A Packed Sale Week With Rebecca Minkoff, Alexander McQueen, Anna Sui, Thakoon, Helmut Lang, Public School, Steven Alan & Much More

Welcome to another cram-packed week of sample sales.
The middle weeks of November are typically high season as designers must clear their warehouses to make room for Spring and Pre-Spring deliveries that are on their way and need room.

Things kicked off in a big way yesterday with one of 260 Sample Sale's seasonal heavy hitters, REBECCA MINKOFF at 260 Fifth Avenue. When The Shophound stopped by the press preview yesterday morning, the abundant selection of bags were neatly arranged on numerous tables (pictured above), and there was every sort of bag anyone would want from big totes to small clutches and everything in between. Prices were scaled out in a way that could have given a discount from about 40% to 60% off depending on the bag's original price, and there was a small but appealing collection of men's Ben Minkoff bags and backpacks waiting to be liquidated as the line has now been renamed after the designer's brother and business partner Uri Minkoff. A line of regular shoppers was beginning about an hour before the sale opening, and we imagine that the neatly regimented arrangement has been hopelessly disrupted by now. The sale runt through Sunday with likely restocking and possibly price reductions along the way for those holding out for a greater discount. See a gallery of price lists and images after the jump.

Also on Monday, ANNA SUI opened a rare weeklong Sample Sale that is offering deep discounts in a reportedly tiny showroom space that only allowed a few shoppers at a time. Those with the patience to wait will find many items under $100 making it a must for Sui fans.

The big draw this week is ALEXANDER McQUEEN which is being presented by Soiffer Haskin for three days starting today through Thursday at the Metropolitan Pavilion in Chelsea. Look for both Men's and Women's collections. Last year's sale had discounts that reached up to 90% off with prices that seemed more designer collaboration than luxury Prêt-à-Porter, so this one is likely to attract early rising crowds of eager bargain hunters. 

Also today, FLOTUS fave THAKOON will invite shoppers down to western SoHo for discounts up to 70% off both the main and Thakoon Addition collections from the past Fall season through Saturday.

Wednesday brings contemporary mainstay VIVIENNE TAM promising up to 75% discounts as well as one-of-a-kind vintage samples through Friday the 13th.
HELMUT LANG is also making its first sample sale appearance this season on Wednesday at one of his usual haunts, Chelsea Market. Women's and Men's collections are being offered at 60% off through Sunday.

Thursday will be a quadruple whammy of sales featuring one fabled Parisian label's diffusion label and three major showroom sales. First up is SEE by CHLOÉ, in midtown promising 70% off this popular French contemporary line.
Next up, the ever-popular STEVEN ALAN sample sale is returning to Tribeca. This one has occasionally flirted with online alternatives, but this season it is back in full force on Franklin Street with 70% off the house brand's famous shirts and sportswear and 50% off other brand's merchandise. Look for a line of faithful fans through Sunday.
A few blocks uptown, THE NEWS opens its SoHo Showroom with its regular lineup of coveted brands including current Wunderkinder PUBLIC SCHOOL, sneaker wizards COMMON PROJECTS, Tim Coppens, Cheap Monday, Officine Generale and a host of other hot labels through Saturday.
Finally, PEREGRINE SHOWROOM on Lower Fifth Avenue will offer 60% to 80% mostly men's collections from OLIVER SPENCER, GILDED AGE Sandqvist, Chimala and more through Sunday.

That's just a sampling of this week's offerings. See our SALE ROLL at left for all the details, updates and even more sales plus late breaking events. Next week, mark your calendars for OSCAR de la RENTA, YIGAL AZROUËL, THEORY, REBECCA TAYLOR and more before we get a much-needed Thanksgiving break.

Continue reading "SAMPLE CIRCUIT:

A Packed Sale Week With Rebecca Minkoff, Alexander McQueen, Anna Sui, Thakoon, Helmut Lang, Public School, Steven Alan & Much More" »


Opening Ceremony To Sell H&M's Design Awards Winner
COS Coming To SoHo
All Of Isabel Marant's Men's Looks

8013_PR_08_lowThere's a truckload of news coming out of H&M today.
First on deck is the unusual occasion of H&M selling its wares in another store, and the impressive surprise of that store being New York's epicenter of directional design, Opening Ceremony. The Swedish chain's 2013 Design Award winner, Minju Kim will debut her collection (pictured at right) at select H&M stores on October 17th as well as at Opening Ceremony's New York, Los Angeles and London stores. It's the first time that H&M has partnered with another retailer, and Opening Ceremony's participation suggests that this new designer will be someone to watch. Born in Korea and schooled at The Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Antwerp, Belgium, Minju's manga-inspired collection was selected by a jury of fashion experts, and in about three weeks, you'll get a chance to see it for yourself.

