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!
Sign up to get our famous daily or weekly emails with all the latest New York sample sales, or follow us on your favorite social network.
We're definitely leaving New York sample sale season, and the city is the quietest its been for a long time, with only 21 sample sales in the diary for the entire week! But don't give up hope for a bargain, because while the city's sample sale calendar may lack quantity, it doesn't lack quality - with some big name brands making an appearance!
On Monday then, the highlight of the New York sample sale calendar is surely the Marchesa sample sale, happening for three days courtesy of sample sale queen's Shelly and Renee. Not much word on the level of discount or the price range yet, but their sales are always well received, so it's definitely high on our recommended list!
Running a close second on Monday is the Theory sample sale, happening at Clothingline, and apparently full of genuine samples from the brand. Expect some serious discounts there. However dedicated fashionistas may also like to check out the KAS New York sample sale, where you can add some of their vibrant boho womenswear to your collection, and also the Women's European Designer Collections sample sale, featuring everything from ready-to-wear to sportswear from a bunch of indie European brands.
Tuesday is where the big name New York sample sale action happens though. First up is Halston Heritage, with their first ever New York sample sale, where they'll be offering up to 80% off women's ready-to-wear, bags and footwear. That's going down for six days at 260 Sample Sale's venue on Wooster Street, so make sure you get there and remember that the early bird catches the worm (and the best discounts)!
Then there's Tocca and Stila. Always a big item in the New York sample sale calendar when their event comes around, expect up to 85% off retail prices on make-up, lotion, candles and fragrances galore, going down at 260 Sample Sale's Fifth Avenue location. If that's not your thing (or even if it is) then Tuesday will also see the launch of the Steven Alan New York sample sale, with up to 75% off. This one is also hosted by 260 Sample Sale - and also open for six days - but this time in their SoHo Greene Street venue. And finally for Tuesday's New York sample sale shenanigans, is the Vita Feda sample sale, where you can add their stylish jewelry to your jewelry box for prices starting at just $50 - that's on for three days, and will be well worth a visit we think!
On Wednesday make sure you check out the Kimora Lee Simmons sample sale on for just three days at their studio and offering up to 50% off. Plus don't miss out on the chance to stock up on lingerie and swimwear at the Araks sample sale, where prices start at just $15!
Looking ahead into July and there's really not much in the New York sample sale calendar yet, and we don't expect there to be much either - this is definitely the end of sample sale season and the scene will take a breather as we get ready for more craziness in August. But you never know - this is NYC, so it's not impossible for a big name brand to put something in the diary at the last minute - make sure you're on our mailer so you don't miss out!
Published June 25th 2017