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Expecting the worst, we approached the Barneys Warehouse Sale with trepidation around 9:45 a.m. Must be an ideal time to show up—we walked right in, were cheerfully greeted and directed, and our bags were checked within moments. And the scene was much less dire than anticipated. Of course designer collections and shoes were more packed than an Alexander Wang afterparty and of course there were many too many bared torsos and dropped pants; but all and all a pretty civilized scenario. Now: onto the loot!
We all know the most important stop at a Barneys Warehouse Sale is traditionally the shoe department. We were not disappointed. Gorgeous, jewel-toned Jil Sander desert boots in a variety of sizes and colors were $233, down from $495. Perfect perforated leather Margiela oxfords—the slip-ons—were $341 from $725. Feel like emulating Michelle Obama when she's slumming in sneaks? Lanvin sneakers in numerous colors, sizes and styles lined the shelves. Their mesh-sided high-top model was $300, from $645. Uber-casual Paul Smith chukka boots in navy brushed-canvas were a mere $86. Mouse-gray Dr. Marten's by Raf Simons were $140, from $300. The same super-clunky saddle shoe by Thom Brown that has haunted the sale for over two years was in place—$849 from $1,210 (worth it.) The usual suspects at the usual discounts for sneakers—the Pradas that Fila constantly knock-off, Nikes, Vans Vault and Puma? Likewise for the still very on trend oxfords, saddle shoes and wingtips from The Generic Man, Ann Demeulemeester, Prada and Paul Smith.
The designer collections were organized by label. A huge selection of current-just-a-month-ago Prada (specifically the candy-colored heart, gun and hardware printed shirting that looks more like Moschino than Prada) and Alexander McQueen in a wide variety of sizes were about 60% off. Likewise for the nice selection of light Margiela knitwear, crazily-patterned Burberry dress shirts, Thom Brown and Marc Jacobs suiting, and Helmut Lang wovens. Huge, daunting, jam-packed racks of shirting were a few hundred feet away and were roughly organized by size (but be prepared to find dress next to casual, short-sleeved next to long). Steven Alan contrast placket oxfords were $69 and bright summer plaids were $59. Michael Bastian shirts could be had, miraculously, for around $200. Patchwork Alexander McQueen dress shirts were $199, from $695. Sizing runs the gamut and lower-end (Report, Theory) were as widely available as higher end (Etro, Nom de Guerre).
Jeans were piled high and organized by waist size—slim and slouchy Shipley & Halmos hard denim was $66 from $170. Over-dyed black straight jeans from Helmut Lang were $106 from $260. Levi's Capital E skinny jeans in a muted teal were $99 from $158. Nudie, J Brand and Ksubi all made appearances; as did Michael Kors and Zegna for the more conservative shopper. Bins of knit tees and sweaters faced the denim and featured the likes of Marc by Marc Jacobs, Loden Dager, Pringle of Scotland and Rogan. A 3.1 Philip Lim motorcycle sweater in irregular brown and gray-blue stripes was $111 from $395 and a variety of classic John Varvatos tops were under $100. A huge variety of shorts and trunks await new homes as well—find Marc, Pringle, and assorted Rag & Bone tailored shorts in micro-plaids ($128 from $260).
It's roughly hot as hell outside so the coats and outerwear were being criminally overlooked. A pity—selections from Patrik Ervell, Michael Kors, Michael Bastian, Thom Brown and Loden Dager are around 60% off, and a paisley half-zip hooded anorak by Marc by Marc Jacobs is $189. After a few minutes caressing it, we had to head out—the blaring disco and exposed back hair were killing us. But, worth the visit—it won't be our last. —Frank Gargione
· Above the Fray: At Barneys, Home is Where the Shopping Is [Racked]
· Above the Fray: Conquering Womenswear at Barneys [Racked]
· Above the Fray: Examining the Loot at Barneys [Racked]