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Update: For Thursday, the last day of the sale, all merchandise is now an extra 50% off its original markdown price.
This morning, we went to check in on the Helmut Lang and Theory sample sale that's currently going on at 261 W. 36th St. There was no line whatsoever when we arrived, and things were pretty tame inside. Everything has been marked down—nothing is over $100, and prices start at just $32. Unfortunately, the majority of the remaining stock is comprised of damaged items. Some imperfections are minor, like small stains and broken zippers, but others are more serious (rips, pulls in the fabric, etc). Despite the low prices, the latter probably aren't worth spending your money on, unless you're willing to go to a tailor.
We saw fewer damaged products towards the front of the sale, so scour this section first. There was a full rack of $60 electric blue Helmut Lang blazers (the only leather items we found by the brand). There are still lots of ($35) Helmut Lang jeans in a variety of washes and cuts. You'll also find plenty of blazers for $60 and some $46 dresses, but you really have to hunt to find ones in good shape.
There was way more Theory stock than Helmut Lang: lots of silky blouses for $32, loose-fitting trousers for $35, and knits for $32. We had a hard time finding any really special pieces in this section, as most of the Theory stock is made up of work basics in neutral hues. There are still a ton of sleeveless shift dresses ($46) and simple blazers ($60) among the racks, but again, they're mostly all damaged in some way. Also note that for both brands, sizing is all over the map- there's no system in place for organizing items by size, so you'll have to hunt for everything.
We were surprised to find that the men's section was hit way harder than the women's: at least half of the men's blazers (now $95) have been wiped out, leaving lots of empty racks near the rear of the sale space.There are still some good finds, though: we saw a leather Theory bomber jacket for $95 and Helmut Lang knit track jackets for $35. The rest of the guy's merch includes pants for $35, shirts for $32, and shorts (also $32).
Staff is still restocking until the sale winds down tomorrow, so it's possible some better stock will be brought out. Regardless, we think that since the majority of the offerings are damaged, you're better off saving your cash for the Billy Reid and No.6 sales this weekend. —Gillian Fuller
· Dealfeed: Helmut Lang, Theory [Racked NY]
· More July Sample Sales: Helmut Lang, Theory, Vivienne Tam [Racked NY]