Two times a year I put on my game face and gear up for the Barney's Warehouse Sale. Of course, it's always raining. Swear — the last two times around, it's been a torrential downpour. Anyway, dressed in light attire as it tends to be a thousand degrees in there (by there I mean the underground haven of discounted designer goods) with my PS1 packed and ready (hands free people, hands free) I head down to Chelsea prepared to pour over piles, dig for deals, and elbow — er, lightly nudge — everyone out of the way.
This past spring, it was no different. However, preparing for a heavy bag load, I decided to drive my car down. Snagging a spot a few blocks away, I made my way down 17th Street. After making it through the bag check, tucking my soaked umbrella away, and bolting down the stairs, I found myself standing right in front of a kind of desert mirage of Mecca: The shoe section. Roll your sleeves up and brace yourself people, this is serious business. Shit goes down in the shoe aisles – Serious. Shit.
Prepared for possible hair pulling, I weaved my way through the 6s. Playing a version of that classic car game I Spy in my head, I picked out Wang after Lanvin after Dolce. Surprised to see such great goods still left, as this was the last day of the sale, I hesitantly picked up a shoe. Preparing to meet a just-out-of-my-reach price, I turned it over. My jaw dropped. $86 for Wang? Turning the shoe upside down, expecting that $86 to turn into some sort of distorted number in the upper echelons of the $900 range, I shook my head and slammed my eyes open and closed. Nope, still $86.
Going home with me were two pairs of Alexander Wang boots – the same boot style, one in brown and one in black for $86 each, a pair of Derek Lam boots in black leather and fur for $155, a pair of the Fendi duck boots in brown – which I had been eyeing for months – for $107, and a pair of Robert Clergerie for Opening Ceremony lace up boots in a perfect ballet pink silk for $89.
On my way to the cashier, I peaked in the denim bins in the women's section. I pulled out two pairs of pants from the tangled mess - a pair of burgundy J Brand corduroys for $14.75 and a pair of white flared jeans by Seven for $9.75 – and threw them over my shoulder without trying them on because if they didn’t fit I could always send them Designer Resale’s way. Struggling to carry my loot, I finally hit the line for the cashier.
All in all, I am so excited to bust out my new boots this fall. But, before I can sport a different shoe every day of the week (because yes, I walked away with 7 pairs total) I’ve got to bust out the war paint, pack my umbrella, and head downtown because it’s back again. The Barney’s Warehouse Sale will be from August 25 – September 5, 2011 in the same old underground warehouse where all shopping etiquette flies out the non-existent windows and refined women pull their hair back in high ponytails, transforming into bargain barbarians.