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Barneys Warehouse Sale Hits ½ Price

Well, now that we know rolling markdowns are in effect, The Shophound couldn't help checking back at the Barneys Warehouse Sale this afternoon where we found discounts rising to 50% off the ticket price on pretty much everything except the tiny table of home goods (Why even bother?) which is holding at 25% off according to the posted  update seen above. Men's dress shirts and ties are now $39 and $19 apiece respectively which led to something of a feeding frenzy that had customers digging through the backstock boxes under the tables , exasperating the attendants tasked with keeping the stock orderly. Most of it was private label basics —still a very good deal— but if you actually happen upon a stray Armani or Brioni piece, then you have really hit the jackpot. As for the rest of the merchandise, it was pretty picked over when the sale opened last week, so you can imagine how sad most of it looks now. However, if you do find something, now it's probably a really great price. Will there be another price slashing before the last day on Monday? Stranger things have been known to happen, so stay tuned.

Barneys Warehouse Sale Through Labor Day September 1 at the Metropolitan Pavilion, entrance at 110 West 19th Street between Sixth & Seventh Avenues, Chelsea
Warehouse Update: There Are Markdowns At The Barneys Warehouse Sale


The Kooples Is Open On W 14th Street

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Though there are still a lot of empty storefronts on West 14th Street, one eagerly awaited new arrival just made its Meatpacking District debut. French contemporary sportswear label The Kooples has quietly opened the doors of its first New York store (another is headed soon to SoHo) in the space formerly occupied by Moschino at 401 West 14th Street. Created as a label for men and women to shop together and share (Kooples = couples, get it?) The Kooples is the latest in a wave of French labels like Sandro, Maje, Zadig & Voltaire and Comptoir des Cotonniers, to name a few, who have arrived in the U.S. to cater to customers who in the past might have gravitated toward the designer labels that have now become prohibitively expensive even for affluent shoppers.

On 14th Street, The Kooples has replaced Moschino's whimsical white interior with serious slabs of black and white marble. Is there a whiff of Hedi Slimane's Saint Laurent aesthetic in the air? Well, the sleek stone and chrome design bears more than a passing resemblance to the store concept template that the rejuvenated couture house has replicated globally. You'll see the Slimane effect in the collections as well with skinny suits and body skimming shirts and sweaters for men and graphic prints with vintage touches in a distinctive black, gray, white and red palette for the ladies on the other side of the store. Harder edged, streetwise shoes and accessories for both complete the look, and while the label stops short of blatant knock-offs, the current influence is clear —and who can blame them? The look has flummoxed critics who expect more originality from Saint Laurent, but delighted the customers who can afford it. It makes perfect sense for a trend-driven label like the Kooples to translate it a tier or two downmarket to a slightly less extravagant clientele that is still several steps away from cheaper fast fashion from Zara and H&M. The strategy seems to be working well for the relatively young brand. With outposts in Los Angeles and San Francisco already up and running, in-store shops in several Bloomingdale's, Nordstrom and Saks Fifth Avenue locations and U.S. e-commerce set to debut soon, expect to see a lot more of The Kooples soon

The Kooples 401 West 14th Street at Ninth Avenue, Meatpacking District


There Are Markdowns At
The Barneys Warehouse Sale

To be honest, The Shophound nearly forgot that The Barneys Warehouse Sale was even still happening, but since we were in Chelsea yesterday afternoon, we thought we would stop in for just a second to see how things were progressing. To our surprise we saw something that really didn't happen at the sale last year: Markdowns! It turns out that the folks at Barneys actually learned a lesson from last August's poorly received event and decided to re-instate the kind of time-released discounts that Warehouse Sale shoppers have come to anticipate.

Yes, the pickings are still meager, and our initial assessment of general suckage still holds, but now there are discounts across the board which may make shopping more worth your while. Discounts run from 25% to 40% off the ticketed price (see details above), and certain categories like men's dress shirts at $59 and neckties at $39 are at an easy-to-calculate flat price making either purchase a good deal. Since the sale runs through Monday, the possibility of more markdowns is strong, so you may want to think about a visit over the weekend if you are in town. We will try and check again for more updates, so stay tuned if you are holding out for last day, rock bottom savings.

