Out of the 121 sample sales that I checked out and reviewed this year, there were some good, some bad, and some that were downright ugly. From yearly pandemoniums like Diptyque and Hermès to notable newcomers like Cire Trudon and Mac Cosmetics (and let's not forget the welcome return of Alexander Wang and DVF), 2016 was filled with commotion and surprises. Want to see who else made the list this year? Here is Mizhattan's Year in Review: The 10 Most Memorable Sample Sales of 2016.
1. Hermès in October
The queen of all sample sales takes the crown again this year. This time it wasn't because the sale offered remarkable merch (which they didn't) but rather for another record-breaking turnout. On the eve of opening day, more than 650 shoppers camped outside the sale despite the discouraging early word from VIPs. With such a long queue, many had to wait well over 8 hours to set foot inside. There's no doubt the Hermès sale is the be-all and end-all in terms of sample sales but it's sad to see this New York shopping treasure becoming more and more of a headache and havoc for all Hermès lovers.
2. Diptyque in February
We have a handful of scented candle sample sales here in NYC but none of them can compete with Diptyque when it comes to popularity and anticipation. With an endless line of shoppers braving the bitter February cold, this year's Diptyque shopathon proved once again how much NYers adore the brand and are willing to endure a lot to get their hands on some candles.
3. MAC Cosmetics in July
Beauty sample sales can often create frenzy amongst cosmetic connoisseurs but the first-ever MAC Cosmetics sale completely threw me off guard. Under the scorching July sun, well over 500 shoppers (the record-breaking turnout for an event held at the Metropolitan Pavilion) waited in line for hours on opening day just so they can be compensated with 60% off deals.
4. Alexander Wang in November
After a two year hiatus, the prince of downtown chic charmed his way back into the hearts of sample sale shoppers. Despite the long absence, prices thankfully did not go up. Alexander Wang's sought-after bags like Rocco, Brenda, Emile, Diego, and more were generously marked down to under $300.
5. Marc Jacobs in November
Just like an on & off switch, the back and forth between invite-only and open-to-the-public rages on at Marc Jacobs. Thankfully for 2016 the brand welcomed in the public and prices were more than impressive, too. Shoppers who attended the sale fully took advantage of the $250 & under offerings as well as the rare to find deals on beauty products.
6. Lanvin in June
C21 was on the quiet side this fall sample sale season but in the spring the downtown venue was rocking with big name brands like Lanvin. It was the French house's first-ever public sale and markdowns did not disappoint. Ready-to-wear, bags, shoes, accessories, and children's goods were 80~90% off.
7. Dolce & Gabba in October
Soiffer Haskin is known for higher pricing when compared to other sample sale hosts but this October's Dolce & Gabbana event took everyone by surprise. With markdowns of 80~90% off on the Italian brand's past season collections, shoppers indulged in a taste of dolce delight.
8. DVF in May
DVF, a longstanding sample sale staple, took a two year break from the bargain shopping scene and it was great to have them back this year. Their comeback party allured back fans with the same spectacular prices and a diverse selection of the brand's signature prints.
9. Gucci in October
Now that Gucci is hot again, you can imagine how desperate bargain seekers are to get inside the brand's exclusive sales. Sadly, this year's private event never saw a public opening, but those who were lucky enough to score an invite were treated to incredible discounts--word has it, all leather bags were only $300.
10. Cire Trudon in November
Surprisingly, the first-ever Cire Trudon sample sale did not attract as much of a crowd as anticipated but discount hunters who know a thing or two about scented candles definitely appreciated this rare bargain opportunity. Markdowns started at half off on the first day but eventually prices dropped several times towards the end.