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So somehow we're halfway through September already, and we're getting perilously close to New York sample sale season - can you feel the city starting to buzz?! This week we've got a fairly sedate selection of sample sales by New York standards, but still some amazing bargains to shop!
Starting on Monday and it's your very last chance to shop the Paragon Sports warehouse sale! That started on September 6th, and is a New York sample sale must-visit with significant amounts of sportswear and sports gear at a discount. No word yet on whether there'll be any extra final reductions on the last day - but if you haven't been then this is it, get there or miss out!
Monday is also the last day of the Derek Lam sample sale from Clothingline (off-site at Prince Street), and you've also got the continuing IPPOLITA New York sample sale at Soiffer Haskin, along with a new accessories sample sale from Marcus Adler.
On Tuesday things start to heat up with new sample sales in New York from Osklen, Parker and Charlotte Olympia. Parker and Osklen are both hosted by 260 Sample Sale at their Fifth Avenue and SoHo locations respectively, while Charlotte Olympia will be bringing her unique footwear at up to 70% off to the Roosevelt Hotel - and this is for just two days, so we thoroughly recommend adding this to your New York sample sale diary!
Indie shoppers may also like to check out the Clever Alice pop-up and sample sale on West 25th Street, where there'll be up to 80% off on over 20 emerging designers - a great chance to discover something unique to add to your collection without breaking the bank!
Then, to round off the week, on Thursday we have the start of the month-long Paul Carroll pop-up sample sale at MIDOMA on 8th Avenue - where there'll be up 50% off dresses, coats, and accessories.
That's it for this week (see - I said it was sedate) but next week we've got Maje, Desigual, Eric Javits and a Peach & Lilly K-Beauty sample sale in the diary already, and next month already has New York sample sales from Sandro, Diesel, Hanky Panky, Milly, Karen Millen and more!
Published September 17th 2017
New York's sample sale scene is second-to-none, making it the best city on earth to find a fashion bargain.
The seasonal and constantly changing world of fashion means that brands often have items left over from past seasons, runway shows or the design and production process that they've collected in their offices or warehouses. Sample sales are sales events - often held in dedicated showrooms or event spaces - where you can buy these items at a significant discount on their normal retail value. Many sample sales discount between 70% to even 90% off.
Sample sales are often an experience in themselves - popular sales will frequently have queues to enter, you might have to store your coat or bag in a cloakroom, and you will often be competing with other shoppers to find and buy the items you want before others do. You you'll often find samples come in limited sizes, and you shouldn't expect the perks of proper luxury clothes shopping - many places don't have changing rooms and you're not likely to get a personal shopper!
Items bought in a sample sale are usually sold as is, and you won't be able to return them. Many sample sales accept cash and card, but check before you go, as some will be cash only or card only.
New York has one of the worlds most vibrant and eclectic fashion communities, and the sample sales match! You'll find sales ranging from luxury brands and high street labels through to independent and emerging brands. The sample sales for luxury and high street brands are often quite practical affairs where you are there to grab a bargain as quickly as possible - but the independent and emerging events can be a great way to discover a brand's clothes, meet the designers, and sometimes enjoy entertainment or drinks alongside the sales.
Along with sample sales organised by the brands themselves, there's also a rich calendar of sample sales organised by third parties or collectives. For example Shelly & Renee organise New York sample sales on behalf of many luxury brands and European labels, and companies like Soiffer Haskin and Clothingline host sample sales in their spaces all year round as well.
Because the fashion scene in NYC is so big, you'll find sample sales all year round - but the most common periods, or "sample sale seasons", are when the fashion seasons come to an end. Spring Summer sample sales often happen between April to June, and Autumn Winter sample sales happen October to December. These are the times that you really want to keep an eye on the sample sale calendar, and make sure you don't miss your favourite brands!