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This morning marked the start of Italian eyewear brand Illesteva's first-ever sample sale, taking place in a small Soho packed tight with three tables of sunglasses, two tables of handbags, one table of optical frames, and plenty of eager shoppers. Though some of the markdowns don't make these prices dramatically different than the original—like Leonard sunglasses for $135 instead of $177—there is a huge selection of styles available, with favorites being regularly restocked.
Though the sale is mostly focused on sunglasses, we were immediately drawn to the quirky bags to the right of the entrance. Colorful leather backpacks ($290) and an oversized circular clutch in a python camouflage print ($800) were tucked away next to a table of optical frames all going for just $80 apiece. Sales associates reported that both of these categories had been popular in the first hour of the sale, and they expect the optical frames to be among the first items to sell out.
For sunglasses, there's tons of different styles priced at $80, $100, $120, or $150. Each pair's price was marked by different colored stickers. The exceptions to this were the Leonard ($135) and the Leonard II ($170, from $290). Many of the styles we were drawn to were priced at $150, but there were plenty of fun and funky sunglasses at $80 and $100 as well. Specifically, we liked an oversized camouflage pair ($150) and a light-colored cat eye frame for $100.
The sale runs through Saturday, and based on how many shoppers were packed into the tiny space, we expect merchandise to go and go quickly, despite restocking with new styles daily. Employees reported that they had already restocked three times in the first hour, so be sure to head to the fourth floor 456 Broadway before your favorite styles are sold out; it's open from 11am to 6pm each day.