Meet The New Elizabeth & James

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

UPDATE: 3/5 Extra 20% off sale prices.

To complete the sample sale trifecta I bring you an in-depth look at this week's Elizabeth & James sale. I'm sure that most of you are familiar with the Olsen Twins' affordably priced contemporary label and I know that many of you shopped their previous sample sales at 260. This time though things are different and I'm not just referring to the change of venue. While Elizabeth & James bore the famous Olsen name it was actually under control of a licensing company with Mary-Kate and Ashley having little to do with the label. Last year all of that changed as the twins took control of their diffusion line. The merchandise that you see at this sample sale comes from the currently sold Fall/Winter '16 collection as well as Pre-Spring and Resort '17 collections. The best part is that handbags are also part of the sale with discounts going up to 70% off retail.

I was invited to a small media preview where I've run into fellow bloggers Le Hoarder and Holy In Mundane. It's always fun to catch up with ladies who understand the value of a good bargain :D but getting back to the main event. The sale takes place at the Chelsea Market and is organized by The Prive. If it's your first time there it might be a little tricky to find the location. Go through the main entrance on Ninth avenue and proceed straight until you reach a halfway point, Prive's venue will be to your right. I'd like to start with the handbags. You'll find them displayed on tables all along the left wall. The selection included almost every style currently available:  Eloise croc embossed crossbody and satchel bags, Trapeze crossbody and satchel, Finley courier hobo, Zoe large hobo and small toteScott moon saddle, Cynnie shopper, Cynnie flap croc embossed crossbody and micro crossbody. Bags were priced by category with small satchels and crossbodies at $129 with hobos, satchels, and backpacks at $179. Discounts ranged from 60% to about 75% off retail. Keep in mind that these are all brand new current season styles made of genuine leather or suede. There were also small leather goods available for $29. They included small zip around wallets and Guest Key bag charms.

Moving on to apparel the selection was huge! There were racks upon racks of clothing organized by sizes ranging from 0 to 12. Prices started at $79 for tops and denim and went up to $479 for fur coats. Here is the full price breakdown:

Tops $79 | Shorts $79 | Denim $79 | Skirts $89 | Pants $89 | Sweaters $99 | Dresses $119 | Gowns $199| Outerwear $249 | Leather Jackets $299 | Fur Vests $319 | Fur Coats $479

All in all the discounts were fairly close to the old Elizabeth & James sample sales but the most noticeable difference was that there were no bargain bin samples. Gone are the days of $100 furs. There actually were some production samples in size 4 but since they were in pristine condition and indistinguishable from the rest of the stock they were simply mixed in among the racks and priced the same as their stock counterparts. I was really drawn to the outerwear section (just right of the entrance) and the sleek clean silhouettes of beige colored trenches and wool coats. Leather jackets could be found across from the registers. There were lots of pieces perfect for our current transitional weather as well as some great spring looks. I highlighted my favorite items in the photos below. The venue offers a spacious dressing room with huge mirrors. No need to elbow your way to squeeze in here!

BOTTOM LINE: This is a new iteration of the beloved brand but aside from the lack of bargain priced samples most things remain the same. Time will tell if additional markdowns will match past sample sales but I recommend tapering ones expectation to more modest price cuts. The selection is well worth a look although bargaininstas may want to wait things out.

Chelsea Market
75 Ninth Ave.
Wednesday - Saturday  10am - 7pm
Sunday  10am - 5pm

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