Sad Kitty Shopping The Charlotte Olympia Sample Sale

UPDATE: Additional markdowns final day. Shoes $150-$300 bags $75-$300. 

Last spring Charlotte Olympia took New Yorkers by surprise when the British designer announced her first ever US sample sale. Well known for her quirky designs like the ever popular kitty flats and her signature sky-high heels, Charlotte Olympia has finally come to New York! I had a chance to attend the sale and must say the selection and pricing was incredible. Flats were priced at $135, even the kitties but sadly there were very few, especially in popular sizes like 37 and 38. The sale also featured a huge selection of handbags, predominantly Charlotte Olympia’s signature clutches. When the winter sale was announced only a few weeks ago I was overjoyed! It meant that from now on these sales would become a NYC staple much like our semi-annual Manolo and Jimmy Choo sample sales.

Fast forward to today when the doors opened early for the VIP/Press preview. The staffers were still finalizing pricing on some of the bags but it was obvious that prices had gone up. Sadly you can forget about scoring a $135 kitty flat or any other flat for that matter since they are now $250. That’s a rather steep increasing from this spring. I know that designers like to test the waters anytime they organize a sale in a new city/country, at times greatly underestimating their own popularity and other times overpricing things so much that even the most devoted fans are turned off. While I wouldn’t consider the last sale a bargain bonanza by any stretch of an imagination (prices went into $300+ on shoes and bags were only 60-70% off) but today’s price hikes were certainly disappointing. Majority of the selection was comprised of Cruise 2015 Down Mexico Way collection. The lone representatives of the kitty brigade were the Mexi-cats in blue and pink. I actually found a white leather moccasin kitty and a gorgeous blue suede slipper but alas they were not my size. Sizes ranged from 34 all the way to 42 but the best selection by far was for sizes 36-36.5. There were espadrille sandals, wedges, zodiac pumps, “Eastwood” booties among the styles I spotted but they all paled in comparison to last year’s robust selection. Fellow blogger Le Hoarder walked away with an amazing pair of Parasol heels after the spring sale but there was nothing like that this time. While I might enjoy a cheap bargain I am not above splurging for a pair of killer statement shoes but despite the seemingly large inventory at today’s event there was nothing that excited me. There are so many other shoe sales this month and the next (paging Sophia Webster!) that your money is better spent elsewhere. Case in point the Charlotte Olympia boutique uptown is about to start their seasonal markdowns and I’m not even talking about the outlets and the likes of Nordstrom Rack and Century 21.

Handbag selection was also substantially smaller this go around. Much like the shoes most of the inventory consisted of the Cruise ’15 collection as well as a bunch of World Cup inspired clutches with various country flags. Prices ranged from $150 to $600 with most items falling into $250-$600 range. As photography was not allowed please refer to the slideshow below for examples. Some of the highlights included the Piñata shoulder bag, Frida embroidered clutch, and Calavera clutch with Swarovski crystals. There were also a bunch of these nylon totes and shoulder bags that made me think Vera Bradley the Mexican version. If I wanted something like that I certainly wouldn’t pay $250-$300. 
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BOTTOM LINE: Sorry to be the bearer of the bad news but this sale just didn’t do it for me and I think you might agree. Prices went up but the selection got worse. Also the hotel security guy was particularly nasty and intrusive, borderline harassment. The Roosevelt Hotel is not the greatest place out there, despite a prime location and storied history I saw giant roaches crawling on the walls last Spring so there is a reason why it’s so lowly rated. Honestly unless you are utterly in love with Cruise ’15 and don’t mind standing in line for 1-2 hours go for it but for everyone else this one is a skip. Happy shopping……elsewhere 😉

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