Monday, November 30, 2009

Nov. 30 - Dec. 14: Vanessa Noel Sample & Stock Sale

Vanessa Noel Sample & Stock Sale

November 30 - December 14
M-F 10-6 Sat 11-6
158 East 64 Street
(Lexington-Third Avenues)

All current fall boots and shoes reduced 50% to 70% off. Now $200 to $2,250, original retail from $525 to $7,500. A closeout selection of 30 styles of white satin shoes to be dyed now $50, reduced from $525.
Woman’s day and evening shoes and boots. Over-the-Knee, ankle, and to-the-knee stretch suede boots, chinchilla boots, mink booties, strappy evening sandals, pumps, ballerinas, flats, alligator loafers. Also a small selection of early resort sandals.

No further reductions. American Express, Visa, Mastercard and cash accepted. All sales final. No refunds.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Don't Be a Swine In Line: Nancy Brenner's Black Friday and Sample Sale Rules of the Game

1. Don't say "I just went to get coffee" and pretend you were on line
in the drizzle/snow/cold/wind/heat for hours with the rest of us.
Besides, any true shopper would avoid liquids before a massive grab

2. Most overused catch phrase is "I think my friend is in the front."
That's nice, see where the back of the line is around that Avenue?
Catch up post sale and compare your booty - don't disrespect everyone
who got up early/took a day off/traveled in from another state to get
a head start.

3. Let go if that Moschino that doesn't work for you. Women hang out
to a dress like it's a life raft leaving the Titanic even if they
can't get it over their body armor Spanx or if the color casts the hue
of Kermit the Frog.

4. Don't block and tackle. This is not Super Bowl Sunday. Some
shoppers have taken to hurling their entire body across a clothes rack to
ensure that you won't pass them and view the items at the end of the
rack before you do.

5. The Mirror. Unless you brought your own, don't act like you did.
This is not a taping of America's Top Model. Stop preening and
prancing and doing splits in front of what may be the only mirror in
the room. Ladies - you know who you are!

Economic times are tough...but that doesn't mean you have to be too.

Happy hunting!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009


Let's give thanks for Nancy Brenner:
G-III sample sale is for men and women of all sizes, ages, tastes. Lux label seekers staked out the Gucci and Armani sales last week, while savvy New Yorkers stood outside of a red velvet rope line (nice touch) for a host of outerwear brands and jackets starting at $30 for sample pieces - including Cole Haan, Siena Studio leather, Guess!, Sean John, Marvin Richards, Ellen Tracy and many others. This is the biggest range of sizes - from petites to 5X - thatI have ever spotted at a sample sale. Choose a commitment coat that will take you through the worst of winter (if it ever shows) to a one-season-wonder fling. The bottom line is if you're looking for a puffer, a trench, a classic black wool coat, leather jacket, fake fur, fake can find it here. Biggest problem at this sale - temptation. Pick your color palette - basic black to fuchsia, tan, burgundy, red...grey python, leopard leathers. Come in with a list of what you're looking for - otherwise you'll leave with more than you and your credit card can carry!

Avoid the stampedes at stores on Black Friday - you'll never find better prices than this. A Sean John leather jacket in a size 5X was $160, regularly $550. A fake fur pink party jacket sample for $30. A trench prototype in cobalt blue $30. Jackets that Sean John retailed for $245 - now $70. A light-weight Cole Haan jacket priced at 1 for $50 or 2 for $75. A red Jones wool coat: $100. A purple puffer sample: $50.

Check out the back room with a glass window for party dresses at $25 and coats with fur trim.

Head here before you head home for the holidays - and bring your hostess a jacket instead of a pricey fruit cake!

241 West 37th between 7th-8th Aves. (ground floor)
CLOSED THANKSGIVING, Mon-Fri 10a-7p until December 18th

Monday, November 23, 2009

Three Stores I Happened Upon and Really Like

Exquisite Costume: I accidentally happened upon this vintage boutique on a part of Broome St. that I may have never tread on before. I was pretty blown away by the selection, which includes pieces from the 1800s! The pictured dress from the 60s can be purchased immediately off the website for $600.

