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Barneys's Warehouse Sale Update

Barneyswarehousenotice_2 It looks like the last bit of price slashing is in effect at the Barneys Warehouse Sale which ends Monday.
Our friends at RACKED have a nice clear shot of the final markdown chart which indicates additional markdowns of around 40% to 60% off the already reduced prices. Whether or not there will be even more reductions on the final day is unclear, but it's all practically a giveaway right now, and we would suggest that the expended time, hassle and crowd you will encounter on Monday may not be worth the extra 5% or 10% you might save by waiting.
Go now.
Get your bargains.
Walk by the people in line all day on Monday and sneer.
It's remarkably satisfying.
Barneys Warehouse Sale 255 West 17th Street between 7th and 8th Avenues through September 1st
Last Days of Barneys Sale Bring Hefty Discounts, Damaged Goods (RACKED)

Vital Gatecrashing Information Alert:

Fashion Week's
Party Schedule Revealed

With Fashion Week activity starting next Friday (and in some case before), the press is all obsessed with preparations. Which models will break out? Which Gossip Girls will go to how many shows? -and so on and so forth.
We know that some of you all out there really couldn't give two hoots about the shows, but the parties are an entirely different issue. To that end, Our friends at New York Magazine's The Cut have published a comprehensive guide to Fashion Week's parties -none of which, to our horror, have invited us.
Oh well, boo hoo. We'll probably be too tired to go anyway, but it is indispensable information for those of you would-be crashers out there.
Above, you'll find our photo from last season's Marc Jacobs party which, though pictured on the post, is curiously absent from the list.
Maybe the folks at New York want to make sure that they are still invited
Spring 2009 Fashion Week Party Guide (The Cut)

New SoHo Import Chain Alert:

South Korea's Eryn Brinié
Joins Broadway's International Mall

ErynbrinieinteriorWe admit we groaned a little bit when we heard about Eryn Brinié, yet another initial foray into the American market by an overseas fast-fashion chain, this time from South Korea. On top of that bit of tiresomeness, it bears the name of a made-up character, a young French-born, New York based designer (who for some reason has a strangely Gaelic sounding name). We hate that sort of fakery, like Ruehl's fake headquarters at 925 Greenwich Street, an address that doesn't actually exist.
But back to Eryn Brinié.
Sometimes it's good to have low expectations, because when we stopped by to check the place out, we were pleasantly surprised.
For starters, Eryn Brinié may be one of the few stores offering current Summer merchandise (or at least very lightweight Fall goods) to buy and wear right now.
Of course, that means that they are not on sale like everyone else, but the prices are so modest (thanks to "Made in Korea") that it hardly matters. It's not UNIQLO cheap, but there's a lot of appealing stuff priced under $100.
Also, the stuff looked good.
What is happily missing is the brassy glitz that regularly pervades Zara, M.N.G, Kira Plastinina, et al. Eryn Brinié has actually filled a niche for fast fashion with a little more sophistication that nobody noticed was empty.
Even the store design is refreshing, with one wall featuring curved-edged vertical fins of frosted glass creating a cloudy, slightly dreamlike effect.
Erynbrinieexterior Only a few days after opening, the store looked busy, though the endless crowds of tourists in SoHo has a bit to do with that. The brand is only a year old, and it already has 39 stores in Asia. With speed like that, we predict that the ersazt-named store will be a mall mainstay within a few months (8 to 10 stores are planned for the area in the next year), so be sure to get in on the action before predictable banality sets in.
Eryn Brinié 501 Broadway between Spring & Broome Streets, SoHo

Dubious Promotional Event Department:

