Tita Loyek doesn’t wait until Black Friday to score deals on discounted designer goodies.
For the SoHo-living sample sales influencer, every day’s a shopping holiday.
As the jingle bells of cash registers chime, the haute millennial saves up to 90% off on luxe finds — like a pair of $2,000 Jimmy Choo pumps for $200 or a $4,990 Oscar De La Renta velvet and tulle mini dress for a measly $550 — and the merry little “slay” she yells upon finding a pair of Prada sandals for less than half their worth makes spirits bright.
And the brunette bargainista isn’t just snapping up all the stellar steals for herself. Unlike a tony personal shopper that costs a pretty penny, she’s instead created a members-only group with insider tips for quite the steal: free.
Since her inaugural sample sale at Cult Gaia in June, during which she snagged a $3,000 feathery frock for $300, Loyek has virally shared her pennywise purchasing prowess with over 2,000 NYC high-fashion fanatics online — including me.
“When I’m at a sample sale, my fight or flight instincts immediately kick in,” the 27-year-old joked to The Post, struggling not to get knocked over by eager shoppers at a doorbuster on Mercer Street Wednesday.
It was the swan song event of a three-day sale, which featured marked-down finery from Gucci, Fendi, Burberry, Christian Louboutin, Bottega Veneta, Yves Saint Laurent and Valentino (just to name a few) with an extra 20% off on the already reduced prices.
Label junkies were foaming at the mouth. Elderly women were stacking shoe boxes like pancakes. Moms with toddlers in tow were weighing down their little ones with dresses, purses and belts to hold when their own hands got too full.
And if I wanted to secure some cut-rate couture, I knew I’d be in for the high-end fight of my life.
Loyek, along with her 3-year-old French bulldog Barbara, attends at least three sample sales per week. She snuffs them out on Google, Instagram and a secret app that caters to supersavers in Gotham — but insists the chichi blowouts are typically much more subdued.
“These sales aren’t usually hectic,” said the TikTok tastemaker, whose videos dedicated to the choicest sample sales in Manhattan have amassed over 6.3 million views.
“There’s an etiquette,” she told The Post, “a sense of community.”
And building a community of like-minded luxury lovers in the Big Apple is Loyek’s moda operandi.
Crowning herself social media’s “Sample Sale Bestie,” she quickly launched a members-only group chat in the summer on Instagram, offering bargain buffs weekly updates on upcoming sample sales around the city. For access, thrifty fashion plates are welcome to register via Loyek’s website at no cost.
Every Sunday, she announces which brands will be on display, discount percentages, the sizes and styles of apparel being offered, and expected line lengths — with some wait times exceeding eight hours. But she tells The Post there’s a strategic method to the shopping madness.
“Some people will camp out at 5:00 a.m. for a sale that starts at 9:00 a.m., hoping to be the first person to access whatever is on the floor,” said the value guru. “But that’s not necessary.”
“If you have something specific in mind,” she continued, “it is good to get there early on the first day to ensure you have first dibs on everything.”
“But if you’re going for super low prices and you don’t care what’s there,” continued Loyek, “you can wait until the last day and get whatever is there for next to nothing.”
Iman Singletary, a part-time Manhattan resident from Miami who joined Loyek’s online community in July, tells The Post Loyek’s influence has upgraded her closet from drab to fab.
“I’ve recently been trying to move away from shopping fast fashion brands, preferring to buy designer statement pieces instead,” said Singletary, 29, a small business owner, who recently nabbed a $2,700 silk blazer dress from LaPointe for $200.
“But my bank account reminds me that I can’t just walk into a designer store and purchase these expensive things,” she laughed, “but with [Loyek’s] sample sale tips, I can.”
While standing amid a sea of swanky must-haves at slashed prices during this week’s sale, the “I can afford this” spirit overtook me, too.
As I swiped my card for massively discounted Jimmy Choo stilts which originally retailed for over $1,100 — a totally unplanned purchase — I lied to myself, saying this would be my first and last sample sale. The compulsion to spend is too great to withstand, as evidenced by my new Choos.
I might have to temporarily cancel a few streaming service subscriptions and just stare at the shoes for entertainment.
But Loyek says sample sale shopping is as much about camaraderie as it is consumerism.
“In New York, it’s really hard to meet people organically, especially potential friends with common interests,” she said.
“I’ve made so many great connections with so many people who love for shopping,” added Loyek, “just like me.”