« January 2016 | Main | March 2016 »

THIS WEEK ONLINE:

Bottega Veneta, TUMI, Trina Turk, Bonobos, Brioni, Brunello Cucinelli, Thakoon, Saint Laurent, Elie Tahari & More

Here is your weekly sampling of some of the brands you can expect to find on the bigger online Flash Sale Sites this week. You should click over to the sites themselves for a full schedule of events, and be sure to check for the correct start time for each sale. Shop well!

GILT GROUPE
Tom Ford Apparel & Accessories, Judith Leiber, Fleur't Intimates, Creative Recreation, Thomas Pink, Movado, Hunter Bell, Bottega Veneta, Orla Kiely, Zac Posen, J Lindeberg, Miansai, Garner Thiebault, iRobot —join HERE
RUE LA LA
Joie, Saint Laurent, Sesto Meucci, The FLEXX, Michele, Lancôme, Milla, Stuart Weitzman, Leota, TUMI, I.Reiss Jewelry —join HERE
HAUTE LOOK
True Religion, Affliction, Jeffrey Campbell, Christophe Sauvat, Geox, Trina Turk, Balmain Sunglasses, Three Dots, Zanerobe, Jack O'Neill, Rains, Swims, Kenneth Cole Reaction, Haute Hippie, Shades of Grey by Micah Cohen, Bonobos, Religion —join HERE
MY HABIT
Halston Heritage, Gucci Watches, Valentino Handbags, LeSportsac, Elie Tahari, Eve Lom/By Terry, Prada, Longchamp, SEN, Salvatore Ferragamo, NYDJ, Rosapois Lingerie, Brioni, Gilded Age, Daniel Won, Thakoon, Carven, Derek Lam, JB by Julie Brown, Stella McCartney Intimates, Donald J Pliner, Amrita Singh, Brunelli Cucinelli, Haute Hippie, Natori, Loeffler Randall, Joseph Abboud, Vivienne Westwood, Invite Watches, Bruno Piatelli, Pierre Balmain, Psycho Bunny, Oliberté, Gitman Bros., Ermenegildo Zegna —join HERE

QUICK SUCCESSION:

Donna Karan's Urban Zen Will Take Her Spot At Bergdorf Goodman

URBANZEN
A current Urban Zen look.
Click for a larger view in a new window

There's a silver lining for true blue Donna Karan customers who were caught by surprise with last year's announcement that the superstar designer's main collection would be folded in favor of a revamped DKNY collection designed by the guys behind the Public School brand. With Donna herself relinquishing creative responsibilities at her namesake label, would this be the end for her as a designer?
As it turns out, no. In at least one store, her side project will take center stage.
In a not terribly surprising development, the Donna Karan Collection shop on Bergdorf Goodman's sixth floor, currently in its last days of selling her final Resort collection, will be converted to an Urban Zen shop by the middle of next month. For those unfamiliar with the line, her website describes Urban Zen as ". . .  a philosophy of living by Donna Karan, touched and inspired by cultures and artisans from around the world. We give back by supporting the Urban Zen Foundation, which has a mission to raise awareness and inspire change in the areas of Preservation of Cultures, Well-Being and Education."
Put more simply, it is also the name of three freestanding shops in New York City's Greenwich Village, Sag Harbor, New York, and Aspen, Colorado that Karan has operated for several years independently of the now LVMH-owned fashion empire that she founded in the 1980s. Now, the line will take over Karan's Bergdorf boutique in what should be a fairly seamless transition. So far as we know, this is the first time that Urban Zen has entered the wholesale business, likely because, in previous years, it would have been too great of a conflict with the former Donna Karan Collection. Karan's fans who are unfamiliar with the label will be comforted to find that the apparel offerings, limited though they may be, basically look like classic Donna Karan designs including draped jersey dresses, roomy cashmere sweaters and leather accent pieces as seen in the image above from the current offerings. Don't be surprised to see Urban Zen's home accessories and other items in the shops well. Given one of the designer's longtime pet peeves that has returned to the fashion conversation, you can also expect the merchandise to be sold in-season with winter clothes in the winter and summer clothes in the summer.
Donna Karan has always had a special relationship with Bergdorf Goodman. It was where she launched her own label, and her personal appearances at seasonal trunk shows were known to cause mob scenes that nearly gridlocked the entire floor.
Bergdorf's won;t be the only store left with a gap in its offerings. Saks Fifth Avenue also has a Donna Karan shop on the second floor that, as of last week, was still offering what was left of the final collection. While they might not be looking to add a new shop to the floor that will soon be converted into a grand beauty department as part of a top-to-bottom store renovation, the development at Bergdorf's suggest that we might see Urban Zen grow a bit more to fill the inevitable void left by the end of the original Donna Karan label with new Donna Karan-designed merchandise.

