It’s the most wonderful time of the year! No, not Christmas, but nearly as nice. The semi annual Manolo Blahnik sample sale descended on the city in full force, taking me (and my sound judgement) along with it. I am, as anyone who knows me, OBSESSED with shoes. My sister calls me the shoe whisperer, they just call to me. So one huge advantage of living in New York is the constant parade of sample sales going on daily somewhere in the city. It’s easy to get swept along in the current and difficult to imagine paying full price for anything.
My first experience at the legendary shoe sale was last season, in November, when my former boss told me that she had read a tweet from Andre Leon Talley announcing the sale, which had gone unpublished anywhere for the first time ever. Being only four blocks away, we dropped everything for the afternoon and ran over to scramble and find something before it ended. We walked right in, I found an amazing pair of metallic purple ankle strap stilettos ($100!!) and walked out feeling like a super cool customer.
This time around, not so. With the date encroaching, I stalked Racked to see when and if they would announce it. They did, on Tuesday and I started my planning. Having read that the wait can be up to four hours, I decided to get there around 9, 9:30 for a sale that opened to the public at noon (VIPS sashayed in at 10). Well, I did arrive at 9:30, armed to the teeth with water, a book, headphones, and snacks, ready to wait and thinking I might make it in early. Four hours later and somewhat jaded, my sister and I finally snuck in, greeted by swarms of voracious women, some sitting on the floor within a mound of thirty pairs.
The key to the sale is to dig. Dig until you don’t think you can dig anymore. Dig through the piles of 35s, 42s, don’t bother thinking that you can stick to your picked through table of 38.5s and actually find something. With no restocking and women walking out with 15 pairs, I was terrified that I would walk out with zip. No matter, after six and a half hours, I exited the sale triumphant, exhausted, and enormously disoriented.
So meet my pretties: one a perfect shade of ballerina pink suede (I credit my affliction for shoes with ballet, Dorothy, and Cinderella, typical) and the other a delicate, silver pair of t strap stilettos. As it’s my birthday next week, I will say happy birthday to me in advance!
Oh, and check out photos and coverage of the madness from Racked.