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!
Well New York, after last week's amazing sample sale heaven, this week was never going to match it in terms of quantity. But what it lacks in the number of New York sample sales, it makes up for in sheer quality.
Let's dive straight into Monday, when you've only got one New York sample sale to shop, but it's a good one. Terez will be on offer at the J Rosen showroom for three whole days, offering their leggings, tops and sweats at discounts of up to 80% off. Do not miss out!
Then on Tuesday, three more New York sample sales join the party - from Elie Tahari, Frye and BLK DNM. The Elie Tahari sample sale will have up to 70% off on both womenswear and menswear - plus accessories - over its four day run at their New York outlet; the Frye sample sale takes over 260 Sample Sale on Fifth Avenue for a six day run, and has up to 70% off their famous footwear; and the BLK DNM New York sample sale is going down at 260 Sample Sale's Greene Street SoHo location, also with up to 70% off over six days.
Wednesday then, and we get four new New York sample sales to shop. There's the return of the Reese + Riley sample and stock sale with up to 75% off their womenswear; the rescheduled Desigual sample sale offering discounts on stock for men, women and children from this cool European brand, happening for three days at Clothingline; two days of jewelry discounts from Dana Rebecca designs in Chelsea; and last but certainly not least, the one day SJP by Sarah Jessica Parker sample sale, which was rescheduled from earlier in the month due to the snow.
Thursday brings in the big guns, with none other than Vivienne Westwood, Nili Lotan and Paul Andrew to shop at a discount. The Vivienne Westwood sample sale is organised by CP Sample Sale and being held over four days at their location on West 36th Street, just of 5th. That's definitely not going to be an event to miss, and make sure to get there early to shop the best deals. Nili Lotan will be opening up their New York studio for their three day sample sale with serious discounts on their elegant womenswear. And Paul Andrew will be offering their original footwear for men and women over two days in their sample sale going down at their HQ.
There's only one new New York sample sale on Friday to celebrate - and that's the return of the PVH Cares sample sale event at the Metropolitan Pavilion, where you can shop Calvin Klein and Tommy Hillfiger at a discount - expect that one to be very popular, but full of amazing prices. And then on Sunday you're not going to want to miss the launch of the Loro Piana sample sale at Soiffer Haskin, which runs over five days and brings you discounts on their cashmere knitwear and outerwear for men and women.
Looking forward into next month already, and we've got some amazing New York sample sales in the diary for you to save up for, including from Jack Rogers, Parker, Gilt City, Zanerobe, Hanro and many many more. And it's only going to get more, not less busy as we head into peak sample sale season, so don't spend everything at once!
Published March 26th 2017