By 9:45am the line outside AEFFE's posh 56th Street showroom was about 30 people deep and to be honest they were a little less FASHION! than at sales past. Could it be renewed interest in Moschino's quirky womenswear via Michelle Obama and all those brilliant archival reissues? Who cares! The sale is going on as we speak and it's definitely worth a stop.
Representing Alberta Ferretti, Jean Paul Gaultier, Moschino, Pollini, Basso & Brooke and now Liberty, AEFFE's biannual sales consistently offer nearly full current collections (in sample sizes) plus an abundance of overstock and past season merchandise in varied sizes. Today is no different. Also consistent: The prices. Again, they are 20% off wholesale (that's the lower price on the tag, the higher is retail) which means early birds and scroungers can save almost 80% off the retail prices of items often still full-priced at Saks a few blocks south or Barneys a few blocks north. Think $30 tees, shirting starting at $130, trousers and dresses as low as $200, and outerwear around $350. Holler!
Though racks are considerably less packed than at sales past, the sale is, per usual, well-organized, well-staffed, and well-labeled. Also per usual, it is a mob scene. Within minutes the shoe section was an elbow jab away from a cat fight and the dressing room line (women only—men, feel free to drop your pants wherever) was a dozen women deep. And several of these savvy (or montrous, you say tomato) women were trucking around a whole lot more than the six item limit. Watch for polite (but stern) staffers barking that you absolutely can not put a garment down on the floor. But, duh, this stuff is Italian!
In terms of specific pieces Moschino definitely dominated. We didn't see much of the archival items but a ton of current party dresses and tailored items (love that jumbo cherry print and all those lip-embellished dresses) were available alongside overstock basics and evening wear from the previous two seasons. And, happy spring, there is a ton of Moschino and Liberty beach and swimwear ranging from delicate floral bikinis to rope-print tees and cover-ups. Alberta Ferretti's offerings included jewel-toned and acid green frocks—many beaded, alongside more sedate career wear. There is also a rack of totally adorable, super nautical Ferretti for kids. And, very importantly, there is a vast selection of shoes and bags including candy-striped girl oxfords, logo-print canvas bags and leather clutches with animal clasps.
There is much less than usual for men. We spotted one pair of shoes, not a single belt, and a small selection of dull ties. One reason for this travesty is the fact that Jean Paul Gaultier has discontinued its mens' line. But—small consolation—amongst the deep selection of tongue-in-check Moschino tees, skimpy trunks, tailored trousers, and light outerwear there is a cache of jaunty Liberty bits: Shorts, tanks, beach stuff. Shirting is standard Moschino, which is to say pretty great. Stand-outs include prints of martini glasses, flies, and odd turquoise roses.
All that too rich for your blood? Adorable little impulses abound. There are seemingly a thousand belts and they start at $50. The few ties we found were $40; some of the cutest umbrellas you'll ever see start at $30. A good selection of wallets, make-up bags and clutches are priced as marked and probably will not last long.
You have until Saturday and there is a lot of stuff. We expect prices to drop by Friday or Saturday, but if check-out table waits at 10:30am this morning are any indication, stuff is going fast.
· Dealfeed: Alberta Ferretti, Jean Paul Gaultier, Moschino, Liberty, More [Racked NY]
· Above the Frays [Racked NY]
· Above the Fray: Frenzy Over Jean Paul Gaultier, Moschino, More [Racked NY]