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The Ten Best Sales of the Year

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With only a few days left in 2009, it's time to look back at a year of dizzying highs and crushing lows, a year when every empty storefront held a pop-up shop and every sidewalk a sample sale line. Folks, it's the annual (three years running!) Racked Recap. This week and next, we'll be reliving our biggest and brightest (and saddest and darkest) moments, from the most excruciating lines to the best pop-up shops. Take a deep breath of the sweet, sweet nostalgia.

This past year in sales was epic for many reasons—more sales on the scene, retailers marking down at vertiginous rates, and ultimately more choice and deals for savvy shoppers. In the retail frenzy this year, we've witnessed everything from near blowouts (YSL) to naked shoppers (eh hem, Shoshanna and Steven Alan). It's not just prices that make a sale noteworthy, either. Please join us as we count down the Ten Best Sales of the Year.

10.) Matt Bernson: Preparing for summer, shoppers risked claustrophobia and injury for the Matt Bernson footwear sale this past May. The space was tiny, but packed with shoes and shoppers, who bought up to seven pairs at a time.

9.) Adam: This Meatpacking District fashion fave was a bright spot on the sale roster of the year. With prices averaging at a very affordable $25. We’re waiting for the first bloom of Spring 2010 for the next sale to come around.

8.) Eryn Brinié, Blue Notch and more: Nearing the close of the year and coming dangerously close to holiday gift giving deadlines, a true reasonably priced sample sale is like a breath of fresh air. Forty dollar ($40) jeans are a great way to end the year.

7.) Tashkent by Cheyenne: Fashionistas love this cutting edge footwear line straight out of Brooklyn. This was an intimate, but quality sale for lucky ones able to snag one of the oft-imitated booties for $75 or plush flats for $25.

6.) Claiborne by John Bartlett: Deals on already affordable designer goods are just that much more satisfying, hence the reason for this menswear sale making our list. A suit straight from the look book for suit $75 total. 'Nuff said.

5.) Havaianas: Flip flops are a staple in a NYC girl's summer wardrobe and a sale on the already reasonably priced Havaianas line is an extra special treat. We also give points for the super fun location in the Wooster/Spring Street flea market.

4.) Decadestwo Pop-up Shop: The famed Los Angeles based consignment shop, Decadestwo graced New York with its presence a second time around with a pop-up in Kiki de Montparnasse in Soho. The sale was a veritable eye candy shop full of designer goods —from tables full of Chanel and Louis Vuitton to gowns straight out of celeb closets, plus a treasure trove of Choos, Manolos and Loubies. Even if the goods skewed a bit on the higher end price wise, you still couldn't help but gawk.

3.) Manolo Blahnik: In the true democratization of fashion, Racked and a few other blogs spread the word about this formerly private sample sale, where prices start at $100 a pair. It's not just discounts that put a sale on this list. The uber-professional, friendly and helpful staffers make this hysteria inducing sale a pleasant and orderly experience for everyone (even us interlopers).

2.) Steven Alan: This sale, which took place in May and November this year, boasts long lines and frantic shopping for fabulous markdowns on cutting edge designers for women and men. In May, we witnessed smaller crowds, but a surprise cameo from Steven Alan himself. The crowds came for the November sale, where frenzied female shoppers were disrobing in the men's section to try on sweaters.

1.) Alexander McQueen: The British bad boy designer's first ever sample sale was a long awaited hit. McQueen aficionados queued up for deals on coveted goods from the Puma collab to leather handbags. It was also total kismet that the sample sale took place on the same date and time as the Sex & the City 2 casting call.

Manolo Blahnik

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