Tag Archives: Barney’s New York

Those ‘Filthy Rich Teens’ & The New T Studio at Tommy Hilfiger

Hello everyone, how is everyone today?

Regular readers know we aren’t prone to public navel-gazing or introspective monologues in this space, with the exception of a few posts related to respect and remembrance of our military personnel. So we shan’t go into any long dissertations on the events of yesterday afternoon and evening, other than to say it certainly was a rather strange and bizarre turn of events.

Moving on, we have a quick glance at Gossip Girl star Blake Lively‘s latest style statement as she headed into last night’s gala opening of the new Swarovski Crystallized store in Soho.

PHOTO: Andrew H. Walker/Getty

PHOTO: Andrew H. Walker/Getty

Much of the conversation among guests centered on yesterday’s west coast events, especially as it was only Wednesday that Swarovksi announced they were doing the costumes for Michael Jackson’s upcoming concerts.

Also out and about in the city last evening, Ms. Lively’s co-star Leighton Meester, seen in Thakoon as she heads over to MTV for a taping.

PHOTO: Janet Mayer/Splash News Online

PHOTO: Janet Mayer/Splash News Online

We seem to have spent an inordinately large amount of time discussing  Gossip Girl this week, including this post on sales of actor Chace Crawford’s People magazine cover issue vs. a Kate Gosselin cover on another magazine. (The numbers favored Ms. Gosselin.) Now it seems People is heading down the same path as that other magazine; behold their July 6th issue:

Courtesy People Magazine

Courtesy People Magazine

As we have already spent too much time on G2, it seems only appropriate to spend even more time on the topic, sharing this link to a very funny WaPo (Washington Post) story comparing Gossip Girl with NYC Prep.  Here is the paper’s synopsis:

After watching the first episode of Bravo’s new “Gossip Girl”-as-reality-series show “NYC Prep” (it debuted last night), WaPoTeamTV’s “Gossip Girl” correspondent Emily Yahr decided she much prefers watching the filthy rich Made-for-TV Teens of the CW soap to the filthy rich Actual Teens featured on “Prep.”

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A few speedy more updates for you this afternoon, particularly a reminder the rather significant Sales & Savings opportunities continue at almost any establishment where preps might shop.  Not only are Brooks Brothers, J. Crew and Talbots all doing substantial markdowns and discounts, the major department stores are as well.

Neiman Marcus is promoting “An Additional 25% Already Reduced Prices” along with complimentary shipping regardless of how much one spends.

The promo code to receive no-cost shipping at Neimans is NMSUMMER.

Barneys is doing the additional discount, without the complimentary shipping:

Completing the trifecta is Saks, also offering no-charge shipping at any purchase amount, use promo code SAKSSHIP9.

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In other retail notes, on the heels of a successful opening for their new Tommy Hilfiger store in the Hamptons, there is word the retailer has plans to generate buzz for that location in another way, with the launch of ‘T Studio.’

PHOTO: Courtesy Tommy HIlfiger via Hamptons.com

PHOTO: Courtesy Tommy Hilfiger via Hamptons.com

Starting next Saturday (July 4th), the first 50 folks visiting the new Studio at the East Hampton store receive a silk-screened tee made to their specs. There will only be 50 made each week, so these are being dubbed “limited editions,” a very interesting maneuver on the part of the Hilfiger marketing machine.

It will be fun to watch this one play out and see if the concept is launched in other locations. This is only the company’s 10th free-standing store, an excellent location to test-drive the idea.

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As discussed in this post, the Coach Poppy line is officially on sale today, and there are some wonderful, fun, whimsical pieces.

This of course circles back to that whole ‘new definition of luxury’ and ‘changing pricepoint’ issue we keep reading and posting about. As this story from AP notes:

“The Poppy collection follows through with Coach’s previously announced plan to lower prices 10 percent to 15 percent … The strategy includes offering half of its handbags – about 70 different types – for $200 to $300.”

