Thursday, March 1, 2012
Shop Radar: Bespoke Public Relations Warehouse Sale
Purpose of this post
There is a two fold purpose in this post.
First to tell you about this sale and second the give you some insight into how these things work with giving preferential access to people working in the trade - fashion, PR, advertising, events etc.
I saw an advert for an annual warehouse sale for a public relations company in Alexandria (advert below) and didnt really understand what it was about - despite the fact that I am an designer sale junkie.
Is it worth attending this sale in general?
Obviously, in order to figure out if a sale is worth attending, its important to "understand what the sale is about". Contrary to public opinion, I dont go to all sales - only the ones which will produce garments close to my heart. So a little research was necessary.
Firstly, the brands in the advert looked "all over the place" and I couldnt understand how these guys were distributors of those brands - you see I knew retailers in Australia selling some of the same brands and I knew they weren't buying from this PR firm. So where did this PR firm stand and what was the depth of product at this sale?
So I ventured to the sale at 10.40 am on the first day - purely to do research of course. Apparently there was a big queue as the doors opened. But I am not lamenting missing out on anything because I was there purely for research after all.....yeah right....
The girls were lovely & I loved listening to their high end shop talk. Whilst I didnt recognise the brands of their clothing, I zoomed in on their accessories - for example they were wearing quite a bit of Hermes (shoes, bangles), Mulbery (bags) - in one word - d-r-o-o-l.
So here's the deal on the merch...that's industry talk for merchandise.....hehehehe.
The high end merch is sold through the umbrella business name of "my-wardrobe". This sub-business consists of many high end brands.
Clothing like D&G (the diffusion, not Dolce & Gabbana), 3.1 Phillip Lim, Michael by Michael Kors (again, diffusion), Acne, By Marlene Birger, Preen, Halston Heritage, Winter Kate and House of Iluka.
Accessories like D&G, Bloch, Mulberry & DVF.
The photo shows Bloch shoes, 3 coloured D&G bags, a fringed Moschino bag and a small cross body Mulberry bag.
I cant recall what the big bag on the left of the dummy is......
There was also alot of costume jewellery ranging from $10, alot of it around $50 - $80 and alot of striking & bohemian pieces.....here....
Generally the ones I liked were Disney Couture, House of Harlow and a brand new discovery for me, Anton Heunis - a Spanish bling designer (www.antonheunis.com) and.....Low Luv by Erin Wasson.
Pricing of my-wardrobe (high end) stock
Prices for the my-wardrobe stock wasnt bargain basement, but it was reasonably discounted. The Mulberry bag was $400. A Halston Heritage pleated dress with shoe string straps was $200 (size 8 & it was in a Kermit green), a Winter Kate paisley dress for $200, a DVF hard clutch for $180 and D&G messenger bags for $500.
The PR agency sells certain pieces of these lines via the net (www.my-wardrobe.com) & (usually) has one sample in the showroom of most of these items. The sample sizes are 8 & the colour in the showroom can be unusual to say the least. Its these items that are being sold. Sample sizes of shoes are size 40 - I recall a couple of pairs of Bloch ballet shoe samples ($60).
The rest of the merch was either Aussie brands or say Brazilian or Spanish type brands of clothes, bags, accessories. You can go to their web site to get some more details of these. Prices varied, from $50 to $200 etc.
There was also one off samples which were pretty ordinary - like some Myer Direct jackets.
There was also some vintage pieces - 2 Chanel bags - looked like they had been through WWIII and no restorer would be able to revive them - hence priced at $50 each.
What silly thing did Valerie do?
I asked the girls if I could take photos for this blog - & they were more than happy. So I started snapping & four photos later, the battery beeped & needed recharging.
The few photos I took didnt include any of the my-wardrobe (high end) clothing - only some of the my-wardrobe bags/shoes. Sorry folks - I really DID want to show the stuff to you.
Did I buy anything?
Given that the clothing was largely sample sizes & Valerie isnt a sample size, the jewellery was looking pretty good. I bought a crucifix in Erin Wasson's brand Low Luv for $50. Its an antinquey gold base metal with a crystal look perspex which has foils of gold inserted into it. On an antiquey gold chain. Its about 10 cm in height.
Here is a photo of it.
Erin's stuff is affordable & edgy.....its available widely on line....here are some examples....
If you scroll down to the bottom of the link, you will see rings which are made with the same crystal look perspex/gold foil inserts.
And here is a photo of it with some of its friends which it now lives with. None of these pieces are new (except the Erin cross), but I rotate my jewellery & these seem to be the ones getting most worn these days.
Clockwise from the top:
Hermes tan cuff (real) - $95 from The Frock Exchange
YSL arty ring - $330 - ebay
A piece from Zambesi in silver (warehouse sale for $90) with 3 circles, 2 smaller & 1 larger. All 3 can be loose on the chain or alternatively, I can fit one of the smaller into the larger & leave the other smaller loose. The alternate is the way it is presented in the photo. Cant recall the brand, but I can find out if you are interested.
Girl on a skipping rope in silver. From Duck Egg Blue in Balmain. About $170. Cute. Cant recall the brand, but can find out if you are interested.
The Erin cross - $50
A silver bracelet with tiny coral and turquoise semi precious beads - sale $80.
Hint: Crucifixes are HUGE for winter. Even high street store like Diva & Lovisa have heaps of them in many many colours & finishes.
What were my observations about this one?
If you are a fan of the high end brands, then by all means go. But dont be disappointed if there is only one or two sample pieces in any particular brand. Frankly I think alot of the samples of the brands on display had already been previously sold to staff & friends of friends & trade people - ie: sold prior to the warehouse sale to the public. Thats why there may have been very few pieces in any brand at today's sale. Just my theory folks.....
Preferential access for trade & press
Whilst I cant confirm that this has happened for this sale, I know it happened for the Belinda sale which I went to a few days ago. The reason I know is that I turned up early - at trade time in order to get parking & breakfast & when I saw lots of frantic ladies already in the store, I asked to be let in. The Belinda lady asked if I was press - I am sure if I had said "Yes", she would have let me in - but I was honest, albeit with a pleading (aka desperate) look on my face - so she let me in early too. PS: The door/entrances are not normally closed....hint, hint....
Homework - preferential access
I guess, the only way to know whether a sale has earlier trade access is to ring before hand and ask nicely or ask other bloggers. Then just turn up at the earlier time. Dont worry about not being let in just because you are not trade - in all my life of stalking hundreds of sales, there has only ever been one sale where you needed a pass to get in (that is the Chanel cosmetic & skin care sale & the pass system was also required for the ordinary people access) - every other sale I have stalked you can just walk in - they dont check whether you are press. Something about the early bird comes to mind - see you there.