The Staff USA sample sale got off to a very busy start last night: almost every shopper there was leaving with several bags stuffed with pieces from the likes of Dsquared2, Maison Martin Margiela, MM6, and Viktor & Rolf (with a surprise smattering of Marc Jacobs in accessories and men's shoes), all at wholesale prices. This is a sale for the patient and the committed: all items are priced as marked and almost everything is one-of-a-kind, which meant there are tons of different styles to peruse.
Even though the sale is listed as taking place at 220 West 19th Street, the entry is not actually at that address. Instead, you'll find all the Staff USA goodness through the double doors before you hit the Crunch gym (assuming you're walking east on West 19th toward 7th Avenue). There, they have someone running the elevator express to the 10th floor. After coat check, the main room is devoted to women's ready-to-wear, with a table for accessories and bags in the center. Men's is on the left, and shoes can be found in a dedicated room on the opposite side of the main space from coat check. There is a small table with jewelry by the register, but it was picked over in the blink of an eye and seemed to be attracting little interest.
Even at wholesale, the price points here are not for the faint of heart: the least expensive item we spotted was a simple white MM6 tank dress for $120. However, unless you're in the market for outerwear (a black coat with bell sleeves at $943 comes to mind), denim (like distressed Dsquared2 jeans for $235), or some fairly generic men's button-downs, everything seems to be unique, so once it's gone, it's gone. In particular, if you're a women's size 40 or 42 or a men's 48, this sale is your goldmine. The majority of clothing items are in one of these 3 sizes.
But fear not! Staff (and frequent shoppers of the sale) offered that prices can be expected to drop as early this morning. You can expect maybe 30% off the marked wholesale price, which will drop even further to 50% off, and possibly even up to 70-80% off on the last day (especially during the last four hours). That said, this is all very unofficial and expected to be spontaneously announced throughout the day, which has meant that in the past, shoppers lurked around the sale for hours waiting for the signal from organizers for additional discounts.
Generally, prices were the best on MM6 and highest for Dsquared2. A white crinoline-style skirt from Dsquared2 clocked in at $1,037, with a men's camoflauge parka going for $1,310. A particularly stunning jeweled yellow cape seemed like a bargain in comparison, at only $943. Meanwhile, MM6 had coats on offer in the $370-range, which felt downright affordable after so many quadruple-digit price tags.
The bag selection was not substantial, but lovely. A lone (and very roomy) Marc Jacobs travel bag was available for $1,079, and a red and burgundy number with gold hardware was priced at $746. Footwear was also not particularly impressive in quantity, and prices ranged from cut-out heeled boots for $516 to color-blocked wedges for $267. Ladies, take note: almost all shoes were either 37's or 40's, so unless the aforementioned MM6 wedges are your target, you would be better off not wasting too much time in here. Men's sizes also seemed limited (we spotted a lot of 43's), but the options were perfect for wearing right now and hovered around $300 (like a textured pair of Marc Jacobs shoes at $301).
Overall, we think this sale will be a much better bet when prices drop. There are beautiful, statement pieces to be found here, but $1,660 for a leather jacket (even if it is Viktor & Rolf, and even if it is stunning) felt a little too rich for our deal-hungry blood. Let us know in the comments if you happen to be there when the first call of discounts are announced! We have until 5pm Saturday to keep our fingers crossed.