November 8th, 2006
Claire's Life, Shoes, Shopping
Manolo Blahnik Sample Sale Madness
By Claire

Looord, I am tired!
Sample sales have managed to take every ounce of energy out of me. The anxiety, the nerves, the waiting: I’m spent.
So I’m sure you’re wondering if I found anything at Manolo B.
The short answer is “no.” But that wasn’t for a shortage of selections (well it sort’ve was). I’ll explain.
It was a very rainy day in New York:


I had a meeting from 9:30-11 in the morning, so I knew that I couldn’t conceivably make it to the sale until 11:15. I hightailed in to the Warwick hotel right after the meeting, went to the second floor, and after getting a ticket with a letter on it, went into the waiting area.

This was the scene:

Yes. Packed to the gills. Gills! Groups were identified by a letter in the alphabet. On my little ticket, I had a “J”. When I sat down, at 11:20, they were on B, and by 12:00, they’d only gotten to D! I had to go back to work, but I decided not to totally punk out like I did the day before…I figured I would come back in an hour or so to see if they called my letter. Besides, I met a girl who told me she came at 1:30pm last year and found shoes no problem.

I came back at 2pm, which seemed to be the perfect time:

People were in the waiting room, but not half as many as were in there in the morning.

The sale was closed for the moment, but the rumor was that they were restocking, and would open doors again any minute.

So. An hour later, the doors hadn’t reopened. People started to get upset, and about 5 people left in a huff. I heard phrases like, “Only in New York“and “Why are we doing this?” I stayed on, and finally, after two false starts, they raised the cattle gates.
This is how it was on the ‘inside’:

Ok, it was packed, and I saw many a woman walking by with like 7 bags of shoes under her arm. I came w/ a guy friend, and I was just like, “Look for black pumps, look for black pumps!!!” When he held up a pair of navy slingbacks, I knew I was on my own.

I did see some promising tan pumps in this pile…

but turns out they were a size 39, and I’m clearly a size 41. No dice. The only “gems” I found in my size were a pair of black sandals, and a strappy pair of gold sandals. Everything else I saw were green shoes, pink shoes, leopard print sandals with diamante buckles–just nothing close to what I came there for.

Friends *did* find stuff ( I mean, it was a deal at $100 a pop).
My shopaholic buddy e-mailed me saying, “I just got back and made out with 2 pairs of shoes and scurried back to the office in the rain! I got black satin pointy pumps with velvet trim and a little bow and chestnut fabric pointy slingbacks with chestnut leather piping.” I ran down and snapped some pix:

Another shopper leaving the sale showed me her finds:

So there were definitely cute shoes, but…in the end I decided to save my dollars. As my brother says, “Expensive follows cheap,” and although it would’ve been great to own a pair of deeply discounted Manolos (maybe), it’s more important for me to save my money and get what I really want: black pumps. And I have a feeling that there are no shortcuts. I might just have to save up, go to Barneys, and pay full price.

So no money spent! But I do want to check out the Viktor & Rolf collection debuting at H&M tomorrow (I can swing a $50 dress). Might be another crazy scene…Um, is shopping supposed to be a contact sport???

Until tomorrow….

PS I ran into girls at Manolo B who had been at the Jimmy Choo sale. They said the $75 table was “a joke” and had like one pair of broken flip flops on it. Another lady told me that some shoes were worn and others were broken. Guess I didn’t miss much!
PSS For the future, I’d say that Manolo B is definitely worth it. Next year, I’ll be sure to show up early and ready to rumble!

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9 Responses to “Manolo Blahnik Sample Sale Madness”

  1. Anonymous says:


    I am so sorry that you weren’t able to find anything on either day! like you i’m on the prowl for a basic black pump or slingback shoe. like you, i’m hunting for either choo’s or blahnik’s but it seems like a pipe dream right now. keep hope alive and keep up the posts; not only are you inspiring me to keep writing, your musings on fashion are further proof that the god stuff is worth waiting for!


  2. Kiki says:

    No luck again…Sorry..from the pics, looks like if you got there just a little bit earlier, you just might have found those very necessary black pumps..I am keeping hope alive for you!! Oh by the way, I am throughly enjoying your blog..Keeps me informed in between trips.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Hi Claire,

    Let me start by saying how much I enjoy your blog. Since you inform so many on the sales and bargains in NYC, it is only right that I return the favor. Well I was in DSW in Battery Park and saw a pair of black Stuart Weitzman pumps for $50 with an add’l 30% off. So that is $35. They were in a 9 and 1/2 – your size. I was just there so they might still be there but that was the only pair I saw. If you are interested RUNNNNNN!!!!

  4. Anonymous says:

    BTW, re: the Stuart Weitzman pumps they were similar to the ones you posted from J Crew. Simple black pumps.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Can anyone tell me when the next sale is? I really want to check one out!



  6. Anonymous says:

    I am from Canada and planning on going to new york in the fall. But it I can plan my trip around the sale, that would be great. So could someone let me know when the same is in 2007.

  7. [...] If you look at some of my first posts, you’ll see that I took y’all shopping with me to Manolo Blahnik sample sales, to Lord & Taylor to buy coats, and to Anthropologie to try out new trends. I even took [...]

  8. [...] fine things don’t always have the bank accounts to shoulder those costs. You’ve seen me battling the crowds at the Manolo Blahnik sale, wrangling over H&M designer collaboration coats, or popping by Helmut Lang for Friends & [...]

  9. […] of fine things don’t always have the bank accounts to shoulder those costs. You’ve seen me battling the crowds at the Manolo Blahnik sale, wrangling over H&M designer collaboration coats, or popping by Helmut Lang for Friends […]

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