Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Sale News From Around The Country

Let me start by saying, "WOW, have I been lazy". Not for lack of shopping to keep the economy going though. Just not keeping up with the 'ole blog. I guess when I don't feel I have anything relevent to say, I'm just talking to hear myself blog. And there's plenty of other people out there blogging to do that.

I left off with kind of a cliff hanger and I decided to just leave it alone. I will just say that I am Chanel loyal to the bone and while I was initially enamored by my experience in NY, it turned ugly and I don't know how I feel about Chanel USA but I will tell you that the people that I deal with in Palm Beach, Celine Thibault, the manager for this area, and Claire and Lauren, are one group of classy ladies. And, Celine should be the face of Chanel. She is all things Chanel USA should be. French, for one, stunning, classy, gracious and cares about the Chanel House like it is her own home. While Chanel USA's NY group over promised and under delivered (anyone in sales knows that's a no-no), Celine went out of her way to over deliver on their behalf. She was fooling no one, even though it was glaringly clear who put the shine back on Chanel for me.

Anyone who wants a Chanel experience as I believe that Coco would have expected it to be, go to Worth Avenue or call and deal with this professional, high quality group of people. Merci, Celine.

Let's talk about Sale this year. I think that everyone saw this coming. Saks. HA! What a joke. They didn't have any product all year long and kept no inventory because they are in such a financial quandry (I know, I'm a SKS stockholder). Every pair of shoes I bought or tried to buy at Saks this year had to ordered through locator and because I wear Louboutin, I had to order at least 2 sizes. Is it any wonder they had no shoes or sizes for sale? Neimans wasn't nearly as bad off but, not much better. I feel badly for us, the consumer but how badly do you feel for your SAs? This is when they normally make 50% of their entire annual income. Not this year. Especially not at Saks.

Where I found some great sale experiences were at the smaller stores. Hirschleifers. Penney had her game on and had her shoes and bags all in a slide show and emailed out to her clients. ShoeIn in Las Vegas is another one. Nadine had her clients ready and they had a better selection of sale shoes than the big stores.

The only one on their game seems to be Bergdorf Goodman. Peter Tay sends daily emails of everything you tell him are your go to items as they come in.

The Las Vegas Louboutin Boutique is probably the best run boutique of all of them. Their manager, Mojgan is a joy to deal with and has her sale team running like a well oiled machine. Followed very closely and I mean very by their Horatio Street Boutique. Easy to deal with, not pretentious, ask for Bessy, she is on top of her game. These 2 boutiques will fulfill all your Louboutin needs and wants.

As for the new Miami debacle. It is exactly that...a debacle. Does anyone even know it's open that lives here? I do but only because I'm on every Louboutin VIP email list. And, the announcement that I received came from the Las Vegas Boutique. Half of my friends that are VIP's didn't even get a notice. I've had so many people that are Louboutinistas down here ask me when it was opening. This was today. It opened last Fri. They have the ultimate opportunity to really do it big during Art Basel this coming weekend. Especially, since the store will be sharing it's space with David Lynch (yes, he's an artist now for those of you who don't know) and he shows at Art Basel every year. No one knows about them. Not any of the local fashion mags, not the local blogs, no one. Maybe the girls on The Purse Forum but, they're not making the trip down here that they once were because, THERE'S NOTHING GOING ON!!!!

Even Barney's, who doesn't even have a store here is having an Art Basel party.

I guess I take certain designers personally because they are my designers of choice; Manolo, Louboutin, Chanel. So, when they don't get it right, it doesn't sit well with me.

Any way, I would like to hear about what you have found in your areas of the country at your NM's, Saks, Nordstrom (mine is like a Macy's here that's why I didn't mention it), Bergdorfs, Barneys, and any of the great small stores, too and who are the great SAs that are out there. Let's show them some love. They're going to need it.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Vogue's FNO- Continued (Better Late Than Never)

Ok, now for the best part of the night. No, the best part ever. I have been to a lot of fashion houses and a lot of parties but, let me tell you, Manolo Blahnik makes them all pale in comparison.

First, for anyone who has never been to his NY HQ store, it is off the beaten path and is housed in an old brownstone. The store is downstairs and his offices are upstairs. The store is warm and inviting. As you walk through, and there weren't throngs of people there, at the back of the store, there is a terrace with a staircase that leads down to a garden. It was like being in his home. And, that is the way you are treated.

Abbey Askari, the store manager and the person I deal with, is so gracious and unpretentious. She knew I was there to get new Mary Janes as I have the original MJ's and then the 2003 edition. So, they were due for updating and the new ones are actually a twist on the old version. These are the new version of the MJs.