Do let us know if you end up acquiring any treasures from the Collection, sharing is caring!

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Finally, how many readers would recognize this as a Target store?

PHOTO: Bruce Bisping/Star-Tribune

PHOTO: Bruce Bisping/Star-Tribune

Yes, it is the new Target concept store located in downtown Minneapolis, not far from the retailer’s headquarters. This story in the Star-Tribune explains the mini-grocery store opened in October:

“the company has since added fresh meat, chicken and produce to 14 general merchandise stores around the country. Other Twin Cities test stores are at Ridgedale and Medina. The concept will expand to 100 stores by year’s end.”

Would you purchase fresh fruit and veggies at your local Target? It is how the company plans to compete with the behemoth known as Wal-mart. Perhaps the one and only Queen Bee Swain can investigate, it is in her neck of the woods, although not in her back yard.

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With that we say adieu until next time, may your weekends be splendid, full of fun and spent in the company of those you love.

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Filed under Gossip Girl, Preppy clothing & brands, Preppy Fashion, Sales & Savings

An Award for Lilly & Preppy Sales Abound

Hello-Hello! Might we inject a personal note here and say we are ever-so-happy to be back home at the Prepatorium. New York is always fun, but being home at the Palace brings a smile to TP’s face.

Our trip to the Stationery Show was fun and frenzied, with just enough social activities thrown in to keep us re-applying the lip gloss.  We saw loads of new goodies we think you will love, including some divine designs for the Fall and holiday seasons that we shall be adding to our Lilly Pulitzer Stationery and Gifts Collection.

On the agenda? Fireplace matches (you know, the really long ones the houseman uses), cookie cutters, and…. (insert dramatic music here), 2010 Calendars! There will be both desk-top and wall calenders that you are simply going to adore. Many readers will remember we offered pre-ordering of the Lilly Stationery merchandise prior to this spring’s launch; we will provide that same opportunity with these new treasures.  Just sign up for our Lilly Mailing List at PreppyPrincess.com.

As we are speaking of Lilly Pulitzer, fans will be pleased to learn she received the prestigious Spirit of a Woman Award from the American Apparel and Footwear Association.  The award presentation was last week in New York, and Isaac Mizrahi did the honors, wearing pink loafers in honor of the designer:

PHOTO:

PHOTO: John Aquino/WWD

It is clear Mr. Mizrahi thinks highly of Lilly’s impact on American style:

“I think that Lilly Pulitzer is the most important American designer ever. Her work has influenced American designers and international designers. If you are wearing a Lilly Pulitzer dress, they can tell. Whether it’s in Palm Beach or in Milan, in New York or in Russia, it doesn’t matter where you are wearing that dress. They know, it’s Lilly Pulitzer.”

Unfortunately Lilly was not able to attend; the award was accepted on her behalf by Lilly Grand Pooh-Bah Scott Beaumont, accompanied by another Lilly exec, James Bradbeer Jr.

PHOTO: John Aquino

PHOTO: John Aquino/WWD

BTW, the Lilly Brooke Shields Tunic and Swimsuit were featured on the Today Show yesterday in a segment about beachwear and swimsuits.

Courtesy NBC/Universal

Courtesy NBC/Universal

And in a final note, we have added the Lilly Pulitzer Dry Erase Boards to the store, an outstanding addition to your palace, equally wonderful as a gift!

The Boards are available in Animal Crackers, Cabanarama, Juice Bar and Bees Knees Patch.

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It will come as no surprise that just about every retailer is having a sale or discount promotion of some sort as we approach the holiday weekend. Burberry tops today’s list of just such establishments.

Burberry

Burberry

There is a substantial amount of merchandise available in the ‘Sale’ category online, no surprise in light of the company’s continued underperformance.

Invite-only shopping site Rue La La has Vineyard Vines on sale through tomorrow.

They also have a Kate Spade sale underway.

Both sales end tomorrow (Thursday, 5.21.09) at 11am; if you need an invite to ‘join’ the site, just email the Princess: thePreppyPrincess@mac.com.

