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We stopped by the preview of Swords-Smith "Great Minds" sample sale last night, the title of which refers to the collective genius of the local and indie designers featured here, from Samantha Pleet to Mary Meyer to Dusen Dusen to Upstate to Venessa Arizaga to Welcome Companions. And though that moniker may seem a bit smug at first, take one look at what the South Williamsburg boutique has to offer and you'll have no choice but to agree—especially when prices are up to 90% off retail.
Women can head straight to the back of the store to find several racks of apparel that's loosely organized by designer, though not labeled. Pieces from Upstate, Mary Meyer, Dusen Dusen, and more are clearly bunched together, while items from brands like Samuji and Risto were scattered throughout. The discounts varied wildly, from a suede CF. Goldman skirt with circular cutouts going for $190 (from $216) and an Upstate silky tee going for $80 (from $220). Everything is individually marked, with prices crossed out in red pen once, twice, or even three times to show what it used to go for.
Scroll through the gallery above for 30 of our favorite pieces, each marked with sale and original prices when applicable, including a couple items that we've had our eye on since fall. Generally, we found the best discounts to be on items from Swords-Smith's private label, Mary Meyer (like a black-and-white print dress for $32.95), and In God We Trust, with specially marked sample sale tags likely left over from last weekend's event. Size-wise, everyone who wears extra-small to large will find a few pieces here, but more of what we pulled off the racks seemed to favor smaller frames.
For non-clothing, there's just one small table with men's and women's shoes, and only a few sizes available for each. Animal-shaped bags from Welcome Companions (there's one that looks like a turtle for $420) are situated next to a table of scarves, while jewelry from Venessa Arizaga (arrow-shaped earrings for $19, a "Beer O' Clock" bracelet for $25) are next to the register. Favorite items here include funky-colored sunglasses for $80 apiece (from $230).
Men's clothing is the first thing you see when you enter, with everything from swim trunks to heavy winter coats on display. Browse the racks for smart button-downs like an Industry of All Nations shirt in indigo and the table of sweaters for pieces from Henrik Vibskov, each going for $100. Like in the women's section, In God We Trust and the Swords-Smith label had prices that got near that 90% off mark.
Expect to check your bag when you enter, and perhaps your modesty, too—the changing area in the back of the store isn't very private. It's likely that both current styles and new items will replenish the racks throughout the weekend, but don't expect any further price cuts. See the Dealfeed below for location and hours.