Thursday, July 30, 2009

Online Accessories & Fashion: You Can Make Money!

For all you entrepreneurs out there. Anyone who is unemployed. Someone just looking to make some extra dough. Ladies who want to get more involved in the industry they love most. Or if you just want to learn/brush up on your business and computer skills:


I know this from personal experience as well as from recent information I have received regarding how anyone who is motivated can make a couple bucks and/or get some free stuff online.


1. mark makeup - Become a Rep!

mark identifies with its target demographic of young women inspired to be entrepreneurs who choose to be affiliated socially and professionally with a group of like-minded individuals. The mark Rep program provides young women with an opportunity to earn supplemental income through social interaction and benefits such as:
-Set their own hours and manage their business online
-Sell makeup, skincare, jewelry and accessories using the mark Magalog, a monthly publication of carefully selected products and tips from mark experts
-Earn a 25%-40% sales commission
-Participate in sales incentive programs including product discounts and the mark rewards program

Sign up to become a Rep here:

2. Tibesti ( - This new social shopping site helps you earn cash by simply recommending and showcasing your favorite products. It’s where Facebook meets online shopping…but with actual cash rewards. I have signed up but am not really sure how to use it effectively, so the jury is still out. But if you want to give it a shot, here's how:

1. Create a profile
2. List your favorite things by browsing more than 20 million
3. Add and meet new friends
4. Create your own store with your favorite products and reviews
5. Earn 25 percent of the commission from the items sold on your Tibesti page, plus 25 percent of the commission on any products purchased anywhere on the site, totaling 50 percent in overall commission earned.

Other key features on the site include:
Expert Reviews from 120+ top experts in categories including beauty, electronics, fashion and gardening and World’s Most Expensive, which celebrates the most expensive and outrageous products in the world.

mark. lips

Oh, and I like mark's lip gloss products. You can buy them here. And they are cheap.

Miracle on 33rd Street

Miracle on 33rd Street JC Penney is opening a Manhattan locale? How did I miss this?

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Report From the Proenza Schouler Sample Sale

Proenza Schouler
Wednesday, July 29 - Friday, July 31
495 Broadway between Broome and Spring Sts, 8th floor
Near 6 Train Spring Street Station or short walk to BDVF lines
Daily 9am—6pm

No dressing room. No air conditioning. But a charming fox terrier, a sample sale veteran, who sat quietly watching the parade of super skinny sample sales shoppers trying on dresses that retailed at toney retailers for more than $1,400 for under $300, without a single yelp. The "Bandage Dress" sold for just $400. Cover girls apparently are recessionistas too. One showed last night looking for a bag, but left without a single purchase.
Note to self for next year: sneak into the Friends and Family the day before. Sample skirts sized 2-4 from current and past seasons priced from $62 to over $100. A pop-art purple stretchy top for $200. If you've always wanted Proenza, be forewarned since selections are small, sizes are only for those who are naturally tiny or having been losing weight over the economy. Merch moving quickly. Staff friendly. If you've somehow squirrelled away any $$ after running to any of the hundreds of sample sales this year, or have found your own stimulus package, it's worth a peek. (Yes, GSNYC contributor Nancy Brenner was there!)

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Who Needs Woodbury Common?

From the New York Observer: Outlet shopping has come to Soho! Located at 237 Lafayette between Prince and Spring, INVEN.TORY...
Full article: Who Needs Woodbury Common?

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Leanne Marshall's exclusive line for Bluefly

Leanne Marshall, the winner of last season's Project Runway, has recently debuted her line on BLUEFLY. Sorry to say, I am NOT digging it. The colors remind me of Malibu Barbie or Valley Girl (the movie). Bluefly's marketing/photography probably isn't helping Leanne's cause either. I am willing to guess she isn't thrilled.
But I wanted Chris March to win anyway. Oh wait, wrong season.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Friday, July 24, 2009

Avon: I Found Two Good Things

I was invited to a summer/fall showing of Avon products. OK, totally not my style or scene, but everyone was very nice and they gave me free stuff, so I will refrain from my usual sarcastic and cutting remarks, and just focus on the good stuff:

Good Item #1: The Slimwear Pencil Skirt, $29.99
Available for Fall, this skirt has a Spanx-like system built right in. It's groovy and I liked it. I might even buy it.