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J. Crew is promoting a sale at their Factory Stores, running today through Memorial Day.

We predict Crew will have a “Take an additional 20% off” discount offering within the next week to 10 days.  We’ll share the Silk-Linen Sweater as today’s Pretty in Pink:

The sweater originally retailed at $59.50; it is now selling at $49.50 or $39.99, depending upon the color.

The Nordstrom Designer Sale is underway as part of their storewide Half-Yearly Sale event.

Nordstrom Designer Sale

Nordstrom Designer Sale

And Barney’s Private Sale continues.

private_summer_01

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We want to share a few quick updates to previous posts:

  • The Gossip Girl spinoff on the CW is officially a non-starter. Many thanks to those who let us know it was not happening.
  • Something definitely supposed to happen, Gossip Guy Chace Crawford has been named to star in the remake of “Footloose,” according to the Hollywood Reporter.

We’ll have more on the Stationery Show in our next post. Until then – smiles!

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Filed under Gossip Girl, Lilly Pulitzer Paper & Gifts, Preppy clothing & brands, Preppy Fashion, preppy lifestyle, preppy stationery, Sales & Savings, Updates

Preps of Several Types at the Met Gala

Hello-Hello… we hope all those sharing the Monday from YKW (You Know Where) with us are enjoying a better day today. Honestly.

We have a number of bullet points today, beginning with this update on another role for a Gossip Girl star:

  • Gossip Guy Ed Westwick will be guest-starring on the Showtime comedy Californication, during the show’s third season.

In other G2 news, Leighton Meester was out and about last night, at the Met’s Annual Costume Institute Gala.

 

PHOTO: Stephen Lovekin/Getty

PHOTO: Stephen Lovekin/Getty

Co-starring actress Blake Lively was also at the big do. (If co-star Penn Badgley, Ms. Lively’s real-life romantic interest, was at the party, we have not yet read or heard about it.)

 

PHOTO: Larry Busacca/Getty

PHOTO: Larry Busacca/Getty

Unfortunately, we can’t tell you who they are wearing, we just don’t know. There were loads of pretty people (but none so fair as the one and only I Pick Pretty, of course) at the gala, including some real-life preps:

 

PHOTO: Kristen Somody Whalen

PHOTO: Kristen Somody Whalen

Above, David Lauren and Lauren Bush.  Also on hand, a purveyor of pseudo-prep apparel and accessories, Tommy Hilfiger, seen with his wife, Dee Ocleppo.

 

PHOTO: Eric Thayer/Reuters

PHOTO: Eric Thayer/Reuters

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Movin on, yesterday’s CBS story on the First Lady wearing her Lanvin sneaks to the Capital Area Foodbank only served to add to the growing hubbub about the footwear.

PHOTO: Jonathan Ernst/Reuters

PHOTO: Jonathan Ernst/Reuters

The high-end shoes run approximately $540, and as one might imagine, the cost of the sneakers is the issue, not their appearance.

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If interested, Barneys still shows several different colors available online.  In other First Lady fashion news, Mrs. Obama was spotted doing the “I Love it so Much I Bought Two” waltz again, this time in the J. Crew Featherweight Cardigan. Yesterday she wore the cardigan to a Cinco de Mayo event at a local school in the District…

PHOTO: Yuri Gripas/Reuters

PHOTO: Yuri Gripas/Reuters

The previous incarnation was worn to that same Food Bank where the tennies were seen.

PHOTO: Jonathan Ernst/Reuters

PHOTO: Jonathan Ernst/Reuters

 

For those favoring this look, run, run, run to Crew; the website still shows both colors in stock, and better yet, the price is discounted almost fifty percent less than it’s original pricepoint. The cardigan is now $99.99, it originally was $188.

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A few more SOTTS:

  • Filene’s Basement filed for bankruptcy yesterday, the Chapter 11 kind.
  • The first Nordstrom slated for Alabama is not going to happen, at least for the time being. The store was planned for Birmingham.

