Sample Sale Report: Prada Puts Out The Dregs
August 22, 2007
It's been a strangely cold and dreary bunch of days feeling more like April than August, so The Shophound would have thought that a Prada Sample Sale would have been an excellent way to brighten the day.
Prada's sale is a more exclusive affair than your average "line up in front of the showroom with the masses and rummage through boxes as fast as you can before someone else gets the good stuff" event. You have to log in and register online and choose a particular one-hour appointment for your shopping time. You also have to know when to do this, because the site is non functional during the rest of the year, and you may not get a notification when it comes alive again.
So, this morning we traipsed up to the second floor of the Fuller Building at 57th and Madison to see what we could score, only to discover that they should have been paying us to cart what little they had away.
Now, we have been to many a sample sale in our day, and we know the hazards. Sometimes odd items form previous seasons get tossed in with the extra stock, as well as damaged items and, of course, the actual samples.
At Prada, we found a remarkable assortment of the shopworn and the too-ugly-to-sell. We all know Miuccia has a penchant for the shoe with too much going on. It's too bright and too chunky and too weird, but it appeals to her perhaps in a perverse way, as palate cleanser after all the pretty things. Nobody actually buys those shoes, so they wind up at the sample sale, aparently in abundance. And that goes double for the menswear, which contained a lot of items that were in disturbingly poor condition, from who knows what season. As for the bags, customers were allowed to purchase only one, and most of the selection consisted of one small style of white nylon shoulder bag. It looks like this is what's left after they unload the decent stuff to Bluefly or their outlets.
Having said that, there were probably gems hidden here and there for those lucky few with the patience to rummage through, and thanks to the not terribly strictly enforced appointment schedule (we were late for ours, but nobody seemed top mind) the place is not crowded in the least, allowing a refreshingly relaxing experience.
Our guess is that the good stuff goes fast on the first day, which is further restricted to specially invited customers.
Our advice? Go make friends with someone at Prada for next season.