NYC is known for its sample sales, where savvy fashionistas can pick up in-season designer duds at up to 90 percent off retail prices. Here are three great locations in Manhattan where visitors can cash in on great deals:
The Flatiron District’s 260 Fifth Ave. offers up apparel and home goods from such designers as James Perse, Jonathan Adler and Sandro. This location is also ripe with sales of athletic wear for the sporty traveler who may have forgotten their tennis shoes in the excitement of heading to the Big Apple. If so, this location hosts sale from such athletic wear companies as Asics and Under Armour—with head-to-toe ‘”athleisure” must-haves at prices as low as $10 or $15 for sneakers and sweat-wicking tops, shorts and pants. For downtown chic pieces—flowy tunics and statement leather pieces galore—head to SoHo’s 151 Wooster St. where shoppers can pick up edgy fashions and accessories from such cool designers as Surface to Air, Alexis Bittar and Barbara Bui. (For both, go to 260samplesale.com).
On the west side of Manhattan, visitors can stop into bustling Chelsea Market, where among tempting inlets of gastronomic delight, a pop-up space hosts sales of such designers as Rachel Zoe, Marchesa and Bonobos. On a wintery day a few months ago, I scored a pair of snakeskin-adorned leather flats for $70 that I had spotted at a glossy department store for $235 just the day before, answering the question ‘do sample sales offer things that are totally off trend?’ Nope! As a frequent sample sale hunter, I have been able to pick up heavily discounted pieces at all three of these locations.
While the above venues hold weekly sample sales throughout the year, deeply discounted sales occur all over NYC, from designer showrooms to hotel suites.
Now that you know where to go, here are some tips to truly master the sample sale:
Sales of cult and popular designers, such as Charlotte Olympia and Opening Ceremony, come with fans, meaning often-long lines to get into the sale. Come with a traveling companion to help hold your stronghold in unwieldy lines. Sale buddies also mean you have a second opinion on pieces that while heavily discounted and of a coveted designer, you will never wear—think neon orange pumps of the Valentino variety, let’s get real.
Sample sales also rarely provide changing areas and if they do it consist of group changing areas. Wear easily removable clothing so you can slip in and out of pieces and make decisions on the fly, allowing other shoppers a chance to do the same.