Savvy Says: Part I

Savvy & Co. owner and president Ann Taylor talks to Daily Vogue about the market for sample sales, inflation and west coast sample sales.

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10 August 2010

Ann Taylor is the distinguished owner and president of Savvy & Co., an online and in-house sample sale destination. Like other sample sale sites, Savvy works directly with designers to provide discounted apparel and accessories so the average Josephine can live in the lap of luxury. Just before this weekend’s first ever L.A.M.B. and Harajuku Lovers L.A. Sample Sale, we sat down to ask Ann her thoughts on the future of sample sales.

SavvyWhat’s Savvy’s mission?

I started this company because I wanted to every woman to have a fabulous wardrobe at affordable prices.

Do you work directly with designers?

Yes, it has always been that way.

Countless surveys say despite the rise of online private sales, people still prefer brick and mortar sample sales. What’s your experience?

There are obviously pluses and minuses and fans of both. In my experience, people enjoy trying it on, knowing whether or not it is going to fit. It’s different if it’s an accessory over clothing, but if you’ve ordered something and you can’t try it on, it’s a hassle to return it.

Can they return items from a sample sale?

We only do in-house sales and for in-house sample sales the rule of thumb is no returns. If someone gets home and has picked up the wrong size or something and is on key, I will make an exception. We’ve all made mistakes. I want people to be happy with their purchases.

WWD reported last week that “apparel inflation” will certainly rise next year. How will this affect the future of sample sales?

That’s only going to help the sample sale business because people won’t want to pay full retail cost. Designers margins shifted a great deal when China became a main producer of apparel, but then they had different things to deal with like department store chargebacks. There will always be something.

Tomorrow you’re having the L.A.M.B. Harajuku girls sample sale in L.A. Why this label?

L.A. is a different feel than New York. We did a Furla sample sale in L.A. February and it didn’t go over as well because Furla is a bit more conservative brand. We are confident this time is going to be different. Followers of Gwen Stefani buy these for their collection and they are in L.A.

Ann went onto explain that New York paved the way for sample sales in the early eighties and L.A.’s participation has been spotty and slow to merge. Sample sales will also be characteristic of New York, but designers and designer outlets like Savvy & Co. are increasingly reaching out to the west coast. For more information on the L.A.M.B. Harajuku Girls L.A. Sample Sale, visit http://www.thestylishcity.com/lamb-harajuku-lovers-sample-sale-2  and to learn more about the sample sale business, see Savvy Says Part 2 next week.

Emma Dinzebach


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Posted by Emma Dinzebach at 11:00 PM
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