Barneys Warehouse Sale Through Labor Day September 1 at the Metropolitan Pavilion, entrance at 110 West 19th Street between Sixth & Seventh Avenues, Chelsea
Return Engagement: The Barneys Warehouse Sale is Back And It Still Sucks



MCM Plans A SoHo Flagship

You can be forgiven for not knowing that German status handbag brand MCM has had its only boutique in the Plaza Hotel for the past few years. Though highly touted when it opened, the underground retail complex at the hotel quickly turned into something of a shopping black hole, and has found more success since being converted into a food hall, but where does that leave the once ubiquitous MCM? This Fall the leathergoods company will be making bigger waves when it opens a full flagship store at 100 Greene Street (pictured above). Home to designer Jill Stuart until recently, the store will not only feature products with the brand's familiar Cognac Visetos logo pattern but also newer, more sophisticated logo-free merchandise designed to attract luxury customers who have moved beyond exterior status symbols. "Our classic pieces appeal to our loyal customers but our cleaner silhouettes draw the attention of a new shopper, MCM's international chief executive officer Paolo Fontanelli tells WWD, "These pieces have minimal overt MCM branding. For fall, there’s pebbled lambskin, cowhide napa leathers and exotic skins." This new store represents a renewed effort to re-establish the MCM brand in the U.S. Though it enjoyed widespread recognition in the 1980s, the brand has had a rocky road since then as logo festooned looks fell in and out of fashion and rampant counterfeiting eroded its business in the ensuing years. Owned by South Korean retailer Sung-Joo Group since 2005, the brand's SoHo store will be the first of several planned flagships for the brand which should put new stores in Miami, Texas, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Chicago in short order. 

MCM to Open Manhattan Flagship (WWD)


Crumbs Will Come Back To Life In Columbus Square And Beyond

has died.
Now, Crumbs will come back to life.
Amid much speculation that the cupcake chain's death was not at all permanent, the bakery chain is set to reopen its first set of doors in September at the Columbus Square retail complex between 98th and 99th Streets on the Upper West Side (above). The assets of the chain have been purchased at a very brief bankruptcy auction by CNBC TV personality Marcus Lemonis  in joint venture with Fischer Enterprises LLC.
They were the only bidders.
Lemonis is know for a TV show in which he turns around failing businesses, so don't be surprised if the triumphant return of Crumbs becomes a TV show at some point. Lemonis's plans include broadening the product offering at Crumbs to include coffee and other beverages as well as the possible incorporation of other food brands from chains owned by Fischer like Matt's Cookies, the Key West Key Lime Pie Co., and Dippin Dots Ice Cream. So far, the tiny Columbus Avenue location, which at little more than a display counter and register may not be big enough for much additional product, is the only location announced to reopen, ultimately, 28 of the shop's 49 New York shops are expected to resume business. For the moment, however, Crumbs fans will have to plan a trek up to Columbus Square sometime in September for their first sweet treat from the revived chain.

Cupcake lovers rejoice! Crumbs re-opening in Columbus Square (NYPost)
Empty Wrappers: Why CRUMBS Got Swept Away


Giuseppe Zanotti, Lanvin, Prada, Nanette Lepore, Tracy Reese, Tom Ford, Versace Collection, Zegna, TOD's, Burberry, Gucci, See by Chloé

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. Happy clicking!

Lanvin, Giuseppe Zanotti, Twelfth Street by Cynthia Vincent, Fern Freeman Fine Jewelry, Tibi. Joie Shoes, Anna Sui, Autumn Cashmere, Bliss Spa, Prada, Frederique Constant Watches, Brioni, Versace Collection, Papi Underwear, Fred Perry, Filson, Tommy Hilfiger, Danner, Punto Cashmere, Errebiacasa, Voluspa, Missoni Beach Towels —join HERE
Giuseppe Zanotti, Nanette Lepore, Aquatalia by Marvin K, Hanro, Gucci, Tweezerman, A. Testoni, Pangea Home, Steiner Sports, Just Cavalli, Alice + Olivia, Christopher Fischer, Franco Sarto, Erno Laszlo Skincare, Casadei, Hervé Chapelier, Corso Como, Arthur Court —join HERE
Valentino, TOD's, Lori Kassin Fine Jewelry, Salvatore Ferragamo, Z Zegna, Givenchy, MARC by Marc Jacobs, Burberry, Fendi, Bulova —join HERE
Lorac, Marika Tek, Segolene en Cuir, True Religion, Vince, Diptyque, Charles David, LeSportsac, J.A. Henckels, Jonathan Adler, Staub, Tart Steve Madden, X by Gottex, Reef, Nic + Zoe, Giorgio Fedon 1919 Watches, Billionaire Boys Club, English Laundry, Puma —join HERE
SEE by Chloé, Balmain Sunglasses, Alexander McQueen, Tracy Reese, Puma, Paperwhite, Ike Behar, Lorenzini, Tom Ford, James Jeans, Triple Five Soul, Kappa, Eleven Paris, Bulova, Versace Shoes & Accessories, Kasil Workshop Denim —join HERE
Liebeskind, Welspun, Giorgio Brutini, Robert Graham, Armenta Jewelry, Dolce & Gabbana Accessories —join HERE


