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Typically, Sundays are reserved for relaxation. Not today, however, with the opening of the whirlwind Helmut Lang/Theory sample sale. Clothingline wasn't kidding when they called this a "one of a kind sale"—these are among the lowest prices we've seen for either of these brands, but especially Helmut Lang. We did some mental math and figured that the discounts hover around 90% off.
Obviously, with savings this substantial, the atmosphere is dog-eat-dog, and the shopping style required is one of patience and near military strategy, to make sure that $155 Helmut Lang leather jacket does not escape your grasp.
Of course, it must be noted that, while discounts are huge, so are damages. For example, the aforementioned leather jacket had a twisted lining inside one of its sleeves, which made it difficult to put on. It might be worth the additional tailoring costs, considering the original retail price was almost $1,200, but make sure to leave room for alteration fees in your discount calculus. The most insidious damages were the sweater snags, which were prominent—especially on the Helmut Lang racks, since the brand's knits are often loosely woven. However, at only $50 a piece from both labels, some of the more subtle, fixable pulls were well worth overlooking.
We found the markdowns very compelling, except in the case of basic tees. These were in the same price tier as blouses, sweaters, and skirts—$50—but most seemed too generic to be worth that much, especially when damaged or dirty. Your $50 will go much farther on a floor-length Theory turtleneck poncho or a pair of shoes.
Yes, in the back right corner of the sale, you'll find women's footwear organized by size, with all Theory pairs going for $50 and Helmut Langs going for $90. That said, we never saw a single pair from Helmut Lang (we were told that they got snatched up right away), although we were delighted to see a number of Theyskens' Theory styles in the mix. We thought the flat leather mid-calf boots were a steal at $50 a pop, though there were also a number of pony-hair flats, stacked-heel boots, and aspirationally-summery sandals we liked.
Generally, we thought the selection was best among the knits ($50) and pants ($55), but you'll also find a good number of blazers—some with leather detailing—for $90. We didn't see many of them, but dresses are $70 and outerwear is $155. In the latter case, we spotted a Helmut Lang puffer coat that has made the rounds at previous sales for $299, so patience will net you an additional 50% off.
This was definitely a recurring theme of the sale: many items were leftovers from previous sales, but with much lower price tags. For those of you who have been disappointed by high prices at previous sales from both brands, you'll definitely want to stop by for this one.
There's a good selection of menswear, though guys have less to choose from than women (usual, for this sale) and there are no shoes. Here, tees and shirts are also $50, but sweaters are $55 (as are pants), jackets are $105, and outerwear is $140. We especially liked a cool black and gray jean jacket and found a number of nice button-downs and denim, though heard some men complaining from the dressing room that the pants fit oddly.
On our way out, we saw a surprisingly long line still waiting to get in, so we don't expect this sale to calm down too much today. We know there is backstock coming out, but it's still unclear whether or not another shipment of merchandise will be arriving later in the sale. If it does, we definitely recommend booking it to Clothingline ASAP. As for additional discounts, we wouldn't be surprised if we saw them, but the prices really are quite low as it stands. We'll make sure to keep you posted as the sale progresses. For more info, check out the Dealfeed below.
· Dealfeed:Helmut Lang, Theory [Racked NY]
· All of the New York City Sample Sales You Can Shop in February [Racked NY]
· Samples Sales [Racked NY]