The next bit of news concerns H&M's more sophisticated and expensive brand COS —which stands for Collection Of Style. Heretofore unavailable in the United States the brand will make its stateside debut sometime next year at an as yet undisclosed location somewhere 129 Spring Street between Greene and Wooster Streets in SoHo. No word yet on how big or extensive the store will be, but it's website —which does not ship to the U.S.— shows collections for Women, Men and Children. Hopefully, more details will emerge soon.

And lastly, this week has seen excitement for the upcoming Isabel Marant pour H&M collaboration collection increase exponentially as images of the offerings mede their way onto the internet via a variety of blogs and websites. Today, GQ was the first to present a detailed imagery from the men's section of the capsule collection including prices. They are Marant's first men's designs, and probably the only ones you will see from her in a while. The good news is, they translate the designer's eclectic boho vibe quite well for men including great outerwear pieces, jeans that are embellished just enough, and some easy tees and sweatshirts. The bad news is they won't be cheap. The jeans are $99, the terrific brass buttoned peacoat is $299, and the suede ankle boots are $199. The prices are in line with last year's ill-fated Maison Martin Margiela project. While we hope Marant's collection does better with shoppers than that one did (and it looks like it probably will) H&M wasted no time in marking down excess Margiela merch within a few weeks of the launch. In the event that guys are not quite ready for Marant's chunky sweaters and skinny, decorated jeans, more adventurous shoppers with paitence may find some bargains.
Have a look at more of Minju Kim's collection and some of Isabel Marant's key men's items in the gallery below. 

Bombshell: H&M's COS Is Coming to NYC! Specifically, Soho! (Racked)
Every Isabel Marant x H&M Menswear Piece (With Prices) (The GQ Eye)

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No More Line Cutting For Met Members At The McQueen Show

9.McQueenBlackDuckFeathersFall2009-10.L We're heading into the home stretch for the wildly popular exhibition "Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty" at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Since the show began, patient visitors have watched members of the museum receive priority entrance to the show and the museum itself, making the wait in line for non-members even longer. It's been frustrating, but a membership table outside the entrance to the show has allowed people to drop $100 for a new membership and skip the line, kind of like a VIP entrance fee that many free spending visitors were more than happy to pay. Obviously, it has been a boon for recruiting new members to the museum.

Well, there will be no more of that!

The Met has reportedly suspended member privileges for the show, so now everyone has to wait together. Apparently, decisions about whether or not to suspend the express entry have been erratic with special exceptions made for some and not for others, but as of now, it appears that the rules for the show, which ends on Sunday, are firm. Another unfortunate development, the very informative audio tours are mysteriously no loner available for anyone. Our guess is that the audio machines are just plain worn out from the constant use. Last Sunday, when we went, ours was a but wonky but mostly serviceable.

So that's the deal right now. We'll tr to keep up with changes for these last days which are sure to be hectic.

Met Stops Allowing Members to Skip Alexander McQueen Line (DNA Info via Racked)

Right Now It Is Practically Impossible To Get Inside The Metropolitan Museum Of Art
A Word About The Crowds At The Alexander McQueen Exhibition


Right Now It Is Practically Impossible
To Get Inside
The Metropolitan Museum Of Art

The Costume Institute exhibition "Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty" is now the Metropolitan Museum of Art's most popular costume show ever, and headed to its all time top ten before it closes after this weekend. It'll be right up there with Van Gogh and King Tut. Yesterday, we recounted our experience getting into the show early on a Sunday morning, and our friends at RACKED made a sojourn uptown to see how things were going. As you can see from their photos above and below, the lines just to get into the museum are INSANE. They estimate that the two lines on either side of the museum's main entrance are the equivalent of six to eight blocks long and, as they put it, "each packed three or four or five sweating jerks deep".

This, of course, is just to enter the building itself. Racked's correspondents obviously couldn't get inside to see how long the other line to get into the exhibition itself was, but we can safely assume that it's long, really, really long.

So, that long lunch you were planning to hop over to the museum and catch the show before it closed? Consider it cancelled.

