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Full-blown Diane Von Furstenberg mayhem is scheduled to begin tomorrow morning when the sample sale opens to the public, but the folks at 260 Fifth Avenue kicked off an all-day soft opening for friends and family today. Preparing for the worst, we dropped in for a peek at lunch time. Amazingly, there was no line to enter (or anyone taking names at the door), but the sales floor was buzzing with aggressive, jersey-loving fashonistas.
As usual, bags, coats, and umbrellas need to be checked at the door. Once you're in, brace yourself for rows and rows of tightly packed spring and summer signature DVF pieces, all organized by size (size 0 at the far left, size 14 on the right near the cash registers). While this isn't the cheapest sample sale around, you'll probably score bigger here than at the Woodbury Commons outlet. Pricing is available on the posted signs and is generally consistent with past sales, but we did notice some slight inflation. For example, blouses and skirts went for $80 at past sales, but are now going for $90.
If you're into color and graphic patterns, this sale has got you covered. There are bold floral jersey wrap dresses for $150, neon geometric Bermuda shorts for $85, candy colored tunics for $90, and crochet and lace shift dresses for $130. We also spotted some fun evening wear, including a striking red, black and gold striped midi gown and sequined cocktail dresses for $275.
If you're a fan, get there quickly for the best selection. While advertisements claim daily restocking, we overheard staffers say that all the size 2 items were out on the floor and they needed to get the empty rails out of the way.
Now let's talk about the sought after $40 damaged items and $50 true samples. The selection is modest and you'll need to use your game face. Navigate directly to the back left of the sales floor for five sparse racks next to the fitting room line, which are organized by size. Damaged items are clearly marked with descriptions and colorful tape directing you to the damage (things like broken zippers and pulled threads).
The shoppers here are territorial. Personally, we were on the receiving end of someone's stink eye just for looking in the direction of a certain long-sleeved black lace dress for $40. Don't worry: We still claimed the dress, took a photo, and left it behind for one of you. Apart from that drama, lots of shoppers who are exasperated with the fitting room queue are using this section as a make-shift fitting room, so you'd be wise not to accidentally peruse their claimed items.
In the same vicinity you'll see boxes and boxes of packaged knitwear organized by size, with a sampling of the contents on display overhead. We spotted Ms. von Furstenburg herself in this area and she graciously posed for a photo.
There's also a section of scarves, belts, iPad cases, small leather goods, and handbags near the cash registers. Wallets and scarves are $70 and large handbags are $285.
The friends and family preview continues today through 7pm and the sale will open to the public at 9am tomorrow and run through Saturday, June 9th at 260 Fifth Ave. between 28th and 29th Streets. Check our dealfeed for a full breakdown of sale hours. A communal fitting room is available (with long lines), and cash and credit are accepted.—Kiran
· Dealfeed: Diane von Furstenberg [Racked NY]
· Six Big Sample Sales to Look Forward to This Summer [Racked NY]