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We have a little sneak peek of the J. Crew Menswear looks for this fall, courtesy of the ever-so-gracious Mister Mort.

Courtesy Mister Mort

Courtesy Mister Mort

Here is another look:

Courtesy Mister Mort

Courtesy Mister Mort

More of Crew’s casual styles for the man in your life:

Courtesy Mister Mort

Courtesy Mister Mort

With that, we are flying straight out the door!

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Filed under Argyle, Gossip Girl, Obama Fashion & Politics, Preppy clothing & brands, Preppy Fashion, preppy lifestyle, Preppy People

Lacoste Black Label, Lush @ Brooks Bros & When Anti-Preps Gather…

Hello-Hello!

We continue Fashion Week coverage, starting today with the Brooks Brothers presentation of their Fall 2009 Collection. Like many others, this is not a runway show, but an event at the Madison Avenue store.

George Chinsee

PHOTO: George Chinsee

The styles are displayed in tableaus, as seen above. We like the rich gray and lush purple, it is very striking.  The review in yesterday’s WWD mentions plenty of cashmere, in twinsets and coats.

George Chinsee

PHOTO: George Chinsee

In an interesting partnership with Wilson, the official NFL football maker, Brooks will debut a new briefcase and duffle crafted of vintage leather from Wilson. And they will retail a limited edition co-branded football made of this same material; the football is just visible in the photo below.

George Chinsee

PHOTO: George Chinsee

The review also talks about changes in the Black Fleece line from designer Thom Browne:

“The women’s wear has lightened up. “We’re softening the girl,” Browne said, noting there are “more skirts and dresses” offered this time. “The collection is a lot more feminine, from the shapes of the skirts to the looseness of the knits.”

We are intrigued to see the Men’s full-length beaver overcoat Mr. Browne has created. All in all it appears to be a nicely done collection that is eminently wearable.

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Thought we’d sweeten your day with a few tidbits we haven’t posted yet, including the debut jewelry collection from Liberty of London.

Photo by WWD Staff

Photo by WWD Staff

The line will be available at Barneys.

We also share a few images from the Lacoste Fall 2009 Men’s collection, we ran out of time when posting the Women’s collection on Saturday.

Talaya Centeno

PHOTO: Talaya Centeno

As the WWD staff put it in their review of the line:

“Christophe Lemaire’s newly named Black collection for Lacoste offered plenty of comfort. In men’s wear, Lemaire showed the strongest conviction with his milky-colored, fine-knit suits, but sweaters…. held the most appeal.”

Another look:

PHOTO: Talaya Centeno

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We have another frightening instance of multiple AntiPreps being located in the same place.

At. The. Same. Time.

Behold, the Tracy Reese runway show yesterday:

Amy Sussman/Getty

PHOTO: Amy Sussman/Getty

Between Ms. Kardashian and Paris Hilton is Nicky Hilton, singer Kellie Pickler is on the far right. Quote of the Day award clearly goes to Ms. Hilton, as seen in an interview with E! News this weekend:

“There’s nobody in the world like me. I think every decade has an iconic blonde, like Marilyn Monroe or Princess Diana and, right now, I’m that icon.”

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We bring you an update on a favorite brand for TPC (The Princess Consort), Hart Schaffner Marx.  In this January post we detailed the firm’s bankruptcy filing, but there was good news on Friday from a Federal judge, allowing a line of credit to be extended so the menswear manufacturer can keep operating.  It also appears creditor are showing patience with HartMarx as it works to dig out of the financial mess.

Hart Schaffner Marx

Hart Schaffner Marx

President Barack Obama owns several of the Hart Schaffner Marx Golden Trumpeter suits; it was also a tuxedo from the line that he wore to the Inauguration Balls.  Speaking of Presidential fashion, one of First Lady Michelle Obama’s favorite designers was at Fashion Week.

