New York's sample sale scene is second-to-none, making it the best city on earth to find a fashion bargain. Read more >
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!
Tell us, New York, have you done your Christmas shopping yet? Well don't worry if you haven't because we have New York sample sales coming out of our eyeballs this week, and you are not going to be short of a bargain. We'd normally go day by day, but there's just too much to cover this week, so make sure you've had a good browse of the list above so that you don't miss out on anything. You've got a whole load of choice available - it doesn't matter whether you're searching for top end womenswear or discount streetwear, fine jewellery or indie accessories, warm cashmere or sexy swimwear - there is a New York sample sale out there for you over the next seven days, and you will not leave empty handed!
Choosing our highlights from this New York sample sale cornucopia is not an easy task, but you can't really go wrong with an Oscar de la Renta Private Sale. There will be outerwear, gowns, shoes and accessories on offer here at this three day sample sale event running from Thursday through Saturday. It's booking only, so make sure you give them a call or drop them an email to get on the list - the details are all on the event listing. This is definitely one New York sample sale that we won't be missing out on!
If that's not your thing, then maybe luxury watches will be. Head to the Metropolitan Pavilion on Tuesday and Wednesday to stock up on luxury wristwear from Alpina and Frédérique Constant at up to 75% off in their New York sample sale. It's the perfect opportunity for holiday gifting - or just for treating yourself to a new timepiece! We think you deserve it!
Watches and luxury womenswear not doing it for you? Then how about a new bag from Herschel Supply Co? Their New York sample sale kicks off on Friday and continues through Saturday on Fifth Avenue between 14th and 15th Streets. We expect this to be popular - in fact they've already had to move it once in the run up because they needed to change venue - so get there early to make sure you don't miss out on the best items on offer.
We couldn't have a New York sample sale highlight list for this week without mentioning Rag & Bone of course! Their New York sample sale is on for four days from Wednesday in near Cheslea Market, and will be stuffed full of their womenswear, menswear and accessories at a discount. And if that's your thing then you're probably also into The Kooples, right? The funky European label have their sample sale starting Tuesday at 260 Sample Sale on Greene Street. That ones on for six days, so you've got no excuse to miss out!
But frankly there's just too much to talk about - you've got over 60 New York sample sales to choose from, and we haven't even touched on the ongoing Hugo Boss sample sale, or Cynthia Gale, Botkier, Splendid, Julia Jentzsch, Gilded Age, Alice + Olivia, Nancy Gonzalez, Etienne Aigner, Kipling, Nautica, WILT, White & Warren, Carol Workinger, Natori or many many more very worthy and brilliant brands who are offering their wares to you at discounts of up to 90% off this week! Just get searching - whatever you're looking for, it's there!
And don't despair if you can't make this week either, because next week is already looking to be pretty amazing - with New York sample sales from the likes of Nicholas K, 360CASHMERE, La Perla, Thomas Pink, Eugenia Kim and many more already in the diary, and new ones coming in daily. All the way up to Christmas we're going to be bringing you new bargains to be shopped - so keep a close eye on your email alerts and your social media channels so that you don't miss out! It's going to be sample sale heaven in New York for a while now!
Published December 4th 2016