Simply, Lucky Shops is much like the magazine that bears the same name: a fashion-oriented shopping-oriented experience that features over 60 designers and retailers from fashion icons to cult favorites to up-and-coming brands. While there are plenty of sample sales in Manhattan, not all of them feature current items. Walking around the floor of the Metropolitan Pavilion, I saw many signs announcing that the designer items were current season. Now, that’s special! Even celebrities come like Hilary Duff, Mary Alice Stephenson, Michelle Trachtenberg, Lesley Hornby and Nate Berkus, attended to shop for “gilty pleasures!”
FASHION: Alice + Olivia; ALICE by Temperley ; Charlotte Ronson; Clu; Diane von Furstenberg ; Foley + Corinna ; Geren Ford; Jodi Arnold; Kenneth Cole; Mara Hoffman; Milly; Miss Me; Nicholas K; Rebecca Taylor; Shareen Vintage ; Shoshanna; Steven Alan; Thread Social; Tommy Hilfiger ; Tracy Reese; Trina Turk ; Tucker ; Twinkle by Wenlan; Vena Cava; Walter
JEANS: AG Jeans; Citizens of Humanity; DL1961 Premium Denim; GoldSign; Marc Allison Jeans; MiH Jeans
BEAUTY: Maybelline New York
BAGS/SHOES/SCARVES: A Peace Treaty; Botkier; Hayden-Harnett; Kooba; Matt Bernson; Nine West Vintage; America Collection; Pour La Victoire; Rebecca Minkoff
JEWELRY: A Peace Treaty; Alex Woo ; Amrita Singh; Bing Bang by Anna Sheffield; Dannijo; Helen Ficalora; Lee Angel; Melissa Joy Manning; Miguel Ases ; Pamela Love; SEQUIN; Tina Tang
LINGERIE : Commando; Cosabella ; Elle Macpherson Intimates; Only Hearts
SPECIAL!! The American Express ZYNC Card Boutique featured some of Lucky Magazine’s favorite designers including: Tucker, Alex Woo, Twinkle by Wenlan, Tina Tang, and Yumi Kim. A personal shopper will be on hand to assist ZYNC Card members. The Boutique will also offer guests a sweepstakes for a chance to win signature pieces from select designers, as well as a gift –a lovely purple scarf–with purchase for all American Express® Card members.
Other special offerings included:
THE BOUDOIR BAR (very popular) featuring intimates from Lucky Cosabella, Commando, Elle Macpherson Intimates and Only Hearts.
JEANIUS BAR: A Lucky Shops staple featuring denim brands: AG Jeans, Citizens of Humanity, GoldSign, MiH Jeans, DL 1961 Premium Denim, Marc Allison Jeans and more
MAYBELLINE NEW YORK COLOR STUDIO: they were offering complimentary mini-makeovers with the season’s hottest shades.
NINE WEST VINTAGE AMERICA COLLECTION: Nine West Vintage America Collection including shoes, accessories, and apparel.
FORD WARRIORS IN PINK: a boutique where 100% of the Ford Warriors in Pink apparel went to Susan G. Komen supporting breast cancer research.
I didn’t know all of the designers on display, but the women who were carrying around two, three, four, six…Lucky Shops shopping bags on their arms, certainly did. These women follow fashion, and they know what they’re buying. Many were from out of town, such as the woman I chatted with from Los Angeles who brought along friends for a true, Girlfriend Weekend, centered around Lucky Shops. Another, beautifully dressed woman, “Michelle” from Michigan says she plans a weekend in New York every year to attend Lucky Shops and has been attending for a number of years. “Chantelle” told me that she saved her money to attend the Thursday Night VIP night (the night I attended) even though it costs $185.00 (tto get there first, and for the gift bag) and and in past years, took advantage of the two-day Savvy Shopper pass for $60.00. In fact, almost every person I spoke to had been to Lucky Shops more than once, and was already dreaming of next years event.