Maria Pinto did not do a runway show, but rather, held appointments to show her Fall looks. Below, the one we found most appealing:

Kristen Somody Whalen

PHOTO: Kristen Somody Whalen

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It would not be Fashion Week without seeing models struggling in the insane shoes they must now wear. These shots are from Sunday’s Hervé Léger by Max Azria show:

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The model on the right was wearing these:

Getty

PHOTO: Getty

One designer, Maria Cornejo, is vocal in her thoughts on the heels and the spills taken by models; she spoke with NY magazine:

“That’s just sad, you know? It’s boys dressing women. I’m sorry — they don’t have to wear the —– shoes…

What could I possibly add to that comment?  Except, perhaps this:

Here is one for the “When Pink Goes Wrong” category, the high-heel sneaker.

Photo by WWD Staff

Photo by WWD Staff

This one is the result of a Puma – Sergio Rossi collaboration.  Not that that should be anything about which to brag…

Ta-Ta for now.

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Filed under Gossip Girl, Obama Fashion & Politics, preppy, Preppy clothing & brands, Preppy Fashion, Pretty in Pink, Updates

Inaugural Fashion Update: Jason Wu for Michelle Obama, More Malia & Sasha in J. Crew

Hello again… and aren’t we wacky this evening, with back-to-back posts on party frocks in our Nation’s Capital?!

Many readers will already know this, but for those with an interest, the gown selected by First Lady Michelle Obama for this evening’s Inaugural Balls is by Jason Wu.

Rick Wilking/Reuters

PHOTO: Rick Wilking/Reuters

The 26-year-old designer created a lush one-shouldered gown that was a mastery of draping.

Brian Snyder/Reuters

PHOTO: Brian Snyder/Reuters

A close-up provides a better look at the intricate detailing Mr. Wu is known for; the dress is covered in Swarovski crystals.

Jason Reed/Reuters

PHOTO: Jason Reed/Reuters

The Taiwanese-born designer is no stranger to celebrities; one fan is Gossip Girl star Leighton Meester, seen in September at Wu’s runway show.

Patrick McMullen

PHOTO: Patrick McMullan

Earlier this year Mrs. Obama wore the designer for an interview with Barbara Walters:

George Burns/ABC News/AP

PHOTO: George Burns/ABC News/AP

Below, the dress as seen on the runway for the Spring 2009 collection.  The raw silk print dress retails for approximately $3150, according to Cheryl Lu-Lien Tan at one of our favorite blogs, the WSJ’s Heard on the Runway.

Imaxtree

PHOTO: Imaxtree

And we have a second look at Ms. Meester in a Jason Wu creation:

Courtesy Coolspotters.com

Courtesy Coolspotters.com

And that dress on the runway:

Don Ashby

PHOTO: Don Ashby

Another celebrity fan of Mr. Wu is 30 Rock star Katrina Bowden, seen below in a photo with the designer in Teen Vogue.

PHOTO: Teen Vogue

Let us not forget the dashing figure cut by the President:

Gary Hershorn/Reuters

PHOTO: Gary Hershorn/Reuters

As we first reported in this post last year, the President donned a single-button notch-lapel tuxedo by Hart Schaffner Marx. The Gold Trumpeter Tuxedo retails for $950.

Hart Schaffner Marx

Hart Schaffner Marx

As described on the company’s website:

Gold Trumpeter elevates the luxury of the Hart Schaffner Marx brand. World class piece goods are used exclusively in all Gold Trumpeter garments. Trim details such as wing facing in the coat and a gripper waistband are the hallmarks of the Gold Trumpeter garment. The Gold Trumpeter garment is available in both the Classic and Collection fit.”

At Nordstrom it is called the Capital Collection Gold Trumpeter Tuxedo, retailing at $895.

We are still seeking information to bring you on the gown worn by Vice-President Biden’s wife, Dr. Jill Biden.