New York Vintage: I must have gone into this Chelsea-located store before, right? It is amazing! It's not your run-of-the mill vintage store, it's more like falling back in time into the Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer dressing room circa 1939 (well, except for the part where they have clothes that are newer than that, but you get my drift). Clean, vibrant, extremely well-organized and flush with thrilling apparel this place is celebrity-status. Literally. Stylists, get your vintage Oscars gowns here. And for those of you who have (top-conditioned) clothes and accessories that you inherited from your grandmother but will never wear or use, you might be able to make some money. Give 'em a call - 212-647-1107.

Pas de Deux: I happened upon this fine boutique on my way to Veniero's the other night, which may be why I probably could not fit into anything! Just amazing clothes from top designers such as rag & bone and Philip Lim, et al. Not cheap, but inspiring to peruse...

Sunday, November 22, 2009

10% Sale At Klurk thru Nov. 29

I've been meaning to write about this place since I happened upon it during my jury duty stint...It's Klurk and they sell groovy Japanese-designed gear for men. Which means it's ultra super hip and not suited for most garden variety boys because few are cool or thin enough. I wouldn't even suggest giving it a shot if you aren't completely confident in your ability to put it across. But if you ARE that hip and svelte, I strongly suggest checking it out.

Closed Tuesdays. And on Broome St., not Broom street as the pictured flyer indicates.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Project Runway: Congrats Irina

I didn't love her as a person, but the styling on her final runway show at Bryant Park was badassery at its finest.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009


Nancy does she do it?

Is your version of the LBD really fuchsia? Find funky frocks for $50 or $35 at the sample racks at Tracy Reese. These people know how to throw a true "sample sale" on a day when it feels like every showroom on Seventh Avenue in Soho and Chelsea Markets have swung open their doors - pre-empting the Black Friday sales.

Spotted at today's Friends and Family a shocking pink spots cardi retailing for over $200- here $50. That "stars" dress that Paris Hilton wore to the David Letterman show - skirt version for $50. A ruffled strapless dress in purple for $35 - bargain basement! Ladies line up early, especially if you're the lucky sample size for Tracy Reese, Frock and Plenty. Just please ban men from the mirrors!

260 West 39th Street, between Seventh and Eighth Avenue - 5th Floor
9-7 Thursday and Friday

OYE Bathing Suits

I just realized that in the 3+ years I have been writing this blog, I rarely write about the most feared apparel item known to womankind: the BATHING SUIT. AHHHHHhhhhh!

But I am brave. I went to view new suits from OYE (Open Your Eyes), the Turkish-based collection of hand-crafted swimsuits designed by twin sisters Ayca and Zeynep Sadikoglu.

OK, so good news or bad news first? Let's get the bad news out of the way:
  • Currently, they are only available at Breeze in Brooklyn (I think we're talking Avenue U, like heading toward Coney Island).
  • They cost between $300-400 each.
  • They come in sizes XS-L. Except it was explained that a Large is approximately size 6 or 8. Not exactly "large" in most parts of the ol' US of A.
So now let's focus on the good news:
  • They are truly unique and come in a wide range of styles.

  • They come in beautiful colors and no unflattering prints. They do, however, create interesting patterns by overlapping contrasting colors in their designs.
  • A few suits can be worn in more than one way - like getting 2 or more suits for the price of one.

  • They are pretty "girly," but in a sophisticated way. Some of them are adorned with jewels and come with earrings to match! But again, nice, not trashy.

I suspect that they will soon expand their retail reach beyond Avenue U. I can't imagine that there wouldn't be some strong interest in this line.

I picked the photos above based on styles that I would consider to be more wearable for most women. Granted, you still have to be pretty g.d. hot, but you might be able to pull them off even with a few extra ounces sitting on your bones.

You will also be able to peruse and buy OYE suits (starting in January 2010) at,, and

Battle of the Bags: Rebecca Minkoff vs. Kooba Report from the Front

It's Nancy Brenner's bag, baby...

