Friday, July 31, 2009

Space NK beauty sale


Label: Space NK
Deal: 50-75% off discontinued and current beauty brands
When/Where: Thursday, July 30th through Saturday, August 1st. Daily 8am—9pm. Soho: 99 Greene St between Prince and Spring Sts (212-941-4200). Upper West Side: 217 Columbus Avenue between 69th and 70th Sts (212-362-2840).

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If you are a fan of LeSportsac, head over to their warehouse-sale-like website with remnant inventory discounted from 25-75% off (most of it looks like 50% off). Everything is final sale, but shipping is free! Considering it is slightly ridiculously high via, this is a nice bonus.

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Thursday, July 30, 2009

Sephora V.I.B.

I am officially a Very Important Beauty insider! To be honest, the point system was working for me (I like being recognized for my financial contributions), even though the deluxe samples are sometimes crappy. To get into the V.I.B.(i.) program, you need to spend $350+ over a calendar year, which, unfortunately isn't too difficult for me. I actually ban myself from entering a Sephora unless absolutely necessary. It's near impossible for me to leave without at least 2 extra unplanned goodies and $75 less in my bank account.

Case in point: two weeks ago, I decided to go in for more Fiberwig mascara and Fresh Soda shampoo. That was it, and I felt pretty confident that I could avoid any landmines. Oh, I was wrong. I got my mascara ($22), what do you know, they also make a new mini mascara for lower lashes ($15). Well since I am a devotee of the regular mascara, I
had to try it. The store was out of the Fresh Soda shampoo, but in looking for it I discovered Fresh's new Sugar Blossom hand wash ($28). I love that scent! So the hand wash went in the basket. On my way to the register, I noticed they have my cotton pads in stock (a rarity)! Two packages of Shiseido cotton pads went in the basket (2 x $9.50). By the time I reached the counter, I dumped out $84 worth of products. AND that was because I refused to make eye-contact with the display of new beauty gadgets. (Although they get me with that every F&F. In 2008 it was the Clarisonic, in 2007 it was the Zeno, in 2006 the GHD IV. Damn you, Sephora!)

So, if you spent over $350 last year, check your email. Their first gift to you is a unique 10% off coupon valid through Monday, Aug 31!

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Kenneth Cole summer sale

Starting today in-stores, online, and even at the outlets, Kenneth Cole is doing their summer markdown.

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Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Equinox Greenwich Ave shop 20% off

I received this email yesterday, and while I know the shop is open to everyone, I'm not sure if this promotion works for non-members. I don't see why not, but before you lug a bag of old sweatpants over, I would probably give them a call. This may or may not also apply to other Equinox shops too. Ends Friday, Jul 31.

Dear Tina,

I want to remind you that there are only a few days left to take advantage of our special offer at The Shop. Until July 31st, bring in your gently used performance wear for donation to local charities and you'll receive 20% off your purchase.

Let freedom bring, and give back to your community.

In good health,
Shop Manager
Equinox Greenwich

... more 30% off has a code for 30% off regular-priced goods. Use code "ENDLESS30" through tomorrow, Thursday, Jul 30.

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Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Sex And The City 2 casting call for extras

Go glammed up and prepared to impress. They are looking for 'fashionistas and chic New Yorkers', so of course I thought I'd share!

If you've ever wanted to be in a movie (while looking gorgeous, no thank you, mud wrestling and fake blood), you need to take off work next Tuesday. Sex And The City 2 is having an open casting call for (and this is copy/paste) "Fashion Models, Celebrity types, Upscale socialites, Urban Club goers, Gays and Lesbians, International types (Middle Eastern, Arabic, Asian, European, British), Professional Soccer Players". Hmm, how do you land a spot as an "International Type"? Should you show up with a soccer ball to prove you are a soccer player?

What: Grant Wilfley Casting's Sex And The City 2 movie open call
When: Tuesday, Aug 4; Screen Actors Guild members: 10AM-12:30PM, non-SAG: 1:30-4PM
Where: Metropolitan Pavilion, 125 W 18th St (btw 6/7th Ave)

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Sunday, July 26, 2009

Neiman Marcus +25% off Last Call sale

Neiman Marcus is taking an extra 25% off certain sale items until Tuesday, Jul 28.

