Today, destiny brings us face to face with one of New York City's most serious bargain hunts—the Hermès sample sale on 18th Street in Chelsea. Racked is reporting live from the scene all morning. Buckle up.
12:20pm: Three to four hour waits for this, definitely.
12:26pm: I am in the next group to go in. People coming out are being weirdly secretive about what's inside.
12:27pm: I'm in! They're letting us in ten at a time.
12:31pm: The first thing you see when you walk into the sale: Horse stuff! I see four Hermés saddles down to $750 from $4,200. Also horse blankets, bits, a riding crop, beachwood and silk grooming brushes for $171 down from $285. For non-equestrians, there are dog coats for $140.
12:37pm: Leather goods are all 40% off. There are little bracelets for $150 and orange belts for $220. Tons of men's shoes: Sandals for like $200-$400, loafers for $300, really nice close-toed shoes for $368. There are scarves, of course, lots of them, for $225, and ties for $102. All kinds of women's shoes for around $300 to $400, plus a really nice pair of knee high boots for $700, down from $1000.
12:47: This is a huge sale—much bigger than last year. I see a ton of clothes, both men's and women's, but people don't really seem to care about them, maybe because they're still hundreds of dollars. One skirt is $500; another's on sale for $2000. For only $1050, you can get a white button-down shirt! The cheapest thing here is probably a goblet in the home section for $25. There are also plates for $51 a plate—this is at 70% off, mind you, as is lots of china and crystal. Other home stuff is 40% off, including ashtrays, beach towels, and throws. I see a $266 bikini and $340 robes. Hats are around $200.
12:50pm: On to the handbags! There are a lot of those cloth bags from last time, the smallest of which is $852. The smallest leather bag is $1012 and TINY. Lots of those left—nobody seems to want them. Also up front: Fragrances and some pretty cool jewelry boxes.