Monday, May 31, 2010


Whoa.  I was unexpectedly blown away this weekend.  A friend's friend took off for Sarasota a few months ago, had a creative epiphany, and the rest is soon to be history.

Wendy Hubbard had never sewn before in her life.  In a few short months she conceived, created and has just begun to outsource production of her "scarves with a twist": they have no ends and they marry materials that aren't supposed to go together.

The result? 360 degrees of scarf made from unexpected combinations of chiffon, leather, men's suiting, name it.  The materials are varied and beautiful, the pairing of colors and patterns, breathtaking.  Put one on and you and your outfit get kicked up at least three levels of cool.

Apparently her first customer, a boutique in Florida, can't keep them in stock.  They have sold out six times in a row.  In Florida.  Where people don't oft wear scarves!  And apparently half of the buyers are MEN.  Very interesting...

Wendy is soon hightailing it out of Fla. and back to NYC where she hopes to sell her wares to the big boys (think: Bergdorf).  Can't wait to see what's next.

Editor's Note: Photos don't do justice!

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Anna Invaded My Dreams

Happy Memorial Day TO ME.  I stepped inside Anna today and instantly fell in love with this top.  It's made out of the coolest fabric that looks like some kind of netting, and comes in black and green.  I bought the green.  I swear I am certain that it existed in the recesses of my brain as some sort of 80s fantasy - it is reminisent of old school Betsey Johnson or Norma Kamali but with modern styling and improved materials.  And I also bought this atomic dog necklace.  RRHAAHRR!

Friday, May 28, 2010

What do Taylor Swift, Katy Perry and First Lady Michelle Obama have in common?

They've all been spotted wearing Tracy Reese. Now you can too - at sample sale prices. If you like bright colors and intricate designs be first on line at the Tracy Reese, plenty and frock! sample sale.

June 8-9
260 W. 39th Street
Between 7th and 8th Avenues

Tuesday, June 8: 9am-7pm
Wednesday, June: 9am-7pm

Thanks to Nancy Brenner for the tips!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

June 21-23, 2010: Catherine Malandrino Sample Sale

I am so excited, I may actually GO to this!

JUNE 21 - 23

The Catherine Malandrino sample sale will feature the designer’s Spring Summer 2010 collection. The sale takes place Monday, June 21 through Wednesday, June 23 at the Metropolitan Pavilion, 123 West 18th Street (btw 6th & 7th Aves).

Monday, June 21: 10:00 AM – 9:00 PM
Tuesday, June 22 – Wednesday, June 23: 8:00 AM – 8:00 PM
Prices include:
Yellow dress: Regular Retail $495, Savvy Price $145
Print dress: Regular Retail $695, Savvy Price $145

Monday, May 24, 2010

Memorial Day 2010 Weekend Sale at Change of Season

Stay in town this weekend so that you can visit Change of Season and get an extra 20%* off your purchase!

Change of Season, a boutique outlet
341 East 9th St. NYC btw 1st & 2nd

*The discount does not apply to jewelry or Caterina Gatta's one-of-a-kind pieces.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Michelle Obama Wears Blue

Photo: Gary Fabiano-Pool/Getty Images

What did I tell you about Bright/Royal Blue just a few weeks ago?  I rule!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Louboutin at Saks Redeems!

OK, since I dissed the last pair of Louboutin shoes that Saks pimped to my inbox, I thought I should give props when props are due.  These boots are BAD meaning GOOD. 
If I could fit into or afford them (they're $1,695), or hell, if I thought there was a chance in the world that I could walk in them, I might even buy them. 

May 20-21: Petites Have Their Pick - Preview Anni Kuan

You might only know this designer if you shop at high end boutiques like Otto in Park Slope. Better than wholesale prices with designs that you won't see plastered all over Gotham. A snakeskin print skirt with a lace overlay look. Pop-art colors at prices that are a fraction of what other sample sales are charging. A real sample rack. And they will give you an honest opinion about colors and fit that flatters.

FRIDAY, MAY 21, 10AM - 8PM


colorful summer dresses: $60
embroidered silk dresses and jackets: $60-$85
printed jersey separates and dresses: $30 - $60
washed lightweight linen shirts and pants: $35 - $60

~Nancy Brenner

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Nanette Lepore Sale - No Amazing Deals

kay so, the crowd was clamoring for the renowned racks stocked with samples at $20 and $30.
There were none.
Many shoppers clicked their heels and disappeared - even the infamous Cynthia Steffe hoarders. If you are an absolute die-hard (and this sale has many devoted fans), you should stop by before noon and see what the early birds left behind after deciding if they wanted to spend $150 on dresses or $95 for cardis.
Best buy: white leather lambskin jackets that were selling for a little over $200 and retailed for close to seven.
225 West 35th Street.

~Nan Brenner

Thursday, May 13, 2010

May 18-20, 2010: Nanette Lepore Sample Sale

Straight from Paper magazine's VIP newsletter:


If the flirty, spring weather has you feeling flirty and springy then head to the Nanette Lepore sample sale to get some flirty, spring dresses to match your mood! Ms. Lepore's kicky dresses are in the $150 department, trench coats are going for $230, and cardigans are $95.
Nanette Lepore Showroom, 225 W. 35th St., fourth floor. 9 a.m.-7 p.m. Through May 20.


