J. Mendel Sample Sale Has A Huge Selection Of Furs

Founded in 1870, J. Mendel atelier was the official furrier to the Russian crown. After the revolution Mendel family moved to France where the label has become one of the premiere fashion houses in Paris. Today it is still a family run business with Gilles Mendel at the helm. J. Mendel is best known for their impeccable gowns and even more so for some of the most luxurious furs to ever grace the red carpet. This week the venerable French fashion house is having a sample sale that is unlike all previous iterations. If you’ve followed my advice and already scheduled an appointment with Deb you will be able to shop the sale today (Wednesday). But not to worry, even if you’ve forgotten to RSVP you can still shop your heart out during the public portion of the event on Thursday and Friday. I was asked by the organizers not to reveal the location until the sale goes public so be sure to come back here tonight for the exact address. Meanwhile read on below for all the amazing furs that are sure to make your head spin.

This year the sale took place at a new venue which is probably five times (if not bigger) the size of their old showroom. A larger venue of course also translates into more merchandise. The sale featured more furs than I have ever seen at all their previous sample sales combined! They even had more stock/sizes in the back. If you’re looking to invest into a signature designer fur coat then this sale is for you. These were true investment pieces and not for the faint of heart. With discounts of 50%-75% off rather hefty original price tags (think $20,000-$40,000) this is only for serious buyers. The SA’s were on hand to answer any questions and offer advice. The venue was equipped with mirrors as well as a huge dressing room to aid you in making an informed decision. 
The primarily European origin furs (there were a few USA minks) included mink, sableraccoon, fox, ermine, and even chinchilla. There were also shearlings and leather. A few notable examples were: Sheared Mink coats with sable collar $4,985 (retail $39,950) | Chevron multicolor short fox coats $2,475 (retail $9,900) | Long camel shearling coats $2,070 (retail $6,900) | Reversible mink jackets $7,200 (retail $24,000) | Teal shearling vests $1,300 (retail $6,500) | Shearling and Leather jackets $2,070 (retail $6,900) | Chinchilla grey jacket $9,475 (retail $29,000). My inner hypocrite was feeling rather conflicted about all these furs and it took some serious convincing from one of the SA’s to get me to try something on. She even recommended a few styles that didn’t look like fur (in case you don’t want to offend your vegan/PETA pals!)

Chevron multicolor short fox coats $2,475 (retail $9,900) 
Mink stoles $2,670 (retail $8,900)
Bolero with Embellished inserts $2,760 (retail 8,900) 
Colorful fur jackets and sleeveless vests
Shearling and Leather jackets $2,070 (retail $6,900) 

Sheared Mink coats with sable collar $4,985 (retail $39,950) 
Chinchilla grey jacket $9,475 (retail $29,000) 

Leather jackets $800 and up

The sale also featured dresses and gowns fit for the red carpet. Organized by color, there were racks full of flowing silks, beaded and embellished frocks, satins, lace, and much more. Discounts were around 65%-75% off with prices starting at $400 and going up to $3,000. These were all special event dresses, I’m talking about weddings, galas, red carpet, etc. If you’re looking for something to wear to brunch with the girls or to the office this isn’t it.

Lace dress $700 (retal $2,800) Cap sleeve eyelet dress $410 (retail $2,900)

Tri-color halter gown in hyacinth $1,725 (retail $6,900) 
Silk chiffon gown with embroidery $2,750 (retail $11,000)
More dresses
A small selection of seperates

All the way on the right hand side, towards the registers you’ll find accessories such as shoes by Manolo Blahnik and J. Mendel’s own handbags, scarves, jewelry, along with some other miscellaneous accessories. All the shoes were runway/production/PR samples and showed signs of wear. In some cases (fifth photo below) very substantial wear that did not justify the price tags. Prices ranged from $200-$350 and sizes were limited to 38-41. Gone are the days of cheap ($50) Louboutins 🙁 and you can do much better at Manolo’s own sample sale. My advice is to skip the shoes and focus on the furs! Moving onto handbags there were clutches, minaudières, totes, and crossbodies. Prices started at $450 for a few bags that were marked as true samples but otherwise ranged from $900-$6,500. Among the accessories there were keychains ($150) with monogram letters made of fur as well as enamel and fur trimmed bracelets ($50-$230).

Manolo heels $250 
Manolo samples size 38-41
Manolo boots $350
Manolo sandals $200
This bootie needs serious cobbler love and no way is it worth $300 
Assorted fur scarves
More scarves 
Mink dickie $570
Knitted mink donut $1,470 (retail $4,900) 
Belts and wool scarves $150
Large leather bags $4,000-$6,000
Clutches $990 
Minuit Minaudiere sample $495 (retail $1,650) stock $1,100+
Sample floral print Melodie clutch $450
Gloves and more clutches 
Keychains with mink letter monograms $150
Bracelets: large open cuff $230 (retail $1,150) thin enamel cuff $50 (retail $250)

BOTTOM LINE: This week’s sale offers the largest selection of furs that I have ever seen at J. Mendel’s sample sales. If you are a serious buyer looking for an investment piece I strongly recommend  checking out the selection. Same goes for gowns. The organizers usually offer additional markdowns on select merchandise for the last day of the sale but I would not expect any significant price cuts when it comes to furs. As always I will keep you updated as soon as I hear something. Happy shopping 🙂
J. Mendel Showroom
463 Seventh Ave., 13th Floor (between 35th and 36th St.) 
Thursday  9am – 8pm
Friday  9am – 5pm

02 comments on “J. Mendel Sample Sale Has A Huge Selection Of Furs

  • MGM , Direct link to comment

    I love J. Mendel, but was this really a “sample” sale? It looks like mostly leftover, unsold merchandise. In the past, sample sales consisted of very small sized, one of a kind items that were either shown on the runway or made for a designer’s fit models. The photos show multiples of the same item.

    I doubt that anything ever goes on sale at the J. Mendel boutiques.Voila, they have a plain old sale in their showroom.

    • Practically Haute , Direct link to comment

      Hi MGM!

      You are absolutely correct, many “sample sales” nowadays don’t offer actual samples and consist mainly of overstock and/or deadstock. J. Mendel sales vary a little each time but their last sample sale, earlier in the Spring, did include both samples and overstock. Of course you’ll never see sample furs but there were sample gowns and RTW as high as 90% off. There were also sample bags as well as Manolo shoes that were worn on the runways. Because samples tend to be mixed in with the regular stock they’re harder to spot and they usually sell out first but they do exist! Also a lot of their past season RTW ends up in places like Last Call and Century 21 where I’ve frequently seen it for 75-80% off.

      J. Mendel will have another sample sale at the end of the month in case you’re interested.

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