Bring a helmet to today's Rebecca Minkoff's sample sale. If you like the feeling of masses exiting Madison Square Garden post sold-out Madonna concert, head right over to this sale, which had its VIP preview last night.

Space is small, checkout slow, prices high -$350 for best bags (for a ss). Most Minkoff minions did seem happy to drop major moola - perhaps they dropped by the bar next door for a margarita during the more than half hour wait to gain entry.

Better prices at the Kooba sale - where you can find bags in the sample room - if you don't need this year's IT bag, score a real deal for $25 - if you can handle an '04 model. Ask the knowledgeable sales staffs for the provenance.

If you can hold out, wait and see if Botkier ishaving a sample sale this year where I scored a $50 bag that retailed for over $600 last year), or just wait for Black Friday or CyberMonday.

17 West 17th Street - Minkoff 10-8 thru Sunday
141 West 36th Street - Kooba 0 today and tomorrow 10-8 (closed 2-3)

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Sacco: Low-Heeled Black Leather Boots that Fit

Oh Joy to the World! I have been questing for black leather boots that don't hobble me with their 4-inch stiletto heels, for I need to book around town, you know!

After looking in every major department store, and frankly every shoe store I walked by, I finally found what I needed at Sacco on the Upper West Side (though they have other locations, such as Chelsea and near Union Square).

I was torn between the sleek-and-pointy short boots and the tall "cop" boots that laced up the back - mainly because I could not believe my great good fortune that they actually zipped all the way up. So I did what any lady would. I bought them both. And lucky for me, all boots were $50 off a pair last weekend - although I think that special is over for now. Not exactly what I would call cheap, but so much better than the usual $700+ per pair - each cost less than $300.

The shorties also come in a longie, but they refused to zip all the way up. Sacco does provide a boot-stretching service for those of us whose calves are bigger than 14-inches. Which apparently is not so rare, seeing how there was a woman taking them up on that offer in my presence.

I have worn them both already and find them to be more comfortable than any boots I have owned in a very long time. As such, I am booking around town in style, and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Guerilla Shopper Discovers Gem in Chelsea: LINGO

By sheer accident - but perhaps there are no accidents - I discovered my new favorite west side store: Lingo. This one-woman store offers designs from independent artisans (Hapiru, Cinderloop...) from around the country at prices that are digestible.

While there are some funky groovin' casual pieces, many of the garments are work-appropriate - or can be made to look that way - especially for women who work in a slightly creative field, but who still need to look somewhat "buttoned-up:" media, architecture, design, etc. I tried about 19 things on and bought three - pictured above. [Check out the black & grey Mad Men dress. Naughty!!] She also has a wide selection of belts and jewelry that I dug, but had to draw the budgetary line at.
In addition to the great wears, I had a grand old time with the owner who was very helpful and interesting simultaneously- in the way that you wish a salesperson would always be.
So! If you live near or find yourself on W. 19th St. one fine afternoon (257 W. 19th St. to be exact) - near the Joyce Theater - I implore you to stop in.
Closed Mondays.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Bloomingdale's: Last Day 20% Off / Belle de Nuit Candles

Yes, go to Bloomies TODAY (Sunday, Nov. 15) and get 20% off of almost all clothing. Went yesterday with a friend and, well, it's just good to get pretty expensive stuff for less.

Also go TODAY to the GreenFlea Market on Columbus and 77th St. I have learned that Belle de Nuit has added a candle collection (see pic.) to their amazing silk flower arrangements!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Sample Size 8 Heaven at Lafayette 148, Report From the Front

Nancy Brenner, still at it:

