N, R at 28th St.
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A favorite of stylists, models, and fans of avant-garde couture, this sprawling warehouse space has become known as "the sample sale store" among its coterie of devoted patrons. Former fashion PR man Yochai Azani travels to fashion week in Milan twice a year to scout of-the-moment designers who are looking to cross over to the U.S. market. At the end of each season, he imports their samples and overstock and sells them at prices up to 90 percent below retail. The 6,500-square-foot showroom is sparsely adorned with simple garment racks and runway photos of models sporting the store's looks tacked to the walls. While some of the men's pieces seem a bit daring even for metrosexuals—Alviero Martini’s drawstring leather vests and chiffon blouses, for example—Azani assures anyone who asks that it's only a matter of time before these clothes are in Barneys. For women, everything by former Cerruti star Istvan Francer sells out fast, especially his impeccably tailored wool coats and jackets. And if you're interested in labels you've already heard of, the store transforms itself several times a year to host sample sales by the likes of Diane von Furstenberg and Christian Lacroix two months after New York fashion week.