Sep 22, 2011

*SAMPLE SALE* Hordes Return to Hermès

The Hermès sample sale has returned to Soiffer Haskin yet again, and lots of Hermès-philes eagerly braved an insanely long line to get in. I will get into details in just a minute, but to sum it up in one word, it was CHAOS a DISAPPOINTMENT. This season's Hermès sample sale had far far less variety & inventory compared to any other Hermès sample sale in the past. So was there anything to look forward to this year? Well, let's find out!

The fact of matter is, ever since Soiffer Haskins took over the biannual Hermès sale last year, many people have been complaining about how there's been a significant downgrade to the merchandise compared to when it was held at the Metropolitan Pavilion. Lack of inventory (the coveted handbag section is now almost non-existent) and less bargains have hit the Hermès-loving crowd hard. If you are a long time reader of Mizhattan, you may already be familiar with my personal adoration for this luxe brand. Whenever I announce the dates of Hermès sales, it's usually wwaaay in advance. In addition, I publish 3 separate on-site reports about the sale. But today, there will only be this single article. Why? Because the sale was a complete letdown.

I started my search in the scarf section which is located smack in the middle of the room. There were only about 5~7 different styles and the price was $231 per scarf. And here comes the shocker, only a SINGLE scarf was allowed per customer. Due to the anemic stock, gone are the days of 10 per customer. The men's tie section, which was located opposite of the scarves, was thankfully abundant with many variety of colors & patterns. Twill ties were priced $111 (originally $185) and 10 items were permitted per customer. The most popular section, Hermès enamel bangles, was also prohibiting customers from purchasing more than one item. Since the majority of shoppers were gathered in this area, there were 5 dedicated security personnel hawkeye-ing busy shoppers. Enamel PMs were $230 while GMs were $260. Prices didn't seem to change dramatically from the last sale.

The shoe section was surprisingly more crowded than ever before. Ankle boots & knee highs were placed on a huge table next to the shoe racks. Women's shoe sizes ranged from 35~42 while men's ranged from 39~47. In the women's section, I spotted black pumps in suede for $516, fur trimmed sandals for $810, patent oxfords in black for $765, ballet flats in black suede for $564, leather platform booties for $960, and kitten heeled knee–high boots for $1,050. As I already mentioned, the handbag section was almost non–existent with only about 10 Garden File totes and several wacky luggages in vintage style (14th photo below).

Moving to the accessory & small leather goods section, I found it was noticeably meager in stock as well. A few leather belts (75cm~110cm) & 3 pairs of leather gloves caught my eye, while other accessories such as hats, blankets, and equestrian pieces were located all the way in the back with not many shoppers browsing the area. The only glimmer of hope is for those looking to spruce up their tableware. I found a great selection of china & crystal (hooray?).

As you can clearly see by now, this sample sale wasn't able to hold a candle to previous events. To be honest, most items that I saw were leftovers from past sales (especially the enamel bangles & scarf section). I know many die-hard Hermès shoppers had to wake up bright and early (some as early as 5am) to be part of this biannual frenzy. But today's opening day almost seemed as if it was the last day of mega crazy sale with only scraps remaining. To make matters worse, I asked 2 employees whether they will be replenishing. Both sadly confirmed that there will not be. As much as I adore the brand, I just can't write anything good about today's sale. Guess I'll be saving my money for the next one in spring. See you then!!

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