It’s no secret that New York City is one of the premier fashion and entertainment capitals of the world, a melting pot of high-end fashion looks, edgy culture, and artistic expression. Savvy aficionados from all over the world come to sniff out secret shows and sample sales. Whether you come from across the bridge or across the pond, a little foreknowledge and some bloodhound skills can uncover all kinds of treasures.

Identify Your Targets

What are you looking for, the music or the chic brands? What you do depends on what you want. There are smart strategies for finding secret shows and discovering exclusive sample sales in time to make a game plan. If you want to see an indie punk band, you’ll have to do things differently than if you’re dying to see Beyoncé. Similarly, decide if you’re shopping for Dsquared2 merchandise at a discount or if you’d prefer some classic Chanel.

Mix Shopping and Social Media

Once you know what you want, you can start looking for ways to get it. In this, doing what you do in the city and using your online presence are your best bets. For both shows and sales, there are many ways to find out about them online.

You can pay for newsletters or visit free websites, blogs, and directories with schedules of upcoming events. Follow your favorite stores, brands, bands, and venues on social media. Leave your email address at the places you frequent because that too can lead to exclusive information.

Stake Your Territory

You can stake your territory in several ways, but all will guarantee your success. If you often hit up the sales or the entertainment scene in NYC, it pays if you’re local. Rent a place, look at some real estate, or at least consider booking a long stay, especially during your favorite act’s tour or during sale season.

You also need to show your face around your favorite places. People remember regulars, especially people in-the-know. This will also help you map the layout of a particular store or venue so that you can eventually go for the prime real estate. You’ll know where to find the accessories or which seats offer the best view.

Keep Your Friends Close


Image via Flickr by Abby Stanglin

As you shop, remember that it’s not what you know, it’s whom you know. Make friends with salespeople, personal shoppers, bouncers, promoters, and even the photographers. As important as becoming a regular, forging a relationship makes you more memorable. Your contacts will do you favors by letting you know the latest scoop on your sartorial obsessions or entertainment idols.

Shop Early, Party Late


Image via Flickr by LoftSEVEN Penthouse

Getting to sample sales as early as possible lets you get to the most merchandise. If you shop toward the end of the day, you’ll find fewer items but even more affordable prices, as the stores push to unload the previous season’s items. Avoid the lunchtime rush, though.

Similarly, getting to the venue early ensures a wonderful vantage point. Staying late, however, may land you a meet-and-greet.

Do you think you’re ready to tackle NYC’s secret scene like a pro?


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