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When we stopped by the preview for today's Proenza Schouler sample sale, we did what everyone else did and went straight for the bags. By our estimate, upon arrival, roughly half of the sale's shoppers (or more!) were concentrated here, and that's because there was a large selection of flagship styles — including PS1s and PS11s —and that the limit of four handbags and three small leather goods per person helped mitigate what surely would have been inevitable hoarding. (Photos weren't allowed at this sale, so we've pulled approximations of what you'll see for the gallery above.)
However, the colorways available tended toward the obscure. We saw PS1s in both tiny ($449) and medium ($499) in colors like bright tangerine, pink suede, yellow, and blue suede. PS1 Keep Alls were available in small (black leather with a printed, patterned body), medium (orangey-brown leather/felt, black leather/felt), and large — or possibly extra large? (black) — all for $499.
PS11s in mini ($299) and classic ($499) were spotted in blue patent, speckled, blue, yellow, red, metallic silver, white, reddish-brown, and patent hologram. However, the most numerous items were two variations on a white top handle (including the PS13, $399). Price-wise, bags only seemed to top $499 if there was exotic skin, like a multi-colored snake skin bag for $1,095 or an exotic PS13 in black for $7,390.
As for small leather goods, there was a good selection of wallets in both PS1- and PS11-type styles. The PS1 wallets seemed to have more versatile colors, including options in black, navy, grayish-taupe, brown, and tan (large), as well as grayish-taupe, yellow, blue, tan, and brown (small). PS11 styles were a bit less practical, as we only saw large wallets in white and reddish-brown, but there were more colorways for the smaller version. In both cases, large wallets were $129 and small were $79.
Also interspersed among the accessories were iPad cases ($99), baseball hats ($29), and even what appeared to be playing cards ($19). So even if your budget is really small, you can still take home something at this sale.
As far as the clothing goes, pricing is a bit confusing. Roughly, items are split into two groups: priced-as-marked, and color-coded to a fixed price. From what we could tell, everything downstairs is priced as marked, and here is where you are likely to find your more cocktail-appropriate items, including a heavy, sparkly cocktail dress ($2,175), a cut-out brocade dress ($398), and a silver-sequined bustier ($199).
In the less festive camp, we spotted an autumnal green suede dress ($368) and a number of leather leggings ($263). Most of the clothing items we looked at were on the smaller side — almost everything we picked up seemed to be a 4. But in cases where items weren't one-offs (like those leather leggings), there were multiple sizes available.
Upon venturing upstairs, we again headed left for what might be the sale's best, and most under-appreciated, section: the shoes. The prices here were really, really good, and we saw lots of on-trend, on-season items for less than a similar version would cost at Zara. In particular, there was a good selection of crisscross creepers in a variety of colorways, where the criss-crossed strap element could be either yellow-speckled, white speckled, white, white pony hair, or all black (these were inconsistently priced at either $119 or $129).
However, be advised — in this department, we found a lot of shoes in the wrong boxes, primarily with respect to size, but also style. For instance, we found a 41 in a 39 box, as well as maroon ankle boots in creeper boxes. If you have a particular style you really like, do some hunting and you might be rewarded, especially if you're looking for sizes 39 and up.
The biggest quantity of any particular style was a pair of basic white pumps ($129), but there were also plenty of somewhat generic flat sandals, leather espadrilles, and some lovely gray suede/pony hair loafers ($99). In general, a variety of sizes are represented, but it seemed to us that people in the 37-38 neighborhood will be happiest.
In addition to the shelves of shoes, we also found a rack of "lucky sizes," which were mostly one-offs. These came in a range of sizes, though 37-ish feet seem to have the biggest selection. It was mostly heels here, including chunky white fringe mules ($199) and textured pumps ($89), but we also saw a rubber leather lug sole ankle boot ($129) that would be a perfect transitional season staple.
As far as the clothing upstairs, the sections toward the front are all priced as marked and primarily seem to be made up of outerwear. Some standout pieces include a white leather jacket ($593) and a short wooly multi color coat ($506, also available in a long version). Further back, items were priced by rack and color. The color itself was indicated by a thin, easy-to-miss plastic tag, so we recommend sticking to the rack designations and checking tags as a back up, in case certain items are put back incorrectly. Here, black tags are $499, yellow $199, pink $99, purple $69, blue $49, and green $29.
The largest selection is in purple, where we saw two racks of pants, a rack of skirts/shorts (including winter-appropriate wool options), and tops (like a black mesh shirt and a perforated yellow leather top). The least expensive blue and green tags were also the least numerous — they shared one rack only right by the fitting rooms, and the only items we saw at that elusive $29 price point were tee-shirts.
In black ($499) and yellow ($199), you'll find even more outerwear, and here there were some very well-priced pieces. In particular, we spotted a thin black leather jacket and an out-there patchwork orange leather jacket with a brown fur collar. If you're looking for more relaxed dresses than the cocktail options downstairs, they're almost all in the pink ($99) section.
Finally, there is a small selection of swim and denim that was totally ignored by today's batch of shoppers. Based on past precedent, we think these will be the items marked down first, if in fact additional markdowns are forthcoming (and at this past summer's sale, they arrived on the sale's last days, twice). We'll keep you posted if prices drop; check out the Dealfeed for the sale's hours.