If you've ever waited in a long line to enter a sample sale, then you've witnessed the speed in which fast friendships can form between people waiting in line. While waiting in the Gucci sample sale line last year, I met a women and her daughter who flew in from Kentucky to attend the sale. Last month, I too traveled by plane to attend a sale, this one being the first ever Dolce & Gabbana warehouse sale in Toronto.
To tell you the truth, I’ve never shopped the Dolce & Gabbana sample sale in NY. The lines (on the first day) are always very long, and the discounts could be better. I decided to attend the Toronto sale after being granted VIP access and realizing that the exchange rate would bring prices down.
At the most recent Dolce & Gabbana sample sale this past May in NY, people began lining up the night before, and there were over 170 people in line before the doors even opened at 10 am! In comparison, I arrived at the Toronto sale a little over an hour before opening and, there were less than 10 people in front of me!
An older woman was reading a paperback on a bench while her husband was holding her spot for her in the line. Sharing the bench with her was a woman trying to convince her mother who was lost on the highway to come to the sale instead of going home. The older women kindly offered to move her purse so I can sit on the bench too, but I declined her offer. The two women started chatting about recent sample sales in Toronto and then the topic changed to how amazing it would be to live in NY and have access to all the sample sales there. I couldn’t keep my mouth shut and told the women that I had actually flown in from NY! They were ecstatic and started interrogating me about the NY sample sale scene.
Fifteen minutes later, the line begins growing longer, and a couple skips in front of us. In NY this would have turned into a nasty shouting match but here nobody says anything. The women on the bench's mother finally does make it, and I feel like a celebrity when her daughter tells her in an awed voice “This lady flew in from NY.”
A half hour before opening, staff members come around to check tickets. One woman has three children with her but only a single ticket. A staff member gets upset and tells her, “If you went to a ball game or the movies you wouldn't be able to bring your children in without a ticket…” They continue arguing. The end result is the kids are allowed entry.
After showing our tickets we enter the building to wait on another line (sounds familiar?). We were informed that the company policy does not let any photos of the sale items. Bags needed to be checked in. Once on the line staff member ask if anyone was wearing Dolce& Gabbana sunglasses.
Finally, at 10 am the doors to the sale floor opened. The first thing I saw was racks upon racks of apparel. Next to the register, there is a table where most of the accessories are, such as scarves, furs, belts, wallets, and tech accessories. Shoes are displayed along the entire right wall until the fitting room. The middle area has all the racks of women’s wear. The left side had menswear and both men’s and women’s sunglasses. The back wall had men’s underwear, tees, and boxers. Next to that area is where the handbags were.
Dolce and Gabbana shoes are known for their intricate details and stunning embellishments. Footwear, including flats, dress shoes, sneakers, and boots are in boxes, (different than in NY where they are on shoe racks,) and I was pleasantly surprised to recognize many styles from the runway.
While walking around the venue, I spotted a Muslim girl holding an umbrella and asked her which area she got it from. She directed me to the front table, where there was one more left. I liked the umbrella but not the price ($200) and decided to leave it for someone else. A while later, when I was browsing the shoes, she came over to me and asked me what my opinion was about the umbrella. She wanted me to convince her to buy the umbrella saying that because she can’t really dress up, she expresses herself with accessories and is willing to splurge on those purchases. She modeled the umbrella for me, and then I modeled it for her so she could see how it looks open. We discussed how the umbrella might break in the wind and about paying for a name... I played devil’s advocate, and in the end, we came to the conclusion that it wasn’t worth $200.
After making another round on the floor, I got into line to pay. This was the longest wait of the sale. While I was waiting, I saw a shopper asking people waiting in line for advice on the items she had chosen, after which she went back to the sales floor to pick new items, and once again brought them to the line to ask people for their opinion. I commented to another woman that I should have shopped like her! After becoming fast friends with the people in front of me, they agreed that the sunglasses I had picked up were too big for my face, but that the dress was classic Dolce, and I had to buy it.
A woman approached the line asked if she could cut in as she had to pick up her son (umm everyone else is also in a hurry to get out.) The woman trying on items in line told us we should let her as it will give us good karma. In the end, the line cutter decided she wasn't going to purchase any of her selected items, and we didn't have to wait extra. "See, there's the good karma,״ remarked the woman who told us to let her cut.
On my way out, I saw that the line to get in was empty, and security lax. I overheard a woman walking in telling the security guard that she left her invite at home, and he just let her enter!
I did not know what to expect when I decided to shop the Dolce & Gabbana sample sale in Toronto, but the calm ambiance, friendly people, delectable selection, and great pricing (Canadian dollars!) made it a 10-star experience! I'm not planning to shop the NY sale that begins tomorrow, but if you shop, I'd love to know how your experience is!
Dolce & Gabbana NY Sale
317 West 33rd Street
Thursday, October 12th, 10am-7pm
Friday, October 13th, 9am-7pm
Saturday,October 14th, 9am-6pm
Sunday, October 15th, 10am-6pm