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Satya Jewelry sample sale

Satya is doing a short and sweet sample sale. Cute simple pieces at great prices! Ends Tuesday, Jul 28.

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Friday, July 24, 2009

Singapore Airlines fall sale

Singapore Airlines is at it again. If you need to make your way to India, Japan, or Southeast Asia for Thanksgiving, you may want to check the prices of fares out of SFO, LAX, JFK, or Houston. Prices are definitely increased from their summer sale, but probably still cheaper than you'd find on Expedia. $473 to Tokyo?!!? Must book by Friday, Aug 8 for travel starting Tuesday, Sep 1 - Monday, Nov 30.

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Thursday, July 23, 2009

CoSTUME NATIONAL friends and family

Get excited and go to Soho. Costume National is having their F&F event starting Friday. Mens and womens SS will be 75% off (pretty much everything).

What: Costume National F&F
When: Friday, Jul 24 - Saturday, Jul 25; 11AM-7PM
Where: 160 Mercer St (btw Houston/Prince); 212-431-1530

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Anya Hindmarch sale now 50%

Anya Hindmarch's sale merchandise has hit 50%, both in-stores and online.

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Bloomingdale's end-of-summer sale

Bloomingdale's is doing end-of-summer sale-ing both online and in-stores. Their online link seems to be broken right now, though. Ends Sunday, Jul 26.

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Tory Burch private sale

Tory Burch has started her private sale! You'll need to enter your email address to get in.

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Piperlime +20% off sale

Today only, use code "JUST4U" and take an extra 20% off the sale goodies at Piperlime.

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Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Inhabit end-of-season sale

Ladies and Gentlemen, please let me direct your attention to Inhabit's end-of-season sale going on now. The prices are 60+% off. Seriously. Cute viscose/cashmere sleeveless top: $58.

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Wearhouse warehouse/clearance sale, Long Island

Update: New flyer gets you 40% off, so be sure to have a copy of it!

If you have a car, you might want to find your keys... Print out the flyer to get an extra 15% off!

Wearhouse Department Store - Summer Sale Up To 80% Off

Wearhouse Department Store is having their major end-of-year spring/summer clearance sale. Save up to 80% off retail with an additional 15% off with a copy of this flyer.

Designers featured will include Valentino R.E.D, M Missoni, See by Chloe, Marchesa Notte, Anna Molinari, and many more. Look for a large selection of dresses, sportswear, outerwear, handbags, and accessories. Also, look for brand new fall 09' arrivals.
What: Wearhouse warehouse sale
When: Sunday, Jul 19 - Thursday, Jul 23; 9:30AM-6:30PM daily

Where: 99 Middle Neck Rd; Great Neck, NY 11021; 516-466-6969

Cash or CC.

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ShopBop +20% off sale

ShopBop has a code for an additional 20% off all sale! Hurrah! Use code "SAVE20" until the end of Thursday, Jul 23.

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C&C California luxe club one codes

Luxe Club One is running another C&C California promotion. You can only use 1 code per order, so you may need to place 2! End date unknown.

- Use code "LUXECALI50" to take 50% off all regular merchandise, and
- Use code "LUXECALI30" to take an additional 30% off all sale.
*Offer excludes dresses which are already on sale for $49

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Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Doo.Ri sample sale

I admit, I have yet to acquire a Doo.Ri piece, but perhaps the time has come. At the sample sale this week, dresses will be $200-450, tops will be $100-250, pants/skirts priced $125-300, and shoes and knits <$100. There will even be gowns <$1000!

