Aug 21, 2014

*SALE HUNT* Blah Blah Barneys

Just like many bargain-loving New Yorkers, I have a love-hate relationship with the Barneys Warehouse Sale. I've been attending this iconic shopping event ever since I can remember, and as any long-term relationship goes, there were many many many ups and downs. Sadly, my love affair with BWS has waned tremendously in the past few years. So when I first heard that the sale was making a comeback after a year and a half absence (for womenswear at least), I'm not gonna lie, my heart started to race again with excitement. So, what can a lovelorn gal do but get up bright and early this morning and hop on a taxi down to Chelsea.

When I arrived at 7:00am, there were a little over 35 shoppers waiting in line. After checking a few emails and playing around on my phone, it had neared opening time and the queue grew to 120+ people. At 8am on the dot, Barneys let shoppers in. Anticipating seeing a old flame once again, I was nervous.

The first thing that caught my eye were handbags. Seeing boxes upon boxes of leather goods brought an instant smile to my face. But instead of Lanvin shoulder bags or Proenza Schouler totes, like the good old days, there were clutches and satchels from contemporary labels like Rebecca Minkoff, Marc by Marc Jacobs, and Deux Lux. Markdowns on handbags weren't that impressive either with prices ranging from $100 to $600. My smile was gone as quickly as it appeared.

My next stop was at the shoe racks situated near the back wall. Sizes were available from 5 to 11 and I spotted several high-end brands like Alaïa, Manolo Blahnik, Tabitha Simmons, Nina Ricci, Giuseppe Zanotti, and Gianvito Rossi. It was a minor yet insignificant redemption for Barneys. As for prices, a pair of Zanotti strappy sandals were $239 (originally $795), Balenciaga pink sandals were $269 (originally $665), Tabitha Simmons perforated sandals were $509 (originally $1,695), Dries van Noten embellished silver sandals were $399 (originally $1,170), Nina Ricci pink satin heels were $159 (originally $745), and Alaïa animal print pumps were $649 (originally $1,535).

The women's RTW section was conclusive proof this sale isn't what it used to be. Most of the women's apparel were from the department store's own Barneys New York label. I did spot a very few brands like Rag & Bone, Helmut Lang, J Brand, ALC, Acne Studios, and Joie mixed in here and there, but I would say 90% of the merchandise was Barneys New York. Regarding sizes, today's assortment ranged from XS (0) to XL (12). I should also mention there were about 5 bridal gowns tagged for under $2,200 from Vera Wang. Veils were priced under $100 from an unknown designer.

Like womenswear, men's RTW was nearly all from Barneys' in-house line. Near the entrance, there were three long tables upon which cardboard boxes were filled with dress shirts of all different kinds of designs. Sizes were between 14.5 and 18. Adjacent to the shirts were two tables of ties and a table of scarves/mufflers. Men's blazers and jackets were available from 36S to 50R while suits (mostly in dark tones) were available from 36S to 50L. As for bottoms, dress pants were available from 30 to 44 while jeans (in a multitude of colors) were available from 28 to 38. Men's shoes were right next to women's shoes and sizes were between 7 and 13. Again, most of the footwear was from the department store's catalogue.

A few final tidbits that don't fit anywhere else. First, there was a curtained fitting room for both sexes at the back of the venue. Next, I found a small selection of houseware products situated near the shoes racks. And finally, in a dark corner near men's ties was a hodgepodge of briefcases, weekend bags, carry-on bags, and luggage cases.

Well, it's official. After checking out today's Barneys Warehouse Sale, my relationship with this once epic sale is no more. I don't recommend it to anyone. If you plan on attending, I highly suggest you reconsider.


  1. Hahaha, Great Post. I know exactly who you were this morning :)

  2. Spot on couldn't agree more

  3. Thank you Miz for saving me a trip. You're the best!

  4. You are a timesaver! Thank you.

  5. so disappointing. remember back in the day?

  6. Thanks so much for the write-up! You've saved me the time I would have spent trekking to this sale tomorrow. I was interested in handbags, but the labels you list and the pictures you provide have convinced me this is a pass.

  7. Thanks for the report! Are there any home goods and kids' clothes at the sale? Thanks!

  8. I'm so happy you are all dumb enough to wait for this sale instead of going to the 75% off end-of-season Barneys sale where all the top designers are. More for me!

    1. What's it like to be you, OP? Instead of graciously giving your words of wisdom and be lauded for it, you decided it was better to be sarcastic, snide, and snarky.

  9. Was that really necessary? Unlike the store 75% off - this sale use to be much better then any store sale Barneys held. Loubie boots for $150 - which one would never find at the store sale - I even scored Chanel flats for $100 - the top tier labels - Chanel, Hermes, Loubie have ever been only 65% off at the store sale but could be found at the barneys sample sale for up to 90% off if you were lucky. We who do know - know it was once worth the wait and trip and of course hold out hope it will once again.


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