Lest we be accused of pulling a Cintra Wilson on shopping reportage, come one, come all to the Lafayette 148 sale where there was a line curling around the corner for women of all sizes - they sell petite (a few racks where you can find zeros if you look hard enough), Missy and Women's at Lafayette 148. And if you are a Size 8 in their brand, which is generously cut, you will be burning up your credit card - so control yourselves! One of my friends said "this is not a sale for skinny minis." But if the size fits, you will find sequined jackets worthy of black tie events, perfect work wear skirts, a red day to night red dress that is currently "on sale" at a major department store for 3 X the "street sample price" of $60 and originally more than $400 - you do the math on the discount... Skirts are $40 - one originally tagged for $698 - wool, alpaca with hand beading. Leather skirts like butta are $100. Wool sweaters that retail for $200 are $40 - just check for moth holes. Ladies there are no dressing rooms and there are men at the checkout registers! So, unless you're an exhibitionist or want to outdo the infamous Highline hotel for women who don't do shades - come dressed to undress - close fitting top - if you're only looking for jackets and maybe a pencil skirt or leggings, so you can avoid stripping. This sale is on the ground floor in a space with many windows and curious onlookers! One optimistic shopper brought an empty suitcase - which she expected to fill - at these price points, she probably did. Peruse for a look at their luxurious line.

Today and tomorrow from 9am—8pm. 148 Lafayette St. between Howard and Grand Sts. (near the Canal Street station 6, N, R, etc.)

Sale & New Stuff at Les Nanas de Gramercy

I just got word that Les Nanas (de Gramercy) got a new shipment of winter clothes in from Paris and that all the apparel in the basement is 70% off (if you pay in CA$H!). On Third Ave. near 21st St.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

NOW: Tibi Treats Facebook Fans to Early Entry for Sample Sale

A fashion first? Facebook Fans of Tibi are invited to fast track shopping - hours before the regulars - at 9:30 am instead of 1:00 pm - all the difference between snagging the good stuff or scavenging for scraps. Check out the yellow dress with black beading as worn by Gossip Girl star Leighton Meester and other seductress fashions on their Facebook page... or browse Who knows what will land at the sample sale?

Start Time: Wednesday, November 11, 2009 at 9:30am
End Time: Friday, November 13, 2009 at 6:00pm
Location: Coolture Showroom
Street: 409 W. 39th St.
City/Town: New York, NY

~Nancy Brenner

Shoshanna: Report From the Front (Starts Today!)

Back at it...Nancy Brenner reports:

Profiteering at a sample sale? With these prices, a sign was posted not to resale. First, head for the numerous $50 sample racks for this season's merch if you're a 2 or 4. I spotted an on-trend motorcycle jacket that was on its way to retailers - it was purple, and the stores ordered basic black. Other finds include one-of-a-kinds that were never manufactured, so if you're looking for an original cocktail dress, that no one else will have, check here. Also, samples from previous season. For stock piece, many of the dresses could be found for $100, $125. A sweater from past season had a tag on it from a big name retailer on Fifth Avenue.

When: Wed - 10-6:30, Thursday from 10-5:30.

Since there are a slew of sample sales tomorrow, head here first for a party dress or work-worthy black sheaths that can go from day to night with the right accessories. Sales people sweet and helpful. Do pack light, checking everything...if you're reading this you know the drill...

Wednesday November 11th, 2009 @ 10:00 AM - 6:30 PM
Thursday November 12th, 2009 @ 10:00 AM - 5:30 PM
231 West 39th Street
Room 422

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Nov. 12-15: ABC Carpet Warehouse Sale in the Boogie Down

This sounds good (and bring the above flyer for even more money off!)

home: barbara barry, mitchell gold + bob williams, french heritage, upholstery, antiques, theodore alexander, traditional & modern furniture, grounded, lighting, table top & accessories, books, bed & bath, downtown pillows, comforters & blankets.

carpet: modern, handmade orientals, needlepoints,aubussons, flatweaves, shags, mansion sizes, runners, remnants & wall-to-wall carpet.

where: abc carpet & home – bronx warehouse outlet
1055 bronx river avenue
bronx, ny 10472
718 842 8772
m-sat: 10a-7p, sun: 11a-6p

Monday, November 09, 2009

Nov. 19 - Dec. 23: Green Finds Eco Market Place

What: Green Finds Eco Market Place
When: November 19 - December 23
Every Week Thursday to Sunday
Where: 2 Great Jones Between Broadway and Lafayette

This holiday season Green Finds is holding New York’s first ever Eco Holiday Market Place.