What: Doo.Ri sample sale
When: Thursday, Jul 23 - Friday, Jul 24; 9AM-6PM
Where: 39 W 38th St

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Saks gift card event

Feeling spendy? Is there a new FW bag making eyes at you? Heed the siren song and get a gift card for your troubles from Saks. To shop online, use code "JULY9" and get a gift card ranging from $25-450, depending on your total bill. Pre-orders and (favorite) designers* excluded. Ends Thursday, Jul 23.
*Prada, Gucci, Zegna, Brioni, David Yurman jewelry, Christian Louboutin shoes, Dior handbags, Fendi women's apparel and handbags, Oscar de la Renta women's apparel, Jimmy Choo, Akris, Etro, Maison Martin Margiela, and Charvet (additional in-store designer exclusions apply)... Which probably includes Balenciaga, YSL shoes, and Chanel. I don't see Manolos on this list though!

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Banana Republic 30% off work essentials

I've watched Banana Republic morph through the years. A little around 10 years ago, during my high school/college days (god I sound old!), BR was probably 80% of my closet (the other 20% was Kenneth Cole). I remember that yes, it was pricey (for me), but the quality was excellent. I can clearly recall shelling out $35 for cotton tops and $59 shorts and keeping them for 2+ years. I splurged big-time on a $199 linen dress that still hangs in my closet. Somewhere near 1999/2000, though, I felt like the whole world 'caught on' to my BR secret. Alas, I don't buy much there anymore, but I will always be a big fan of their can't-go-wrong work staples: blouses, cotton button-downs, and pretty durable pants for not Thomas Pink prices. Especially at 30% off! Ends Sunday, Jul 26.

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Monday, July 20, 2009

Clothingline blowout sale: Free People, Tocca, Milly

Clothingline is cleaning house! (Like you need more, but for 95% off...)

FREE PEOPLE - stock & samples
- tees $5
- woven shirts $12
- sweaters $15
- bottoms $10
- dresses $25
- jackets $30

TOCCA - stock & samples
- tops $15
- bottoms $15
- dresses $50
- jackets $50

REPETTO - footwear & apparel
- all footwear $40, any two for $70
- tops & bottoms $20, any 2 for $30

MILLY - samples
- shorts $25
- skirts & pants $35
- tops $35
- dresses & coats $75

BIBELOT - samples
- any style $20

- dresses $30

TOCCA - beauty
- body wash $5
- hand & body milk $5

Assorted merchandise / limited selection from...
PLUS SO MUCH MORE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
What: Womens blowout sale
When: Tuesday, Jul 21 - Wednesday, Jul 22; Tues-Wed 11AM-7PM
Where: Clothingline, SSS Sample Sales, 2nd Fl @ 261 W 36th St (btw 7/8th Ave)
Cash or CC only. All sales final.

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Friday, July 17, 2009

Beau Brummell store closing, offers giveaways?

Last night on our walk home from dinner, I passed Beau Brummell, a high-end mens store in Soho which, honestly, I have never heard of. What caught my eye was the MASSIVE NEON (paper) SIGNS announcing the store closing, clearance sale, and one I vaguely recall something to the effect of door prizes/giveaways. Very strange. Anyways, if you're a guy and you need some nice suits and shirts, it may be worth your while to swing by. (I would have taken a photo, but it was quite late and my camera phone doesn't have a flash).

What: Beau Brummell store closing
Where: 347 W Broadway; 212-219-2666

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Elie Tahari warehouse sale

Update: GO if you need work clothes! An anonymous but wonderfully informative comment: "Not exciting fun stuff, but a great way to buff up your work wardrobe for next to nothing. Sample sizes only (which I am) so I came out with 4 pairs pants at $19 each (lined linen trousers, dove gray LEATHER pants); 1 skirt $19, two blazers $29 each (gorgeous lined safari blazer), a tank for $9. 7 pieces, $160 total, I could have bought a lot more but it was too overwhelming."

For men and women looking forward to F/W office wear, you'll want to make a stop at Chelsea Market next week. Prive is hosting a massive sample/stock sale of fall, winter, and classic pieces at 60-80% off. They will have a full range of sizes and fitting rooms as well.

What: Elie Tahari warehouse sale
When: Wednesday, Jul 15 - Sun, Jul 19; 10AM-7PM
Where: Chelsea Market, 75 Ninth Ave (btw 15/16th St)

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Bliss +20% off shoes

Update: Looks like the sale page is still down. Go to the regular Footwear page and look within the brands you want for the sale stuff-- I snagged a pair of Springboost sneakers for $89.60! No tax or shipping!! Wheee!

