Yesterday I braved the holiday insanity and spent the day shopping with one of my new clients. He is one of those dream clients who loves clothes and embraces designer fashion. He really doesn’t have an issue spending money, but we had to purchase several items so we like most of you decided to go sale hunting.
Every year at this time, we enjoy the promise of great deals and great product, but this year was shaping up to be the best yet for bargain lovers. Stores that usually are not known for being promotional were touting 60-75% off… a shoppers dream come true. Yet, I have to tell you, I was disappointed. Like I said my client loves designer, so we were hopeful to go a little crazy at the once sale-poor Barneys 3rd Floor and Bergdorf Men’s Store. Do you remember the line from “Pretty Woman”, when Richard Gere tells the store manager that they are going to spend an obscene amount of money? Well, I don’t know if we were planning on the “obscene” route, but we came to spend…
First we tackled Barneys. We started on the main floor and worked our way all the way up to 7…nada! Barely any sale, and what we could find that was worth buying didn’t come to close to the vowed 60% off.
Next we went to Domenico Vacca, as my client is a big fan of their shirts and rightfully so. Everything in the store was on sale at 30% off. Now, we did end up buying a couple of shirts as they were exactly what we were looking for. Clearly we didn’t save what we hoped. I will tell you that the shopping experience was stellar however, as the staff was attentive and really rolled out the red carpet for us. The Maitre D from Cipriani happened to be in the store and as a favor to the Domenico Vacca crew ran over to the restaurant and brought us a bottle of water. I mean come on, the guy didn’t even work there…love that!!!
The next and last stop was Bergdorf Goodman where we spent a good hour and a half. Again the sale merchandise was really limited. We did hit the service jackpot though. My old friend, Teddy is one of the personal shoppers, so I had him scour the store for what we needed. We did pretty well, but again, ended up with less than we hoped. My client was looking forward to finding more Gucci and is obsessed with Tom Ford (just one measly group of sweaters marked down), but no luck there. Now, I commend Tom Ford for not going on sale, as the label is still new and coveted and is trying to maintain brand integrity. Alas, we were still let down.
So what can you find that is worth braving the holiday madness for? Cashmere, cashmere, cashmere!!! Both Bergdorf and Barneys private label cashmere sweaters are on sale for 60% off. The Barneys selection was broader and less picked over. Bergdorf was fairly cleaned out of v–neck and crew styles, but had some luxe cashmere vests for around $250…a great investment. Bergdorf had a broad selection of noteworthy shoes on sale as well. The entire back wall of the shoe department on the main floor was marked down. If you are in the market for a new suit or two, Barneys has a fairly good selection at 60% off, though key sizes are slightly depleted. If you aren’t a 40/50 Regular or a 42/52 regular, a quick trip to Barneys is absolutely worth it. I also happened to stop by the John Varvatos store in Soho on Friday and they had a nice selection of 50% Fall…great suits, outerwear, shirts. The staff there “rocks” as well.
So when you do get lucky and find your most desired pieces and gifts at the remarkable price of 60%-75% off, what should you do with all of those savings? Spread some of your wealth and buy a ticket to the “Charity Ball”. The annual gala to support “Charity Water” is tonight, Monday the 15th at the Metropolitan Pavilion. Tickets to the after party are only $250. I went last year and it was a great night. Beautiful people, booze, a live rock performance and an amazing photographic exhibit. It is so much more fun, when you can party and give back at the same time. If you can't afford the $250, you can donate even a small amount on their website. For those of you who don’t know, Charity Water is an amazing organization dedicated to providing clean drinking water for African communities. I can’t do the description justice, so I want to share their powerful mission statement.
“Most of us have never really been thirsty. We’ve never had to leave our houses and walk 5 miles to fetch water. We simply turn on the tap, and water comes out. Clean. Yet more than 1.1 billion people on the planet don’t have clean water. It’s hard to imagine what a billion people looks like really, but one in six might be easier. One in six people in our world don’t have access to the most basic of human needs. Something we can’t imagine going 12 hours without.
Here, we’d like to introduce you to a few of those billion people. They are very real, and they need our help. They didn’t choose to be born into a village where the only source of water is a polluted swamp. And we didn’t choose to be born in a country where even the homeless have access to clean water and a toilet.
We invite you to put yourself in their shoes. Follow them on their daily journey. Carry 80 pounds of water in yellow fuel cans. Dig with their children in sand for water. Line up at a well and wait 8 hours for a turn.Now, make a decision to help. We’re not offering grand solutions and billion dollar schemes, but instead, simple things that work. Things like freshwater wells, rainwater catchments and sand filters. For about $20 a person, we know how to help millions of people.”
"Tis The Season"...so go ahead and find a great sale, then share some of your savings by donating to an organization that helps millions find a little something special underneath their proverbial holiday tree!