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Rite of high-end shopping, Barneys Warehouse Sale, moves east

August 13, 2009 | 10:36 am

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That biannual rite of high-fashion shopping, the Barneys Warehouse Sale, opened this morning with one huge change. The sale, an institution for 14 years in a hangar at Santa Monica Airport, has moved east, installing itself at the L.A. Convention Center.

Would Westside devotees of style make the trek downtown, literally leaving their comfort zone, navigating confusing freeway exits? (Even I got a little confused -- and I work downtown.)

Me3_kobwpbnc Well, yes -- with varying degrees of enthusiasm.

"The convenience factor here? Not so much," said Brenna Egan, a laid-off fashion editor. "When it was at Santa Monica Airport, you drove in, there it was, you drove out. It was like a valet sample sale. Here," she said, gesturing toward the expanse of the convention center, "it's like a maze."

But Egan, who lives in Carthay Circle, brightened as she showed off her finds, including an Yves St. Laurent top marked down from $1,400 to $424.

Me4_kobwqonc "I'm willing to go the extra mile -- the extra 10 miles for 75% off."

Others?

"Bring it back to the Westside," grumbled a 65-year-old man who said he was in the TV business and would give only his first name, Jerry. "I live in the Marina. I never go downtown. I don't even remember where my car is, I'm so confused."

Me1_kobwsxnc There was also grumbling about the $12 parking fee at the center (parking was free in Santa Monica). But the venue change attracted some new shoppers -- downtown hipsters like actress-bartender Rebecca Russ. She walked over from her apartment.

"I'm probably the only girl in the whole place with a Mohawk," she said.

-- Carla Hall at the L.A. Convention Center.

Photos: Shoppers look for bargains at the Barneys Warehouse Sale at the L.A Convention Center. Credit: Irfan Khan / Los Angeles Times

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