Go. The website is already stuck. Use code "079910" to take the extra 20% off. Ends Friday, Jul 24, but if prices on Fit-Flops are already $24.99 (some models), there may not be anything left by then!!

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European designer sample sale

Update: We already have an opinion! Apparently this sale is not very good. Thank you, anonymous commenter :)

Late-breaking news... My sincere apologies, I had ignored this one because I thought it was that traveling sideshow, Boutique on 57. I haven't actually head any sales reports on this one, so if it's good, let us know!

Straight from the runways of Europe. Couture & Italian designer sale in one of New York's chicest showrooms on 57th Street. Spring/Summer, and Fall '09 collections of : Tricot Chic, Cavali Class, Just Cavalli by Roberto Cavalli, Versace, Galliano, Gianfranco Ferre, Chacok, Gucci, Dior, YSL, Roccobarocco and many others. A broad selection of dresses, skirts, tops, pants, jackets, and an amazing assortment of designer sunglasses and accessories. All sizes are available. Prices are up to 80% off retail. New Fall and Pre-Fall merchandise: leather, suede, and shearling coats and jackets just arrived. Try-ons permitted. New merchandise arriving daily.
What: European designer sample sale
When: Wednesday, Jul 15 - Sunday, Jul 19; 11AM-7PM daily
Where: 5th Fl @ 41 W 57 St (btw 5/6th Ave); 212-935-2670
Cash or CC (Visa, MC, Amex, Discover).

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Thursday, July 16, 2009

Christofle private sale

If you were holding out on Christofle, it was probably wise. Tomorrow and Saturday only, take 20% off the entire site. That makes the necklace I love still $448. Sigh.

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Paragon Sports summer sale

Although 20-40% off now seems like nothing to shout about (I'm so spoiled), it's still better than paying full retail! Check out Paragon's sale on sporting gear, including fun things like binoculars!

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Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Love Quotes scarves $60 (but you have to buy 2+)

WinkNYC is doing a Love Quotes scarf promo. These ubiquitous scarves are all over the celebs-- I think they must be the most heavily pimped out scarf EVER. If you're late in the game, or you want some more colors, use code "LOVEQ" to get them for $60 each. But you have to get at least two. Ends Tuesday, Jul 21.

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Bergdorf Goodman mens sale at 70% off

Starting today, a good percentage of Bergdorf's mens sale section is now an additional 50% off.

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Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Starwood hotels 50% off

I know this is a sales blog, but traveling is another personal passion. Since I know I have a wedding in Maine coming up in August, this Starwood promotion is wonderfully timely. If you know you gotta be somewhere before Oct 12, check to see if there's a hotel doing a 50% off promo. Ends Monday, Jul 20.

... more SS additional markdowns

YOOX has marked down their SS clothing up to an extra 60% off. Ends Friday, Jul 31. The Zanotti heels in my Dreambox are now $135! Do I pull the trigger?

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Christofle 15% off

Vive la france! Christofle is having a celebratory 15% off their entire website today through Thursday, Jul 16. Use code "BASTILLE". Just in time for those late-summer wedding gifts, too!

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ESCADA preview party, Chicago

There are a couple of sample sales going on in Chicago starting today (Adrienne Landau and Kieselstein-Cord), but the only one I really want to mention is the Escada 'preview party' where 'over 8,000 items' will be up to 70% off. Prices will range from $79-649, which is not too shabby! The only little catch-- you need to buy a ticket to get in which costs $25, however they promise you a goodie bag worth $250+. *Also, if you'd like the details on Adrienne Landau or Kieselstein-Cord, email me.

What: Escada preview party
When: Wednesday, Jul 15; 6-9PM
Where: 344 N Ogden Ave

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ShopBop sandal sale

ShopBop has put a lot of summer sandals into their sale section! Thank goodness there's still plenty of summer left.

