I have always been a fan of Gilt City, which offers it’s members access to exclusive experiences at insider prices. So when I read about their designer warehouse sale, I knew I had to attend this unique shopping event!
Held over two days at Siren Studios in Hollywood, the sale took place in multiple rooms. One room had shoes, accessories, home goods and perfumes. The other three spaces held clothes. Lots and lots of clothes. One room for women, one for men and even an adorable small space in between showcasing designer brands for kids.
Tickets were $10 and advance purchase only. No tickets were sold at the door. You select a two hour time frame online when purchasing. You could choose Friday night, Saturday morning or afternoon. Being an early bird and hoping to score the choicest pieces I attended the first session on Saturday morning from 9-11am.
I went into the sale hoping to replace my well used emerald green Michael Kors handbag which I’ve lovingly owned for almost 5 years, and it’s starting to show. Sadly, the handbag selection which was in the first room with the shoes and other accessories, was very slim. I start thinking maybe I should have attended the Friday night session. Instead of sulking, I head over to shoes. Shoes always make me happy. I found a cute pair of black sandals for only $15 that made me smile. I was impressed with the wide variety of shoes (for both men and women) available in multiple sizes and price points. The setup reminded me of the DSW clearance section. Prices were marked and color coded. Certain colors were priced as is, while other colors were an extra 30% off the already discounted price. This was going to be a good day!
Walking through the lobby space were vendors and sponsors offering tastings by Palm Breeze Spritzers, Dark Horse Wines and LaMarca Prosecco. Maybe later. Currently, I was on mission for designer deals. So I take my complimentary shopping tote, place my new Maiden Lane sandals inside and head over to the clothing rooms. It’s hard to describe how much clothing was available. Everything from AG Jeans, to Carolina Herrara evening gowns to Rachel Pally sundresses and everything in between. I even saw two wedding gowns. Seriously…
It was a little hectic, but the space was large and bright. Clothing was divided up by sizes and types. At least it was supposed to be. I still wandered through the other sections to see if things were put back in an off place and would sometimes find a delightful surprise. I found myself constantly pulling clothes from a brand called Firth, of which I was not familiar. Turns out it’s an exclusive Gilt brand. I never would have found them, had I not attended this sale. I’m definitely a fan.
The staff on hand was friendly. The room started off way too warm, but after a few comments the air was cranked up. They offered bottled water, and directed you to the communal dressing rooms. They kept the line moving, but also made sure the room was never so full that you didn’t have adequate mirror space.
After two trips to the dressing room, I found my keeps and it was time to move on. After all that frenetic shopping I was ready for a glass of that Prosecco. I sat down on one of the large white leather ottomans to sip my sparkling wine and assess my choices. Elsewhere in the lobby area, you could get a spring inspired make-up look at one of the styling stations, sample free bags of flavored Pop Chips and take home a variety of Vaseline Intensive Care continuous spray lotions. I love Cocoa Radiant. I may have grabbed more than one complimentary bottle.
Tips on how to successfully raid the warehouse:
- Pack light. Shoppers without coats and with handbags smaller than 5 x 7 can skip the coat check line. They sale only accepts credit or debit cards, no cash. So grab a clutch that’s just big enough to pack your phone, id, card and lipstick. What more do you need?
- Choose wisely. It’s easy to get carried away when everything is so inexpensive. But even though that Valentino evening gown is only $150 where on earth are you going to wear it? Stick to pieces you know you will wear often. At these deeply discounted prices it makes their cost per wear even more appealing.
- Try it on. Every designer is different when it comes to sizing. This is even more true at an event like this one. Some pieces are slightly irregular and have an even better price. But is it worth it? You never know unless you try it on.
- Wander. Check out all the racks. Yes I know I’m not an extra small, but someone may have placed an item back on the wrong rack. You don’t know unless you look. I found these pastel patterned AG Jeans on one rack and thought they were too faded, after searching a few more racks, I realized those were irregular. They had other jeans with the same pattern, just not as muted.
- Bring a friend. What’s better than sharing great deals and free drinks with a friend? It’s also nice to have someone you trust to talk you down from a shopping disaster. They will help you say yes to the $5 earrings from France but no to $45 Kate Spade gold mittens.
I’ve been to quite a few warehouse and sample sales, but this was easily my favorite. It was more like an exclusive party than a warehouse sale. I will definitely attend again. I urge everyone to check out Gilt City if you’re not already a member. They offer sites for most major cities in the U.S. Log on and find the one closest to your home town. I know you’ll enjoy the exclusive events, experiences and insider deals as much as me.