Monday, March 17, 2008

How To Snag An "IT" Item

After seasons of experience, I've come to find that it is not so easy to snag an "it" item. Last Thursday, for example, was Saks' "Want It" Campaign (their equivalent of a fashion spring fling), and all of their seven Miu Miu brocade dresses (featured in their catalog) were sold out almost immediately. Miu Miu stores citywide were also sold out on various hot items. How does a fashionista score on hot-ticket items? A word to the wise:

1. Befriend a salesperson at each store that you frequent. Establish a relationship that ensures reciprocity; remember that salespeople make commissions, so the more you buy from a person, the more he/she will be likely to secure that item for you.

2. Put your name on the waiting list as soon as you see that item on the runway. Each store receives a limited number of items, and even fewer ones in your size (unfortunately, smaller items sell out faster in New York). Keep in mind that different stores will also buy certain items and may not overlap (Bloomingdale's may carry a dress that Bergdorf won't).

3. If an item is sold out in your local store, ask them to check the inventory on the item in stores across the country. Las Vegas' store may not sell out as fast on winter items, for example. Have them ship that item to you directly.

4. Remember that stores sometimes re-stock. Ask them when the next shipment will arrive, and put your name down on the list. After the initial craze, items can be and usually are replenished.

5. Check with online stores (eluxury and net-a-porter, for example) and email customer service for information on their inventory arrivals. Remember that net-a-porter receives new items on every Wednesday of the week; check early in the morning for hot items. You can also sign up for email alerts when certain items come in.

6. If all else fails, wait a couple of months. Stores slowly restock, and the item may longer be hot, but at least you can eventually own it. Or check with ebay to see if someone is selling that item for a higher price. But beware of fakes.

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