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Friday, July 10, 2009

ABC Carpet & Home, extra 15% off rugs and carpets

This weekend, print out this email and take an additional 15% all non-antique rugs, runners, and carpets at all ABC Home locations (even the sales warehouse in the Bronx). You must print out the email to shop in-store, or use code "ABC15" online. Ends Sunday, Jul 12.

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auto. summer sale

Take 20% off everything in-store and online (that's not on sale) now at auto. while they're having their summer sale. If you need some Missoni home goods or artisan jewelry, now's your chance. Use code "SUMMERSALE09" to get your online discount. End date unknown.

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Stella McCartney sample sale

Stella McCartney is having a sample sale and it's 80% off! (not "up to" 80% off)

What: Stella McCartney sample sale
When: Tuesday, Jul 14 - Wed, Jul 15; T 9AM-7PM, 9AM-6PM
Where: Metropolitan Pavilion, 123 W 18th St
Cash or CC. All sales final.

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Havaiana special sale

Havaiana is having a special online sale! Mens, womens, and kids flip-flops range from $9-$13.

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Thursday, July 9, 2009

Piperlime 20% off pumps today

Today only, use code "PUMPS" and take 20% off all full-priced pumps on PiperLime.

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Saks sale now up to 70% off

Saks has done further markdowns on their sale merchandise. Also, so has Barney's, so be sure to swing by your local store if you are thintking of another pair of shoes!

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Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Kate Spade +25% off sale

Kate Spade's sale is an additional 25% off both in-store and online.

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James Perse private sale

James Perse is having another private sale! Prices aren't bad, around 30-40% off a lot of dresses, skirts, and pants for women, and a smaller selection of crew tops and pants for men. You need to be registered with to access the sale.

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Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Rachel Comey sample sale

Can anyone really ever have too many shoes?

Coveted clog sandals for $150, silk print dresses for $165, and men's shoes for $150.
What: Rachel Comey sample sale
When: Wednesday, Jul 8 - Saturday, Jul 11; W/Th 5-9PM, F 11AM-7PM, S 12-5PM
Where: 7th Fl @ 335 W 35th St (btw 8/9th Ave)

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Ella Moss, Splendid sample/stock sale

Stock up on your everyday cotton at up to 70% off.

What: Ella Moss & Splendid sample sale
When: Wednesday, Jul 8 - Friday, Jul 10; W 12-5PM, Th 10AM-5PM, F 10AM-4PM
Where: Ste 901 @ 231 W 39th St (btw 7/8th Ave)

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Agent Provocateur annual sale

Because all girls need sexy things, if only for our own entertainment as we go about our daily business in suits and corporate-wear.

Note: this site may be unsafe for work. Unlike VS, AP does not airbrush out nipples.

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Mrs Meyers 30% off

Usually I don't re-post the Daily Candy deals because a) I figure you also subscribe (doesn't everyone?), and b) most of the time they don't really interest me.

However, today, one did. Use code "CLEANDEAL" to take 30% off Mrs Meyers Clean Day. As the progeny of two cheap/ecological parents who did not believe in using the dishwasher (water wastage, you see), I was the family after-dinner dishwasher for at least 5 years of my life. This has made me quite particular about the dishwashing liquid I use now. Weak detergent requires too much re-squirting. Too-basic (PH-wise) detergent means you have to rinse over and over. Dawn was my staple until I tried Mrs Meyers. I was sucked in by the natural scents which were not Lemon or Green Apple. My favorites are the Lemon Verbena and Lavender ones, but the Basil scent is a too little sweet. And, while Mrs Meyers doesn't clean as efficiently as Dawn, I'm a big fan. I'm thinking with this discount I may have to venture into the other products and give them a try-- any recommendations?

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Shopbop: new markdowns

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Alexander Wang sample sale

Oh yeah. Per NYMag:

7/9–7/11 Find deep discounts at the Alexander Wang sample sale. The denim-and-black-leather motorcycle jacket is $745 (originally $1,495) and the fitted stretch-and-mesh combo dress is $395 (originally $795). 83 Wooster St., nr. Spring St.; Th (2–8), F (9–8), S (10–7).