Urban Zen to Bergdorf Goodman (WWD)


UES UPGRADE:

Smythson To Class Up The Corner On Madison And 61st Street While DKNY Leaves The Block

SmythsonMadison
In case anyone thought that moderate contemporary brand Vince Camuto was a little bit downmarket for Madison Avenue, you were probably right. It looks like the brand has ditched the flagship across the street from Barneys that was once the home of the respectable Cole Haan, leaving it to the suitably exclusive Smythson of Bond Street. The prestigious British stationer and accessory purveyor will shortly be opening its new store there having relocated from the Crown Building on West 57th Street. Trading "across the street from Bergdorf's" for "across the street from Barneys" is probably something of an even swap, prestige-wise, and the windows on the corner of 667 Madison Avenue tell us that the new store will be open in March.
But isn't it a little bit snobby to suggest that department store mainstay Vince Cameo's premium line isn't up to snuff for Madison Avenue? After isn't DKNY just on the other corner of the block with chain store Ann Taylor just across 60th Street?
Not anymore.
As part of the brand's ever more radical-appearing revamp, DKNY has abandoned its three-level Madison Avenue showplace, the last vestige of Donna Karaon on the street, leaving its SoHo store on West Broadway as its primary flagship home. As you can barely see reflected in the photo of the shop door below, the large Ann Taylor store has also been emptied out and is available to lease. Now there are two rather sizable retail spaces available in particularly desirable locations waiting for some deep-pocketed companies to swoop in and install some new flagship-sized stores. Who will move in, or more to the point, how long will those stores sit empty before someone coughs up the dough to move in?
DKNYclosed


TRIUMPHANT RETURN:

Sonia Rykiel Is Back On Madison Avenue With A Splash

RykielMadison1
We see a lot of designer boutiques here at The Shophound, and they always have something in common. They are generally designed to be tasteful and neutral backgrounds for the rarefied products they display. They may use luxurious and even innovative materials and have specially designed details that elegantly express their brand's image, but, generally without the clothes, they are a blank.
Is always refreshing to see someone willing break that pattern which is what we encountered this morning at the just-opened Sonia Rykiel boutique on Madison Avenue. Rykiel, the Parisian designer with the unmistakable mane of flaming red hair whose soigné collections amassed a cult of devoted fans over the past several decades, has been absent from Madison for a few years now as her label underwent some transition including her own retirement and the installation of new creative director, Julie de Libran. Rather than remaking the company in a wildly different direction, de Libran has successfully given the brand a shot in the arm but still pays tribute to the house signatures like those familiar striped knits and fluffy, colorful furs. When it came time to return to Madison Avenue, rather than reverting to Rykiel's traditionally sedate black and cream design scheme, de Libran and the company went for bright red lacquered shelves and a bookstore/café theme that appears in the brand's other international locations and serves as a delightful alternative to the parade of self-conscious opulence that has come to characterize Madison Avenue. The walls of the 1,900 square foot shop that was most recently a short-lived Kent & Curwen boutique, have been almost entirely covered in bookshelves which have been duly packed with all manner of literature ready for your perusal —as long as you read French. There are even a few racy volumes waiting for more private examination in the dressing rooms. Matching red lacquered mannequins bring the clothes to life, and a whimsically designed carpet by artist André Saraïva underscores the upbeat ambiance. The "café" corner in the front (pictured after the jump) shows off the newest accessories including the new "Le Copain" mini-bag (only $490) in all its colorful permutations. In short, Rykiel's return to Madison Avenue is inviting and fun, especially on a gloomy winter morning. Of course, Sonia Rykiel is no second tier brand. The clothes hanging on the racks are as luxurious and costly as anyone else's on the street, but it's amazing how a coat of red paint and a little bit of humor can vanish that that sense of self-important preciousness that seems to glaze over so many designer brand palaces in New York. See for yourself starting today.

