Feb 17, 2011

*SALE HUNT* Barneys Warehouse Bargain Blowout

On this relatively warm Thursday morning, I arrived at the Barneys Warehouse Sale full of caffeine and ready to shop designer labels at 50%~75% off. The bi-annual Barneys Warehouse sale always ranks near the top when it comes to near-apocalyptic chaos, so with a deep breath, let the madness begin!

When I arrived at the location at 7:00am, the line was a measly 15 people. As it got closer to opening, the queue had unsurprisingly grown exponentially--making its way towards the corner of 17th & 7th. Employees started preparing themselves for the impending havoc. In fact, I overheard one of the supervisors giving last minute advice about crowd control. At exactly 8am, the first group of shoppers were greeted with a warm "Thank you for coming" and allowed to enter.

What is it about shoes (on sale) that drive women uncontrollably wild? Is it the sale? The shoes? Mob mentality? A combination of all three? My bet is on the latter. Well, as soon as I walked in, employees started handing out trash bags and the race to see who can stuff the MOST into these flimsy plastic bags began. Just picture a mob of appendages flailing about amongst racks of stilettos, flats, platforms, and boots. Pure bedlam. Now that you get the mood, let's answer the question that everyone wants to know. What was available? Like my last visit in August, why don't I start with Lanvin. A pair of patent sandals from their S/S 2009 collection were $367.83 (originally $915) and the mother of all ballet flats in camel (5th photo below) were $199 (originally $500). Nicholas Kirkwood for Rodarte sandals (6th photo below) were $619 (originally $1,640), while Manolo-esque oxford sandals from the Barneys Co–op label were $149 (originally $375). I also found Manolo Blahnik ankle boots in black suede priced $479 (originally $1,195). I did not spot many Louboutins this time, just in case you were wondering.

A huge change from the last Barneys Warehouse sale was the relocation of womenswears to the lower level (ex-menwear section). In addition, there is now a rather large private fitting area (yay!) so there is no need to feel uncomfortable undressing amongst the shoppers. Another personal yay! was seeing a section of Celine RTWs. Being a huge fan of Phoebe Philo, my heart leapt with joy when I saw a pair of cigarette pants (15th photo below) priced $279, a silk blouse in creme hue (16th photo below) priced $819, and a feather weight knit top (priced $459)--all in my size! The newly organized lower level women's section was divided into designer collections, contemporary labels, denim, and accessories. Amongst the overstuffed racks, I managed to spot a beautiful Christopher Kane beaded dress (14th photo below) that was $2,179 (originally $5,440) and a sophisticated Giambattista Valli dress (9th photo below) priced $949 (originally $2,380). Summery Marni floral dresses were $299 (originally $740), a Miu Miu dress (18th photo below) was $869 (originally $2,165), a Nina Ricci delicate silk dress was $1,199, and a tiered leather Nina Ricci skirt (11th photo below) was $2,119 (originally $3,169). The women's accessory section was less than impressive. Although I found two Alaia mini totes & a few Bottega Veneta clutches, there really wasn't anything spectacular.

For my final notes, I will say this. It's a fact that Barneys always slashes prices as the sale progresses. So it's wise to check back once or twice before Sunday, March 6th to snag a few more deals. I would also like to mention how amazing the Barneys employees were. They've tried their best to take this chaotic madness and make it into a pleasurable experience for all shoppers. Kudos to all of them!

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