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Barneys Will Have A Whole New Storefront In Chelsea

We were all pretty excited to hear that Barneys New York will soon be re-inhabiting the location on Seventh Avenue in Chelsea where it became a world-renowned retailer during the 1980s. If you think, however that the new store will simply slide into its old home with minor renovations, then you don't know Barneys these days. While the exterior of the store has remained relatively intact while construction crews ripped out any trace of the former Lehmann's flagship that took over what was the larger part Barneys' original Men's Store, plywood scaffolding went up a few weeks ago to obscure what looks like a major redesign of the store's façade. The Shophound got a peek inside yesterday afternoon through door left carelessly ajar that shows that the entire ground floor of the store's frontage has been demolished including the grand entrance and the windows that once housed Simon Doonan's infamous Holiday displays. Rumors have the second floor exterior blown out as well, but, so far, that remains to be seen?
What will the new Barneys look like?
Chances are it will have a lot of glass, steel and slabs of marble like its Madison Avenue counterpart, so anyone hoping for a nostalgic feeling when the store finally reopens may have to adjust their expectations.
And about that opening date . . .
About a year ago we heard that the store was pushing it's projected opening forward to January of 2016, and while that was promising news at the time, it seems hard to believe that a new façade could be completed in three months, not to mention that the store's interior space still looks completely gutted.
We may have to cool our heels for just a little bit longer before Barneys once again graces Chelsea with its presence. 


The Hermès Sale Arrives Along With A Rare Duckie Brown Sale + 3.1 Phillip Lim, The Row & More

It's the middle of October, and true to form, the Sample Sale Season is revving up right on schedule.
There are 17 samples sales listed on our SALE ROLL at left just for this week alone, and that's only our own curated list, not to mention the ones that are likely to emerge at the last minute before the end of the week —and the names are big.

Already this week, NICHOLAS KIRKWOOD launched his sale downtown at C21 Edition yesterday morning featuring 70% off his extravagant women's shoes. Last season's event was warmly received, and it looks like shoppers may have to get used to lining up outside of Century 21 as it has become an increasingly popular venue for prestige sample sales. It is scheduled to run through Thursday which is when things really heat up this week, but first...

3.1 PHILLIP LIM is launching a four-day sale on Wooster Street in SoHo this afternoon, on the 20th. All of Lim's product lines, Men's and Women's ready-to-wear, shoes, accessories and handbags, are promised at "far below retail" prices. We don't know exactly what the discounts are yet, but as it is a 260SampleSale event, the likelihood of prices dropping before it ends on Friday is high.

And further uptown at the 260 Fifth Avenue home base, Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen kick off the first of their double header this week as the ELIZABETH and JAMES sale starts today featuring 75% off  retail prices of contemporary apparel including samples and stock as well as jewelry, accessories and eyewear.

Wednesday brings a sample sale we don't hear about every season from French sportswear fave AGNÈS B. Think of her as the chic precursor to popular Parisian labels like The Kooples, Sandro or Maje. Known for classic basics, this sale is expected to offer a whopping 85% off Men's and Women's apparel, shoes and accessories. As a cross generational favorite, we are expecting lines on her block tomorrow in SoHo.

Thursday is the week's power day starting off with the overwhelming draw, the three-day HERMÈS sale at Soiffer Haskin. This is always an unpredictable sale which can be either a bonanza or a bitter disappointment for shoppers. Scarves, jewelry and neckties are the most wanted items, and there is no telling how much if any of them there will be. You won't find signature items like Birkin or Kelly bags, but rather apparel, shoes and accessories for men and women from seasonal collections which, even at a deep discount, can be major investments given Hermès' steep starting prices. Still, the faithful Hermès sale shoppers will be there in droves in the early AM on Thursday, so if you are serious, then you should expect to join them then.

The Olsen's second act this week also hits on Thursday at the Metropolitan Pavilion when their flagship line THE ROW begins its three-day sale. While the collection is minimally advertised and promoted, The Row is a sleeper with a huge following, particularly in New York at 70% off, so, again, be prepared for crowds, but since the sale starts at noon on Thursday, eager shoppers won't have to be up quite at the crack of dawn for a good place in line —which is not to say one should dawdle, however.

Finally, menswear mavens will be headed to West 13th Street on Saturday and Sunday for a rare sample sale from DUCKIE BROWN. This label is an insider favorite that has been a longtime standard-bearer for adventurous men's clothing in New York. The collection has never been hugely commercial, but its fans are devout, and a popular shoe line in recent years has only raised its profile. Designers Daniel Silver and Steven Cox only open up their showroom occasionally —this is only their sixth sample sale in 15 years— so it is something of an event featuring samples from the past several seasons including apparel from their recently debuted women's line. Since this one is actually in their studio, it is the most intimate sale this week, and the only one offering a good chance to cross paths with the designers themselves.