Find Everything For Your Multiple Personalities At Chelsea's Letter J

Western Chelsea isn't all about art galleries, as The Shophound discovered when we discovered recently opened menswear boutique Letter J close to where 23rd Street hits Eleventh Avenue. Rising rents continue to drive independent retailers out of the formerly central Eighth Avenue corridor and they are moving West as focus shifts to the High Line and the luxury condos that are rising around it. Those guys are going to need someplace nearby to shop, so hopefully they will find Letter J, perhaps on their way to work out at the Chelsea Piers. Inside, we found a little something for everyone, or maybe an assortment so broad that we couldn't really tell exactly which customer this store was trying to attract. There were classic American basics from Gant Rugger and Save Khaki, and a few steps away, neo-rave wear festooned with smiley faces (ah, the 90's) and some retro club tees from Boy London —perhaps for those clinging to hopes that The Roxy might one day re-open a few blocks away (It won't). But that isn't all. There was military cargo chic one one rack and some harder edged leather street-wear on another with trendy Herschel Supply co. bags in between. One table was full of sunny, surf inspired sweats and tees from GQ fave Aviator Nation. Not enough? Just in for Fall, there's full-on luxury, and much higher price points, from Etro, Lucien Pellat-Finet and Band Of Outsiders. It's a lot to take in. Maybe too much? It's all well-chosen, and there's promise, but not so much focus at Letter J. Hopefully, a few more seasons of business will help the ambitious boutique find and identity to stick with. In the meantime, the influx of new condo-dwellers should help them find the strong direction they need to become the destination store they need to be.

Letter J557 West 23rd Street between Tenth & Eleventh Avenues, Chelsea


The Barneys Warehouse Sale is Back
And It Still Sucks

Let's not bet around the bush here.
The Barneys Warehouse Sale that opened today bears no resemblance to the designer bargain bonanza that we had come to know, and is probably not worth your time. 

About a year ago, we weighed in on the newly relocated Barneys Warehouse Sale which had moved to the Metropolitan Pavilion for the first time after being turned out of its traditional 17th Street home as a result of extensive building renovations. We, and pretty much everyone else who had anything to say about it, agreed that this version was barely a shadow of the treasure trove of bargains that it had been in past seasons. The Shophoound even suggested that it was time to end it for good. Diverting the best of Barneys' clearance merchandise to the online, year-round Warehouse Sale site left the semi-annual Chelsea event looking like little more than a pointless exercise in maintaining a tradition that had outlived its usefulness.

This past winter, it looked like the folks at Barneys had heeded out advice, or at the very least, come to the same conclusions, and for the first time in years, there was no Winter Warehouse Sale. We and plenty of other people figured that as the end of it, and happily went on with out lives finding plenty of other places to shop.

But no.
It turns out that the sale was just taking a season off, or perhaps morphing into an annual, late Summer event, because, today, another Barneys Warehouse Sale opened at the Metropolitan Pavilion, and while it is slightly better than the last pathetic version, it isn't by much. We aren't going to walk you through the sale, section by section, picking out the few appealing designer items that could be found through some industrious rummaging. It's just not worth it. As far as we could tell, nothing was reduced further than its last final clearance price, some of which are only 50% to 60% off —scant savings for this type of event. There was an abundance of no particularly category except for men's suits and sportcoats, and even then, we saw nothing like the endless racks remembered from the old Warehouse Sales. Very little of what we saw appeared to come from the Spring 2014 season, and much of it was from last year or before. Clearly we were again seeing the dregs of what had already had a good run online and was finally being unloaded for good, which is not an inspiring prospect in a city where we can shop at the often bountiful sample sales of designers who sell to Barneys, and get better deals earlier in the season for current goods. Many things came from brands that no longer sell to Barneys, and in some cases, never did.

