Sunday, November 23, 2008

maje - presse sale

So, I get a weekly email from 'my little paris' which is the equivalent of 'daily candy'. Last week they said they had invitations to the Maje press sale. You initially feel kind of special, but then you realize that you are not the only one getting this email, but are hoping people do not have the time to go.
Maje is a very hip label which is very bobo parisien. Bobo stands for bohemian bourgeois and the style is quite specific. Slightly hippie, but with elements that are clearly expensive and well thought out. I do like the line and I have a few pieces. The price points start at 50 euros for a hat etc. up to 300 euros for a coat. As a result of the affordability, it is quite popular with the working fashionista in Paris.
So, I went to the sale and I could not believe what I saw. I showed up in the Marais and there was a line of at least 200 girls. There were security guards at the front gate with ear mics. and they were all dressed in black. The location was a loft that I assume is rented out for many such sales. The line started on one side of the sidewalk and then switched to the other side due to a government building. We could not block the entrance. This was a Wednesday, a working day and girls were lined up!!! After a long wait, I finally got in.
It was chaos inside. We were not allowed to try anything on. The selection was from this season, so it was pretty interesting. There were tables of sweaters and sales girls behind the table taking people's orders. The tables were being pushed by the shoppers and every now and then the sales girls would push the tables back violently to regain some space. I also assumed it was a way to release some stress! There were racks and racks of dresses, coats and pants. If you were caught trying anything on, the security detail would throw you out. I saw this happen! The price points were great. Sweaters normally 135 euros on sale for 50 euros. Anyhow, I bought some presents and finally got out of there. I am seeing more and more of these sales going on, I think the economic crisis is affecting even retailers here, so they are getting a head start on getting rid of stock. By having an 'invitation only' sale, I believe they get around the french laws for sales. Normally, the sales happen twice a year and the government decides when. Nonetheless, judging by the line, I guess the crisis hasn't affected a certain sector of shoppers; the parisien fashionista.
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