CHELSEA — The rainy weather didn't stop bargain-hunting fashionistas from flocking to the Barneys Warehouse Sale and sifting through racks of designer dresses, shoes, suits and accessories in search of the elusive deal.
The sale, which began Thursday and goes through Sept. 5, offers shoppers discounts of up to 75 percent off of Barneys' normally steep prices.
The long lines the semi-annual event attracts are notorious, and the downpour seemed to make little dent. The wait to reach the register for women's clothing was up to an hour. For men, however, the line was only four-deep during the lunch time rush.
"Don't matter rain, snow, sleet hail, I come for a good deal no matter what," said Laneesha Johnson, 35, of Jersey City, as she dug through piles of pants looking for her size. "A deal's a deal."
Johnson, who was covered in water after getting caught in the rain without an umbrella, said she plans on going back to the sale later this weekend.
Other bargain-hunters lining up outside the warehouse at 255 W. 17th St. may need to brace themselves if New York gets a predicted direct hit from Hurricane Irene.
On Thursday, the retailer was handing out clear plastic garbage-sized bags to protect customers — and their purchases — from the weather. As typically chic bargain-hunters left the store they swallowed their pride and covered their ensembles and loot with the bags.
Some early-risers lined up down the street before the sale kicked off in the morning and managed to avoid the rain.
That meant by lunchtime, many of the deals were gone.
Cindy Pavicic and Kamilla Danilova were hoping to pick up designer shoes over their lunch break, but after leaving the warehouse, they were huddled under an awning without a trademark Barneys bag in hand.
"By the time we got here, it was kind of crap," said 30-year-old Pavicic.
"Even if we did choose something, the line is 45 minutes," said her co-worker Danilova, 26.
"Why wait in line when you're still paying $400 for shoes?"