The old Barneys Warehouse Sale used to be a fun shopping adventure with great bargains justw aiting for the sharp-eyed, quick moving shopper willing to throw an elbow or two to get to the good stuff. As we pointed out last year, this sad excuse for what we have come to know as the Barneys Warehouse Sale should just end. Considering that Barneys' current management has shown little regard for most of the things that historically made Barneys unique and beloved by New York shoppers, it seems curious that they insist on hanging on to the Warehouse Sale, which has been made fairly obsolete by modern technology and e-commerce. Of all the things that the store's president, Mark Lee, and his management team have jettisoned (The Co-Op, the hilarious Holiday Windows, The separate but side by side Men's and Women's store concepts, the signature eclectic yet warm and inviting store ambiance) it is this pitiful, bedraggled Warehouse Sale that really should be discontinued.

Barneys Warehouse Sale Through Labor Day September 1 at the Metropolitan Pavilion, entrance at 110 West 19th Street between Sixth & Seventh Avenues, Chelsea
Warehouse Update: Is It Time To End The Barneys Warehouse Sale For Good?


Nostalgia In SoHo Edition

21zCRITICAL2-articleLargeIn tomorrow's Thursday Styles, our Critical Shopper Alexandra Jacobs tells us about Aurelie Bidermann's new jewelry store in SoHo with an uncharacteristically emotional point of view. "Thoughts of my father, who died in early June, overwhelmed me," she writes upon visiting the store, and so the usual nit-picking seems far beside the point. She is more struck by the emotional significance of jewelry as a gift or a symbol of shared affection.

With nature-based forms in precious materials, Ms. Bidermann's jewels are subtly scaled and easy to wear, if not particularly inexpensive, but our shopper is less interested this week in what these baubles look like than what they will mean to whoever eventually winds up wearing them.

Critical Shopper: Embracing Simple Pleasures By Alexandra Jacobs (NYTimes)
Aurelie Bidermann 265 Lafayette Street between Spring & Prince Streets, SoHo


Quiet Farewells On Madison Avenue From Soigné K, Cesare Paciotti
& Girard-Perregaux

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Like every desirable shopping district these days, Madison Avenue is once again accumulating its share of empty retail space. A few familiar storefronts on the street's golden stretch from 57th to 72nd Streets have called it quits in recent weeks. While we know that Godiva's corner shop will soon be shoe designer Louis Leeman's first U.S. store, we are still waiting to see what will happen at No. 833 where shoe designer Cesare Paciotti has sold stilettos for several years (above). Renovations appear to be underway for a two-story store. The store next door, once home to the Madison Avenue Bookshop also remains empty and available. 

Next out is Soigne K at No. 717 (2nd in the gallery above), which made a splash about four years ago selling contemporary Indian designer clothing, but, apparently, couldn't sustain the momentum. it is one of the few remaining independent, multi-brand boutiques on Madison Avenue proper, and next door, the former Moga boutique space is serving as a temporary Tod's store, and will presumably return to its empty state once its occupant's flagship renovation is completed. Soigne K's website seems to still be open, so perhaps a new location is in the works.

Finally, Swiss luxury watchmaker Girard Perregaux has apparently vacated its boutique at No. 701 (3rd in the gallery above). Madison Avenue has increasingly become home to rarefied watch brands in recent years, so this, Kering owned store would have seemed to be a fairly stable fixture. Only a ghost of its signage remains, however even as Richemont-owned Officine Panerai prepares to open its own splashy shop next door. Hopefully, none of these empty stores will remain so for long, and some may well be preparing for new tenants, so a check back in a couple of months may be in order to see what kind of new neighbors are in store for Madison Avenue.

Luxury Trade-Off: Louis Leeman To Swap Chocolates For Shoes On Madison Avenue