Lines at Louboutin - line cutters abound, REPORT FROM THE FRONT

Nancy's there, and here's what she has to say:

Semi-pro women standing on line for two hours waiting for their group of six "friends" to show. Passports and driver's licenses being flashed for entry while other manage to sweet talk their way in. Flip-flop shod feet were probably the smartest way to get through the sale, good luck to the ones who went in with boots. Nearly an hour before the first victor emerged with three white bags of shoes. Most popular excuse for people missing half a day of work or more - doctor's appointment. One woman with dubious proof of identity scouting for a person to vouch for her - and she did find a stranger willing to - in exchange for a better spot on the line. Three+ hour wait to get in - if there's anything left. Is anything worth being eyeballed by competitors trying to size up your shoe size, continous line cutting, standing in line wishing you hadn't had that coffee maybe an hour or so ago - maybe if you're flipping on e-Bay or unemployed.

Skip the Zoloft and Score a Custo: Custo Barcelona for Women & Men

No cookie cutters at Custo. If Lady Gaga wore hoodies, T-shirts, or dresses that didn't have cut-outs everywhere, she'd be sporting this line's splashy looks. Head downstairs to the one-of-a-kind sample room where both women & men can find vintage and current pieces - check out the raincoat rack - nothing like it in the city! Shopping here is like going to a hip day spa that happens to sell feel happy clothes. If you're a supermodel, or want people to think you are one - there are size 9 runway boots that rocked the catwalk. THERE IS NO DRESSING ROOM. That didn't stop people from stripping at this co-ed sale. Dress accordingly. Check out Searle which carries the line. Hoodies slashed from over $100 to $39. T-shirts $29. Fun and affordable.
474 Broome Street
Thursday - Sat 10a-8p

~Nancy Ga Ga Brenner

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Rebecca Minkoff VIP Sample Sale Night from 4-9 Tonight

Courtesy of the . "Because of her huge PurseForum fan base, Rebecca continues to open up a VIP night for the members." Bring your first aid-kit, if it's half the battle that the Botkier sample sale was last week. Note to men: skip the bars and head to the stylish line of women waiting around the block to snag a boyfriend bag or a morning after.

155 5th Avenue. Good luck and report back!
/Nancy B.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Shoe Lovers Small & Tall Rejoice: Preview Report from the Front - Nordstrom Rack, Union Square

Jeez, I barely even knew this store had opened, and Nancy's already there!!

Four racks of size 12 for women alone nestled among the 25,000 pairs of shoes including a pair of stylish red Steve Madden gladiator flats priced at $49. Famous for shoe size ranges, 4.5-14, men from 7-16, the hard-to-fit New Yorker can check for new styles including Stuart Weitzman, Alan Edmonds, Cole Haan, as five trucks with new merch arrives each week.

For Women: You may be able to skip the maddening Rebecca Minkoff sample sale crowds this week as a selection of bags are reduced from $595 and $550 to $249, $259. A one of a kind red leather with zipper jacket from Alice & Olivia at $219.95 down from $695. Missoni skinny scarves at $59.95 and $69.95. Find everything from Spanx Power Panties to Strivectin in the wide-ranging women's department.

For Men: Looking for an economic rebound shirt? Try the Hickey Freeman blue and white pinstripe shirt with white collar $49.95 from $135. Blazers from Hugo Boss $239 from $593. Joseph Abboud blazer $229.97 from $495. A check-me-out black leather John Varvatos jacket $699 reduced from $1,995. For Father's Day, job interviews, or casual shirts, it's worth a trip.

Remember the old Century 21 before it became jammed with tourists and you could discover a one-of-a-kind items or basics? Well the magic is at Nordstrom Rack.
Monday through Saturday, 9 a.m.-10 p.m; Sunday, 11 a.m. -7 p.m. 
One Union Square South (14th & Broadway)

Adam Ant Pic - Adam Ant aka Stuart Goddard leaving the Holy...

Perhaps this isn't really appropriate funeral attire, but my 80s style guru (and I mean that in every sense) is looking extremely...English and ready to be photographed...Adam Ant Pic 2817190 - Adam Ant aka Stuart Goddard leaving the Holy...

Sunday, May 09, 2010

This Week: Glitter Shoe Sample Sale

Size Seven Sample Shoes for $60 (say that 10 times fast) at this sample sale featuring Butter (see pic of silver slingback), Tibi, Something Bleu (see pic of blue shoe) at 307 Seventh Avenue (near 28th St.) until 7p.m. this week.

No biting, scratching, hoarding or feuding here. Just high heels, flats in suedes, glitter, patent, and peacock colors. Not for wallflower shoes. They say glitter is a popular trend
and silver is outselling gold.

