To say I'm a Loehmann-ista is an understatement! My favorite store of all time, Loehmann's, is going out of business and yes, I'm among the heartbroken women nationwide. While it may seem like a such a shallow topic, shopping, let me share with you how the store with the designer deals turned a "mere pauper girl into a princess." (Ok, so pauper is a bit of stretch… as is princess, but you get the point.)
If you've been to a Loehmann's you know it by the company's description, a "premier upscale off-price specialty retailer." In plain-speak, it's a department-like store with the best darn deals on designer duds! For a girl from a farming community in upstate New York the concept of high-end fashion was foreign territory. I grew up on K-mart and JCPenney and am proud of it. But you can't blame girl for just wanting a taste of Tiffany.(Although, I must admit, I've never seen Tiffany at Loehmann's)
While I'm by no means the store's unofficial spokesman ALL of my friends know I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE Loehmann's! A best friend gives me no other gift than a Loehmann's gift card each year for both my birthday AND Christmas.(Thanks Will!) If you've ever watched me anchor the news you've seen me sporting Loehmann's(see company headshot) and I've gotten most every News Emmy gown at Loehmann's ($3000 gowns for $125).
Again, I realize it may seem superficial to blog about bargains and I bet most men just don't get it. However, think of shopping at a discount retailer like a hunting for prey. I would wait for the right time to pounce. I would stalk a sequin gown on-sale much like a hunter with a wild animal in its sights. I would power scan the power suits much like an angler casting for fish. I would make a beeline for the best-in-brand boots during the winter hunting season. I knew exactly when to maximize the coupons, the clearance, the birthday discount, and the Diamond Member deals. Case in point, my latest purchase. A purple laced French Connection dress originally listed at $288 but listed at Loehmann's for just $40, add ten percent off for the liquidation sale, and my Diamond Member discount and I walked away with it for $32. I promptly put it on and wore it on the news that night as we covered the store-closing story(pictured with Latin actor Eugenio Derbez and co-anchor Jeff Michael).
Loehmann's announced Thursday it's closing all of its stores, including my beloved LA Cienega-Beverly Hills adjacent location. The announcement comes after the company made an unsuccessful attempt in November to sell its stores and filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection for the third time in its history. Per the West Side Rag "Loehmann's began operating in 1921 when Frieda Loehmann opened the first store in Brooklyn, N.Y. Loehmann made her rounds to designer's showrooms, buying their overstocks, cancellations and samples at a fraction of the original wholesale price. Loehmann's stores are located in Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Maryland, Virginia, Georgia, Florida, Michigan, Illinois, Texas, California and the District of Columbia. For a list of locations, go to: http://www.loehmanns.com/locationEventMapping.aspx." I personally preferred the LA Cienega location as it seemed to have the highest end and the best "Back Room" and allowed me to fill my closet guilt-free with names like Dolce Gabbana, Comme des Garcons, Halston, Valentino. Returning to my small-town roots, I just can't find it in my heart, or wallet, to dish out big-time dollars despite my love and appreciation for our world's most fabulous designers. Loehmann's allowed me to celebrate the world's fashion leaders but also to remain true to self.
Yes, it may seem silly, but I feel sad over the loss of this LA treasure. I'd bought my wedding gown there($100), my fiance's tux, a flower-girl dress for my 5-year old niece, the dress I wore when I received the Emmy for Lifetime Achievement a few years ago, last year's Oscar party gown, and the red Halston I wore at this year's Good News Foundation gala. Loehmann's has served me well. It will be missed. The stores will close in March. Time for one last bargain binge! Who's with me???