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- One clear shot of scarves
- The rush at the tie and scarf section
- Ties, already in disarray by 9:30am.
- Squeezing in one shot during a brief break in the wall of people (girls) at the bracelets
- The odd-size scarves
- Look - a fringey scarf!
- One of the few styles of bags left
- Garden File totes
- These are cute. And expensive.
- Ladies' shoes
- A mess of belts
- Spotted: Mass hoarding, then discreet decision-making in the corner.
No amounts of rain, sleet or snow would keep Hermès fans away from the biannual sale, which offers up to 70% off ties, jewelry, and scarves, plus bags and other leather goods. It's almost as if the inclement weather actually invigorated the shoppers. They started lining up before dawn, and their conviction was even more evident within the sale, where crowds immediately gathered in front of the discounted scarves, ties and bracelets. Of course, this is Hermès, so the mad rush was more a quiet storm of determination consisting mostly of polite but firm requests for different styles and items.
As seasoned Hermès shoppers know, the scarves and ties are displayed in a rectangular formation in the front of the sale. The scarves are priced at $231 (regularly $385) each, and come in the usual rainbow of bright hues and melange of patterns signature to Hermès. There is a 10-scarf maximum and ladies were definitely pushing the purchase limit. We also saw a selection of other styles—a double-sided fuschia and orange-print fringey number ($590 from $900), a square black-background and floral hanky-scarf ($99) and larger square styles complete with a little silk pouch ($186).
The ties are priced at $111 (regularly $185) and there is also a 10-tie maximum. The skinny ties are also $111. When we first arrived, there was a skinny tie tray, but it disappeared by the time we rounded back to the tie-stand. We spotted a few prints mixed into the main lot, but they might be dunzo by now. And we didn't see any of the sexy, sexy leather styles from last year, either.
Onto the number three most popular area: Bracelets and jewelry! We asked a couple staffers about the clic-clacs—they don't seem to be available. But the enamel bracelets (in polka dots and stripes) are priced at $215 for small, $260 for medium, and $330 for large styles. We also overheard a gentleman asking about money-clips and those aren't around, either.
And then there are the leather goods, which were dwindling upon our arrival. There is a decent selection of Garden File totes in brown and mulberry priced at $962.50. The rest of the bags were more travel appropriate styles. We saw a lipstick-red weekender marked down to a still-whopping $3950, a Camail bucket-style shopping bag for $1137.50, and a perforated-felt weekender duffel for $2113. Actually, we take that last one back because as we were taking down the price info, a trio of giggly girls came by and snatched up the remaining three.
If you're desperate for an Hermès bag, at the back, there are silk "Toilet bags" with leather piping for $345 and sorbet-hued cotton drawstring bags for $485 (from $970—really?) We did kind of love the Hermès-orange nylon tennis bag, complete with a tennis-racket–shaped pouch, but weren't exactly ready to plunk down $1577 for it.
Which leads us to the random equestrian item of the day (there always is one): A ridiculously long, coiled up "Stable Bandage" in taupe and white for $45. Wait, was that miss-marked?! Did they leave a zero or two off? No! As we pondered ways of turning it into an Hermès bandage dress, a girl chatting on her cell phone walked by and mused, "I should totally buy something for my horse here." Well, there you go.
We've already heard some complaints about belts. There aren't a ton of styles and the ones available (from $210 and way, way up) are on the conservative side. Also nearby are about five pairs of leather gloves, starting at $231 for basic styles, plus doggy coats for $180 (not bad in the greater scheme of things).
Also, fragrance sets are always a "bargain" here. We saw two-piece eau de toilette sets of Un Jardin Apres la Mousson for $75 and Terre de Hermès eau de toilette spray for men for $63. At the bottom of the fragrance shelves were also silk-covered copies of Le Carre Hermès for $354.
Just a quick rundown of the protocol: You'll need to basically check your life (bag, coat, hat, scarf, your kid under 12) at the door. Only personal credit cards (no debit cards or cash) are accepted. According to one staffer, everything is out on the floor and they will not be restocking. People are generally hoarding (but in a classy manner, of course) and deciding on their final purchases later. The line for checkout goes quite quickly, though the line outside was about two-hours long around 10am.
Also, major pointer that we learned from a dapper gentleman downstairs: Ask the staffers upstairs for the plastic packing baggies that they used to ship the ties, scarves and whatever purchases you decide to make. It's a wintry mix outside, so you must protect your precious cargo. As we exited, said gentleman, dressed in a fitted suit and duck boots, was still lovingly and painstakingly re-packaging each and every single one of his ten ties.
· Dealfeed: Hermes [Racked NY]
· The Hermes Line Started This Morning at 4:30am [Racked NY]
Early Shoppers Give Hermes a Thumbs Down [Racked NY]