Sample sales have long been a fashion editor’s secret weapon. At these previously mystery venues, you can pick up luxury items with up to 80% off the price tag.
It’s a great way to enhance your wardrobe, enabling you to mix in few key designer pieces with high street. Choose the right pieces and you’re well on your way to building up a timeless and polished collection that you’ll treasure for years to come.
Typically designers will hold sample sales twice a year, where they sell pieces at huge discounts. For many of them, you don’t always need an invitation to get in. However, most were held in London so if you weren’t city-based, you’d lose out. In the current climate, brands have been forced to adapt and lucky for you many of have moved online - with invitations open for everyone.
Next week sees the opening of the showcase.co’s online Aspinal of London sale, where you can shop with up to 80% reductions. Running from 20th- 22nd May you’ll need to access the members club by signing up for free here.
It's worth noting that the sales work on an access scheme, so if you want to get in first you’ll need to sign up for priority access.
Wed 20th May 8am-9.30am is VIP access
Wed 20th May 10am-8pm is priority access (£24 for 12 months)
Thurs 21st 8am-8pm general (free) access
Fri 22nd May 8am- 8pm general (free) access
Fashion editor's tip
Hannah Hughes, fashion editor at Woman & Home, says, "Never buy anything just because it’s a bargain, or purely for the designer tag. You may think that Chanel neon pink skirt is a steal at 80% off, but realistically how often are you going to wear it?
"Be sure to check out the returns policies before you start splurging, lots of sample sales products are non-returnable. Before a shopping spree take an evening to go through your wardrobe and work out what could really enhance your capsule wardrobe. I’d always recommend investing in discounted designer accessories and coats because the quality really does outweigh the high street. Plus you’re more likely to look after them and they’ll last a lifetime."
The best online sample sales you need to know about
Here’s a list of the big four sample sale venues you need to add to your bookmark list. It's also well worth following brands you love on Instagram as you’ll always be the first to know about flash and priority sales.
Showcase has worked with the world’s best brands for the best part of a decade. It works like a members club so you’ll need to sign up online for free. Such is the demand for events, members must book a specific timeslot (usually around a 2hr window) to shop online and even then, for some in-store events, there can be a short queue to get in.
Events are usually held over 2-3 days with VIP and priority access first, followed by the general access on the last 2 days. Limited Priority Membership Offer now only £24 for 12 months. Offer ends on 1st June 202
It's well worth it though - with up to 80% off and brands such as Aspinal, J&M Davidson, Reiss, Kate Spade and Mulberry, you’ll be first in line for these incredible bargains.
The authority on London’s sample sales Chicmi directs you to flash sales that you can shop from the comfort of home.
Coming up is Monica Vinader jewellery with up to 70% off. This sale starts on 21st May at 10am London time, and lasts for 4 days only. 25th May at 10am London time, see’s cult sunglasses designer Linda Farrow sale lasting for 5 days.
The BOX is a hugely successful sample sale space based in East London. Last month they launched online sample sales for the first time adapting to work on a digital platform.
Sales are done via Instagram @thebox_london where you can buy directly through the shopping link in the bio.
Previous sales have included Bella Freud, Alighieri jewellery (sold at Net a porter, matches and Browns), and not forgetting the boys Joseph and Sunspel, who also stock menswear. Owner Natalie has ensured us she has some exciting brands coming up. Sign up to be the first to know…
The Music Room has taken decision to postpone sample sales. However, we say sign up to the mailing list as they move things digitally and you’ll be the first to know about it when they do.
Please note all images used in this feature are to purely illustrate the brands. We do not know what product will be available in future or previous sales.