I am sitting comfortably on a couch and a lovely man sits down and starts talking to me. I'm chatty (no!) so I tell him I have the original MJ's blah, blah. He grabs me by the hand with my box of MJ's in my hand and drags me to the front of the store. "Manolo, Manolo, this is the original Carrie Bradshaw. She was wearing Manolos before Carrie Bradshaw knew your name." What? Mr. Blahnik takes my shoes and signs both shoes and gives me a big hug. Pictures are snapping. Turns out the man I was chatting with is none other than George Malkemus, the head of Manolo Blahnik.

So, the night goes on, I need to get to Saks but, then I realize, I have to have the "Something Blues". I tell George that they are a work of art, I start tearing up (yes, yes, I'm a fashion geek) he shoves everyone out of the way and takes me to Manolo again and tells him how emotional I am over having worn his shoes forever and yada, yada. Manolo tells Abbey to get the whatever the real name of those shoes are in my size and proceeds to write, to me, on each shoe, the most incredible sentiments. I start to tear up, he gets emotional and he tells George, "give these to her from me". What? Manolo Blahnik just gave me the Something Blues as a gift? I have to leave before I make a fool of myself. Meanwhile Vogue is photographing, Instyle asks me to step out of the picture because he never signs the Something Blues (Hangisi or something) and they want a picture, which BTW was on the internet, the NY Post. Then I notice there is a movie camera and I find out that they are filming a documentary on Manolo for Bravo. OMG, I hope I don't show up on there crying like an idiot.

Anyway, I have Abbey ship my shoes. Oh, let me preface this by saying that these people are so amazing because my Pescalare White Watersnake boots, that were my UHG had a waiter spill red wine on them and ruin them and MB offered to have a pair custom made and they were less expensive than when I originally bought them because they felt that I had already paid for them once. Who are these people? Ok, so I go to leave and George stops me and says, "I've known Manolo 30 some years and I've never seen him as touched by someone like he was touched by your appreciation for him tonight. Keep in touch." Keep in touch? OK.

You'll notice that the MJ's were worn the day they got here. The Something Blues will never be worn. They have a glass case being made to house them like the work of art that they are.

After that, everything else was, I don't know how to describe it other than to say, gray. Met Justin Timberlake, seemed to like me because I told him he was funny on SNL when he did Barry Gibb Talk Show. He really gets off on being funny. Lindsay Lohan is just weird. And skinny. I thought I was with an Olsen twin until my friend John told me it was Lindsay Lohan. SJP, Posh Becks, etc.

Tune in tomorrow for the Chanel debacle and see how a classy organization handles a major faux pas.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Vogue's Fashion's Night Out-Winners & Losers

Well, I have to say, my experience in NY certainly didn't disappoint. There were some ups and downs but it's how they were handled by the fashion houses that set the good from the superior.

First of all, The Carvi, my little European boutique hotel of 41 rooms that Saks set up for me was perfectly situated and the staff went out of their way for any thing I asked. Keep in mind, it was not a large hotel chain but it was like having your own private concierge at all times. The rooms were minimalist but the bed was more comfortable than at the Plaza or the Ritz.

I, of course, had no flats with me, so I headed off to Heaven on 8th (floor at Sak's that is). Greeted by my shoe friend, John DiPrenda, I immediately start grabbing shoes. The manager of the department, which I guess makes her the mayor since it has it's own zip code, Jodi, greets me with such gusto and makes me feel like I'm Ivanka Trump. She walks me around the department and shows me what the Vogue accessory editors have chosen as The shoes for the season and they are prominently displayed. She then offers to have Donna Karan pick out an oufit for me, personally, for the evening's festivities. WOW! Unfortunately it cuts in to my appointment at Chanel to make my custom handbag(s) at 5pm so, I have to settle for dressing myself. I buy some Chanel flats to wear to Chanel, of course and off I go. Be back by 8 I'm told as Justin Timberlake is going to be there. OK.

Back to the hotel to change for Chanel. Head to toe in Chanel (literally), I jump in a cab and off to 57th Street I go. Amy Miller, Chanel USA's District Manager greets me with such warmth that I feel like I've known her my whole life. I wanted to make 2 bags. One for myself and one in Coco's exact replica, including her true monogram, to auction off on my website with the proceeds going to the Susan G. Komen Foundation. "No problem", Amy says. We are behind you 100% and think it's wonderful that you are going to do this. I'm not telling you what the bags look like because mine is truly unique and if you are a Chanel truist, you know what Coco's bag looks like already. I bought some great Chanel platform shoes and oohed and aahed over the black pearl necklace that Amy had on that I have searched the Earth for.