The non-samples are $100. Check out their styles on

It's shoetastic!  Nancy Brenner

Friday, May 07, 2010

"Beat the Clock" at Flash Sales Without Breaking Your Budget

Five Tips to Gilt, Rue La La, Haute Look, Totsy and the ever-breeding flash sales, by Nancy Brenner

Put any items you might want immediately into your cart. Invite friends, family and foes to join (you can earn a credit anywhere from $5-$20 each time one person makes a purchase).  Don't want the UPS man to be your new BFF as you race around returning stress-triggered purchases? Send a pic to a shopping buddy and make sure items fits into your budget, lifestyle and CLOSET.

Best categories to buy: items where you absolutely know your fit, like lingerie, or fit is not an issue, like, luggage, baby clothes, picture frames, blow dryers.

Check color before you click - a trigger-happy shopper trying to buy a shoe before it's gone may not realize the switch from the picture in the color (black) to the one that's available (hence I have a Tory Burch nearly never worn pair of orchid hued flat with navy studs in my closet).

Absolute must have - or maybe not so much - if you're teetering, wait for the final sales, when you'll swoop in and get best buys (if there is something left in your size).

And lastly, flash sales can be addictive, someone told me she drops at least $100 every time she goes on Gilt, so try not to log on every day out of habit.

And for more insights, read today's USA Weekend article (GSNYC is mentioned!):

Thursday, May 06, 2010

Shop It To Me, Unzipped: NYC

Shop It To Me, Unzipped: NYC

Posted using ShareThis

Shop It To Me collected and analyzed data they collected on the most loved brands in NYC. They've broken down which labels are most wanted in neighborhoods throughout the Big Apple: from the Upper East Side to SOHO. It's actually kind of interesting. 

May 8, 2010: Ike & Court Trunk Sale at Barking Lizards

This Saturday, May 8 (2 - 5 p.m.), swing by BARKING LIZARDS in Williamsburg for a Mother's Day trunk show featuring Ike & Court jewelry.  Mom's day gifts range from $38 and upwards.

Take the L train to Bedford and walk along Bedford Avenue to North 4th.

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

Botkier Preview Report: Yellow Tags Hottest Items... this sample sale. "Damaged" discounted cousins ($150-$175), these samples are the best value at this expensive sale. Check the table in the back, or look for ladies holding an armload who may decide to save for a down payment on a house and put some back on the pile. Props to Botkier sales staff who posted a "no holding more than 4 handbag limit" sign.
Line started at 4:15 for a 6 p.m. VIP start. No one checked names at the door - guess everyone is a VIP these days. Discounted damaged bags will be restocked - few could be found today after a 90-minute wait to get in. Good luck to hearty souls tomorrow.
Save your soles and leave your Louboutins at home, Bring your kindle, or maybe start a novel... the wait will be long.

60 Mercer Street

~Nancy Brenner is everywhere

Botkier VIP report

Botkier from the front: VIP night with line curling around the block with more than 100 women and a few men wishing they had margaritas for what seems to be a long wait to get in. Get ready for your close up as fashion bloggers snapping pics of groups of friends hoping to bag a bargain, but wondering if they will make it in before the 8 pm close.

60 Mercer
Runs through Sunday
c/o How does she do it? Nancy Brenner

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

Report from the Front PREVIEW: Lafayette 148

Nancy Brenner braves the humidity in the name of fashion:

These deals were so sweet, it made me wish I was the size 8 sample size.

Forty dollars for a Swiss cotton sateen skirt w/golden studs that retails for $448 or a fringed tweed skirt retailing for $498 were seen at the preview of tomorrow's Lafayette 148 sample sale. Sizes range from 0 petite to 3X.  One of the best-priced sample sales of the year.

Leather jackets and skirts are $100, reduced from $698 and $595. Spotted the Mila charmeuse blouse for $35, retailing for $298, as well as the safari shirt, flower embellished cardigan, beaded tunics and other "where did you get that?" pieces. And if you are a seamstress, or know one, check out their fabulous bolts of fabric for sale too.

Ladies there IS a dressing room this year.  YAY!  

148 Lafayette Street; 9-7

Sunday, May 02, 2010

Hidden Treasures at Hester Street Fair: Report From the Front

I cruised through this spot a couple of weeks ago and was completely unmoved.  But leave it to Nancy Brenner to unearth that which should be treasured:

Open Saturdays and Sundays at Hester Street off of Essex Street, lots of booths looked like discarded junk drawers tossed on a  table and priced at whim.  Which is why one potential buyer mistook the price of a collectible Kenneth Jay Lane frog from the 70s at a $1plus change at Treasures & Pleasures.  Educated consumers and converts to collectibles will discern a fetching couture Jean Patou 1940s blue clutch from the 70s, a 50s lucite Koret handbag that evokes Fontainbleau poolside with cosmo in hand.  There was a 50s bronze beaded beauty with the original Saks tag still attached. Also spotted, Judith Lieber.  Vintage handbags and jewelry mainly from 40s through 70s.

Be prepared to splurge, as most items are $50 and up, but talk to Rafael, and mention you read the Guerilla Shopper... If you are in the market for an original Mother's Day gift, this is the spot. Prices are
lower than their uptown store at 1050 2nd Avenue (near 56th St.), Gallery 20. Check out their website at