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Designer Duds Discounted for Holidays at UES Thrift Shop

By DNAinfo Staff on December 13, 2012 11:28am

UPPER EAST SIDE — Who said couture for a cause had to break the bank?

From Thursday through Sunday, The Society of Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center Thrift Shop's "Winter Wonderland" sale will offer shoppers a 20 percent discount on merchandise that includes new designer finds from brands like Givenchy and Hermès.

The promotion, at the 1440 Third Ave. store, is part of the shop's longer-term push for higher-end clothes and broader appeal, said Melanie Holland, thrift chairwoman and Society board member.

"We're very lucky, because for the past year, we've been working with a retail consultant. She has been able to contact her friends in the various design houses and they've been donating to us directly," said Holland, 46. "In the past, a lot of items would be people donating from their closets. Now, in the past year, we've really upped our game and have been getting brand-new items."

Some of those items include Christian Louboutin patent leather platform high heels ($250); a Lanvin velvet dress ($295), and a Dolce and Gabbana overcoat ($375), among others.

"We're really bringing out the best of the best — we have a lot of evening gowns and we have a lot of furs," Holland said. "It's the crème de la crème of what we have."

Leaders hope that the holiday event will have year-round benefits for the thrift shop, which has raised funds for MSK for 50 years and been in its current location since 1986.

Ellen Haddigan, executive director for the Society, said that while people aren't always ready to write a check to charities such as MSK or its thrift shop, the holidays — especially the store's seasonal window display — can bring people in and get them familiar with the MSKCC's mission.

"What we're trying to do right now is broaden the reach to the younger consumer. Many of our customers are loyal customers and have been for many, many years and live on the Upper East Side," said Haddigan, 46. "But the more we can be a destination — even for tourists — that's great. We want new people coming through the door every day."