Lush In The Buff-
Soap Sellers Take It All Off

Lushnaked How did we forget about this?
Yesterday was the day that Lush employees were encouraged to step outside at noon wearing nothing but their aprons as a way to draw attention to wasteful packaging in the cosmetics industry, and Lush's lack thereof. Get it? No clothes, no packaging. Yeah, we're sure that's what the classy guy in the Nets jersey with the video camera is thinking.
On second thought, we're sort of glad that we missed this, because if you think about it, it's really sorta gross.
In fact, we are sure that there is some sort of sexual harassment in even suggesting that employees show their asses at the workplace, or even worse, just outside the workplace on the sidewalk. And then there's definitely yet another form of sexual harassment in having to see your co-worker's ass.
On third thought, there's just so many different kinds of wrong going on here we don't know where to start.
Hey, it's not that The Shophound is such a prude, or against asses. Far from it. We just know that introducing nudity into a non-Gentleman's Club or proctologist workplace is asking for awkwardness, embarrassment, trouble and discomfort.
After all, if you have a job at an upscale soap store it's usually a pretty good bet that you are not going to be asked to subject your bare tucchis to the leering eyes of the public and their cellphone cameras.
While the young lady pictured above has a perky fanny she can be proud of, and seems to have lost as little dignity as possible under the circumstances, we can't help guessing that she may be thinking, "This isn't what I thought it would be like..."
-Especially now that said fanny is currently ALL OVER THE INTERNET.
Hey, we've all worked at some point with someone whose kiester we might have liked a gander at... just not necessarily at work.
Lush Employees Go Naked (The Cut)

This Week In Lists:

The Manager Of A Sandwich Stand
Is One Of The 50 Most Powerful
People In Fashion?

T10_fashion50_wintour À propos of Fashion Week, The New York Daily News published its list of the 50 most powerful people in Fashion a couple of days ago, and we have a few quibbles.
It's not that Anna Wintour is at the top of the heap. That's a given. She has transcended her industry, and we daresay that as Fashion's current reigning empress, she may well be the first Vogue editor-in-chief who won't learn that she has been fired from watching the 6 O'Clock News. And if she does, it won't be for quite a while. No, when Anna's time is up, she will get the kick upstairs, because we are sure she knows where all the bodies are buried.
We don't dispute La Wintour's position, but though the list includes a good number of genuine heavy hitters, we are somewhat skeptical as to the real power and influence of Michael Oliver, the manager of the Bryant Park 'Witchcraft kiosk (pictured below left), who made it all the way up to number 30.
T10_fashion50_oliverReally? We're sure he's a nice guy, but come on.
Unfortunately, The News did not detail exactly how serving coffee and pricey sandwiches to the Bryant Park showgoers for two weeks out of the year translates into Fashion Power.
Can he make or break a designer?
Can he get you an appointment with the president of Neiman Marcus?
Can he get you into the Marc Jacobs show?
Can he get himself into the Marc Jacobs show?
The same goes for one or two others on the list who may be highly visible, or marginally influential, but actually powerful? Maybe not so much.
But big congrats to our friend Leslie Price of RACKED, the only blogger included, who made it to number 39.
We know she's more powerful than the espresso slinger.
Fashion's 50 Most Powerful (NY Daily News)

From The Inbox-Today In Good Manners:

Dempsey & Carroll Brings Stationery
Style Home To The Upper East Side

Image001Remember stationery?
Yes, it seems like a quaint, fuzzy memory here in the days of instant text message communication and email, especially when we do so much work on the computer, that actually writing a note longhand seems so...inefficient.
It's hard to imagine that it wasn't so long ago when getting your own personalized stationery was a rite of passage not at all matched today by getting one's first email address.
Dempsey & Carroll, the venerable stationery engravers certainly haven't forgotten, and to that end, next month they will be bringing their flagship store uptown to what is likely their strongest customer base. The new headquarters will be on Lexington Avenue between 74th and 75th Streets, the very nerve center of the Upper East Side. The full range of products and services will be offered including D&C's painstaking artisanal engraving.
It's worlds away from laser printing.
Dempsey & Carroll 1049 Lexington Avenue between 74th and 75th Streets, Upper East Side, opening September 15th

Preparing For Fashion Week:

The Tents Are Back With Private
Shows And Designer Returns

Fashion Week is gearing up again to start in just about a week (with a timely election theme) and it looks like the Mercedes Benz Fashion Week tents in Bryant Park have regained a little bit of luster this season.
Donna Karan has moved DKNY back to the big tent to celebrate the brand's 20th anniversary, and acclaimed couturier Ralph Rucci has returned his Chado show to New York after a season showing in Paris, much to the delight of buyers and editors who felt his absence last January.
Once again, a limited number of tickets will be made available to the public (well, that's the AMEX Gold, Platinum and Centurion cardmember public) through the American Express Skybox in Bryant Park. Various packages are available, depending on cardmember level, and can be ordered here. Proceeds from the sale of event packages will contribute to the $500,000 American Express donation to the Council of Fashion Designers of America Vogue Fashion Fund, so all you editors and buyers who roll your eyes at the civilians should know that they are supporting young designers.
Last season, the tireless Peter Som did double duty with a special runway show just for AMEX cardmembers, and this time around, Zac Posen will add a private card-members-only show for his Spring collection on Friday September 12th, making it the final event of the season.
Economic woes aside, It looks like Fashion Week will be as jam packed as ever.
Mercedes Benz Fashion Week (Official Site)

