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Unlike previous Opening Ceremony sample sales that were in cramped, almost claustrophobically small quarters downtown, this week's sale is a breath of fresh air. The massive west Chelsea space can comfortably hold tons of shoppers, but perhaps more importantly, tons of merchandise. Basically everything in the store's repertoire - from books to sunglasses to shoes to clothing - is available at up to 90% off. While we don't remember spotting any specific items at such a deep discount, prices were generally pretty impressive, though there are still a good number of big ticket price tags (we loved a classic though pricey Mugler handbag on sale for $800, as well as a studded white leather jacket by Rodarte for $950).
The general geography of the sale has women's clothing to the right, men's clothing to the left, shoes in the back, and accessories along the lefthand wall. One nice feature? For those gentlemen who have been annoyed to find ladies perusing your racks at sample sales (like at November's Helmut Lang sale), the most obvious unisex options (like t-shirts and sweatshirts) are found in both sections. Kenzo logo sweatshirts ($55) and tons of Opening Ceremony logo shirts, sweats, and racing-wear (like oversized jerseys, also $55) were available on both sides of the aisle.
This seems as good a time as any to mention that by far the brand best represented throughout is OC's house line. We estimate that maybe two thirds to three quarters of all the shoes available are OC, as well as one third to one half of the clothing. The good news is that the prices on Opening Ceremony merch are among the lowest at the sale: we saw sweatshirts with sequined appliques for $50, floral dresses for $75, and patterned jackets for $120. Among the shoes, basic ankle boots ring in at $140, while chunky platform sandals are $80 and lace up canvas booties are $75. Also, all sunglasses are going for $40, and though there are lots of OC-branded hats available, we expect people will gravitate toward the Kenzo eye logo ones for $15 instead. In fact, the shoe situation was a good analogue for the sale itself. While there was only one pair of studded Jean Paul Gaultier boots ($200) and cut-out, knee-high white Acne boots, there were multiple sizes and colors of some of the house brand's options. Be prepared to do more searching for those special, one-of-a-kind finds.
Some examples? A men's leather letterman jacket from Band of Outsiders ($432), an Opening Ceremony x Magritte printed sweatshirt ($120), and a striking transparent-with-black-swirls skirt ($480). Generally, we think you're more likely to walk away with a statement piece here than with anything basic at this sale (even though there were a number of generic COS button-downs going for $20 each), so we recommend budgeting accordingly - $252 may be far less than $840, but a bright red, glittery clutch with massive crystals on it is likely not to get too much wear (though it seems perfect for a fancy yet outrageous Christmas party).
Overall, this is a sale we recommend hitting early. Since so many of the really special items appear to be one of a kind, once they're gone, they're gone (there was exactly one DKNY sweatshirt that we saw, and we're pretty willing to bet it was snapped up right shortly after we put it down). But, if you want to try your chances, you have until 6pm on December 7th.