Monday, January 28, 2013

Loehmann's Italian Event Preview

It's not very often that I find myself in New Jersey these days, but after Loehmann's invited me to a fashion blogger preview of The Italian Collection before it hits stores, I was back in the garden state in a heartbeat.

So on a blustery cold Saturday morning I bundled up and headed to the Loehmann's store in Manhattan's Chelsea neighborhood. From there, a select group of fashion bloggers was shuttled to the Rutherford, NJ warehouse. Having grown up in the fashion capital that is NYC, I was unimpressed when we arrived at our destination-  a grey windowless building in an area devoid of foot traffic and beauty- clearly, this wasn't Fifth Avenue, Rodeo Drive or The Magnificent Mile. But the plain facade of the warehouse belied the glamorous clothes that awaited us. Walking through the warehouse we were able to see and touch thousands of clothes, shoes and accessories from coveted Italian designers such as Jean Paul Gaultier, Valentino, Dolce & Gabbana and many more.

The amazing part is that these clothes will be sold in Loehmann's stores across the country at prices that are hundreds (sometimes thousands) of dollars below retail. I always na├»vely assumed that Loehmann's and other retailers of its sort were sent catalogs and samples to pick what they wanted to sell and simply ordered inventory at a set price. It never occurred to me that the process was much more hands on. After chatting with several of Loehmann's buyers, I learned about this process in depth...

Loehmann's buyers cultivate relationships with design houses throughout Italy; whenever these design houses have surplus inventory that they haven't managed to sell, they contact off-price retailers such as Loehmann's, Bluefly and Century21. With limited stock available, discount designer clothing is a majorly competitive business. That said, buyers are constantly jet-setting so they don't miss out on something special. Equipped with trend forecasts, an understanding of their customer's purchasing habits and an eye for style, Loehmann's buyers visit Italy six times a year to select merchandise for their stores. The buyers then negotiate the best prices for what they want, ensuring that Loehmann's can bring its customers fabulous pieces at equally fabulous prices. The Italian Collection arrives in Loehmann's Stores on February 27... you might just want to be there!

My favorite Italian designers are Adele Fado, Patrizia Pepe and Dolce & Gabbana... Do you have any favorites ?

xX Helene


  1. Hi Helene,
    Lovely pics - can't wait to see the collection in store. I'm a Pucci fan. The day I bagged a Pucci dress in a Barcelona fleamarket for 200 pesetas ($1!) was one of the happiest of my life! Here's what happened . . .…much-they-cost/
    I love the lace dresses in your top pic - they have a vintage feel to them and I bet they'd be gorgeous on.

    1. Thanks! I love pucci- my favorite mint green skinnies are from Pucci and they are as comfortable as pajamas. That is such an awesome price and story!

      Can you repost the link to that specific post b/c it didn't work... it said "Sorry, no posts matched your criteria."

  2. Flawless writing, as usual. My favorite Italian designer is Missoni.

    1. Thanks Carol! I love Missoni too... especially my missoni for target ottomans!


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