That's not even the whole list. There are are also popular events coming from DESIGUALKAY UNGERELIE TAHARIJOHN ROBSHAWBETSEY JOHNSON and VIVIENNE WESTWOOD to name just a few more, so pace yourselves. There's a lot of ground to cover this week, but for everyone who has been holding out for when the really good sales to arrive, it's now time to start shopping. As always, find the details and updated  information on our SALE ROLL at left.


Watch Tomorrow's Balmain x H&M Launch Event On Periscope
. . . Of Course

The Balmain x H&M promotional machine will kick into high gear tomorrow night at 23 Wall Street when the chain and designer Olivier Roustieng will throw what is expected to be a glittery, celebrity studded runway show. Of course, it would make sense to live-stream the event on the internet and it will be.
On your phone.
The event will be streaming through Periscope, mainly because it is the new thing that every likes to talk about. Is it better than a regular live-stream on your laptop or tablet? Not really, but the show should be entertaining with all the new supermodels, so it's worth giving it a shot, and perhaps a more polished video will show up online if your tolerance for extended, shaky hand-held video streaming is as low as ours is. If you are unfamiliar with the app, just download it to your phone (it's not available for iPads, unfortunately), follow H&M and wait for the alert sometime tomorrow evening. The line launches on November 5th and, realistically, you should probably start camping out outside the store right about now.


Narciso Rodriguez, Alexander McQueen, Kate Spade, Tom Ford, Brunello Cucinelli, Tory Burch, Alex and Ani, The Kooples, UGG Australia

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. Shop well!

Narciso Rodriguez, Lionette, 7 for All Mankind, Portolano, Zadig & Voltaire, Ingrid & Isabel Maternity, TAG Heuer, N.D.C. Made by Hand, Love Moschino, Hart Schaffner Marx, Waterford Bedding —join HERE
Alexander McQueen, SK-II, Free People, Chan Luu, Alberto Fermani, SKYN Iceland, Dale Tiffany, O Olive Oil, Kate Spade, The Kooples, Rivkah Friedman, Tahari ASL, Villeroy & Boch, Joan Vass, Judith Ripka, Nautica, Stride Rite, Tamara Mellon, Movado, Yummie by Heather Thompson, DREW, Hugo Boss Home, Sophie Catalou, Cosabella, The Laundress, Safavieh   —join HERE
Dolce & Gabbana, Tommy Hilfiger, Escada, Villeroy & Boch, Tom Ford, Coogi, Car Shoe/Zanzara, JACHS, Vince Camuto —join HERE
Alex and Ani, Haute Hippie, Siwy Denim, Nautica, Bonobos, Charles David, UGG Australia, 3x1 NYC, C-IN2, Quiksilver, Wildfox, Josie Maran, Jeffrey Campbell, Rachel Pally  —join HERE
Proenza Schouler, Brunelli Cucinelli, Fendi, Carla Mancini, Via Spiga, Tory Burch, Bulgari Eyewear, Vivienne Westwood, Victorinox, Richart Gourmet Chocolate, Puma, Pendleton Woolen Mills, Cutter & Buck, Umbro —join HERE


The Balmain x H&M Lookbook Shows Olivier Roustieng's Greatest Hits

The Balmain x H&M lookbook images have officially hit the web a couple of weeks earlier than we would have predicted, probably as a result of an unexpected leak several days ago  that was probably the fault of H&M's webmasters. Anyway, the looks are out, as much like the majority of H&M's previous designer collaborations, the collection is essentially a compilation of designer Olivier Roustieng's strongest signature looks over the past few years.
Graphic black and white? Check.
Jewel toned satin? Check.
Brass buttoned military coats? Check
Embroidery encrusted minidresses? Check..and so on.
That's a good thing for Balmain fans, and generally, it's also a recipe for a sellout launch on November 5th. Maison Margiela proved that H&M's designer collaboration customers prefer glitz and glamor over cerebral intellectual looks, and Balmain is providing sparkle and shine in generous doses.
Though a full price appears not to have been released, some prices have trickled down so we know that the biker pants in faux leather will be $99, the black and gold ankle sandals will be $199 and the thigh-high suede boots will be $349. The most expensive pieces appears to be the black and white embroidered jacket for $549 and the fuchsia beaded dress for $499, which is really pushing the boundaries of H&M's pricing for these lines, but it seems that there is little price resistance for these collaborations.
After the jump, have a look at the complete lookbook for men and women.


