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The Worst Sales of 2011

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With only a few days left in the year, it's time to look back on 2011 with the annual (five years running!) Racked Recap. This week, we'll be reliving our biggest and brightest (and saddest and darkest) moments, from the most excruciating lines to the most delayed store openings. We've already checked out 2011's Best Sales, so now, let's take a look at this year's Worst Sales.

What makes a sale really, really bad—is it super high prices? Crappy inventory? An insane door policy? Among all of this year's great sample sales were a handful of ones that were a bit subpar (some much more than others). Join us as we look back at this years Top Five Worst Sales.

5. Rodarte
The Rodarte sale at the Ace Hotel in June this year was "extremely sparse and very expensive," according to our reporter who braved the small racks of size twos. Past season Nicholas Kirkwood x Rodarte heels were $350, and current season ones were $750. On the other hand, Rodarte x Target pieces were $10-$20, but those wouldn't exactly be the reason you'd shop a Rodarte sample sale, now would it?

4. Proenza Schouler
The Proenza sale was expensive (of course it was), but what was really the pits was seeing Andrew Mukamal and two friends cut in line, and then proceed to snatch up the remaining camel Cabas bags. That, in itself, puts it at number 4 on our list.

3. Christian Louboutin
Oh, the invite-only Christian Louboutin sale. We sat out the sale in May after being asked not to cover it, but went to check out the scene first-hand this November. Well, when we stopped by, a sign was posted to the door that announced there was no Christian Louboutin sale happening that day (a staffer even came out for a cigarette and said the same thing), though by the afternoon there definitely was. Our spy reported that most of the shoes were $350 (most of them were also colorful or satin), which isn't too bad, but we're still a little miffed about the hoax.

2. Hermès
It took us a little over two hours to get into September's Hermès sale, and once we crept close to the entrance, we overheard from shoppers who were leaving, disappointed, that there was a one scarf per person rule. A what? Tensions ran high as people thought that couldn't possibly be true, but it was. You could also only buy one bracelet. Other than that, you could have your fill of size 37.5 shoes or the Garden Tote that just won't disappear. We're not saying the sale was awful, but really, one scarf? If you wait in line for two hours, you should at least get two scarves. It's only fair.

1. Salvatore Ferragamo
The Ferragamo sample sale in Secaucus, New Jersey absolutely takes the cake for worst sample sale, because it prompted a near-riot and people apparently got arrested. The police department didn't confirm that (you should have heard us calling them, asking about information regarding a sample sale) though one of Mizhattan's commenters said her friend got into a fist fight with a cop and then was "dragged" to jail. Either way, the sale closed after a little over an hour due to fire code violations.

Honorable Mentions: Opening Ceremony and Stella McCartney
Neither the Opening Ceremony sale or the Stella McCartney this year were bad sales, but they each offered something that was annoying. The Opening Ceremony sample sale in June had no air conditioning, and the Stella McCartney sale sparked a shitstorm in our comments section over the fact that it was private. The sale was technically invite only, though several people who weren't invited were allowed entry via a wish-washy door policy. Let's just say lots of people weren't too pleased with the rules and regulations, spurring a debate on whether or not a sample sale should be so exclusive.

· All Racked 2011 Recaps [Racked NY]

Proenza Schouler

822 Madison Avenue, New York, NY 10065 212-585-3200 Visit Website

Christian Louboutin

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

Nicholas Kirkwood

807 Washington Street, New York , NY 10014 (646) 559-5239 Visit Website