Savvy Says: Part II
The second series interview with Savvy & Co. CEO and President Ann Taylor examines her robust knowledge of sample sales.0
Savvy & Co. President and CEO Ann Taylor knows sample sales; as she should. The 13 year fashion industry veteran remembers the start of sample sales in the early eighties. Sample sales, a Manhattan brainchild of an idea, started as a way for the “have nots” to sample designer goods hoping to wet their appetite to purchase items largely out of their budgetary reach.
How was the L.A.M.B. / Harajuku Girls sale in L.A. last week?
It went over really well. Gwen Stefani has a strong following on the West Coast, so it was a no brainer.
How does L.A. compare to New York in terms of sample sales?
L.A. is probably fifteen years behind New York in regards to sample sale scope, size and frequency. New York was the original sample sale city. Sample sales started here around 1982…1983. And for the most part, sample sales have remained unique to New York.
Because garments were manufactured in New York, designers lived in New York, it held the market. Even consumers who couldn’t afford retail prices where familiar with the designers. The demand was there. Especially in the late eighties and early nineties, there was a such a surplus that designers needed a way to unload a previous season’s product.
When did you start Savvy & Co.?
In 1997. I’ve been in the industry for twenty years and had this company for thirteen.
How have sample sales changed since then?
With the emergence of online private sample sales like those you find at Gilt.com, and the popularity of sample sales in general, there is more competition for product. In the past few years, especially in the recession, designers are making less product, but more consumers wanted to purchase from sample sales. So the demand continues to exceed the product.
Will other cities start to see an increase in sample sales?
L.A. yes. More designers are living and and working in L.A. and the fashion community there has become familiar with the concept of the sample sale. Other cities, possibly, but a successful sample sale requires working closely with the designer and having the market for it. New York will always be the sample sale leader.
Savvy & Co. continues to be the New York City leader in brick and mortar sample sales, carefully selecting the most premier designers. For more information on designers they are working with and upcoming sales, visit www.thesavvy.com.
Written and edited by Emma Dinzebach
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