The Balmain x H&M Lookbook Shows Olivier Roustieng's Greatest Hits" »


Versace Diffusion Profusion Edition

08CRITICAL5-blog427In today's Thursday Styles, Critical Shopper Molly Young informs us that a Versus boutique has quietly materialized on Greene Street, not far from the downtown home of its mother brand, Versace —and she is not entirely sold on it.
As usual, there is an extensive introduction to the label, a relic of the brand's '90s high point when there appeared to be an infinite number of sub-brands connected to Gianni Versace —Versus, Istante, Versace Jeans Couture, V2 Versace Classic, Versace Sport etc. etc...
With the company's more streamlined 21st Century model, the Versus label has been exhumed as a laboratory of sorts for emerging designers who can be trusted to keep the line's point of view well within the hidebound Versace aesthetic of sex, skin and Rock and roll. Current creative director Anthony Vaccarello seems to fit that bill nicely, turning out sexy dresses and separates that cost about a quarter of what analogous pieces in the premier Versace collection would go for, but our shopper is not swayed to even go through the perfunctory try-ons, wondering exactly who these offerings are aimed at. "Who is the Versus girl? I couldn’t extrapolate from customers on any of my visits, because there weren’t any," she writes in a cold jab that may say more about the store's quiet arrival than the public's appetite for Versace at a price. Still, this version of Versace seems more watered down to our shopper than re-interpreted, as her shopping companion suggests, “It seems like the kind of brand that would thrive in the duty-free section of an international airport”. Perhaps the shop's saving grace will be that SoHo remains teeming with tourists primed to respond to this sort of thing.

Critical Shopper: Versus Versace Store in SoHo: Caught in Transition By Molly Young (NYTimes)
Versus Versace 75 Greene Street between Broome & Spring Streets, SoHo


Apple Hits The Met As The Costume Institute Plans A Tech-Inspired Show For Next Spring

IrisVanHerpen-JBMondino-MetMuseumWhile the next Costume Institute exhibition isn't expected until next month, The Metropolitan Museum of Art has already announced its Spring 2016 blockbuster show, manus x machina: fashion in an age of technology (lower case specified). The exhibition will explore how designers are negotiating the impact of all sorts of technological advances on the still artisanally-based business of creating high fashion.
In a statement announcing the upcoming exhibition, Andrew Bolton, Curator in The Costume Institute explained, "Traditionally, the distinction between the haute couture and prêt-à-porter was based on the handmade and the machine-made, but recently this distinction has become increasingly blurred as both disciplines have embraced the practices and techniques of the other. manus x machina will challenge the conventions of the hand/machine dichotomy, and propose a new paradigm germane to our age of digital technology."
To support the exhibition, the Met has landed the perfect major sponsor, Apple, who will be represented at the Met Gala that always launches the show by its celebrated Chief Design Officer Jonathan Ive who has his own point of view on the marriage of design and technology, "Both the automated and handcrafted process require similar amounts of thoughtfulness and expertise. There are instances where technology is optimized, but ultimately it's the amount of care put into the craftsmanship, whether it's machine-made or hand-made, that transforms ordinary materials into something extraordinary."
The exhibition will include examples dating from the 1880s to designer offerings from 2015 that show the impact of technology on fashion starting with the invention of the sewing machine up to 3-D printed clothing which will be demonstrated in workshops where visitors will see garments being created. Like recent spring Costume Institute exhibitions, manus x machina will utilize the entire gallery space of the Anna Wintour Costume Center as well as another section of the museum, in this case, The Robert Lehman Wing galleries. A long list of designers featured includes big names like Chanel, Alexander Wang and Prada as well as technical innovators of the past like Mary McFadden, Issey Miyake, Pierre Cardin and Paco Rabanne as well as contemporary envelope pushers like Iris van Herpen (dress, pictured above) and Rei Kawakubo of Comme des Garçons.
And, oh yeah, there's the big Met Gala.
In addition to Apple's Jony Ive, the ever fascinating party will be co-chared by Anna Wintour, actor Idris Elba and general media phenomenon Taylor Swift (this was bout to happen, obviously). Miuccia Prada, karl Lagerfeld and Louis Vuitton's Nicolas Ghesquière will serve as honorary chairs, so look for lots of celebrity guests to be wearing in Prada, Chanel, Fendi and Vuitton.
The exhibition is set open on May 5, so make your plans early. The Museum is offering advance ticket purchases to avoid long waits. Recent costume Institute shows have wildly exceeded expectations even without singular designer subjects. the recent China Through The Looking Glass broke records and featured a spectacular exhibition design that manus x machina is sure to top.
In the meantime, you have only a little over a month to wait to see the Costume Institute's next show, Jacqueline de Ribes: The Art of Style, which opens on November 19th and runs through February 21st.