Sonia Rykiel now open at 816 Madison Avenue between 68th & 69th Streets, Upper East Side
Have a look at some more images of the store after the jump

Exterior_VI_New-Crop_Web
Image courtesy of Sonia Rykiel

Continue reading "TRIUMPHANT RETURN:

Sonia Rykiel Is Back On Madison Avenue With A Splash" »


FROZEN IN TIME:

Bergdorf Goodman's Building On A Fast Track For Landmarking

BergdorfGoodman57thSt
Yesterday, the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission held a public hearing to clear out a backlog of proposed landmark designation for over a hundred buildings in New York City, among them, The building that houses Bergdorf Goodman at 754 Fifth Avenue. While over 60 buildings were rejected for various reasons, the Bergdorf's building was included in a group to be prioritized for a final vote by the end of 2016. The store itself, which holds an extremely long-term lease on the location, has been fairly quiet about the developments, but the owner owner of the property is known to oppose a landmark designation.
Wouldn't it be a prestigious honor to have the building protected and singled out for its architectural contribution to the city?
Well, sure, but it's not that simple.
Once the building has been declared a landmark, it precludes any further alteration to its exterior, which can be a challenge when it houses a thriving business like Bergdorf's which may want to make upgrades and renovations to suit its needs. Currently the store is finishing up a major alteration to its 57th Street façade for its new jewelry salon (pictured above) which would not be permitted after a landmark designation. Occasionally, the commission requires that owners return buildings to their original state as much as possible, which can incur great additional expense. Alterations for business purposes are not entirely unheard of, however. During the 1990s, the landmarked Rockefeller Center got a special dispensation to substantially increase the size of its store windows on its Fifth Avenue side after a lengthy series of discussions with the commission. Ralph Lauren's flagship boutique at Madison Avenue and 72nd Street in the landmarked Rhineland Mansion was also substantially altered to create store windows and entrances when it was opened in the 1980s. In both cases, however, the original building materials have been carefully stored and numbered in the unlikely event that they would be returned to their original positions to restore the buildings' original design.
For its part, Bergdorf's exterior is not in its original state either. The building was constructed on the site of the Vanderbilt Mansion, but the store did not initially occupy it in its entirety when it moved in in 1928 to the northern portion of the building with its entrance on 58th Street. The Fifth Avenue storefront was divided amongst several stores (as seen in the image below compared with its current state) which Bergdorf's progressively consumed, eventually taking over all of them by the early 1970s except for Van Cleef & Arpels which still exists on the first floor of the building's southeastern corner. What might keep the building from being landmarked is the major redesign of the Fifth Avenue side of the building which erased the disparate storefronts and installed a unified facade and introduced the big display windows we see there today. Unfortunately, the re-design reflects the post-modern architectural style that was popular at the time featuring outsized detailing free of the kind of refined, carved decoration found on the rest of the building. Now it looks glaringly out of scale particularly on the grand entrance with its arched window and oversized keystone and the large cartouche featuring the store's main sign.
The architectural inconsistency on it's biggest exterior wall might discourage the commission from landmarking the building, especially because the prospects of the store submitting to a restoration of the old facade are essentially nonexistent —if it were even feasible to do that at all. Of course, the commission could vote to landmark it regardless of any alterations because of Bergdorf Goodman's prominence in the city's history and its retail industry. We should know what happens by the end of the year, if not before.

Landmarks Commission Acts On Backlog Properties (NYC Landmarks Commission)

754 Fifth Avenue
Image: Museum of the City of New York
BergdorfGoodman5thAve-2-25-16
Bergdorf Goodman's current 5th Avenue storefront including 1980s redesign as well as recent alterations to windows at Van Clef & Arpels

SAMPLE CIRCUIT:

A Mid-Winter Sale Surge With Dolce & Gabbana, Rodarte, DKNY, Bespoken & More

DolceGabbanaFW15
The dead of winter is typically the off-season for sample sale, but this week is showing some exciting signs of life for scavenging shoppers out there.

