Leila Cohan-Miccio

15 July 2011

If historical precedence stands, the Barney’s Warehouse Sale will begin its run of markdowns in just about a month. While we’ve made some killer finds at the BWS in the past (hello, $18 Diane Von Furstenberg skirt!), in recent years, it’s turned into a nightmare: long lines at even the most off of hours, selections wiped out by the last week, and, frankly, markdowns that just aren’t what they used to be. So that’s the bad news. Here’s the good news: with all the hype about the BWS, everyone’s sleeping on the regular Barneys Co-Op Summer Sale – and the bargains there are sensational.

Barney's Warehouse SaleWe dropped into the Chelsea Co-Op yesterday. Where the aisles will soon be crowded with bargain-hunters in various states of undress, yesterday, they were almost empty. The sale selection isn’t vast – most of the store is still full price – but it’s better than you might expect. Markdowns go as low as 75% off and, while they don’t hit the bargain basement prices of the last day of the BWS, they’re comparable to what you’d find during the first week. We spotted a beyond-the-pale hot black lace with nude underlay Rag and Bone minidress for $199 from an original price of $495. Feeling a bit more demure? Pick up a perfectly ladylike true blue dress by Beyond Vintage for Barneys for just $139 (quite the savings from the original $340).

The summer sale even has BWS’ off-season finds covered – witness a grey fleece James Pearse dress ($139 from $225). An oatmeal colored moto cardi with shredded sleeves by Rodarte for Barneys ($158 from $398) will take you chicly into fall, as would an always-classic tres French super-thin striped sweater by Ever ($78 from $128). In the meantime, top your shorts with a lace-embellished tank by Gemma for Barneys ($69 from $128), sweet in cream or shocking in pink. The find of the sale, however, has got to be a macrame-esque Rag and Bone mini, a total statement piece at just $288 from $725. Sure, prices might be a skosh lower at the BWS, but it’s not a guarantee. What is a guarantee: if you wait for the big sale, you’ll be waiting in some big lines. Why not just go now?

WHEN: Ongoing, M-F (10-8), Sat (10-7), Sun (11-6)

WHERE: 660 Madison Avenue

By Leila Cohan-Miccio 

Posted by Leila Cohan-Miccio at 01:35 PM
bargain news , Places , Sample Sale Reviews , SHOPPING , Stores , The City |

15 April 2011

As anyone who’s ever watched an episode of The Rachel Zoe Show (or, god forbid, tried to call a fashion house themselves) knows, basic kindness is a hard What Happened to Nice?thing to come by in the world of fashion. We can’t help but wonder why. Is the trend toward mean a reflection of how tough the business is or is it all about status?

On the one hand, it’s not hard to see why fashionistas have to develop a thick skin. The ratio of fashion jobs to fashion enthusiasts is skewed in a way that makes for a lot of competition. This means that, much like cliche reality show contestants, most fashion industry folks are not here to make friends. They’re here to get ahead, and sometimes the best way to do that is to keep those at your level or below down while desperately trying to get in with those ahead of you. A word of caution, though – someday, those people you trampled on will be the people whose favor you want to curry, and everyone remembers a slight.

There’s also a less generous hypothesis for the unkindness running rampant in the industry: fashion is a high-status industry, peddling expensive goods everyone wants. Just like restaurants, which are often dreadful if they don’t need to be good because of location, fashion folks don’t have to be nice. People will still buy a top-brand bag, even if their salespeople are rude.

Evidence suggests, however, that even when rudeness doesn’t hurt, being kind might get you even further. In their book The Power of Nice: How to Conquer the Business World with Kindness, Linda Kaplan Thaler and Robin Koval discuss how their own brand of friendliness helped them rise to the top of the advertising world. We know a few fashionistas who should strongly consider giving it a read.

Leila Cohan-Miccio

Posted by Leila Cohan-Miccio at 02:18 AM
bargain news , Points of View , Relationships |

25 March 2011

20 is the new 12I recently got food poisoning and, in the throes of despair, I began to wonder if I needed to go to the hospital. So I did the first thing that popped into my head: I called my mom, told her what was going on, and asked her to tell me what to do. She calmed me down, but once I recovered, the whole incident had me thinking – at 27, shouldn’t I be old enough to stop calling my mom every time I have a problem?

And I don’t even live at home, as plenty of my friends do. At our age, most of our parents were married with children, working at the same careers they have now. They were independent adults, who probably just called their parents to say hi, not to unleash a litany of life problems and ask for advice and/or money. Are we just feckless? Sometimes it sure feels that way.

On the other hand, our parents had it a lot easier in some ways. No one, for example, was asking them to do skilled work for free under the guise of an “internship.” Housing prices hadn’t yet skyrocketed. The societal pressure to get married and start a family meant it was easier to find a life partner who was willing to commit. Come to think of it, all my friends who live at home aren’t doing it for funsies, but because the current economy is terrible, jobs are few and far between, and, somehow, living at home has become the responsible adult decision, even if responsible adulthood looks very different than once it did.

Maybe our thirties will be like our parents’ twenties.

Leila Cohan-Miccio 

Posted by Leila Cohan-Miccio at 02:01 AM
bargain news , Points of View , Relationships |

12 March 2011

What's the Right Timing for a Relationship?A friend called me the other day to let me know that she’s engaged…to her girlfriend of six months. The next day, another friend told me that she and the man she’s been dating since October are planning a move across the country together. My instinct is to worry about these relationships, but am I being unfair? How soon is too soon?

I strongly suspected my now-husband was the man I wanted to spend my life with early on in our relationship, but I was gun-shy. I quietly freaked out when he suggested moving in a year after we started dating, and I almost had a panic attack on our second anniversary, when he kept rubbing my ring finger. (I was, of course, nothing but delighted when he actually proposed a year later.) For me, waiting seemed like a prudent course of action. I knew I loved him, but I had trouble seeing the rush.

My fast-moving friends would likely call this overly cautious. “When you know,” they say, with eyes gleaming, “you just know.” Maybe so, but what’s the harm of a little time to make sure? The first few months of a relationship should be nothing but love and bliss, but often, that fades quickly within a year. To put it another way: I’ve never spent those first blissful weeks and months of dating someone new thinking we were going to break up and, nine times out of ten, we did. Waiting: there’s nothing wrong with it.

Leila Cohan-Miccio 

Posted by Leila Cohan-Miccio at 10:13 AM
bargain news , Points of View , Relationships |

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