Back to the hotel to change and off to Manolo Blahnik. Tune in tomorrow for the most magical story ever.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

New Logo

As you can see, our new logo is finished and up on both the blog and the website. Edwin Nunez is my graphic artist and he did a fantastic job. Poor Edwin...he had to put up with me changing this and changing that. And, the fun has just begun. Wait until the graphics for the website start getting tweaked. But, don't you just love the logo?

Now, business cards, flyers, ads, all that is next. All that has to be done before I leave for Vogue's Fashion Night Out. If anyone has a great printer they can recommend, let me know.

I've spent all night looking for the right hotel and air fare deal. I'm thinking the W on Lex because it's walking distance to everything and I'm trying to entice my friend, Toni to come with me.

My friend John DiPrenda, the best guy and ladies, the best shoe friend at Sak's on 5th Ave, is making sure that I have plenty of things to do while I'm there and lots of events to attend. P.S. If you want the best shoes ever, go through John in the 5th Ave store, he will go to the ends of the Earth to find what ever shoe you want.

Just like Celine and Claire are the best at Chanel on Worth Ave, John is the best ever for shoes.

If anyone has any suggestions for hotels besides the obvious suspects, please shout them out.

So, anyway, the website is on it's way. We should be fully functional in 6-8 weeks. Take a minute and go to the site and read about how we are going to operate.

Ok, back to researching hotels and airfare.

Please join the blog as a follower and let me know what you think of the logo.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Baptized In Chanel

Today was a day of firsts.

I received my first Article of Incorporation papers in the mail, my first post from on my new blog and most importantly, I Baptized my best friend, Toni, in Chanel today.

That's right, I took my best friend, Toni, in to the Worth Avenue store today to speak to Celine, the manager of that store about both my upcoming launch of http://www.luxuryclosetexchange.com/ and to thank her for her undying loyalty to her customer, me, by making me the very first person with a set appointment for my Chanel experience in The Big Apple.

Imagine my amazement when my Toni, Louis Vuitton loyalist to the end, walks up with a bright pink Chanel bag and says, "It's so me, I have to have it". Indeed, it is the essence of Toni. But, that is what makes us, our style. When something is the very essence of you. (And I don't disagree, it has her name written all over it).
It's actual name is Funny Tweed and the color is Fuschia. It is a limited edition bag and I believe available only at the Chanel Boutiques.

So, my fellow fashionistas, yet another one has been "Baptized In Chanel". Welcome to the family, Toni. Now, let's get those LV's on my site and sell them so you can buy more Chanels.

See below for Toni's new bag

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Fashion Week & The Launch of My Website

Well, the timing couldn't be better. Launching http://www.luxuryclosetexchange.com/ is going to be a very exciting time for me. The support that I have gotten from all of the people that I have bought Chanel, Hermes, Louis Vuitton, etc handbags, Christian Louboutin, Manolos, et al from over the years and sold to has been overwhelming.

This new website is for all of you. So that we can post our luxury handbags, shoes, couture clothing, accessories and such that we have all bought and amassed and sell them to each other without bumping up against the car part and household good sellers of E(well you know who).

Today, I got the call a girl like me waits a lifetime for. I am going to NY, on September 10, 2009, to be one of only a few people with appointments at Chanel on 57th Street to design my very own Chanel handbag. It is in honor of Vogue's Fashion's Night Out in honor of 9/11.

My appointment is at 5pm. There are only appointments being set between 10am & 5pm for 1/2 hour sessions with Chanel designers to sit down and design your own handbag. After that, from 6-10pm, they will be allowing the general public to do it so if you want to do it, get there early and get in line. I hope everyone that loves, no lives Chanel, gets to do it.

I will, from this day forward, take you through the upstart of http://www.luxuryclosetexchange.com/, the launch of it, how it works, who will be involved in what cities and how I am going to tie it all in with Fashion Week.

The personal call from the Director of Chanel today is what gave me the idea to blog about my experience with starting this website, my obsession with fashion and how we can all exchange ideas and our most prized possessions in a safe, fashioncentic environment.

Everything has had trademarks, patents, copyrights, blah, blah, blah applied for and my fantastic logo will be all mine by tomorrow. (Thanks, Edwin) I will attach it in the next few days because you will be seeing it everywhere.

I want anyone and everyone to feel free to ask questions and comment. As the website is in the building stages, if anyone has ideas, please let me know. It will work like a consignment store and a place that you can sell your authentic luxury items. So, please email me as well.

Today is a great day.