Sample Sale of the Week: Lauren Merkin

In a world where designers resort to all sorts of bells and whistles to make their handbags stand out, Lauren Merkin's understated, elegant bags are like a breath of fresh air. With streamlined but chic shapes, she puts the focus on the materials (often exotics like snakeskin-patterned leather), and in their simplicity, her purses complement, rather than overwhelm, your outfit. At her spring sample sale, you can score handbags, clutches (which are her strongest, in my opinion), and accessories for up to 70% off. Small leather goods start at just $15, and popular shapes like the Louise, Astrid, Diana, and Tess range from $95-$150. Plus, like Lauren Merkin on Facebook for updates as the sale progresses. 3/15-3/20; 11-7 through Saturday, 11-4 Sunday; 231 W. 29th St. (7th & 8th Aves), ste. 201.

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