Good Item #2: Pleats Are Neat Satin Flats (available in black and purple), $16.99
These shoes will be available for winter. I love flats. I have at least 4 pairs of black ones already. I may have to buy the purple ones.

Bottom line, these items are fun and cheap. They kind of reminded me of the best fashions one might come across at Target; and this is a good thing, for you feel like you have conquered the fashion world and capitalist society in one fell swoop.
To buy any of these fabulous fashion finds, you can locate an Avon e-representative near you by visiting

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Behind the E-curtain at

Yes!, more from Nancy Brenner:

I'm a die-hard in-person sample sale shopper, but was super curious about the inner workings of one of the most popular online sample sale sites - I am also one of their 1.2 million members.

Tonight I learned shopping secrets from's Alexandra Wilkis Wilson at a Gilt fest at the Tribeca Y: "Put as much in the cart as you can" akin to a real life sample sale where you need to grab as much merchandise as possible and decide later. And "Refresh, refresh, refresh." Any serious sample saler already knew that. C'mon Wilson, what's the online equivalent of a "Friends and Family" sale?

What's the most expensive item that didn't sell? A $23,000 diamond bracelet. Ca Ching.

What doesn't say "sold out" within minutes, but sells "incredibly well?" Fine jewelry, which can cost thousands of dollars. I was surprised since I was wondering who would spend thousands of dollars to purchase a piece of jewelry , without seeing how earrings frame your face or exactly how a necklace falls across your skin - plus the added pressure of final sale. Because of the expense and final sale policy, Wilson did note that shoppers do their research and take the time to share it with significant others, parents, friends, etc. before buying.

What's next for Gilt? What's not next for Gilt? In the Fall, expect the launch of a travel site that will sell cool niche summer rentals and ski chalets. For fashionistas without sugar daddies to foot the bills, or a C-suite position and paycheck to match (my observation), there will be Gilt Fuse which will be "our own version of Barney's Co-Op." Colleges and big-tent schools can expect big time attention from Gilt since Wilson describes them as target customers. Also Gilt has been selling "nothing too big, nothing too heavy, nothing breakable" home items once a week. This will increase to daily. But crystal and china shoppers need not despair, Gilt will soon be selling those too.

Why don't you see certain brands on Gilt? "We are like an airport in a weird way." We only have a certain number of slots and can't sell every brand they want to sell. It could be the collection isn't deep enough, or the price negotiations didn't work out, says Wilson.

Gilt fun facts: Zac Posen was the first "get," and one of the first 10 brands to sell was her eye doctor's sister who married Judith Ripka's son. Super-fast sellouts - Laura Mercier (I failed to sign in right away and was locked out of this one myself) and Louboutin.

Gilt can decide to cap membership if they want to at a certain point. Or, they can select to sell their merchandise in a number of different ways, if they chose to - they can sell specific brands to targeted customers, sell only to certain parts of the country, or decide to only target 5,000 or 20,000 if a designer doesn't want wide exposure.

Worldwide domination?
In March, they launched in Japan with a localized team and approach and have 200,000 members - so far.

Will they have enough merchandise as manufacturers cut back, go into bankruptcy or disappear? Will shoppers still open their wallets no matter how high unemployment numbers climb? Can frugalistas resist a bargain?

We are all...Guilty!


The Robert Marc summer sale features 30-50% savings on sunglasses for women and men from designer collections, including Robert Marc, Badgley Mischka, Beausoleil, Blinde, Loree Rodkin, Sama and Histoire de Voir.

