clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

The Helmut Lang Sample Sale Is Pricey, Furry, Full of Leather

New, 11 comments

Racked is no longer publishing. Thank you to everyone who read our work over the years. The archives will remain available here; for new stories, head over to Vox.com, where our staff is covering consumer culture for The Goods by Vox. You can also see what we’re up to by signing up here.


Today's Helmut Lang sample sale got off to a crowded start, with eager shoppers swarming the racks to hunt for a bargain. The good news is that the sale has tons of stock in a variety of sizes (much of which is being continually replenished), but the bad news is that on the whole, prices are still too high on most pieces to walk out feeling like you got a really great deal.

Percentage-wise, the biggest discounts were on the big ticket items, especially when they involved fur. We spotted the Fontana fur vest—a kind of magical, midnight-blue creature—for only $549 (from $2,695). That's almost 80% offmuch greater than the advertised 60% off.

At about 75% off from $2,295, the Wrecked shearling coat was also flying off the shelves—in fact, all but disappearing within the sale's first hour, unless they restocked. However, many of the other outerwear options had only partial fur linings or leather embellishments, which made them seem comparably overpriced at the same price tier.

There were also tons of leather jackets available, occupying almost the entire left-hand wall of the sale venue. These were also priced at $549, and seemed to be getting less attention than we would have expected, considering that these were versatile, high-quality styles. We suspect the price was the issue, as shoppers swarmed the adjacent rack of $299 puffer coats instead.

Leather here is everywhere, not just on outerwear, but the pricing can be a little confusing. For instance, there is one blazer style with leather panels on offer for $99 (find these near the leather jackets), but almost all remaining blazers and jackets are for sale at $259, leather or not.

Also, the leather panel leggings that were available at the last sale for $79 are organized here with the pants, so it would seem they are available for $129. However, even if they were considered leggings (which would make sense, since they are, in fact, leggings), at $99 the price has still jumped.

Those leggings are not the only repeats from previous sales. Many of the signature legging styles and denim are here for $99 each, as were some of the shoe styles. For example, the Schist knee boot has made an appearance at multiple past sales, and the pricing here is comparable at $249.

Finally, there are some accessories options, but generally people seemed to consider them briefly and then put them back. Here, you'll find small bags for $129, large bags for $399, and gloves for $49 (though these are one size only, and seem to be for people with really tiny hands).

And for the men? Sorry to report, but here your options are limited. Virtually the entire space was devoted to women's apparel and accessories, and all you are left with are two relatively measly racks on the far right side of the sale. Also, keep in mind that we saw a number of women trying on men's leather jackets and knitwear, so even your dedicated section isn't quite that dedicated.

Furthermore, the men's price point at this sale was actually higher than the women's. Sweatshirts were $139 (vs. $99 for women), leather jackets were $599, and jackets/blazers for $329 (vs. $259 for women). At this round of the sale, we recommend men hold off until prices drop before trekking out to Chelsea Market.

While fitting rooms are available here, they were so packed that people were using the shoe table to organize their clothing options and look in the adjacent mirror. If possible, don't even bother with the fitting rooms—you'll be way better off trying on anything you don't need to disrobe for on the sales floor.

Staffers were generally mum about additional markdowns, only offering that they might happen on the sale's last day. However, in previous sales, markdowns have been taken much sooner than that, so we wouldn't be surprised if the same were true here.

We also saw racks and racks of additional outerwear behind a curtain marked "Staff Only", so expect considerable restocking to take place. This sale is slated to run through Sunday at 5pm, but not to worry! There is already another Lang sale in the line up, scheduled to begin at Clothingline on November 30th. For more information about this one, see the Dealfeed below.

· Dealfeed: Helmut Lang [Racked NY]
· 71 More New York City Sample Sales to Shop in November [Racked NY]
· Samples Sales [Racked NY]