With the fabled Hermès sale and all the other big shopping events taking place this week, it looks like Sample Sale Mania 2011 has officially commenced. But as we ready ourselves (and our wallets) for yet another shopping season, we still find ourselves wanting more. Of course, we understand that the general shopping public doesn't deserve sample sales just because. And in a perfect world, with a perfect budget, we'd love to support all designers by paying full price. But not all of us are investment bankers, trust-funders, hedge-fund spouses, or Blake Lively. Thus we present the Racked Sample Sale Wish List. Because we can always dream, right?
9. Eva Gentry
Brooklynites love wandering into the Boerum Hill boutique Eva Gentry to play with Dirt the French bulldog and admire the latest in covetable (not to mention aspirational) pieces of Euro-fashion from Rick Owens, Dries Van Noten and Ann Demeulemeester. The shop throws 30% to 40% off sales here and there, but how great would it be to see a blow-out on the levels of Barneys, Oak or Opening Ceremony? Hey, if all the cool kids are doing it...
A peek at the fall 2011 Alejandro Ingelmo collection. There's still time to plan a fall sample sale. Hint, hint.
8. Alejandro Ingelmo
This handsome New York-based shoe wizard graced us with a standalone boutique last fall, bringing his sky-high, architectural, and ridiculously sexy heels to shoppers in Soho. We've seen his killer diva runway shoes pop up at the Cushnie et Ochs sale and his shop has marked up to 40% off, but we know he can do better. Like Manolo $100 heels better.
Shoppers can always head over to their local Burberry Brit or Zipcar it up to Woodbury Commons for discounts, but that's not the same thing as a first-hand opportunity to snag the Christopher Bailey-designed punk-glam Prorsum pieces. Plus those classic trenches will never go out of style.
This CFDA-nominated designer's sexy, edgy, but still feminine pieces are a favorite of celebrities, fashionistas, and editors alike. Most of us can't afford to part with $500 for one of his slouchy tanks or $3000 for a glam frock, but at a standard sample sale discount of 70% to 90% off, it might be a possibility. Until then, we have our eye on you—$750 asymmetrical ruffle skirt.
Now just imagine all these Pierre Hardy shoes all on sale...
5. Pierre Hardy
Pierre Hardy himself already told us that his label already throws frenzy-inducing sales in his home base of Paris. His elusive collaboration with the Gap already had shoppers running around in circles, so imagine how successful he would be if he brought some sale action over to our shores. New Yorkers would definitely make it worth his while by queing up Louboutin-style for his eye-catching architectural platforms and wedges.
4. Prabal Gurung
Mayor Bloomberg may have mispronounced this designer's name a few times last year, but those in the know have no doubts on how to say—or wear—Prabal Gurung. Oscar nominee Jennifer Lawrence looked flawless his minimalist one-shoulder white gown during awards season and Blake Lively rocked his metallic green mini-confection to an awards show at the MOMA last year. We want our chance, too!
3. Jason Wu
Speaking of sought-after young designers, this one just keeps getting hotter and hotter. Jason Wu's pieces sometimes pop up at other store's sales, but we're still waiting with bated breath for the Michelle Obama-anointed designer to open up one of his own.
We've already seen the chaos caused by a Lanvin collaboration with fast-fashion behemoth H&M. Also, remember that briefly hysteria-inducing and later-proved-false Lanvin sample sale rumor a couple years ago? Now try to imagine what type of insanity a real Lanvin sample sale would bring. We're betting people would start camping out for discounted platforms and sexy dresses weeks before the sale even opens. And if fellow high-end designers Hermès, Prada and YSL can ride the sample sale train, then it can't be that bad for a luxury brand's reputation.
Legend has it that a Chanel sample sale actually does exist, but the storied event, which offers items marked up to 90% off, is for employees-only. And from what we've heard—told in hushed voices requesting anonymity—there is a hierarchy involved. Kind of expected coming from this exclusive designer label, really. The story goes like this: The upper level (and higher paid) execs get first dibs with no limits and so on, leaving the assistants and interns (basically those most in need of a discount) with the scraps. It doesn't sound fair, exactly, but hey, this is fashion. Now if only they'd open that coveted sale up to the masses.
Honorable Mentions: Zac Posen and Thakoon
Neither of these designers are officially on the list because they do hold semi-secret friends and family private sales, which have been known to be infiltrated by a fashion blogger or two. Reported fantastic finds have included $50 skirts and $200 evening gowns. Goodness, if these sale were open to the public, they might incite mass riots.
So that's our list. We'd love to hear some of your wish-list suggestions in the comments!
· All Above the Fray coverage [Racked NY]