190 Columbus Avenue (between 68 & 69), 212-799-4600
400 Madison Avenue (between 47 & 48), 212-319-2900
551 Madison Avenue (between 55 & 56), 212-319-2000
782 Madison Avenue (between 66 & 67), 212-737-6000
1046 Madison Avenue (between 79 & 80), 212-988-9600
1300 Madison Avenue (between 92 & 93), 212-722-1600
386 Bleecker Street (at Perry), 212-242-6668
436 West Broadway (between Spring & Prince), 212-343-8300

Hours: Call store for business hours

Payment Type: American Express, Mastercard, Visa or cash

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

July 23: Housing Works Editor's Choice event, hosted by Paper Mag

Housing Works and Paper and have teamed up to launch the summer edition of their “Editors’ Picks” shopping event series—the fashion-savvy editors at Paper have hand-picked Housing Works fashions, plus they’re styling the windows and throwing a cocktail party featuring DJs Andrew Andrew.

Where: Housing Works Gramercy Thrift Shop, 157 E. 23rd St. between Lexington and Third Avenues (subway: 6 to 23rd St.)
When: Thursday, July 23 from 6 to 9pm
Cost: FREE
Benefits: Housing Works, the largest community-based AIDS service organization in the United States. Since 1990, we have provided lifesaving services to more than 20,000 homeless and low-income New Yorkers living with HIV and AIDS.

Can’t make it to the party? You can still shop some of Paper’s picks online at

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

July 25-Aug. 7: Sale at Designer Resale

Semi-Annual Summer Sale
Saturday, July 25 - Friday, August 7
Designer Resale, 324 E. 81st St. (212-734-3639)
Gentlemen's Resale, 322 E. 81st St. (212-734-2739)
20%-70% off famous designer brands for women & men.
20% off selected jewelry.

...and remember, I successfully "consigned" some shoes here, and you can too! Just make sure you have top brands or you will be rejected mercilessly.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Half Priced PANTS at Anna

I have a secret. A secret tale of PANTS ON SALE! These pictured pants are half off, or about $70 at Anna. Navy with very light brown pinstripes make them perfect for work. And the way they fit? Well that makes them perfect for anytime! And unlike some other very much more expensive brand of well known pants - they are LINED to just above the knee! So we are talking high quality trou.

OK, warning: they run about two sizes smaller than you probably normally wear, so for all you evil size 4's, welcome to 8 country. However! They fit so well that the first day I wore them to work someone immediately asked me if I had lost weight. So get over the size number obsession and adorn yourself.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Online Talent Search from Nine West's "Vintage America Collection"

Last week Nine West launched their new Vintage America Collection and to support the launch the brand is staging an online talent search. The winner will be given the chance to record and release a single through Hickory Records, a division of Sony/ATV Music Publishing.

Nine West has selected singer Miranda Lee Richards as the new label’s brand ambassador. Richards will lead the Vintage America Voices Contest, a talent contest that is already underway. Singers can submit an original song and video at Weekly winners will be crowned through Sept. 1, and a panel of judges will select seven finalists and a winner. The panel includes Richards; Fred Allard; Lucky magazine’s merchandising director, Rebecca Babcock, and Danny Strick, co-president of Sony/ATV Music Publishing.

The new label, which will be merchandised and marketed separately from the core Nine West brand, is inspired by an authentic, all-American aesthetic. It features looks with a casual, worn-in feel, from plaid shirts and cropped sweaters to distressed jeans and cowboy boots. The line will launch at Nine West stores, and department stores such as Macy’s.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

July 13-20: Catherine Angiel Wedding Bands 20% Off

Up to 20% off Wedding Bands and Select Jewelry
WHEN:* Now – July 20th *
WHERE:Catherine Angiel, 43 Greenwich Avenue (btwn Charles and Perry Streets) New York, NY 212.924.4314
Catherine Angiel’s edgy yet sophisticated jewels for any Bride-to-Be. Many of her designs feature her signature rock-n-roll chic style and use black diamonds while others have a romantic feel.

Report from Nanette Lepore Sample Sale: July 14-16

Nancy Brenner reports from the floor...