New Additions:

Comptoir Des Cotonniers
Est Ouvert À Spring Street

SoHo has been a hive of new store activity lately, (and we haven't even gotten to discussing the new Nike Store). The latest arrival is the French chain Comptoir des Cotonniers which opened its doors a few days ago, and is still receiving its first deliveries as you read this. It's an elegant, low key spot with a classic single-bar-along-the-walls layout and dressing rooms in the back. The goods have an easy sophistication and are reasonably well-priced, all bearing labels carefully denoting that they are designed in France, but as is common these days, made somewhere in Eastern Europe, or China. The brand prides itself on dressing many different generations of women, and the store offers a mix of classic pieces and more highly styled items that should sell easily in SoHo.
The real significance of Comptoir des Cotonniers is not just that it's another well priced European chain looking to enter the American market, but that its parent company is Tokyo's Fast Retailing Co. Ltd., also known as the parent company of Shophound obsession UNIQLO.
Comptoir, in contrast to its giant sibling a few blocks away, has chosen to go for a much more low-key opening strategy befitting its more upscale image. How it will fly in the U.S. depends a great deal on how more robust Americans respond to the French-scaled clothes, often a stumbling block for Gallic brands selling below the designer level here, and how the company makes accomodations for customers here.
In SoHo it's unlikely to be much of a problem.
Once you get to midwestern malls however...
Comptoir des Cotonniers 155 Spring Street between West Broadway and Wooster Street, SoHo

Upcoming International Arrivals:

Argentina Sends Etiqueta Negra
To Lafayette Street

The bereft former home of Tootsi Plohound didn't sit empty for long.
Argentinian clothing brand  Etiqueta Negra will be taking the space according to the wide expanse of plywood that has appeared near the corner of Prince and Lafayette Streets.
Our research found scant information about Etiqueta Negra, which means simply "Black Label". It appears to be a luxury brand with close ties to the Polo world. That's Polo meaning a sport involving men on horses, not Ralph Lauren. The sport, is huge in Argentina, though this brand appears to encompass a full lifestyle collection with a elegant edge. The SoHo store will apparently be devoted to menswear, though the brand's website also features women's apparel in its advertising and some of it's stores.
From what we can gather, some find the label expensive by Argentina's standards, but, frankly, we're not sure what that will mean in U.S. dollars. We discovered descriptions like "Top local designer" and "up to par with the Italians in terms of quality and craftsmanship". This looks like it will be the first North American store for Etiqueta Negra, which is benefiting from recent backing by Columbian private investment firm Tribeca Partners specifically to expand the label internationally.
Color us curious. New York has seen an influx of girly chains from Spain, Russia and South Korea lately, but so far, little from Argentina.
It is refreshing, however, not to have yet another overseas fast-fashion chain thrust in our face these days.
No word yet on opening dates, but we'll keep an eye on this one.
Etiqueta Negra (Official Site)

Topshop Opening Buildup Begins:

TOPSHOP.com To Get USA Makeover
In Advance Of Store Opening

Topshopimage Topshop is getting ready for its big US opening with an online revamp to reel in its American customers.
Starting on September 9th, about a month in advance of the SoHo flagship opening, the Topshop and Topman websites will undergo an extensive redesign that will include selling merchandise in U.S. dollars.
Toss aside that calculator because those pesky exchange rate computations will be a thing of the past next month.
A special online section will be created where the staffs of the New York and London flagships will post advice to customers in a NYC vs. London competition.
In addition, special British-y items will be offered to US customers, including Jack the Ripper themed limited-edition T-shirts. After all, what's more British than a legendary, never caught serial killer?
That's all in addition  to the inevitable invasion of citywide promotional activity to prime New Yorkers for October's Grand Opening. Double decker buses are rumored to be involved.
Topshop rejigs sites ahead of US landing (Retail Week)