Above The Fray: Garment District Grab Bag Edition

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Another week, another intriguing batch of Garment District sample sales. We decided to head over to a few for an on-site evaluation so that you don’t have to. Too kind, we know. Here, a few reports.

Kooba, Ben Sherman, AKA, Tocca
This sample sale at 261 West 36th Street is set up like a virtual store, with racks and circulars of clothing from the featured brands. We’ll break it down by the main players. Kooba offered decent bags, but the prices weren’t fantastic. With all the recent high-profile handbag sample sales, it’d be absurd to pay $300 for a Kooba Jackie bag. Tocca tops and sweaters were selling for $35, pants for $60, skirts for $65, dresses and jackets for $85, and coats for $100. The skirt selection was ample. There were some fun and colorful patterns, and a wide variety of styles. On to the AKA rack… some really ace silk dresses were selling for $100 a piece. Not a bad deal, considering they retail for about $400. We also spotted cute AKA silk blouses that would work well either at the office or on the town.
Verdict: Ultimately, worth a stop

edressme
The edressme sample sale boasts some big names like Jill Stuart and Anna Sui, so we were eager to investigate. However, the sale was pretty informal and consisted of only 4 racks of dresses. Furthermore, none of the sale prices were written on the tags, so shoppers needed to inquire with an edressme employee for information. That being said, the dresses are all pretty snazzy and from a variety of solid designers, including Sonia Rykiel, Nanette Lepore, Laundry, Sue Wong, BCBG Max Azaria, ABS, Rebecca Taylor, Nicole Miller, Tibi, and Vivienne Tam. The discounts vary: A black Sonia Rykiel robe dress originally priced at $595 was selling for $293; a $320 pleated baby-doll dress from Nicole Miller was discounted, albeit less substantially, to $195. The sale continues through the new year, so if you are interested, there’s no need to rush.
Verdict: If you like dresses, you should drop in

Lewis Cho
We’re fans of Lewis Cho’s rouched contemporary dresses for a few reasons, but mainly because they can be worn season to season. Unfortunately, the prices at Cho’s sale were not what we were hoping for. The brand’s cotton and silk frocks fell between $80-105; silk v-neck tops were about 60 beans. We were a little disappointed, as we purchased a great Lewis Cho dress at the Steven Alan sample sale last month for less than what it was costing today at the designer’s own sample sale! How does that make sense?
Verdict: Skip