Gary Hershorn/Reuters

PHOTO: Gary Hershorn/Reuters

And we have a little more on the J. Crew ensembles worn by Malia and Sasha Obama earlier today, courtesy of the media mavens at that preppy retailer. All of the details one are available in this snooze news release.

“The Obamas continued to show their support for J.Crew at this morning’s Swearing-In, where the girls wore full looks from crewcuts by J.Crew and the new First Lady accessorized her outfit with classic olive green leather gloves from J.Crew. Malia featured a deep periwinkle blue coat, while her equally chic sister wore a deep coral dress under her sweet guava coat, vivid orange scarf and glove set, each tied with a velvet ribbon belt around the waist.”

Click on the link above for the entire text of the release; it does include details on additional items from J. Crew and Crewcuts worn by the First Family over the celebratory weekend.  That includes the Herbie Coats Sasha and Malia wore to the We are One concert on Sunday. The subhead on the release?

“MALIA & SASHA OBAMA WEAR COMPLETE CREWCUTS BY J.CREW OUTFITS FOR THE MOST IMPORTANT DAY IN HISTORY”

Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty

PHOTO: Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty

The release also advises us that:

“… the girls kept warm in crewcuts by J.Crew wool pique Herbie coats, detailed with grosgrain piping and charmeuse linings. Sasha wore an ivory style with hammered brass buttons, while Malia wore a dove grey double cloth style with horn buttons.”

Sunday’s concert was noted for A-level entertainers like Bruce Springsteen, Stevie Wonder and U2.

One of the best-kept secrets of the entire gala was the presence of several A-list bloggers, including Nautical by Nature and the Landlocked Mermaid.  Sources tell us they both elected to maintain a low-key presence in efforts to discourage autograph seekers and hangers-on.  (Ssshhh – more on their perspectives in a later post.)

Back to the cute coats: we do not think you will locate the coats on the retailer’s website. And any references to them on shopping search engines have either been taken down, or carry addendum indicating the coat is “no longer available.” We did locate one image of the coat; it does not fully match the images seen in the photos:

This shot offers a better angle:

Robyn Beck/AFP/Getty

PHOTO: Robyn Beck/AFP/Getty

Lest anyone be concerned the marketing minds at Crew are not seizing the moment:

Courtesy J. Crew

Courtesy J. Crew

BTW, the marketing minds over at Barney’s wasted no time in adapting their front page as well, maximizing their connection with a now-famous designer they have supported for years, Isabel Toledo.

Courtesy Barneys

Courtesy Barneys

We’ll close with one last photo we thought was too cute…

Jewel Samad/AFP/Getty

PHOTO: Jewel Samad/AFP/Getty

We’ll be back with more, including the Princess Consort’s take on Jason Wu’s preppy aesthetic, including some pretty in pink confections from the runway. No to mention the divine finds at the Market in Chicago.

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Target Limited Edition Towels, BIG SALES, Why Polo Ralph Lauren Free Shipping is Better

Hello-Hello!

We learned that Target is offering shoppers a very attractive collection of Limited Edition Beach Towels designed by contemporary artists. The artists featured include Raymond Pettibon; how gorgeous will this be when you and Mister Wonderful spread it out across the sand?

Raymond Pettibon at Target.com

Raymond Pettibon at Target.com

The towels are $50 and only available on line, not in stores. 

These beauties are also available at Works on Whatever, a fundraising group attempting to raise art awareness.

In other Target news, we are terribly slow in talking about Target’s next collaborations, including the upcoming collection from swimwear designer Ashley Paige.  Yes, this is cable TV’s “Ashley Paige: Bikini or Bust,” of TLC reality show notoriety.

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Above, two swimsuits currently for sale, the Deep Diver at $380 and on the right, the Gold Digger at $460. (Those two names for the swimsuits really belong in the “I Couldn’t Possibly Make This Stuff Up” category. Honestly.)

