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An Early Look at the Barneys Warehouse Sale: Let's Talk Shoes

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This morning, we had the unparalleled privilege of dropping into the legendary Barneys Warehouse Sale a day early for a long, lingering preview. We weren't allowed to shop—this was strictly a journalistic visit—but it was still exhilarating to be able to carefully peruse the goods without worrying about overzealous shoppers getting all up in our space. Staffers were still setting up the precious cargo as we cased the place, but there was plenty to work with. Also, there are some changes this year, but we'll get to that when we discuss womenswear.

For now, let's start with the shoe situation and these four words: Nicholas Kirkwood for Rodarte.

Holy crap. Yes, the melted-candle-wax heels are here. The staffers were still stocking the shelves, but we saw the majority of the coveted pairs (priced at $619 from $1540 and $659 from $1645) in the size 6 shelves.

Lanvin fans might go apoplectic, too. We spotted plenty of winter 2010 styles, including suede brown slingback sandals ($578 from $1450), platform slingback mules ($429 from $1105), the super hot wide-strapped shootie platform stiletto in solid black ($549 from $1365), and a delicious chocolate brown python version ($868 from $1800).

There are some repeats from the Lanvin winter 2009 collection that are still quite relevant. We liked the patent leather and wool oxford platform ($481.73 from $1205), metallic platform oxfords in a wine-hue ($414.73 from $1040) and mauve suede platform pumps ($367.83 from $915—finally under $400!).

As for the dynamic duo of shoes, Christian Louboutin and Manolo Blahnik, here's what we saw. There was a smattering of Loubies throughout the sizes and they were mostly seasonal. As of noon, the options were pretty sparse, but we're still holding out hope for more styles once load-in is complete. We found few pairs of the espadrille slingbacks ($169 from $425) and brilliant fuchsia ruched silk platform mules ($389 from $975), amongst a few others on the racks.

Manolo fans will have better luck. Our favorite was the python peep-toe lace-up slingback ($399 from $995) in both beige and black. We also spotted wool plaid stilettos ($279 from $695) and gold strappy python party sandals ($349 from $865), which we think were at the last sale, but they're still beautiful.

Other standouts included: 3.1 Phillip Lim brown knotted-leather-embellished platform clogs ($249 from $625), Proenza Schouler black buckle-booties ($629 from $1055), Fiorentini + Baker chunky platform brogues ($150 from $410), Nina Ricci lavender platform stilettos with elegant gold piping ($289 from $725), Marni architectural wooden wedges with silver detail ($369 from $935), Prada patent-leather stacked heel loafers ($429 from $850), Derek Lam grey wool and brown leather platform booties ($319 from $790) and Rochas ponyhair leopard print mules ($279 from $695).

As the staffers were still setting up, it was a bit difficult to compare the selections according to size, but we did overhear a staffer say that the oft-deprived size 8.5 has "the most interesting selection this year."

The shoe section is in the same location as usual, so you know the drill. Charge over once the doors open, pick out your shoe, and ask the staffers on hand for the mates for fitting. Flip through the gallery to plan your strategy. We'll be enjoying sweet dreams of Nicholas Kirkwood for Rodarte melted candle wax heels while we slumber before tomorrow's early morning lineblog.
· The Barneys Warehouse Sale Survival Guide: February 2011 [Racked]
· Barneys [Official Site]

Prada - Soho

575 Broadway, New York, NY 10012 212-334-8888 Visit Website

Fiorentini & Baker

54 Mercer Street, New York, NY 10029 212-226-7229 Visit Website

Alexander Wang

103 Grand Street, New York, NY 10013 212-977-9683 Visit Website

Manolo Blahnik

31 West 54th Street, Manhattan, NY 10019 (212) 582-3007 Visit Website

Barneys Warehouse Sale

110 West 19th Street, New York , NY 10011 212-450-8400 Visit Website

Nicholas Kirkwood

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