Manolo Blahnik Sample Sale Starts This Thursday!

The designer himself signing shoes
The time I got to meet Manolo Blahnik himself!

You know what they say, “when it rains it pours” and it is literally raining right now! In our magical land of sample sales things are ramping up at full force and this Thursday will have a slew of major (I mean seriously huge) designer sales. The latest addition to the list is of course the crème de la crème of NYC shopping, the semi-annual Manolo Blahnik sample sale. Forever immortalized by Carrie Bradshaw in Sex And The City, a pair of Manolos has become a staple of every fashionista’s closet. So don’t be the one to miss out and get ready to shop this one day only event with my handy primer. Read on!

Manolo Blahnik sample sale has always been one of the most coveted sales in the city. Not only did you get a chance to save up to 80% off but there was a time when you could rub elbows with the fashion elite and get personal advice from the likes of André Leon Talley who presided over the sale as though a king atop a throne made of shoes. While things have changed in recent years and you aren’t likely to see anyone from the glamorous fashion editor VIP crowd you can still enjoy the savings. Prices should start at $125 for plain styles and top out around $550 for knee high boots. Embellished and exotic styles tend to be priced from $175-$250. Whether this will be your first time shopping this sale or you are a seasoned veteran who might enjoy a refresher course I wanted to go over a few basics that will help you conquer this beast. The Manolo sample sale works differently from other similar events. It is held inside a second floor conference room of the Warwick Hotel. There are chairs where you can sit down and even enjoy basic refreshments like water and coffee but beware, the space can fill up very quickly. The organizers use a ticketing system on a first come first serve basis and shoppers are let inside in groups of ten. They start with letter A and once they run through the entire alphabet switch to the number system that can reach up to 60 or higher. If you do a bit of math you’ll see that this translates to a crap ton of people! As this is a one day only sale with public being allowed after 11am you’ll have to be strategic if you want to get a good deal. Stick to these handy tips and you’re bound to do well!
  1. Arrive early (around 7am) and head to the second floor.
  2. Grab your ticket (it’s 1 ticket per person and you can’t get one for a friend) It’s likely that Manolo employees won’t arrive until after 8am.
  3. You don’t have to stay at the hotel once you have your ticket!
  4. Go back to work, go home, enjoy life lol but be back around 11am. Although if you prefer you can wait it out inside the conference room. The phone reception there sucks by the way and Wi-Fi isn’t free.
  5. What happens if you arrive after your group number has been called? No worries, you’ll still get in. Just show your ticket and they’ll let you inside.
  6. Please do not wear your very own pair of Manolos to this sale! No one cares how stylish you look and in the chaos inside someone can and will easily mistake your shoes for one of the sale’s offerings. 
  7. Always hold on to your finds and don’t leave them unattended. Unscrupulous shoppers will literally “steal” your shoes when you’re not looking.
  8. Do you wear size 38? Well you better be in the first two groups or no shoes for you! The most popular and coveted size is sadly very underrepresented.
  9. Do you wear size 37 or 40+? You’re in luck because size 37 is the sample size and all large sizes are always in abundance.
  10. Looking for the Hangisi? You better forget about it right now! Every single shopper wants this shoe so unless you’re a size 42 or are among the VIP’s don’t expect to see one.
  11. Bring CASH! Yes, this is a CASH ONLY sale so hit an ATM first.
  12. Check for damages! Once the hordes begin rummaging things start to break. Anything with crystals or other embellishments requires a second look.
  13. Arrived too late (1-2pm)? Your number is in the 50’s and you want to cry? Don’t! Because you can still get into the sale. They usually close for 30-45min for restocking after which (around 4pm) all remaining shoppers in the conference room are allowed inside.
  14. Arriving after 3pm usually means you won’t get in as they stop handing out tickets by then.

Hope this little guide helps and best of luck to everyone! It’s worth noting that there will likely be another Arethusa Farms Connecticut sample sale in the summer. In the last few years Manolo’s CEO, George Malkemus started organizing these sales. The proceeds from which go towards farming and agriculture scholarships. What this means for NYC sample sales though is that a lot of potential inventory gets redirected to CT, i.e. less shoes for us.

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I also linked up a few styles that you’ll likely to find at this week’s sample sale. If you are unable to make it to the event but love a good bargain remember that The Real Real offers deals on pre-owned Manolos with prices as low as $40! Scroll through the gallery to see some examples.

Warwick Hotel
65 West 54th St., 2nd Floor conference room
Thursday, April 27
11am – until inventory runs out

13 comments on “Manolo Blahnik Sample Sale Starts This Thursday!

  • Unknown , Direct link to comment

    As someone who found found a pair of hangisi last fall I will admit being a size 42 is great for a civilized table of shoes sometimes the selection is not as good as the tiny sizes

    • Practically Haute , Direct link to comment

      Nice! Congrats on such a great find 🙂 I think the grass always looks a little greener on the other side! While size 37 always has tons of shoes a lot of them are samples that never went into production as opposed to classic styles that you're more likely to find among the larger sizes.

    • Practically Haute , Direct link to comment

      Hi Unknown! I plan to stop by Ippolita, David Yurman, Edie Parker (time permitting), and two invite-only events (Lanvin and Bal). Sorry I can't really advertise them on the blog or social media.

  • Julia , Direct link to comment

    You outdid yourself, PH! This guide is so helpful and so well-written, I think you should turn it into a Wikipedia page 🙂

    • Unknown , Direct link to comment

      So nice to see you. Sorry my friend dragged me out and we could not chat .

      Prices are the Sam as in Years past starting at $125 plus tax. They had a sign saying no photograpy or phones with the threat of rejection so I could not take a pick. Good luck!!

  • Unknown , Direct link to comment

    where can i find info about the Manolo sample sale? Such as where it will be, the dates, how to buy tickets etc so that i can prepare. I live in the Caribbean but will plan a trip to NYC for some beautiful shoes!

    • Practically Haute , Direct link to comment

      Hi there!

      Manolo usually has sample sales twice a year: end of April/early May and in November. They never announce the dates until a week or even the day of, making it very hard to plan a trip. It is free to attend and the tickets are handed out in person to reserve a spot, you don't buy them. The sales always take place at the Warwick Hotel mentioned in my above post.

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