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Last night's Bottega Veneta sample sale preview shoppers knew exactly what they were doing. Just a half-hour after the doors had opened to media and VIPs (with an incredibly strict no-photo policy), the majority of customers on the fourth floor of the Metropolitan Pavilion were already waiting in line to pay for armfuls of clothes, boxes of shoes, and bags—lots and lots of bags. And since sales staff informed us that the entire sale's selection is more or less out on display, that means there's not a lot left for the public to choose from today or tomorrow.
Women looking for a bag in a neutral color and bearing the brand's signature woven leather would do well to borrow from the boys: This is where you'll find cross-body messengers, shopper totes, hobo-esque styles, and weekenders in blacks, browns, and tans generally hovering between $800 and $1,200. Plenty of these bags are also available in smooth leather, which generally knocks down their price by a couple hundred bucks.
What is left for women's handbags—of which there were not more than two dozen as of yesterday evening—has a lot of snakeskin in colors like pink, yellow, red, and purple. While we couldn't note prices of every style left, a good rule of thumb for pricing is that anything that's mostly made of snakeskin is at least $1,000, and anything that's larger than a cross-body also has a four-digit price tag. Generally, you won't find anything much below $700.
Small leather goods are displayed separately from the bags, in a section nearly obscured by last night's long checkout line. There were a mere seven woven leather wallets of varying sizes and colors left, ranging in price between $150 and $250. A few pouches and dopp kits that could double as clutches were going for $300 to $400. Your best bet for a woven leather item? iPad cases ($125), iPhone cases, and belts ($75)—or one of the two remaining tissue box covers in the home goods section.
If you're looking to get your hands on this brand, go for the shoes. You'll find a variety of flats ($100) and heels and booties ($150), plus a small selection of tall boots for $250. Heels took up most of this section, with styles like color-blocked strappy sandals on a thin stiletto or pumps on an exaggerated chunky heel, similar to this style from the current season.
There's a lot of space dedicated to clothes, especially dresses, both ready-to-wear ($300) and runway styles (priced as marked). All manners of dresses take up four long racks, and we definitely noticed some repeats from last summer's sale. There's one for blazers and jackets in shades of gray, navy, and black ($250), two for long-sleeved and sleeveless tops ($100—$150), and one each for pants and skirts ($150).
A cursory glance at the menswear in the back corner showed shades of beige and other muted colors, with most of the selection being shirts ($100), pants ($150), and suits ($300). Over here is where you'll also find men's shoes—lots of sneakers and loafers—and luggage, with items that would actually hold something substantial going for $1,000 and over.
Despite high prices and low stock on leather goods, expect there to find a line outside of Metropolitan Pavilion (123 West 18th Street) for most of this sale's two-day run—unless they run out of bags again. It's open until 7pm today and 9am to 3:30pm tomorrow.