The Green Finds Eco Market Place is curated by Ike Rodriguez, a socially conscious grass roots retailer. The Eco Market Place fuses the best selections from local NY eco companies to major eco brands.

Every Thursday to Sunday Shop and meet the creators of Spirit Beauty Lounge, She Essential Beauty, Positively Organics, Lee Lai, Real Jewels, Kaija, Get Licked, Yania Creations, Seltzer Goods, JeeyunHa Designs, Charmone Shoes, 3r Living.

Follow them on Twitter: and join the email list at to keep updated with the special events currently being scheduled, such as the eco makeover day with Spirit Beauty Lounge or the Tea and Organic Chocolate party.

For more info contact Ike at or 917 226 9765

Thursday, November 05, 2009

Nov 8-11: La Perla Sample Sale

La Perla Sample Sale
Up to 75% off retail

Lingerie, sleepwear, swimwear, and men's lounge wear

Sunday, Nov. 8, 1-5 p.m.
Monday, Nov. 9 - Wednesday, Nov. 11, 10 a.m. - 6 p.m.

4 W 58th St., 4th Floor
Between 5th & 6th Avenues

All sales are final
Cash & major credit cards accepted.

Report from the Front: Moschino at Aeffe Showroom

Nancy Brenner reports...
If you are a fan of Moschino, or one of the other lines at this multi-line sale, probably nothing will stop you from shopping...

Tips for shopping Moschino:
  • Prices look super cheap - but one set of numbers is Euro - ask before trying on - otherwise you'll be disappointed.
  • Head to the back rack for the Moschino Lingerie line - there were several nice "sleepwear pieces" like a black velvet top with rhinestones - embrace the inner wear as outerwear trend - no one will know - unless you tell them.
  • Multiple lines, so many price points - try Moschino Cheap and Chic for the most affordable fashions.
  • Rack checking - key as merchandise returns from the crowded dressing room
  • Study the brand online - one shopper spotted a black skirt from the runway slide show
  • Sizing - mostly sample, but many jackets are roomy
  • Markdown day - Saturday, but who knows what's left... or maybe you'll see it later on Gilt
  • Slim down your holdings - this is one of those sales where you check everything and just carry around your wallet and cell

An admonition: this is not a super cheap sale, so be prepared to spend. Shoppers seem unaffected by economy - one mother with two daughters are regulars and they seemed set on being new wardrobes... what did they do with last year's coats? One daughter wanted to spend the day there instead of hitting other sales. A whole day at a sample sale - that takes more stamina than the New York City Marathon or extra innings at the World Series.

Bear in mind, that a purple Alberta Ferretti dress was still over $600 - Can a Ferretti come between you and your IRA? This is not an impulse purchase.

Aeffe 30 West 56th Street sale through November 7th - hours from 10-6

Sunday, November 01, 2009

Belle De Nuit: Fine Silk Floral Arrangements

These are not your mother's silk flowers (no offense, mom).

I love flowers as much as the next gal - getting them, having them, wearing them in my hair and dancing with one in my teeth. However, they are expensive and you never know how long they are going to last. So...

Why not try silk flowers?

OK, I know you might be unwilling to entertain the idea. The nice ones cost an arm, both legs, and the ability to grow long eyelashes, and the cheap ones are dreadful to be in the same room with. But what if I told you that you could get the nice ones at a great price? You might call me a sensationalist; a truth stretcher - but I swear to you that Belle de Nuit, the newly launched floral design company that specializes in fine silk floral arrangements offers beauty, style and affordability. Just check out the picture of the ones I scored today at the GreenFlea Market on Columbus (between 76th-77th St.)! For $70 I got this adorable arrangement of silk flowers wearing the best colors and sitting in the coolest antique container. To compare, if you wanted something similar, such as Diane James Floral Designs available at Gracious Homes, you would start by paying at least $210, and likely much more than that.

Word is that Laura Zeitlin - the proprietor and designer with decades of industry experience under her belt - will be BACK at the GreenFlea Market this coming Sunday (November 8, 2009) from 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. at one of the outside tables. I suggest you check it out.