First off, DKNY is kicking off its sale at a new venue, Clothingline in the Garment District, today. Through Friday, the Fall and Resort 2015 collections for women will be discounted up to 75% Off. This includes the last seasons of the brand before the guys from Public School took over creative direction for the label, so it;s the last chance for fans of the label's recent past who should be flocking there to stock up.

Also today, the burgeoning men's brand BONOBOS will be offering up to 70% off sportswear, accessories and its famously well tailored men's trousers at 260 Fifth Avenue through the weekend.

Fans of more adventurous ready to wear will have marked their calendars for Wednesday when RODARTE holds one of its rare sample sales for one day only. Pricing can vary wildly at these events, and no details have been publicly released, so prospective shoppers have been urged to email the company at info@rodarte.net for times and location and the opportunity to get on the admission list.

Another up-and-coming men's label BESPOKEN will also be holding its seasonal sample sale starting on Wednesday for three days in its well appointed showroom atop the Turnbull & Asser townhouse on East 57th Street. Look for up to 80% Off classic-based menswear with clever modern and high-tech twists.
See a selection of items expected at the sale after the jump

This week's wild card comes form the Chelsea boutique STORY, which famously changes its theme every season with new merchandise and partnerships with vendors. If you are wondering what's leftover after the big switch, then you can find out on Thursday when it will be sold off starting at 50% off. Expect to find everything from men's women's and children's clothing to books, accessories, home items and all sorts of other gifts.

One more in the series of THEORY sample sales that we have come to expect also arrives on Thursday. This time it's for men only —in a week that is shaping up to be a good one for bargain hunting guys. Running through Sunday at Chelsea Market, this sale is promising savings starting at 60% Off retail prices on the label's men's collections.

New York's most promising shoe designer PAUL ANDREW is also starting his seasonal sale on Thursday at his showroom on West 58th Street not far from Bergdorf's. He won last year's CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund competition, and his following is growing fast. His shoes are pricey, but the last sale reportedly had deep discounts starting at $50 for some styles going up to about $225. We can't promise that the prices will be the same, but it's worth a visit for shoe mavens.

Finally, the big event this week is the DOLCE & GABBANA sample sale starting on Thursday for 4 days at Soiffer-Haskin on West 33rd Street. As far as we can tell, this is the first time that the Italian mega-brand has held its sale at the location of choice for major luxury labels. Look for a very well-organized sale featuring all of their collections for men, women and children including clothing, accessories, shoes and handbags (pictured above).

Be user to check our SALE ROLL sidebar at left for all details including locations, hours and any late-breaking sale news. 

Continue reading "SAMPLE CIRCUIT:

A Mid-Winter Sale Surge With Dolce & Gabbana, Rodarte, DKNY, Bespoken & More" »


THIS WEEK ONLINE:

Christian Louboutin, Jil Sander, James Perse, Saint Laurent, TOMS, Burberry, Cynthia Rowley, & More

Here is your weekly sampling of some of the brands you can expect to find on the bigger online Flash Sale Sites this week. You should click over to the sites themselves for a full schedule of events, and be sure to check for the correct start time for each sale. Shop well!

GILT GROUPE
Stephanie Verdino, Luciano Barbera, Hero Bags, James Perse, Tracy Reese, Tart. Christian Louboutin, Monique Lhuillier, Ben Sherman, Timberland, Longines Watches, Unsimply Stitched —join HERE
RUE LA LA
Vince Camuto, AG Jeans, CHARLES by Charles David, Antelope, Charlene K Jewelry, Tacori, Heys USA, Currrent/Elliot, Royce Leather, Tara Pearls, Johnnie-O, Stuhrling Watches, Mariposa, Surya —join HERE
HAUTE LOOK
J Brand, Michael Stars, Charles David, Cafe Bleu, CECE by Cynthia Steffe, BLEU Rod Beattie, TOMS Shoes & Sunglasses, Peter Millar, Descendant of Thieves, Meghan LA, Splendid, Sue Wong, Vince Camuto, Tailor Vintage, Steven Oliver, Stella & Jamie   —join HERE
MY HABIT
Jil Sander, Burberry, Magaschoni, Maia, Portolano, Saint Laurent, Umbro, Jack Victor Studio, Cynthia Rowley, Butter, MUK LUKS, Hudson Jeans, Vivienne Westwood  —join HERE