Going to Savage Beauty This Week? Good Luck With That. (RACKED)
Crowd Control: A Word About The Crowds At The Alexander McQueen Exhibition



A Word About The Crowds At The Alexander McQueen Exhibition

Yesterday, The Shophound finally made it to the Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. We're not going to go on and on about it other than to say it is one of the best fashion exhibitions in recent memory, and worth seeing even if you aren't all that into clothes. It will close after this weekend, so this is your last chance to see it.

One would have thought we would have been first in line when it opened so many months ago, but we have a strong aversion to crowds and waiting in line, so we were trying to find a time to go to the museum when we could avoid those things. Eventually we realized that the show had become so popular that no such time existed, and when we stopped by a few times at what we thought would be odd hours, we were informed of two hours or more in wait times. Finally, we decided to go at the opening hour on Sunday morning, and though we didn't breeze through, here's some tips for those of you who will want to catch the exhibition in its last week.

GO EARLY, but not too early. We arrive at the museum at 9:30 when it opens its doors, a bit later than we had planned. To our growing horror, there was a line out the front door, down the steps, all the way to 84th Street. We were almost about to turn and go when when museum guards had formed a second line at the entrance that barely made it down the steps. Did we feel a bit like we were cutting? We felt more like we dodged a bullet, and much better than if we had arrived a hour earlier to wait outside in the hot sun. One obstacle averted.

BUY A MEMBERSHIP. It's $100, but you can cut the lines. Even though we arrived at the moment the museum opened, there was already an hour-long wait inside the museum to enter the exhibition. We did have the advantage of being able to look at European Paintings and Sculpture and Central Asian Art while we waited which was some consolation, but know that there is a special membership table set up at the entrance to the show for anyone feeling overwhelmed with more waiting. Also know that by 11:30, when we exited the exhibition, the line had nearly quadrupled in length, winding around the entire second floor balcony.

LEAVE THE KIDS AT HOME. The museum is a wonderful place for children, but not this show. Forget about some of the disturbing themes of McQueen's work, the first three rooms of the show are so crowded that they won't be able to see anything. The scene looks something like the picture above. Never mind how delightful kids can be when waiting in a slow-moving line.

GET THE RECORDED TOUR. You might think you know everything there is to know about Alexander McQueen, but the tour not only contains important commentary from curator Andrew Bolton, but also from Sarah Burton, Philip Treacy and several other people with insightful, often surprising things to say about the designer. Besides, the item descriptions in the exhibition are at about mid-shin level, and even the introductory comments on the walls are difficult to read through the crowds.

HAVE PATIENCE. As we mentioned, the first rooms of the show are so crowded and bottlenecked that you might feel on the edge of a claustrophobic fit. if you persevere, however, the congestion seems to ease up after that, and you can more fully appreciate the show.

It takes an extra effort to see this show, for sure, but it is well worth the trouble. It turns out that MCQueen was an even more thoughtful and creative designer then he was given considerable credit for being during his short career. The exhibition shows him to have been the rare decorative artist who was able to transcend his chosen discipline. See it while you can.


Your Met Ball Roundup

Mcqueen2 The Shophound has been preoccupied with all sorts of mundane things today, and all anyone else can find to talk about is the Met Ball or Osama Bin Laden, so at the very least we wanted to round up the significant Costume Institute stories for your easy access without having to use that pesky Google. As for Bin Laden, we can only paraphrase Chevy Chase's Weekend Update days in saying that as far as we know he, just like Generalissimo Francisco Franco, is still dead.

The New York Times has tasked Eric Wilson with reviewing the party,
Suzy Menkes with reviewing the show
and Cathy Horyn adds a typically pointed blog post.

If you missed Daphne Guinness' dressing up in Barneys' window, the store has the video streaming on its website, The Window. In all honesty, we have to say it looked a bit stupid amateurish at best from the video, and ultimately, it's not very interesting to watch, but it got Barneys and Guinness truckloads of publicity, which, we suppose was the ultimate goal. Racked has one of its signature minute by minute livebloggings up with some genuinely interesting crowd photos, and it is actually much more entertaining than the actual event in the way such things can be. They also have a different video from another angle posted HERE for those of you out there who are unreasonably obsessive.

If you found Guinness' antics disappointing, The Cut has a video of Iman actually getting ready for the ball in the discreet privacy of her hotel room. She turns out to be the perfect combination of real human being and impossibly glamorous creature from Fashionland. Every second is a general lesson in fabulousness. She's one model whose talking we never tire of hearing.
In addition, they have The Fug Girls going to town on the celebrity guests as well as one of its signature Q&A Party Lines Slideshows.

