We weren't quite sure what to expect as we waited in line to enter the 3.1 Phillip Lim sale this morning. All we knew was that the sale would offer deals on samples and production merchandise, including men's and women's collections, accessories, shoes, and Kid by Phillip Lim and all proceeds will benefit the Red Cross of America to aid the victims of the Japan disaster. Well, color us impressed. The apparel pricing, which starts at $50 for tees (men and women's) and tops out at $800 for shearling coats, isn't necessarily bargain basement, but the vast amount of past-season stock and philanthropic mission more than made up for that.
And wow, were the majority female shoppers feeling altruistic. Not even twenty minutes in the sale, the showroom was a mess of half-dressed ladies setting up camp on all available surface areas and heaping the corners with piles and piles of frocks to try on.
Dresses and other apparel were clearly of the most interest, but let's start with the somewhat neglected shoes and bags, which were pretty good deals. The shoes and boots are priced at $100 and include flat riding boot styles, suede color-block platforms and also the scallop and tassle-detailed SKG Dee-Dee bootie in black (originally $875). We also noticed a pretty wide selection of sizes, starting at 35 and also including a fair amount of 36s and 37s, which is kind of unheard of.
The leather bags were ignored largely because the aforementioned frenzied half-naked ladies eclipsed all the handbags with mounds of fitting items on the tables. That's bad because you have to wedge your way through bare skin and a mess of dresses to see what's on offer, but it's good because those bags are probably still available, as no one knows that they're there. The small bags are $150, medium ones are $175 and large are $250. Most styles are past season but still relevant, and we did see a few snake-embossed wristlet clutches, which are also $150.
On to the womenswear apparel! Pricing starts at $50 for tees. The most coveted items were the dresses, which run $150 for day and sweater styles ($200 for cashmere) to $250 for cocktail frocks to $300 for evening gowns. The styles ran through past seasons and we saw pleated mini-frocks, beaded party styles, long, flowing ankle-length gowns and a spring-friendly Grecian wrap-front spotted at Barneys, too. We watched in amusement as one loyal and slightly overwhelmed boyfriend/husband snatched up three gowns while frantically describing them to his girlfriend/wife.
The outerwear is also fantastical. We admired the $200 trenches, especially the sparkly-camo prints and python-embossed ones, $300 rough-edge chiffon ruffled and tiered cropped jacket and the $600 sleek furry black shag and jewel collared number.
The pricing is very specific; all the price lists are in the photo gallery for reference. The samples are supposedly mixed into the lot (we didn't come across any), but the majority consisted of past season overstock, which were in random sizes depending on the style.
The menswear is located in the room to the right and was being slowly taken over by half-naked ladies poaching the guy's mirror space, too. Hey, all's fair in sample sale shopping. Sorry, guys, the menswear isn't quite as plentiful as the womenswear, but it all is neatly displayed. The pricing runs $50 for tees, $100 for shirts, $150 for sweaters, $200 for cashmere knits and $150 and up for outerwear. We especially admired the natty camel virgin wool coat with grosgrain piping detail discounted to $250 and whimsically printed short-sleeve button downs. There are also men's shoes also priced at $100 and there were a few surprise pairs of Christian Louboutin collab kicks in the mix.
There is a bag check at the front and if you haven't guessed already, no fitting rooms are available, so pack and dress accordingly. Cash and credit are both accepted and just realized that that they didn't charge us tax as we checked out. As of 10:30am this morning there was a slow-moving line that stretched out of the lobby onto 39th Street almost reaching 8th Avenue, so be prepared for a wait. In consolation, staffers did confirm that they will be replenishing the stock throughout the sale. Remember, it's for a good cause.
· The 3.1 Phillip Lim Sale Price List, Revealed [Racked NY]
· Shoppers Sweet Talk Their Way Into the Not-Yet-Open Phillip Lim Sale [Racked NY]
· Dealfeed: 3.1 Phillip Lim [Racked NY]