Nanette Lepore Sample Sale
225 W. 35th St nr. 7th Ave, 4th floor
July 14-16, 2009
Tues-Thurs, 9am-7pm

Die-hard Lepore aficionados you know you can't resist - so just head over there. Prices are around $40 for holiday/resort, $40 for a Fall silk piece and $40 for a cotton cardi which seemed pricey compared to the dressy dresses. That is if you're a size - sample size. Then head to the left for the sample rack. Non-sample dresses are expensive for this environment, but if you really love Lepore, go for it. The skirts were $100 (retailed for $275). Lepore is the go-to designer that when I meet with an exec at a Fortune 500 firm, or run off to a BBQ or a wedding - people of all ages, or even a job interview where you want to stand out - both men and women come over to me from across the room or on a city sidewalk to compliment me - even strangers. They admire the cool, striking looks that aren't one-season wonders. Shortest line ever to get in to the sale, space in the dressing room - it doesn't feel that claustrophobic crowding like two females are trying to put their head into the same dress. Staff was sweet and honest - actually told you whether the stuff was fit for your figure and flattering for your coloring - priceless in this economy. Other sample salers had been eyeing the shoes and clothes at retailers like Saks - shoes were in the $50-$75 range. Women who came and said "they need nothing," and "really haven't needed nothing in over a year," walked out with arm-loads.

Blaaahg - BLANK : Ready to Wear Couture

Blaaahg - BLANK : Ready to Wear Couture

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Saturday, July 11, 2009

The customer is back in vogue!

Why is there a resurgence in customer service in the "invite only" retail sector when sales numbers for traditional stores are hitting rock bottom and even malls are renegotiating their leases.? In the last ten days, two online "invite only" sample sale houses are seeking to seduce customers not only with prices that are paltry compared to retail, but enticements of customer service. Online retailer, Gilt, proclaimed, "Tada! A Better Way To Shop Consolidated Sales." And, in an e-mail admission, the CEO says, "I am well aware that navigating our consolidated sales has been….let's say 'less than optimal'. You've weighed in on this issue often enough that I couldn't bear the idea of hosting another Final Sale until we had a more elegant solution."

When was the last time you heard that from a CEO of any type of company? According to today's Wall Street Journal, Gilt just landed an additional $40 million in funding from Matrix and General Atlantic. Valued at $400 million, Gilt is planning to expand its offerings. Their revenue is expected to hit $500 million in 2010.

Gilt is even soliciting additional feedback offering, "We'll keep tweaking the format and functions till you tell us it's 'just right.'" Where are the rest of the retailers? Why has it taken so long for the retail industry to notice its customers?

Another player in this invite-only space, Rue La La, asks its customers if they are having an "ooh la la moment?" They launched several new initiatives creating an easier shopping experience by making a significant change in their shipping policies. They are offering free returns on shipping and now customers don't have to pay twice if they order more than once during the same day before a 10 pm EST deadline. This week's wares includes everything from name brand clothes to pots to watches. Although they were overcrowded this week and needed to shut down the site for the better part of the day. This reminds me of the good old days when Zappos first started.

These two online invite only sample sale purveyors are taking the customer service piece seriously. According to the "Customer Experience Blog" by Bruce Temkin, Vice President & Principal Analyst at Forrester Research, this attitude adjustment will reap revenues. Temkin analyzed data on customer loyalty and how that can affect revenue. The bottom line is that investment is customers are a key revenue booster.

Some key findings:
o The difference in loyalty between companies in the top quartile of customer experience (when measured against industry averages) and the companies in the lowest quartile:
- 14.4% more customers willing to buy another product
- 15.8% more customers reluctant to switch
- 16.6% more customers likely to recommend

o Temkin also examined the revenue change from a 10 point increase in a firm's Customer Experience Index. It results in a $284 million change for every $10 billion in revenue (average across 12 industries):
- Additional purchases: $65 million
- Reduction in churn: $116 million
- Word of mouth: $103 million

Temkin's bottom line: Customer experience is a great investment. Apparently both online retailers agree and are investing in their customers.