And then, of course, there are the guests and their clothes. As usual, is the most exhaustive with a whopping 131 photos! Its new competitor has a meager 84 shots. While Vogue has an arguably superior collection of well taken, evocative party photos, remains the winner in thorough coverage and correctly identifying each attendee as well as the designers of their dresses (something which Vogue oddly doesn't trouble itself with at all). The only thing we miss is vintage W's merciless ratings system from 4 stars down to FV (Fashion Victim) back when it was a biweekly broadsheet. Yeah, we're old. So what?

If that's not enough coverage for you, then we strongly suggest you step away from the computer.
Eat something.
Go outside for a nice walk.

Oh, and you might want to click the image above for information on the actual Alexander McQueen exhibition at the Metropilitan Museum of Art running through July 31.

McQueen To Meet The Met In 2011

WWDmcqueen In a predictable but welcome move, The Costume Institute at the Metropolitan Museum of Art will devote its next major exhibition to the work of Alexander McQueen. WWD reports that “Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty” will run from May 4 to July 31 and cover the period from his graduate collection at London's Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design to his shocking suicide earlier this year. The exhibition will draw from the various archives of the designer's own label and Givenchy as well as from the collection of the late Isabella Blow which is now entirely in the possession Daphne Guinness. It will also include many items created in collaboration with other designers. Andrew Bolton, who will be overseeing the show told WWD, “He really was one of the most provocative voices of the past 30 years in fashion. His catwalk presentations were outstanding and straddle art and fashion. We want to get across two elements — the spectacle of the runway presentations and the beauty of his craftsmanship.”

As is traditional, the show will launch following the annual Costume Institute Benefit gala on May 2. Not surprisingly, the Met Ball will be a PPR/Gucci Group sponsored event. Co-chairs, aside from Anna Wintour, will include François-Henri Pinault and Salma Hayek, who will be the evening’s honorary chairs, Colin Firth and Stella McCartney whose business is also part of the Gucci Group. Expect attire for the evening to be something of a celebrity tribute to McQueen.

The show is not an unexpected move from the Costume Institute as a similar exhibition was staged shortly after the equally untimely death of Gianni Versace (we're still waiting for that Geoffrey Beene show). It's worth noting that since an acclaimed but controversial Yves Saint Laurent exhibition 30 years ago, the museum has had a policy against Costume Institute shows that focus on a single living designer. At the time it was criticized for being used as a commercial platform for the then thriving designer's business. All the same, the upcoming show will be underwritten by the Alexander McQueen Co.

Alexander McQueen's Major Moment (WWD)


McQueen Boutique Becomes A Sidewalk Shrine

The Alexander McQueen boutique on West 14th Street will reopen for business today after a two day mourning period for its namesake designer. In the intervening days, the shop's window has become a shrine of sorts to the designer who apparently took his own life on Thursday. Showing how powerful McQueen had become as a design influence, bereft fans have left flowers, candles and other tributes much like one would expect after the death of a movie star or spors hero.
We expect the store will be busy going forward with customers hoping to get a piece of one of his final collections.

Pop Up Report:

Target McQ Market Is Open

We took a little break from our showgoing to check out the Alexander McQueen McQ for Target preview that the fine folks at Target set up on the West Side Highway for us Marget deprived Manhattanites.
Now, typically, the folks around here would be falling all over themselves trying to cram into this sort of preview opportunity. The Target Bullseye Bodegas apparently did very well last fall, so we can't quite figure out why the McQ Market was so...roomy. There were maybe twenty people waiting to get in today at noon, so there really wasn't much reason to line up early. Is it the economy? This stuff is pretty cheap. Perhaps it was the location? The windy West Side Highway at Houston Street may have been just a bit too far out of the way for a Sunday afternoo's shopping trip. Add to that the lack of signage pointing people in the right direction, or even letting them know that it existed.
We're hoping it got busier after we left, because Target trucked in tons of merchandise, to fill a vast warehouse space, alongside several art installations and a live DJ, at least until tonight at 10 PM. Come Monday, it all gets dismantled and you'll have to wait until March 4th or thereabouts to buy it at a regular Target Store
Alexander McQueen for Target McQ Market 330 West Street at West Houston Street through 10PM on February 15th

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