We were among the first shoppers at the Barneys Warehouse semi-annual sale when the doors opened this morning, and we had our expectations tempered by their notification that the sale would focus heavily on menswear. When we got in, it was clear that most of the floor was dedicated to the guy's selection. However, girls can still look through the (limited) selection made up of merchandise at up to 75% off retail prices. Note that there isn't any back stock—what's on the floor is all that's left.
When you enter the very air-conditioned space on the ground floor, you'll find the women's section on the right-hand side. Grab a clear shopping bag just in case you find more items than you can hold. If you forget to do this, we saw sales associate walking around with them.
The first thing you'll notice is the seven or so tables of bags. When we were there, most shoppers weren't looking at them too seriously. You won't find any huge names here—we saw a lot of Deux Lux, Botkier, BE&D, and Barneys New York. There's a range of sizes in mostly neutral colors, but not a large variation in styles, and they're all priced as marked. The silver bag pictured in the gallery is from Botkier and costs $89.
Among the boxes on the tables, you'll also find some that contain wallets from Barneys New York for $65 and laptop and iPad cases from Marc by Marc Jacobs. There's also a table dedicated to belts in all widths. All of these items are also priced as marked too, and it looked like most of them were at least half-off the retail price.
In the far corner by the entrance are the two denim tables. You'll find piles of good ol' blue jeans neatly folded with corresponding size numbers, ranging from 24 to 31. Brands here include Current/Elliott, James Jeans, Rag & Bone, Levi's, MiH, Acne, and J Brand. Some of the J Brand styles were going for $99, while other names went as cheap as $49.
There's also a table with folded sweaters in this corner, none of which looked too exciting, and a rack of short shorts with frayed ends in various colors and patterns. There are also two racks of dresses here, from Cynthia Rowley, Marc by Marc Jacobs, Joie, Isabel Marant Etoile, and Diane von Furstenburg. Sizes ranged from extra-small to large pretty evenly, and most of the tags we peeped looked like a discount of at least 60% off retail.
Aside for a bunch of soft t-shirts from ATM and a rack of fancier tops (think Timo Weiland, Vince, and 3.1 Phillip Lim), that's pretty much it for covering your upper half. But in the back half of the women's area, near the dressing rooms, there are so many racks of pants that we didn't know what to do—well, except to shop it.
Each size has at least one full rack that includes the same brands found in the denim section. There's a huge range of colors, patterns, and material here. Prices start at $29 for the Barneys New York label, and some pairs from Current/Elliott are going for $39.
Next, you'll see a sign indicating "blue star" tags. Anything with this stamp on the tag is 75% off the lowest written price. That means there's some pretty cool steals in here—we saw a purplish Haider Ackermann blazer with a cutout on the side (originally $3,025) and is now $189.25. But this area isn't very well-organized—the racks are pretty stuffed, and we saw some merch that was inside out or wrinkled.
Some items here don't even have a blue star on the tag—instead, there's an orange tag with the sale price written. That includes a black Theory dress for $49 and a fuzzy DVF leopard-print skirt for $39.
In the very back you'll find a miscellaneous selection of children's wear, like puffy jackets and bibs, and home goods such as candles, frames and books. It looks like a lot of the product here is damaged in some way or another. Again, all prices are individually marked on the items.
And last but not least, shoes. As usual, a single shoe is out on the racks, and you bring your selection to the sales associates at the shoe table to pick up its mate. On the back wall are boots and booties with about a dozen different styles per size. We saw Chloé black booties in an 8 1/2 for $199 and Balmain black velvet booties in a 37 for $199 as well.
For heels and other styles, we saw bedazzled Manolo Blahniks in a 7 1/2 for $299 and black Miu Mius in a 7 for $199. We only spotted a single pair of Louboutins—they were neon pink platform pumps in a size 5 for $299, but the signature red sole is already scuffed.
Overall, this was a pretty comfortable sale to shop, even though there wasn't much to look at. We never felt crowded at the racks, and the sales associates were really friendly and knowledgable about pricing. The changing room was large, and there doesn't seem to be a limit on how much you can bring in. However, there were only two mirrors laid horizontally on the floor, making it hard to see yourself at a good angle.
If you need pants, or you're just curious to see what's here, you may not have to wait very long—there wasn't a single person in line an hour after the doors opened.—Laura Gurfein
Update: Here's the rundown of the men's merchandise.
·The Barneys Warehouse Sale Is Indeed Mostly For Men [Racked NY]
·The Line For The Barneys Warehouse Sale Started Small [Racked NY]
·Update: There Won't Be Much Women's At The Barneys Warehouse [Racked NY]