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!
We've got another busy week of New York sample sales in the calendar to see out April this week, and it's such a great mix of household brands and indie fashion too, so whatever your taste, there's bound to be a sample sale for you! Peak as usual is on Thursday, when we've got a stunning 23 sample sales for you to choose from - so choose wisely!
When you've got so many great brands in the diary the highlight is hard to choose, but we're going to kick off this week's rundown with the Oscar De La Renta New York sample sale, which is opening on Tuesday at 260 Sample Sale on Wooster Street (between Houston and Prince). There's going to be plenty of ready-to-wear to fill your closets, and also accessories, footwear and jewelry to snag too. No details on the pricing yet, but based on previous sales it's sure to be worth your time!
Our next choice is probably a little biased, because we're Brits, so we can't overlook the Karen Millen sample sale. This English brand is famous for its quality workplace-wearable styles and when all dresses are just $75 and (get this) all footwear is just $50 it's definitely not a New York sample sale to miss out on. That will be at Clothingline on West 36th Street (between 7th and 8th) - get there and get stocked up, we promise you won't be disappointed!
After that you're going to want to head on over to 260 Sample Sale on Fifth Avenue, where their flagship New York sample sale location will be hosting a Rent The Runway sample sale, with up to 90% off on such a stunning range of brands including Badgley Mischka, Kate Spade, Marchesa, Monique Lhuillier and many many more. We recently helped promote the RTR sample sale in LA, and it was a huge success and so well received - so we expect plenty more happy shoppers here, hopefully including you, dear reader.
Also mirroring LA, is The Kooples. This snazzy French brand have caught the imagination of fashion lovers and couples everywhere with their unique marketing and funky styles, and you can stock up on plenty for your wardrobe at this six day New York sample sale, running from Tuesday to Sunday at 260 Sample Sale's Greene Street SoHo location.
Next on our hit-list is the Fashionhaus Stock & Sample Sale, but perhaps that's mostly because we do have a soft spot for By Marlene Birger, which will be there, along with a bunch of other brands at a discount.
I can't believe that we've got this far down the list, and we're still a long way from completing even the highlights of the week - so lets get this sorted quickly, because we've also got White & Warren's New York sample sale with up to 70% off happening in their showroom on Tuesday and Wednesday, none other than Furla (yes - FURLA) having a sample sale at their HQ with up to 80% off for two days only, and also sample sales from Moleskine, Vivienne Tam, Edie Parker, IPPOLITA... there's just so much New York sample sale action that we couldn't possibly do it justice! Just go out and shop, people!
And we didn't even mention David Yurman, Deepa Gurnani, Cosabella, Lilla P, Leo & Sage, Inhabit...
But don't spend all of your savings quite yet, because next month we've already got a full diary including New York sample sales from NEST, S'well, 3.1 Phillip Lim, Carven, Rachel Zoe, Staff USA (Maison Margiela, Marni, DSquared2), Sandro, Rebecca Minkoff and so... much... more!
Published April 23rd 2017