We intended to bring you a morning report from the Hermès sample sale, which opened at 9am at 317 West 33rd Street this morning—but since it took us more than three and a half hours to get inside, we'll have to settle for a lunchtime report. The reason it's so crowded? Customers are poring over the accessories like silk scarves, enamel bangles, and ties for 50% off the original retail price. Though prices for these smaller items can be justified, much of the larger merchandise still had four-digit price tags.
Those coveted accessories are right in the front of the sales space, with silk scarves hitting you first. 90-centimeter styles are $217.50—$227.50—though there was a price list behind the counter that denoted other styles and corresponding prices, the 90cm styles were all we saw today. But don't think that means their stock is depleted—based on how many customers walked out with small shopping bags (appropriately sealed with orange tape) before we even got in, there's no doubt that they are restocking, at least for now. Staff is also strictly enforcing a limit of three scarves per customer.
Right behind that is men's ties, which come in a rainbow of colors for $97.50, and there's a limit of ten ties per customer. On the left side of the room, next to the cash registers, are the bangles, where there's a limit of five per customer. Prices here run from $237.50 to $400, depending on width. These are all enclosed in a glass case, and about a half dozen staffers are available to assist with finding styles. There is also a case of watches here, with a women's watch with a long leather wrap band was $1,000 and a men's style was $1,925.
Another popular section of this sale was fragrances—each customer is only allowed to purchase 12 bottles here. The cheapest bottle (which is certainly not the smallest) goes for $31, while the most expense was the limited-edition Kelly Caleche for $195 (it's also on Amazon right now for half that price).
Aside from these areas, customers ignored most of the other merchandise. Clothing was hardly touched—for women, there were racks of dresses, tops, pants, and coats organized by size. Here, we found a blue coat with black fur trim for $7,650 and a black halter dress for $1,225. Items for less than four digits included a plain top for $335 and a gray cashmere sweater for $650,found neatly folded on shelves in its own row and organized first by size, then by color.
The men's section was completely deserted when we were there, and included separate suiting options, swimwear, knit sweaters, and dress shirts, most of which were priced around $335
In the shoe section, though a customer will likely find a pair he or she likes in her size, there's a very limited number of styles, and those are not available in all sizes. The men's Hampton black leather dress shoe was $625, while women's Harnais oxford heel were available in a 7.5 for $912.50 and the fever heeled bootie in a size 9 was $712.50. Knee-high heeled boots were going for as much as $1,250, and were available in solid colors like black or cognac or patterned with a repeating "H."
Other accessories included gloves going for as much as $360, and a variety of belts—wide, waist styles were still more than $1,000, while a skinny one in black was $405. There was a set of shelves dedicated to homely men's hats, like newsboy caps and fedoras. A plain black bucket hat was $435, while a black leather cap with marmot fur trim was going for $1,137.50.
Home goods, like oversized pillows for $1,875, a fringed neon towel for $217.50, and a cream-colored pillowcase for $192.50, can be found along the back wall. Along the side, past the bangles, are large selections of glassware and silver, like a multi-purpose vase/candle holder for $975. There was also a teeny selection of baby merchandise (pun intended), like itty-bitty white booties for $140.
The most outrageous thing we saw at this sale were two brown leather saddles, each going for $3,275, but these need to be ordered through a staff member—so no chance of riding out of Soffier Haskin Western-style.
When we left the sale at noon today, there were still close to 100 people waiting outside in the rain, and dozens more snaking through the halls and stair's to the second-floor sales area. Staff was strict with kicking out line-cutters who joined with a waiting friend and holding to their "no children under 12" policy—a woman with a baby strapped to her chest was not allowed inside after waiting on the outside portion of the line.
If you're planning on stopping by, dress warmly and make sure your phone is charged to keep you entertained. The sale runs through 7pm today and ends at 6pm on
Sunday Saturday, and only credit and debit cards are accepted—see the Dealfeed below for full sale times.
· Dealfeed: Hermès [Racked NY]
· The Line Outside the Hermès Sample Sale Is 130+ Deep [Racked NY]
· 57 New York City Sample Sales to Shop in October [Racked NY]