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While waiting on this morning's line at the Hermès sale, we kept hearing other people (who were also on line) say that there was a limit of one scarf per person inside. And it turned out to be true—but hey, at yesterday's preview there were no scarves at all.
The rule also applies to the bracelets, and the quantity limit wasn't going over so well with most. One woman asked another person—who turned out to be a staffer—if he would buy a scarf for her since she was only allowed to buy one. Another woman didn't even want one scarf, which she made clear by yelling: "There's not one scarf I like. I wouldn't be caught dead buying any of this crap." But she seemed to be the minority, as most people were quite happy to stock up on the crummy bag selection, half-off bracelets, ready-to-wear priced well over $1,500, and of course, those scarves.
Let's start with those, since they seem to garner the most attention and fuss each and every sale. The one-per-person rule is very strict—we even saw a sales associate refuse to hand one woman a second scarf. But that was an isolated incident, as many people were hoarding about five scarves in their shopping bags, without concern for the inevitable letdown at the register. Most of what we saw was priced between $153 and $230. On the cheaper end of things, the "Jungle Love" scarf that had, well, jungle animals on it was $153, and a sparkly glitter one was $170. Another animal-theme print ran for $230. And the bad news keeps on coming: Two sales associates said there will be no replenishment on the scarves. But as it was, there wasn't too much of a selection to begin with.
Now let's go back to the front of the sale. When we were there, the belts were well stocked, with each size tray relatively full. A thick black belt with two metal accents was $414. A thinner, rust-colored one was $210. Nearby was the sad selection of bags. That garden tote that everyone always complains about was there for $962 (from $1,925) and several suitcases (in orange, beige, and blue canvas) were there for $4,525, marked down from $9,050. And well, that was it.
Over in the shoe area, it seemed as though there were heaps and bounds of size 37.5 boots, and not too much else. The size 38 and 39 selection wasn't awful, but it wasn't nearly as well stocked. In size 38, we spotted a pair of black suede boots with a lace-up tie detail on the ankle for $1,050 (from $1,760), and in a size 37.5, a pair of patent-leather booties for $960 (from $1,800) and a pair of knee-high brown suede boots with two silver buckles $1,290 ($2,150). And in a size 39, there was a nice, plain brown knee-high leather boot with a small heel for $1,170 (was $1,950). The selection over in the regular shoe area was eclectic, to say the least. Sizes 39 and up were all a hodgepodge of styles: some kitten heels, some strappy sandals. The same could actually be said for sizes 35.5-38.5. Mainly, it was hit and miss.
As for the random back shelf, you can buy silk/cashmere robes for a whopping $2,362 (originally $4,725), pillowcases for $315 (from $830), and some sort of riding horn (maybe?) for $625 ($1,250). For true equestrians, there's also books about horses for $73 each. Who says print is dead? Not Hermès!
The housewares section was empty of people but not on merchandise. Small little shooters were $93 (from $155, each) and church-like chalices were $306 (from $510). As we said, the same one-per rule also goes for the nearby bracelets, which are all marked 50% off. So with original prices like $460 and $510, that puts them at $230 and $255.
As for the ready to wear, the racks were pretty stocked. Some highlights from the size 36s were a blue sailor dress for $960 (originally $2,400) and a pink blouse with riding boots on it for $1,090 from $2,725. We spotted a lot of white- and cream-colored items in the size 38s, like a pleated tennis skirt for $960 (originally $2,400) and a cream cashmere cardigan with an organza printed overlay for $1,080 (originally $2,725). And over in size 40, we saw a silk cheetah-print top for $1,170 (from $1,950), and some (slightly) cheaper blouses, like a reptile-print, coral one for $900, down from $1,350. On the pricier end of things, there was a animal-skin printed raincoat in size 42 for $3,780—marked down from $8,300. What. A. Steal.
As far as the menwears goes, the ties were $111, and there were a lot of them, neatly laid out in a rainbow per usual. As for ready to wear, there was a good selection of coats and other outerwear for men, but mostly in a size large. Things got more sparse once you hit size medium, and there were only a few smalls and extra smalls. Dress shirts hovered around prices like $264 and $366 for normal striped ones, and a horsey print shirt ran for $1,260.
So there you have it: the Hermès sale. To sum it all up, the biggest disappointment among hungry shoppers was the scarf rule, and then on top of that, the small scarf selection, which were bountiful in quantity (at 9am), but lacked style variation. Much different from last time. Most people left with something, though, but the shopping bags they were carrying out tended to lean on the smaller side. And more than one shopper made a comment to the line that the wait was not in fact worth it.
· Report from the Hermès Sale Preview: Few Bags, No Scarves [Racked NY]
· Some Three Hundred People Are Already Lined Up at Hermès [Racked NY]
· Dealfeed: Hermès [Racked NY]