Even in 100 plus degree weather, I cannot decline an invitation to a sample sale. My friend Jake- an associate at Opening Ceremony- graciously placed my name on a “Friends and Family” list, which gave me exclusive access to the Opening Ceremony sample sale, which began last Thursday. Amid the awful humidity- anyone who was in New York this this past weekend knows what I am referring to- I slipped on a tank and my shortest shorts, and headed to the Chinatown-adjacent warehouse where the sale transpired. It took me a while to find the 8,156 square foot rentable retail space, but when I finally walked in I was awed at the lofty 18 foot tall ceilings, the stylish cashiers sitting behind portable card tables and makeshift cash registrars, the frantic shoppers scouring racks. Most importantly, I was astonished at the array of clothing.
The merchandise was organized into men’s apparel, women’s apparel, shoes and accessories. I was glad that I wore such an easily removable outfit, as I watched girls peel off all their clothing in the middle of the chaos because the sale lacked dressing rooms. The racks were jammed with clothes by Alexander Wang, Acne, Terrill, Nathan Shahani, Cacharel, Rachel Comey, Jeremy Scott, Proenza Schouler, Opening Ceremony-of course- and much more. After working only a few days at the sale, Jake has managed to snag a pair of suede leather Acne boots, a pair of neon orange tennis shoes made by keds for Opening Ceremony, a couple of Sophomore t-shirts, a grey wool-cashmere blend sweater also by Acne, a Maui and Sons bathing suit and a pair of Opening Ceremony tailored navy and grey shorts. Jake also reports that some favorites among the female shoppers included the Opening Ceremony “Ruffle Dress” in red and the KTZ’s “Black Faux Fur Coat Dress”. Plus, he told me that “all of the OC girls bought the Maui and Sons tanks,” which were arranged by size in cardboard boxes. In the end, I walked away empty handed, but I was certainly the minority.
I offer you some tips for surviving a New York sample sale:
1. Don’t put too many eggs in your basket: Unlike your experience at Barneys, nobody will help you gather your garments throughout your browsing experience. It’s all on you. Unless you have arms of steel, don’t pick up anything that you find semi-decent. If you do, the next day you will be very sore.
2. Wear your spandex, your bike shorts, your sports bra: Avoid wearing revealing undergarments because usually you will not be offered a dressing room. Be ready to bare all in public, or cover up first.
3. Patience, patience, patience: I guarantee you will come across the anxious shopper; he or she who elbows you away from your desired rack, who pushes all of the clothes hangers in mass towards the opposite direction to which you are browsing.
4. Bring cash!: Credit card minimums are a blow. Especially if you cannot reenter the sale, and usually there is not an ATM on site.
5. Bargain away!
(Images: Opening Ceremony)