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The VIP preview for today's Rebecca Minkoff sample sale was calm and serene, with just a handful of brand loyalists perusing the huge amount of inventory. 260 staffers seemed braced for the apocalypse, murmuring to each other how drastically the mood was about to shift when the sale opened to the public (previous sales have been known to devolve into a bit of a frenzy during the opening rush).
But based on what we saw, this anxiety seemed unfounded. When we left, there were no more than 20 people in line outside, braving the elements for a first crack at Minkoff's popular handbags. In fact, organizers ended up taking pity on these rain-soaked devotees, and let them in almost 20 minutes early, where they were greeted with tables upon tables of handbags in a multitude of colors.
Undoubtedly, the place to begin is the sample section. There are two sets of bins: the first set contains bags going for $50 a piece, and includes some larger totes, satchels, and clutches. The second, smaller set holds wallets and clutches for $20 each. According to organizers, once these are gone, they're gone, and at least some of these styles were available at a higher price on the main sales floor.
Otherwise, everything is priced based on its original retail value (except for the shoes, sort of, which we'll get to). Items originally priced at $55-$85 are available here for $45. On the low end, that's only $10 off - hardly anything to write home about - but on the high end the discount approaches 50%. Because of this, it's a great sale for shoppers familiar with Minkoff's pricing. You'll be particularly well-positioned to tell if you're actually getting an impressive deal or not.
That said, while the markdowns could be better on some items, the selection is massive, and 260 staffers told us that there is tons of back stock for the bags and shoes. We spotted M.A.B. Minis for $125, Hudson Moto Minis for $135, the Jules Crossbody for $135, the Elle Mini for $185, the Leo Tote for $215, the M.A.B. Tote for $165, the Andie Dome for $185, the Jealous Tri-Zip for $245, the Cupid for $245, the Mini Mac for $135, the Amorous Satchel for $165, and a studded chain wallet for $125—all in a huge variety of colors and patterns (even basic black). It's hard to believe any fan of the brand could walk out of this sale without having spotted something of interest.
The clothing selection was much more limited, and largely overlooked in favor of the bags. However, there were some really nice pieces here. There was one lone black moto-style leather jacket going for $305 and some cute dresses available for $125, while a selection of Titan leather mini skirts were going for $245. We wouldn't recommend going just for the clothing (especially since there are no fitting rooms and no mirrors), but if you're already here it's worth a once-over. Also, note that it didn't look like there were any samples among the clothing items, so everything here is overstock as far as we can tell.
There is also a substantial selection of shoes, but prices here are marked a bit differently. Instead of having to look at the price list to determine the markdown, the staff went ahead and wrote the sale price on the shoe boxes themselves. We spotted the Iva gold loafer for $125, the Persys fur ankle boot for $165, and a large selection of Astro Too loafers for $50.
While we haven't heard anything about markdowns yet, they've started as early as day two during previous sales, so anything's possible. This sale runs through Saturday at 5pm.
· Dealfeed: Rebecca Minkoff [Racked NY]
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· Samples Sales [Racked NY]