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Giuseppe Zanotti sample/stock sale

I'm back! And just in time for the Giuseppe Zanotti sample sale! Unfortunately, I did blow a lot of money in Korea (the Hermes duty-free on the way out really did me in), so I am sitting on my hands although 75% off is ridiculously tempting. But let me know if you score!

What: Giuseppe Zanotti sample/stock sale
When: Wednesday, Jul 8; 10AM-6PM
Where: 18th Fl @ 730 5th Ave (@ 57th St); 212-333-8567

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Saturday, July 4, 2009

Nina Ricci makes bags?

Over here what I've been looking/shopping for are things I can't find in the States. I really enjoyed Dongdaemun's Doosan Tower-- there were so many little boutiques offering really fashion-forward local designers. It was a great place to get a sense of where Korean fashion is headed, as well as pick up some really cute pieces. I went back yesterday and hit up the Migliore building and the Cerestar building. The Migliore building was full of shops with very cheap merchandise, but not really showcasing any designer talent. The Cerestar building was DEAD. It is quite unfortunate, as the space is really nice, but it's a 23 floor building and only the first 6 floors were open. Those 6 floors were only half occupied at that. The first few floors had womens clothing items ranging from 5,000 won shirts ($4 USD) to 250,000 won fur coats ($198 USD). The 5th floor was hopping and full with mens/boys stuff. This would be the only reason to venture back here, in my opinion. Management could really use some re-invention!View coming up from the escalator to the 2nd floor

Since I'm staying in the Westin Chosun Hotel, I'm right next door to the fabulous Lotte department store. Most of the items I see from Western designers are the same as I'd find at home. However, I did come across a Nina Ricci bag counter and found the most adorable purse. Nina Ricci bags? I'd never heard of those before, and if the clothing is any indication, I expected something astronomical for a bag. When the salesgirl told me the price, I was shocked. 430,000 won retail ($339 USD) and the store was doing a store-wide 10% discount due to their 30th Anniversary. This brought the total to 387,000 won ($305 USD), and I will get some VAT tax back. She assured me the bag was pure leather and the chain was even plated with white gold (which I am skeptical about) because how could I get all that for under $300? Before plunging in, I frantically SMSed my friend Kelly in Chicago, who has great wisdom of these things. At first she was also skeptical-- Nina Ricci bags? Is this another effort at bilking unsuspecting markets by randomly licensing their brand to sub-standard products a la DVF luggage? If a Nina Ricci camisole is $800, why the holy hell would they sell a leather handbag for less than $2000? It boggles the mind.

In the end, however, we both agreed that $300 for a cute bag is too good to pass up. (Incidentally, all the tags and cards are written in Korean, so we can pretty much say with confidence that this bag did not come from Paris.) I really need bigger luggage at this point...

What do you think?

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Thursday, July 2, 2009

Seoul day 6

We enjoy exploring Seoul so much we've decided to nix our side-trip to Gyeong-ju. It's Friday AM here (Jul 3) and whereas my problem at home is waking up before noon, here it is waking up AFTER 6 AM.

Yesterday it poured so we hid out at the National Museum of Korea, which is impressive in its detailed history of Korea. It's very cool to know that you are looking at real, authentic old stuff, not replicas of old stuff. Since I tend to absorb culture through shopping/fashion, and my DH experiences culture through food, this was a more thorough traditional education. The architecture of the complex housing the museum is breath-taking, and if you have the time, I highly recommend spending a couple hours there.

In the afternoon after the rain let up and we headed out to Apkujeong, the area now famous for the super trendy rich kids of leisure that my LonelyPlanet guidebook hates on (the idle kids, not the area). After 20 minutes of people-watching from a 2nd story coffee shop, indeed there were many well-dressed young people walking about this area of beauty salons and boutiques. All the girls looked fantastic, and I even saw my first Prada bag of the trip.