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The retail marketplace is really heading into a frenzied unlike any we have previously , and as readers know, we are no spring chicken.  Here is a sampling of the offerings from our electronic in-bin; all are clickable to make it easier for you to get started on any last-minute shopping:

Kate Spade

Kate Spade

As predicted, J. Crew is continuing their markdowns, offering merchandise at up to 60% off. They are also providing complimentary shipping, regardless of the amount one spends, a new twist for the retailer.

J. Crew

J. Crew

Use promo code HURRY for the shipping promotion. And despite their disclaimer on the main website saying the “60% off is not applicable in J. Crew Factory Stores,” there is also a 60% off promotion in progress at their outlet stores.

One caveat: judging from the email we are receiving here at the Prepatorium the J. Crew website problems continue; this story in Women’s Wear Daily verifies the outages.

“On Cyber Monday, which fell on the first of the month this year, J. Crew was down for at least six hours and Bloomingdale’s was also out. J. Crew was back up Tuesday, but has had ongoing problems since, including some downtime Monday afternoon.”

Polo Ralph Lauren is also providing complimentary shipping on all orders, but here is the beauty of their offer:

“If you choose to ship Standard Ground and are shipping to multiple addresses, you will receive free shipping on all shipping destinations.”

And that is a beautiful thing for anyone how may be struggling to finish up their shopping, needing presents to go to different locations. Sadly, our affection for their aggressive shipping promotion is tainted by this:

RalphLauren.com

RalphLauren.com

Shocked by our initial sighting of the dreadful creation, overcome with sorrow for the poor pooch, we were even more horrified when reading the description:

“Reversible diamond-quilted vest with preppy heritage details…”

Preppy Heritage?” In a word? Not.  Heh-heh-heh. (If this is something you find appealing for Fifi, just click on the photo above and you are there.)

Next….

TommyHilffiger.com

TommyHilffiger.com

Tommy Hilfiger doesn’t seem to be doing the same with shipping, but at 40% Off Your Entire Order perhaps that lack is made up by deeper price cuts. When heading into the Women’s Department, in a cyber sort of way, one sees this incentive:

TommyHilfiger.com

TommyHilfiger.com

One sees the same signage at the Men’s Department. In fact, today’s Argyle Update is compliments of Tommy Hilfiger, the Men’s Tonal Argyle V Neck:

TommyHilfiger.com

TommyHilfiger.com

The Hilfiger Extra 40% off discount is scheduled to end December 22.

Banana Republic is also discounting heavily, even taking markdowns on gift items, like their fragrances (Rosewood Gift Set) as well as more standard fare. This gives us the chance for another Argyle Update! Whoo-hoo! The cashmere Argyle Sweater is now only $99!

BananaRepublic.com

BananaRepublic.com

The sweater is available in a number of colors.

Brooks Brothers is touting 40% off throughout the website, although some deeper discounting is also available.

Another sign of the times from Barneys:

Barneys New York

Barneys New York

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For anyone near Bloomie’s this afternoon (the 18th), pop in for a special Lilly Pulitzer event. Remember our photos of the special Lilly Steinway anniversary piano from this post?

Courtesy Photo

Courtesy Photo

Splashed in pink, yellow and green Hibiscus, the piano is part of the Lilly 50th Anniversary celebration and it will be on hand during today’s event at Bloomingdale’s.  Artists from the Lilly design team will also be on hand creating a special print inspired by suggestions from anyone willing to offer input!

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For today’s Pretty in Pink we offer the Steamline Small Editor Vanity Case:

Vivre

Steamline Vanity at Vivre

Available at Vivre, there is also a matching trunk that looks equally fabulous.

Have a simply splendid afternoon!

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Is Luxury Dead? Lower Prices for J. Crew? Is 60% Off the New Black?

DISCLAIMER: The following report is rated M for Mature; it descends to new lows in its frequent and flagrant use of the M word (money) and it is intended only for adult readers.

MPAA

MPAA

Everywhere one looks there are stories about “the death of luxury.”

JP Morgan recently called upscale retailer Saks Fifth Avenue “the Gucci Blue Light Special,” referencing the deep discounts they have taken this fall. Below, the company’s sale page on their website.

