For a while now, I’ve been wanting to experience the Christian Louboutin sample sale. Season after season, it’s been hyped in the blogs. I always wondered if it really is all that? This time, I made it inside thanks to our very own, Larry, the label whore.
Surprisingly, the line was short (just out the door of the building on West 38th Street). After about an hour’s wait, we were ushered upstairs to the fourth floor. Some important notes here! A woman with a clipboard checks to see if you’re on the list. If you’re not forget about trying to talk your way in. The staffers are tough and they will not let you upstairs unless you’re on the list. Several women tried that only to be turned away. There were also two burly security guards there to keep everyone in order. Once you’re checked in, you and your plus one (yes, you’re allowed to bring in one person to the sale) get stamped. Without that stamp, you can’t get into the sale room. It really is like Fort Knox!
When you get to the sale floor, another security guard checks your arm to make sure it’s stamped. You must check in your bag, leave everything in it except your wallet. When that’s done, you’re faced with two rooms, which actually looks like a stock room with industrial racks stacked with brown Louboutin boxes organized by size. It’s not fancy at all, pretty much bare bones. Unlike the Manolo Blahnik sample sale at the Warwick Hotel, there’s no waiting room or water here for shoppers. Just stacks and stacks of the red soled shoes in boxes.
We were given about 20 minutes to look around, find something, buy it and leave. The women in my group frantically ran to their section, opened up boxes to see what was inside. There were chairs in the middle of the room where you could sit and try on – and a mirror. In terms of selection, it really depended on your size. Those with smaller feet (35-36) and larger feet (40) have more to choose from. By Thursday afternoon, they had very little to offer those of us with common-sized feet. The price range is from $100 to $500+, depending on the style. Many of the basic shoes were $250, while some older stock or damaged footwear were $150. Boots were $350 and up. I found nothing special in my size (37). Larry, however, found a couple of pairs of shoes for his mother. After looking hard, I did settle on a pair of satin strappy heels ($150). They also had bags (shoulder and clutches) on offer as well as exotic skin pumps (about $650) and embellished shoes. All in all, it was an interesting experience to finally make it inside one of the toughest sample sales to get into…
While this is an invitation only sale, we hear that they may be letting in the public on Friday (the last day).
Where/When: 306 W. 38th Street (b/w 8th & 9th Aves). Thru Friday May 18th (9-3pm).