Even if you don’t live in one of the few global fashion capitals where going to sample sales is a viable thing to do with your free time, you’ve likely heard plenty of urban legends about wait times, long lines and the aggressions of fellow shoppers. Few fashion brands inspire the sort of frenzy Hermès is capable of whipping up, though, and Racked New York sent a reporter out to experience the brand’s much-anticipated sale for herself. She had quite a time.
Channing Hargrove stood on a chilly, rainy midtown sidewalk for eight hours last week, and all she got was a funny, slightly bleak story about the madness of fashion bargain-hunters and the willingness of New Yorkers to join random lines even if they’re not entirely sure what everyone is waiting for. That’s because, despite her endurance, she never actually made it into the sale and was ultimately turned away at the end of the day, along with dozens of others.
Hargrove spoke to some of her fellow shoppers (or, more accurately, shopping-hopefuls) in that time, and perhaps surprisingly, the thing she mentions them wanting to buy most often is men’s ties. That’s probably a reasonable thing to hope for (Hermès sample sales rarely include leather goods other than shoes), but many of the ties on Hermès’s website cost less than $200; it’s hard to imagine the discount on a couple of those would be worth taking up residency on the sidewalk for a full day, but I am, admittedly, one of Earth’s most impatient people.
You can read Hargrove’s full account of the sample sale madness via Racked NY.