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Behind the Velvet Ropes at the Christian Louboutin Sale

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Having finally torn ourselves away from the Christian Louboutin sale, we can see why early shoppers came out with such wildly diverging reports. This isn't one of those sales where a brand tries to clear out a warehouse full of merchandise; it's more like a quick and easy way to sell off some past-season styles. If you're looking for basic black heels to wear for the rest of your life, you're going to have to dig, both in the racks and in your wallet. But anyone searching for more unusual styles should have some luck.

Shoes are stacked in boxes on racks organized by size. Colored stickers denote the price: Yellow is $150, green is $225, orange is $250, blue is $325, and red is $400 and up. Orange and blue were by far the most popular colors, but it wasn't hard to find yellow, especially in flats. The selection really does vary, and it's not huge across the board. Women who wear 41, 41.5, and 42 will have the most choices; smaller sizes will find fewer options.

We found a damn near perfect pair of classic black patent Miss Boxe wedges for $325 (down from $625) in size 41, for example, whereas the best shoes among the 36s and 37s tended to come in neon or jewel tones like peacock. That or they were gold—one bride-to-be picked up a pair of majestic metallic platforms for her wedding. Among the smaller sizes, you'll have to avoid weird chunky heels and the ubiquitous espadrilles (all $150 and all about two long walks away from total destruction.) But there's definitely still some sexiness available in the form of dressy wine and burgundy stilettos. At least one pair of sky-high spectator booties is going to make a small-footed girl with perfect balance very happy at $250.

One quarter of the room is reserved as a trying-on area, while another corner holds tables with clutches and the exotic skins collection. By the time we arrived, all the $50 clutches had been cleared out, but there was still a nice range of brightly colored $100 clutches with Louboutin's signature heel-shaped clasp. As for the skins: Deep sigh. They're gorgeous, they're incredibly limited size-wise, and they range in price from $400 to $1500. A friendly saleslady will help you find your size, should you have a big budget and/or a masochistic streak.

Some final notes: When you enter the sale, a staffer stamps your wrist with pink ink that doesn't dry very well, so watch your sleeves. There's a bag check, but you can keep your coat. Payment is only by credit cards. And lastly, everyone working there was incredibly, notably nice, especially for people who are stuck saying "no" to crashers all day long.
· A Surprisingly Small Crowd Gathers Early for Christian Louboutin [Racked NY]
· The Christian Louboutin Sale Is Tougher to Get Into than Harvard [Racked NY]
· Your Christian Louboutin Sale Questions, Answered [Racked NY]

Christian Louboutin

965 Madison Avenue, New York, NY 10021 212-396-1884 Visit Website