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Sample Sale Report: Hermès At 60% Off Is Still Insanely Expensive!


The sample sales are coming fast and furious as the summer closes. This week brought the heavy hitters like Prada, Intermix's combat shopping excercise and, of course, the continuing Barneys Warehouse Sale. We hear that the Jimmy Choo sale was a nightmare of waiting and line cutting, and we simply didn't have the patience to wait on the sidewalk for Mulberry's sale. We did manage to catch the Hermès sale yesterday with mixed results. First, the pluses. The pristine white loft in the Metropolitan Pavilion serves as pleasant backdrop for Hermès' relatively neat racks and shelves. We had to wait only for the elevator and a fast bag-check line. There was still plenty of stuff around midway through day #2. The sale was actually staffed with salespeople to assist you, and individual tents in signature orange served as changing rooms at the back of the sale, thus avoiding the undignified sample sale strip.
Now the minuses. Here's the obvious one: Hermès is so expensive that even at a huge discount, the stuff is still astonishingly costly. A $6,500 coat would still be a whopping $2,000 at least. As usual for these types of things, the age of some of the goods appeared questionable.
It must be noted that if you are expecting to score a Birkin or Kelly bag, don't waste your time. The bag selection consisted almost entirely of variations on the L.L.Bean canvas tote.

Hermessale1 One small canvas and leather shoulder bag was still over $1,000. A small leather version of the tote was similarly priced, and that was the only leather bag to be seen. Even the canvas totes started at a couple hundred dollars. There were no signature "H" belts, and only a small selection of still expensive wallets and small leathergoods. The accessory offerings in general were meager. There were plenty of shoes, many in various states of ugly ranging from mildly odd to full-on fugly. as well as a decent selection of scarves ($195 down from $325) and ties ($89 down from $148). As we know, some of Hermès silk patterns are gorgeous, and some are...un-gorgeous. It was a mixed bag here. The best bargains were to be found at the back of the sale where the tabletop collections were going for 70% off. The assortment also included items from Puiforcat and Cristal Saint-Louis, so if you like an elegant dining table, it's definitely worth a trip.
We are almost tired of all these sales already, and of the vulturelike crowds, but we haven't quite finished yet. There's always the last weekend at Barneys Warehouse, to see if there's anything left for the final, brutal markdown.
Hermès Sale thrugh Sunday 8/24 (hours vary)
Metropolitan Pavilion Gallery 123 West 18th Street, 4th Floor, Chelsea


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