So why would you spend money, to spend money? Like Sheckys Girls Night Out, and other shopping “parties,” Lucky Shops gives you access to discounts you would not normally be able to easily access, especially if you were an out-of-towner. And, there are nibbles, drinks, and even a DJ to keep the energy up. It is also a bonding experience for groups of women who are girls that just wanna have fun. The cost for a one-day pass Friday was $35 and Saturday it was just $30. The experience of walking through aisles of fashion finds while drinking, eating, and making memories with friends–priceless!There is a also VIP gift bag that is touted as being worth $500.00. If you are paying $185 for a ticket, you can get some of your money back not just in fun and bargains, but with actual products. I am guessing that the gift bag contents may be slightly different in each bag, but mine had mostly beauty items. As someone who reviews beauty and gets products to review directly from companies and PR firms, more shampoos and facial products didn’t set my motor racing, but most people are not beauty reviewers so the gift bag would surprise and delight with many useful items From experience, I can see that the sheer amount of products in the bag could add up to a goodly sum. Here are the items I found in my gift bag: Pantene Restore Beautiful Lengths Replenishing Mask; Essie Nail Polish in Jelly Apple; Fleexies Instant Slimmer Tank Top (in medium); A bag with (Maybelline New York Volum’ Express Mascara, Maybelline New York Eye Studio in Green Envy and Maybelline New York Champagne Shimmer Lipstick); Olay Regenerist Advanced Anti-Aging Eye Roller (love this product!); Secret Clinical Strength Deodorant; Yes to Cucumbers Hypo Allergenic Towelettes; Clearasil Ultra Overnight Face Lotion; Clearasil Ultra Overnight Serum; $50 Gift Card to Patty Tobin Fine Fashion Jewelry; Veet Supreme Essence Hair Removal Gel Cream; Pureology Serious Colour Care Pure Volume Shampoo and Pureology Serious Colour Care Pure Volume Conditioner (these can run $28.00 each and up): Gillette Venus Embrace Razor; Kiwi Express Shoe Shine Wipes; and a Kenneth Cole New York Umbrella; Outlander by Diana Gabaldon paperback book; mini Ugg boot key chain (really cute). and a $200 Laser Hair Removal Gift Card to Completely Bare Spa. Judge for yourself if the Gift Bag and first crack at the clothes, is worth the additional VIP ticket cost. If you go to Lucky Shops for serious bargains, and not just for fun, you need to be a savvy shopper to know what the deals are. For example, a ring being advertised for $39.00 is, I researched later on, just $42.00 retail, so that’s not much of a savings. But the Sam Edelman pony hair oxford shoes I couldn’t resist at $90.00 were current season and priced at $180.00 — a bargain! It also helps if you are a small size as the majority of items were sized 0-8 with less choice in medium and large. This isn’t bargain basement shopping, either. Almost everything is 30% to 60% off retail, but most things are still $100+. There used to be more give-aways and a few $5 , $10, and $10 bins of bargains, but this year, I didn’t see any. Still, women were shopping up a storm, ringing their arms with $300 and $400+ handbags, and festooning themselves with jewelry. Access to designer clothes like this must be heaven for out of town shoppers, maybe a little less so for New Yorkers, but there were plenty of both, and everyone was having a great time.
Alas, even the deep discounts can make a deep dent in your wallet. And this is important: bring a credit card. It is the only form of currency accepted.
I used my American Express card, of course. This year American Express did something special for their young, ZYNC Card members — they had special benefits including: Early access to ticket sales before the general public; Fifteen percent (15%) off the regular price of tickets; Access to preview shopping on Friday and Saturday; Early access to Lucky Shops via exclusive ZYNC Cardmember entrance when with a valid ZYNC Card; The fantastic, ZYNCSM Boutique– with merchandise from Lucky’s favorite designers, such as Tucker, Alex Woo, Twinkle by Wenlan, Tina Tang, and Yumi Kim. The Boutique also offered people a chance to win signature pieces from Yumi Kim, etc and, of course, you would sign up for the Zync card right at the event. If you are a responsible young person with a job and can pay your bills in full, you can get a ZYNC card for an annual fee of just $25.00 and start enjoying some of the traditional benefits American Express offers all cardmembers, and also special events and benefits for ZYNC cardmembers. You can add “packs” (including a fashion pack) to your card for $25.00 a pack (and some, like an eco pack and a philanthropic pack, are free). These packs give you even more access and benefits throughout the year from music, to sports, to fashion…whatever your interests are. For ZYNC card members who couldn’t attend Lucky Shops, American Express, for example, AmEx is providing consumers with access to shop the ZYNC Lucky Shops on-site designer boutique online at boutiques.refinery29.com (going on through April 2011). Fashionistas will can seek advice from Lucky Alpha Shopper Bloggers via e-mail, while perusing the online store. ZYNC Card members can also access a Cardmember-only ZYNC Boutique and having early access to the Daily Deals (some really cute stuff)!
Copyright ©Alison Blackman Dunham. All rights reserved. The Advice Sisters is a registered United States trademark. No content may be used or copied with written permission. If you want to use my work, please obtain it legally. For more information, Email Me. You can show your interest and support by subscribing to this blog. Several options are available on the right hand side of this blog. Also, you can follow me on Facebook and Twitter (@advicesisters). You can also read and subscribe to my National Luxury Lifestyles Column on the Examiner.com. *I use provided samples for most of my reviews. Learn more in the “A Note About Compensation” section of the Advice Sisters What Works Beauty, Cosmetics and Fashion Review column