As we start counting down to the new year, let's take a moment and look back at some of the most memorable sample sales we had this year. In 2015, there were many surprises. For the first time ever, luxury brands Marc Jacobs, Chloé, Salvatore Ferragamo, Rosie Assoulin, and Versace opened their private events to the public. There were many newcomers to the party as well. Mark Cross, Charlotte Olympia, Edie Parker, Aquazzura, The Kooples, and Maje all held their inaugural New York City sample sales this year. Finally, let's not forget the opening of the C21 Edition space. The discount department store unveiled their sample sale venue and became the host to designer brands like Diptyque, Ferragamo, and Proenza Schouler. So, without further ado, here is the list of the 10 most memorable sample sales of 2015!
1. Hermès in October
The pinnacle of luxury, Hermès takes the first place crown again this year. Simply put, their October sale drew THE BIGGEST shopping crowd ever with 500+ people waiting at least eight hours to enter on opening morning. This record-breaking bargain frenzy was partly due to the sale's generous discounts. Hermès' best-selling products like scarves, neckties, and enamel bracelets were 60% off.
2. Charlotte Olympia in March
Britain's quirky footwear label debuted their first-ever NYC sample sale in spring of this year and quickly followed that up with another one just last month. Although the brand's second sale wasn't as purr-worthy, their inaugural event in March was a great bargain opportunity for feline lovers. That's because Charlotte Olympia's iconic Kitty flats were marked down to $130 and there was a healthy selection of seasonal versions available.
3. Marc Jacobs in May
Here's to another first! Marc Jacobs opened their usually private sample sale to the general public and discounts were simply astounding. With markdowns starting at 75% off, bargain seekers were able to get a taste of how privileged fashion insiders shop at exclusive invite-only sales. Unfortunately, just like Fendi in June, the company quickly reverted back to a closed-door policy when they hosted their follow-up sale in December. Will the brand change their mind again next year? Let's hope for the best in 2016.
4. Aquazzura in May
Edgardo Osorio's footwear label, Aquazzura, is fast becoming the fashion industry's name-to-know. The designer's sexy stilettos and va-va-vooom collection of shoes were discounted up to 80% off and takes fourth place as one of the most memorable sample sales of 2015. With Aquazzura opening their first US boutique next year on Madison Ave, I hope to see more of the brand's sample sales in the near future.
5. Reed Krakoff in May
Designer Reed Krakoff folded his namesake label earlier this year. So, to liquidate the brand's overstock, the company hosted a sample sale in May and invited bargain opportunists to enjoy the discount deals. The event itself wasn't anything too spectacular but regardless, it was a sad moment watching such a well-regarded label close.
6. Mark Cross in August
Longstanding American handbag label Mark Cross' first-ever sample sale was certainly a big surprise. The event was held at the tail end of summer (a.k.a. slow season) so it didn't draw as much attention as it should have. But shoppers who did manage to go were able to grab big discounts on the brand's classics like Grace Box bags, Grace clutches, Hadley satchels, Benchley shoulder bags, and Laura shoulder bags. The designer of the brand himself was on hand helping out shoppers with 1-on-1 service. How often do you get to be treated like that at a sample sale?!
7. Paul Andrew in May
This year's Paul Andrew sample sale was a treasure trove for shoeaholics. Taking place once again at the brand's Midtown corporate showroom, the luxury footwear label offered prices as low as $50~$225 on the designer's well-crafted shoes. The only downside was that the sale didn't carry a wide range of sizes.
8. Chloé in May
Fans of Chloé were given a rare chance to shop the Parisian fashion house's designer goods in May. Unsurprisingly, the sale created quite the shopping frenzy inside with bargain hunters aggressively preying on discounted handbags, accessories, and RTW. Although the markdowns on opening day didn't quite meet my expectations, thankfully, shoppers were treated to additional discounts on the final day.
9. Gucci in October
When the dates for this year's Gucci F&F sale were announced, many had hoped the Italian brand would be gracious enough to open their doors to the public in order to clear out all of their pre-Alessandro Michele inventory. Sadly, that didn't happen. Shoppers who were lucky enough to get invited though were able to snag discounts of up to 95% off.
10. Versace in October
Thanks to a tipster who shared the deets to this year's Versace sample sale, many readers were able to get inside the Italian fashion house's employee sale at their corporate office. Prices started at $20 and the inventory included Versace's atelier couture gowns for only $500. On the final day, everything was reduced by half and the men's merchandise was completely wiped out by a single shopper.
This concludes my list of the 10 most memorable sample sales of 2015. I would like to give a special thank you to all my fellow Mizhattanites who emailed in and shared sale scoops with me this year. Because of your generous contributions, Mizhattan is becoming a better and more enjoyable shopping community. I am very grateful to you all for your help and support! Thank you so much from the bottom of my heart.