Closer to the Galleria, in an area referred to as "Rodeo Street", I expected greatness. Or at least what I experienced in Dongdaemun-- a huge concentration of trendy boutiques. Rodeo Street is ok. There are many cute boutiques, but it's really just another neighborhood with lots of bars, coffee shops, and beauty salons. However, I did discover a flourishing consignment market. Some of these boutiques specialize in bags, and although I am sure these are reputable, I am not good enough to tell a real Fendi from a really good counterfeit, so I would recommend these shops only to the experts. Other little consignment shops carry a full range: a selection of designer clothing, shoes, and a few bags. I spotted my first signs of Balenciaga life in Seoul for sale: an eggplant Giant Day and a white Work. The patrons/sellers of these shops are more tuned in than even the high-end department stores, because Louboutins and Manolos (also firsts of the trip) were up for purchase. The price point? $159 USD. Not bad at all, although it got me wondering what the ROI was for the original owner!

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Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Seoul day 4

Since we landed Monday, Seoul has been a very gracious host. Strangely enough, it reminds me a lot of New York (aside from the 100% asian population and Korean signage, of course). People here look normal and act normal, unlike my initial impression of Hong Kong, where wealth and opulence were fairly evident and/or shoved in your face.

When I was packing, I made the decision to leave luxury at home-- no diamonds, no designer handbags, no nice shoes, and I also packed for the hot monsoon weather. Now that I have gotten here, I realize these choices were clearly the wrong ones. I probably should have brought along some bling and a nice bag, as well as left my tank tops and sleeveless shirts at home. The Confucian culture here is quite conservative, and I have yet to see a girl wearing a tank top. Not a one, despite temperatures floating around 90 degrees F. Oh well, guess I have to go shopping...

The handbag culture seems to be split (or perhaps it is the Haves v. the Have Nots). Brand of choice: LV, style: the Neverfull in the standard monogram. There are a few Guccis, but I have yet to see a significant population carrying anything else. The people without a luxury bag seem to go with the old asian standby - LeSportsac, which is what I actually brought with me.

95% of the women here, even up to age 60 or so, wear heeled shoes in the form of wedges or pumps or stilettos. Just some form of heel. The ballerina shoes or gladiator flats so prevalent in the US right now -- not here. Even rarer are your mom's Naturalizer flats. My Cole Haan Nike Air flats and Abercrombie flip flops definitely stand out and contribute heavily to my hobo-ness. Sigh. I did some shoe scouting in Shinsegae department store, and would you believe that Nine West heels cost $201 USD here!?!? (258,000 won) That is UTTERLY RIDICULOUS. I felt like waving my arms and telling everyone in that near vicinity 'No, no! You are getting ripped off!!!'. I was/am so appalled. Where is Nine West's sense of integrity? Obviously companies will profit when they can, so while I can't fault them for exploiting this opportunity, it really is a shame that there is nothing to keep them in check. After pricing out a sample of global luxury brands (LV, Gucci, Prada, Cartier), it is my conclusion that they are pretty much globally consistent +/- 10%, and I attribute this to their worldly and constantly traveling patrons who would definitely call them out for price gouging in a particular market.

Where all the non-natives are
Lotte department store duty-free. Seriously. It is chaos up there. I was pretty impressed because the Hermes store keeps a nice stock of Birkin and Kelly bags behind the counter for just this crowd.

American brands I've seen here
DKNY, Theory, Juicy Couture, Kate Spade, Michael Kors, Nine West-- all priced about 20% higher than in the US (except for Nine West of course, which is like 80% higher)

So far all the food I've had has been fantastic: bulgogi, kimchi pancake, bimbimbap, fried chicken, dumplings, crepe wraps, and dessert waffles. I'm hoping to be brave enough to try live octopus tentacle, but I am definitely staying away from bosintang (dog-meat soup) since I happen to love my dog. If you love food, come here-- you must come here at least once in your lifetime. Bring napkins, though, if you are messy, as they are super stingy with them (ecologically-minded, you see). And bring PLENTY, just TONS of mosquito repellant in the rainy season. I have covered myself head-to-toe daily and still get bitten at least once a day. The lack of de-humidifiers in the smaller shops guarantees that there are mosquitos buzzing around your ankles as you have dinner.

P.S. Dongdaemun is awesome! I scored 2 cute linen skirts for $13 and $19 USD each, and it is a great place to see where fashion is heading. I plan on going back soon!

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