Rodarte To Team With & Other Stories Next Spring

With the chain's second New York store set to open on Fifth Avenue in a couple of weeks, H&M-owned retailer & Other Stories is confirming its position as the quirky new contemporary chain to watch with an announcement that it is collaborating with the Rodarte label designed by sisters Kate and Laura Mulleavy for a capsule collection to launch in Spring 2016. It will be the chain's 16th designer collaboration, and the Mulleavy sisters' third team-up with a retailer to reach a broader audience. WWD reports that the collection will range from $29 for tights to $325 for a sequined dress. Though images of the collection have been kept under wraps, one exclusive teaser look at the line debuted on Vogue.com featuring some crystal studded tights and a mismatched pair of chunky, sparkly high-heeled sandals. The collection will include accessories and shoes as well as ready-to-wear.
“Through this special collaboration with & Other Stories, we are excited to translate the Rodarte narrative into a new environment. [The unique positioning] of & Other Stories in the fashion landscape has allowed us to create a truly special collection,” say the Mulleavy sisters in a statement released by the chain. The sisters got their first taste of collaboration with a capsule for Target several years ago, and then launched a more wide-ranging Rodarte collection with Opening Ceremony a few years later that looked like a stab at forging a more commercially lucrative future for the company. That line was discontinued after a couple of seasons, but it looks like & Other Stories might offer a better price point for the label to make more of an impact with a less expensive collection.


Something For Everyone With Sandro, Diesel, Jimmy Choo, Luxury Watches, David Yurman & More

The end of October approaches, and the Sample Sale scene starts heating up right on schedule.
This week there is an abundance of sales that should satisfy nearly anyone out looking for a bargain, including some big names that will bring big lines.

The folks at 260 Sample Sale are kicking things off with another uptown/downtown double header. At the Fifth Avenue home base, SANDRO seasonal sale (pictured above) starts today with racks packed with its sophisticated French sportswear for men and women. The Shophound checked out the offerings last night, and prices seemed to mostly hover in the 75% off range. there appeared to be a particular abundance of all manner of outerwear including leathers and shearlings for both men and women, so consider this sale a must-visit if you are feeling the need to update your coat wardrobe this season. The shoe corner also appeared to be well stocked, but, as these things go, it probably won't be for too long.

Downtown on Wooster Street, the DIESEL sale is running in tandem (pictured below). As usual, there are stacks of denim to rummage through, but the real star of this sale was the premium Diesel Black Gold label for both men and women designed by former PHI designer Andreas Melbostad. There's much more of this label on the racks than we saw at last season's sale. Look for his particularly deft hand with studded leather moto jackets along with plenty of glittery party dresses. Prices are a flat 75% off original retail. Both sales will run through Sunday.

Also starting today, Soiffer Haskin is hosting a triple header sale featuring luxury watches from MOVADO, EBEL and CONCORD with prices promised at 50% to 75% off. These are pretty pricey brands, especially if you go in for gold and gemstones, so even at a steep discount, you can still expect some lofty prices, but don't be put off. The sale is also offering some more affordable fashion fare from HUGO BOSS, LACOSTE, SCUDERIA FERRARI OROLOGI & JUICY COUTURE. As usual, there is a strict bag and coat check here, and look for an eager line of watch fans on the first day. Runs through Saturday.

Speaking of lines, get ready for one of the season's reliably lengthy ones on Thursday when the JIMMY CHOO sale is said to be starting at Metropolitan Pavilion on 18th Street. As usual, there is some question regarding exactly how exclusive the door policy will be regarding those who are invited and those who just show up. It seems to be fairly arbitrary at any given moment from all reports, so there's no guarantee of admittance, but enough of a chance that plenty of eager shoppers are to be expected. It is shoes, after all, so best of luck to all.

Just down the block, DAVID YURMAN is also launching his 4-day sale on Thursday which has become a regular event on jewelry fans' calendars. It is always one of the most efficiently run events with well tended cases and plenty of staff. Look for excellent deals on discontinued jewelry styles from Yurman's precious, semi-precious and sterling silver collections as well as men's jewelry, watches and eyewear. 10% of Thursday's proceeds will donated to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation, so there's an extra incentive to line up early.

If you have any funds left after that, take a walk further west to Chelsea Market, and take advantage of luxury optician ROBERT MARC's warehouse sale. Look for tons of both sunglasses and optical frames, and take advantage of a 20% lens discount on frames purchased at the sale.

That's not even remotely all that's scheduled for this week. HANKY PANKY's Warehouse Sale started yesterday and goes through Wednesday. The women's BRIONI closeout has been given a long extension through Sunday. There's also furs from GIULIANA TESO, plus WHITE + WARREN cashmeres, SWAROVSKI, GILDED AGE and whatever else gets posted at the last minute before the week ends. See our SALE ROLL at left for hours, details and other late-breaking news.
Next week, make time and save your pennies for a rare Duckie Brown sale, Vivienne Westwood, 3.1 Phillip Lim and the occasionally disappointing but always crowd-attracting Hermès sale.