YOUR WEEKEND PLANS:

Go See The First Major Retrospective dedicated to Marie Antoinette's Royal Portraitist —Who Happened To Be A Woman

Vigeelebrun
If you think that 18th Century painting is something that will make your eyes glaze over, then think again. If you haven't been to the Metropolitan Museum in a while, then it's time to stop by to discover one of the period's finest portrait painters. Vigée Le Brun: Woman Artist in Revolutionary France is the first major retrospective exhibition devoted to Elisabeth Louise Vigée Le Brun (pictured in a self-portrait above) who made her reputation in the court of Louis XVI with her vibrant likenesses of Marie Antoinette and other members of the aristocracy. It's hard to imagine anything other than institutional art-world sexism that might have kept Vigée Le Brun out of the spotlight for a couple of centuries or so. Self-trained and excluded from Fench art institutions because of her gender, she found favor with the French royal family not just because of her talent and skill, but also because of her personal charm and ability to entertain her subjects throughout what would otherwise be tedious posing sessions. This also resulted in representations that were particularly lively for the period, showing dimensions of humanity not always evident in portraiture of the time. Forced to flee because of her associations with royalty during the French Revolution, Vigée Le Brun made her way to Florence, Naples, Vienna, St. Petersburg, and Berlin, painting her way through a good portion of Europe and leaving remarkable portraits of each region's aristocracy in her wake before ultimately making her way to back to Paris as the revolutionary climate cooled. The 80-piece Exhibition includes major works from private collectors including Queen Elizabeth II well as from the Musée National des Châteaux de Versailles et de Trianon, the Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna, the Musée du Louvre that are rarely if ever lent to other museums. It's an illuminating look into not only the art of one of the French royal court's most lavish eras but also one woman's very real story of surviving turbulent, even life threatening times. 
If you go this weekend, you will also get an opportunity to catch a glimpse into the life of one of France's modern aristocrats. The Costume Institute's Jacqueline de Ribes: The Art of Style closes on Sunday at the Anna Wintour Costume Center, so it's your last chance to peek into the estimable wardrobe of Countess Jacqueline de Ribes, one of the world's most stylish women, so think of it as a multi-era French art and fashion doubleheader.

Vigée Le Brun: Woman Artist in Revolutionary France through May 15th and Jacqueline de Ribes: The Art of Style through February 21st at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1000 Fifth Avenue at 82nd Street, Upper East Side


SAMPLE CIRCUIT:

This Weekend Check Out Sales From Morgane Le Fay & Ralph Lauren Home

MorganeLeFaySampleSale
There's not a whole lot going on Sample Sale-wise these days, but starting tomorrow, there will be two events worth checking out.

Fans of ethereal women's apparel collection MORGANE LE FAY will be lining up at the SoHo boutique tomorrow morning for the seasonal sample sale that runs through next Thursday. Particularly popular among brides and wedding parties, the label is known for its signature mix of romantic and modernist elements, and the line can include everything from hoop skirts to bomber jackets including the looks pictured above. Look for discounts up to 70% off.

One of the most anticipated sales is always the RALPH LAUREN HOME clearance which starts tomorrow. The four-day blowout typically includes all of the designer's home collections from his top label including furniture, lighting, home accessories, bedding, dining collections and more from his top signature label. Part of the appeal comes from the one-of-a-kind antiques and props from Lauren's visual merchandising warehouse which can include all manner of quirky decorative items. As usual, independent shipping services will be available on-site for extra fees, and, as this is an off-site Soiffer-Haskin sale, leave the kids at home.

Thing will pick up a bit more next week with BESPOKEN, BONOBOS and a long awaited DOLCE & GABBANA sale, so keep an eye on our SALE ROLL sidebar for details and late breaking events.