some not-bad Prada (driving shoes for $199 and sneaks for $209), Armani, Dries van Noten, et al. left after an hour of ransacking.
The bins of knits have bad feng shui, and seem to bring out the worst in people—something about the frantic yanking of sweaters from the bottoms of piles. There were a lot loud sweatshirts—Kid Robot, a brand with ice cream cone graphics—mixed in with the knits. I was surprised to see the recent Maui and Sons reissues for Opening Ceremony (same 80's cuts!) already here for $29. It can be slim pickings, but there were some nice pieces, like a lovely, retro-sporty Band of Outsiders navy zip sweater for $199 from $495, and some swell Theory cardigans ($119 from $295).
The ties were fine, not inspiring. Standard wide array of Barneys brand packaged dress shirts, $74. In suits I saw a lot of Hickey Freeman ($600 from $1200), Michael Kors ($500), and Piatelli ($500-$600). If you want a Barneys overcoat for $259, you won't have to fight anyone. They were selling a lot of the house brand suit separates cheap ($199 jackets/$69 pants).
So is this sale worth visiting? Yes, but it's like when you're going to parties, looking for someone to date. There doesn't have to be a bunch of potential people. Just that one.—Andy Selsberg