By Nancy "when I'm not shopping I'm writing about shopping" Brenner

Thursday, July 09, 2009


At first I thought this was someone playing a sick and twisted joke on me. It was as if someone delved into the innermost part of my brain and found that which I wanted most in the world. And then made a "fake" toy out of it, just to taunt me. BUT...this is no fake. It is real. And it only costs $12.99! Let us praise the good people of Stuckakid for providing us with access to Darth Tater, and then let us quickly click here and get one. Hell, get two and give me one, and I will position Darth Tater proudly next to Timmy! on my bedroom windowsill. They can then live together in harmony like two spuds in the dirt.

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

July 15-18: Alpine Furniture & Housing Works Sale

Alpine Furniture and Housing Works are hosting a shopping event combining philanthropy with high-end furniture and antiques. Alpine Furniture Gallery is one of New York’s leading importers of Asian antiques and is now collaborating with Housing Works to offer 30% off retail prices for three days on hundreds of collectible pieces of furniture and many 19th century antiques.

30% of all proceeds from the sale go to Housing Works, which has been providing housing and lifesaving services to homeless New Yorkers living with HIV/AIDS since 1991.

What: Reception with hors d’oeuvres and refreshments
When: Wednesday, July 15, 2009 5pm to 8pm. Sale continues through Saturday, July 18
Where: Alpine Furniture Gallery- 230 Fifth Avenue at 27th St.

Sunday, July 05, 2009

And with July...Sales Galore

ShoeMetro: Get 10% OFF of your summer shoe shopping! Enter INDEPENDENCE10 during the checkout process. Offer is good from now until July 12th, 2009. These shoes may not necessarily be the bleeding edge of fashion, but the prices are so low they're practically giving them all away!

Origins Summer Sale - Save over 30 percent on Origins super-sized skin care. Spend over $75 and get free shipping and sample product.

Cole Haan - Take an additional 20 percent off all sale styles - online only. Use code EXTRA20.

Orla Kiely - Starting July 1, up to 50% off Summer Sale.

Neiman Marcus Last Call - From now until July 13th, Neiman Marcus Last Call is having a storewide sale event where you can save 20% to 40% off Last Call Store's regular prices, PLUS save an extra 20% off your total purchase on top of sales discounts. That's a total savings of 40% to 79% off Last Call Store's regular prices (Not to mention Last Call's regular prices are already 30% to 65% off original Neiman Marcus prices all the time). There is one NMLC in NJ and one in NY...

Viv and Ingrid: Accessories brand viv&ingrid ( is having a summer online sale beginning July 13th and ending August 3rd. Save 20% off of everything on their website (except e-gift cards, gift wrapping and shipping) using the code visummer20.

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

July 1-4: Kale Sale (hey that rhymes)

There are so many sales going on during the next week or many that I need to organize them in one post. In the meantime, here's this one, which starts today...


What: A collection of bags that are the creation of the Kale sisters, Leslie and Jennifer. Great for everyday or travel, the bags are made of durable leathers, every one completed with a zippered interior pocket, cell phone pocket and lined in striking fuchsia suede.

When: Online sale hours: Wednesday, July 1st 12:00 PM EST (Noon) –Saturday, July 4th 12:00 AM EST (Midnight)

Examples of items at the sale:
Tate Tote, flat tote with 2 exterior pockets and a zippered closure in Dove, washed lambskin, originally retailing for $695, sale price $249

Terra Tote bag with 2 exterior pockets and a zippered closure in Putty, washed lambskin, originally retailing for $625, sale price $219

Chelsea Clutch with pleated exterior and contrast piping detail in Lemon/White, in washed lambskin/patent, originally retailing for $395, sale price $139

Silla Tote with adjustable handle and a zippered closure in Lake, washed goat, originally retailing for $695, sale price $249

Palmer Shopper, an oversized tote with a magnetic closure in Port, washed goat, originally $795, sale price $279

Porter Tote with a drawstring closure in Lime, washed lambskin, originally retailing for $545, sale price $189