Saks Fifth Avenue

Saks Fifth Avenue

The International Herald Tribune (as well as the NYT) ran a story Monday, “Luxe is losing its edge,” with the focus on struggles facing high-end jeweler Bulgari.

Courtesy Bulgari

Courtesy Bulgari

The story also talks about stores cutting back on expansion plans, like Burberry, Cartier, Saks and others.

The “Sale” notices do continue to pour in via both email and standard mail, many from establishments one would never associate with such aggressive price cuts, like this one from Barneys:

Barneys New York

Barneys New York

Previously, *if* for some insane reason stores felt forced to discount at this level, they hoped and prayed it would not negatively impact their image as purveyors of luxury goods.

We cannot remember the last time (if ever) we saw Burberry Prorsum selling for 60% off their original price, as is the case with the Empire Cocoon Coat.

Burberry Prorsum Cocoon Coat

Burberry Prorsum Cocoon Coat

Not everything at Burberry is marked down at that level; this children’s Argyle Sweater is “only 30% off.”

Burberry

Burberry

The same is true for the children’s Wool Duffel Coat:

Burberry

Burberry

There is even a post at Vivre Magazine online asking if “60% Off is the New Black?” The story raises the question that TP considers the elephant in the room for retailers:

“As stores slash and cut their prices just to hear the cash registers ring, you wonder if consumers will ever want to pay for full price for anything ever again. When this is all over, will any customer actually walk into ANY store and still look at Prada wallets and other designer handbags that used to be kept behind glass and are currently on tables and bins, the same way again?”

The Times ran a story in November “In Hard Times, No More Fancy Pants,” quoting one of our favorite authors:

“The era of conspicuous consumption, at least for the foreseeable future, has come to a close,” said Paco Underhill, the author of “Why We Buy,” which explores the science of retail.”

In yesterday’s WWD a story made the case that “Flaunting Days Are Over as Consumers Cut Back.

The story by Sharon Edelson does feature an amazing Graff necklace that we simply had to share:

Graff Courtesy Photo

Graff Courtesy Photo

The piece is a little over the top in our estimation (this is where Great Aunt Molly would lower her voice and whisper ‘New money sweetie… you know what I mean.”).  Actually, the story channels GAM in a remarkable fashion:

“Logos are becoming less important, said Pedraza, noting that customers are starting to ask for unmarked brands. “People want very understated products,” he said. “They want to consume privately.”

“While people with new money tend to define themselves by their labels and what they spend, the rules are changing. People want to buy more classic luxury at better prices. They don’t want to be the people who are showing off.”

For many readers this is not exactly breaking news. How are you reacting? Are you simply purchasing necessities and/or discretionary items as desired, or waiting for markdowns? Or perhaps a mix of both…?

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While not considered a luxury retailer, J. Crew has also been in the news.  As reported on the WSJ Holiday Sales blog, J. Crew CEO Mickey Drexler said:

“J. Crew is trying to adapt, he said, by making small investments in new concepts, implementing a hiring freeze… looking at lowering opening price points for its crewcuts kids line.

Did everyone notice the hiring freeze? We almost missed it upon reading about Crewcut prices, but it was noted in a story on GlobeSt, a real estate website:

“J. Crew has initiated a company-wide hiring freeze Drexler revealed, even during the holiday season… If someone wants to hire someone, someone’s got to leave,” Drexler said.”

Regular readers will remember Mr. Drexler’s comments shared in this post about lowering price points on some adult merchandise. Speaking about the overall climate for retailers:

“I’ve never seen anything like this in my life…”

“Right now we’re all a little afraid,” he said. “If there’s anyone getting up in the morning and not saying ‘uh oh,’ then I’d like some of that medication.”

If Mr. Drexler locates a source for those meds we hope he brings enough for the rest of the class.  If not, we fear we shall be forced to make do with a little Prozac latte.

Indeed.

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