Saks Sale and the luxury market
After an insanely busy sample sale holiday season (who can forget the hour plus lines at Diane Von Furstenberg or Alexander Wang?), sample sales have slowed to a trickle. So does that mean the New York luxury market is beginning to recover? If the insane sale currently happening at Saks Fifth Avenue is any indication, the answer is a distinct no.
The prices at Saks right now are better than we’ve seen at almost any sample sale – we’re talking last day of the Barney’s Warehouse Sale here, but with better selection and no line. Discounts regularly surpass 50-70% off original prices. Though about a quarter of the whole store seems to be on sale, the best values and selection can be found in shoes, bridge collections like Elizabeth & James, Nanette Lepore, and Marc by Marc Jacobs, and top-end luxury lines like Alexander McQueen and Ralph Lauren. (Side note: though the lingerie sale selection isn’t that great overall, Saks is getting rid of their entire Elle MacPherson stock – $25 bras!)
Shoe bargains are ridiculous: in the eighth floor serious designer shoe department, sky-high studded Fendi booties are $477 from $1195 and tortoiseshell patent leather Giuseppe Zanotti peep-toes are $197 from $495. Things get even more insane in the mid-priced shoe section: Belle by Sigerson Morrison zipper flats are just $60 (compare to $119 on RueLaLa the very same day!) and a pair of Tory Burch lobster flip-flops can be yours for just $13.
In the bridge lines section, racks and racks and racks of clothes are 30% off already deep holiday discounts: a sweet Nanette Lepore burgundy cocktail frock is $99 from $348, a nautical Marc by Marc Jacobs is an astonishing $78 from $628, and a stunning Theory leather and fur moto jacket is $650, a 40% savings from its original price of $1155. Sorry, everyone who waited in line at DVF last month: should have held out until this sale, where a sexy red wool wrap is a mere $180. In perhaps the most astonishing price in the store, a retro trompe l’oeil Z Spoke by Zac Posen dress is $32. THIRTY TWO DOLLARS!
But what about the ultra high-end designers? Though the double digit prices aren’t on display here, the discounts are just as striking: a soft grey Burberry peplum jacket is $460 from $995, a Marilyn Monroe-esque white TSE cashmere cowlneck is $271 from $680, and a pair of suede fitted cargo Ralph Lauren pants is $878 from $2198. Have a black tie event on the horizon? Don’t miss the selection of Alexander McQueen gowns: an apple-green bias cut stunner is $1195 from $2555.
Is the luxury market recovering? Despite the lack of sales this week, it doesn’t look like it. Oh well – as with everything in the past two plus years, it’s bad for business, but great for shoppers.
Leila Cohan Miccio
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