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At Manolo Blahnik's Surprise Sample Sale, Shoppers Are Scooping Up Heels by the Boxful

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By 10:45am, no line had formed yet at the Warwick Hotel, the venue for the just-announced Manolo Blahnik sample sale, but hotel lobby attendants directed us without asking to the second floor as soon as we dashed into the building. While the sale wasn't officially slated to open to the public until 11am, we were ushered in immediately with the rest who were given tickets upon emerging from the stairs. Once inside, things were still pretty calm, but energy started building as word of the discounted designer shoes made its way through the city.

The brand's heels, boots, and flats can retail into the thousands, so it's no wonder the promise of $250 ankle boots and $175 heels sent people on an early lunch. And if you're a sample size 37, you might as well make an afternoon of it: There were more 37s than the rest of the sizes combined, causing shoppers with larger feet to cry out "seriously?!" upon picking up yet another pair.

For the most part, however, the sizes are well organized. Divided between tables, the selection gets noticeably paltrier as the numbers increase, but at the sweet spot (36 through 38), you're met with so many suede ($125), leather ($125), and snakeskin ($150) heels that you won't know where to look first.

You could try one shopper's method, which was simply taking an entire box of shoes from under a table, bringing it to the register, and hoping for the best. Or, like many others, you could take your selections to the floor and try them on there. There are mirrors stationed all around the room for you to take a look.

While there are plenty of sandals and heels, fall boot shoppers will have to be a little more determined with their perusing. The gallery above has pictures of almost every pair of boots we could find but, once again, you're likely to find them in only one size.

A sales associate told us that there won't be restocking during this one-day sale, which doesn't have a specified end point at this time — just whenever they're sold out. Also stop at a bank on your way over, since the sale is cash only.

Warwick New York Hotel

65 W 54th St, New York, NY 10019 (212) 247-2700 Visit Website