Should I really tell you about this?
Am I going to regret it when I’m up at 9 in the morning, battling it out with you for the last Diane von Furstenberg dress left in my size? Probably.
Oh, well: The most frequent question I get revolves around just where I shop—it’s not exactly easy finding the latest up-and-coming young designers or even some of the well-established designers here in Orange County, where Juicy and solid-colored jersey dresses reign.
And the answer isn’t all that exciting: THE INTERNET. You might’ve heard of it.
But even then, all the things I drool after aren’t exactly affordable or attainable (on a writer’s salary). And that’s where online sample sales come in.
You know those pesky mailing lists all your favorite labels’ online storefronts ask you to join? Do it. In fact, I’d suggest creating a separate e-mail account just for mailing lists, just in case of spam or whatever else someone evil decides to do with your e-mail address. You’ll be informed of sales first, which means first dibs on the good stuff.
The latest online innovation, though, are the online storefronts that host daily sample sales from various designers. There are quite a few out there at this point, though most focus on women’s sales only. The boyfriend recently purchased two pairs of Tretorn canvas sneakers he’d ogled in the Manhattan boutique—for the price of one.
The very best of online-sample-sale hosts is Gilt.com. The invite-only website unveils brand-new men’s, women’s and children’s sales Monday through Saturday from the most coveted luxury brands out there. Some recent sales I can think of off the top of my head include Christian Louboutin, Chloe, Herve Leger and Philip Lim.
My favorite buy has to be the faux fur-trimmed John Varvatos for Converse coat I “discovered” for waaay less than half-price. . . . Meanwhile, the coat was still at full price in other online stores and real storefronts. Or maybe my favorite’s the silk Marc by Marc Jacobs dress I got at one-third the original price. Tough choice.
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Gilt Groupe was started by longtime friends Alexis and Alexandra. Alexis actually earned her cred working in Silicon Valley—as a founding member of eBay. Alexandra, meanwhile, hasn’t done too shabbily herself, with tenures at both Bulgari and Louis Vuitton.
The site might be exclusive, and the only way to join is to know someone who’s already a member, but guess what! Gilt has set up an exclusive just for you, lovely Weekly readers: Just visit gilt.com/ocweekly to join.
Have fun! But if there’s ever an Alexander Wang or Rodarte sale? Stay the hell out.