Barney’s Warehouse Sale Braves Irene, Shoppers Delight

14 barneys 1 1 Barneys Warehouse Sale Braves Irene, Shoppers DelightAlthough the impending threat of hurricane Irene quashed many planned Saturday activities throughout the city, one stalwart event kept its doors open, braving the onset of the storm. Despite warnings of gale force winds ripping through Manhattan, the Barney’s Warehouse Sale was open for business Saturday morning and early afternoon. The Observer was not the only one hoping to accomplish some pre-Irene shopping at the sale.

Rounding the corner of 17th and 7th, Manhattan was absolutely deserted. No honking cars, no shouting street vendors, no din of passers by to lighten the fast greying sky. But in the distance, a glorious white Barney’s sign. Following signs and arrows, we soon found ourselves in a dank warehouse. After checking out bodega bag (we needed that second loaf of bread, really), we hit the racks.

Balenciaga, Diane Von Furstenberg, Vince, Theory, Nina Ricci and so many more!  They’re all there, if slightly picked over. Besides the miles of garments, an impressive shoe collection was largely overlooked by the hoards of galoshes-wearing women. And while the thought of winter seemed infinitely far away in the the sweltering humidity, a dwindling array of cold weather coats tempted us from across the giant warehouse floor.

As to be expected, all rules of decency were suspended in the women’s changing area. Fanatical shoppers carved out personal space behind the single communal curtain, hoarding their trash bags full of Barney’s booty. Whipping off clothes and trying on their selections, prospective buyers pouted lips and sucked in guts as they stared for fleeting seconds at themselves in the group mirrors.

We left the sale, bags full, wallet empty, perfectly prepared for Irene with two new skirts, a sweater and a purse.

Don’t worry! This seasonal retail paradise isn’t over yet. Head to the Barney’s Warehouse Sale, going on through September 5th.