260 Sample Sale VP Assaf Azani On Its Introduction To Miami

260 SamplePhoto Credit: 260 Sample Sale

260 Sample Sale has become a disruptor in the fashion industry by bringing luxury brands to key cities throughout the world in an experiential, sample sale format. Most recently, the brand has expanded to Miami in the luxurious Design District, following presence in New York and Beverly Hills. The latest pop-up will feature brands up to 80-percent off, including Alice + Olivia, Marc Jacobs, Reformation, La Perla, Oscar de la Renta and more. Miami marks the brand’s fifth brick & mortar retail location.

In light of the introduction to Miami, we sat down with 260 Sample Sale VP Assaf Azana to discuss more about the brand, what its introduction means for Miami, what guests can expect and what the future holds for 260 Sample Sale.

HL: Tell us about your expansion to Miami. Why did you choose this as your next destination?

AA: Being a family-owned and operated business based out of NYC for over 35 years, we knew it wouldn’t be easy expanding our operations to another market. When we decided to expand to Beverly Hills in 2017, we knew that any city in between the two coasts was possible. For our fashion clients, based inside and outside of the U.S., both high and low, there are four keystone cities that always seem to be on the top of their list: New York City, Los Angeles, Miami and Chicago.

HL: Why did you choose the location in the Miami Design District specifically?

AA: The Miami Design District is the epicenter for high-end retail, retail architecture and highly-curated events. We always looked at ourselves as disruptors within the retail scene, and we feel the same way about the Miami Design District. We appeal to those with high fashion sensibility, a sophisticated palate and those willing to explore out of sheer curiosity. The Miami Design District is the shopping center for the elite and those willing to be playful with their aesthetic. 260 Miami hopes to inspire the same sense of excitement, but with pricing that appeals to a wider audience.

HL: How do you curate the brands featured?

AA: The weather plays a huge role in not only dictating the seasonality of product to feature but also the fashion sensibilities of the local community. New York and London tend to prefer monochromatic palettes, understated fashion, and layering & draping as constructs of an overall look. Beverly Hills is a bit more playful, colorful and aware of sustainable fashion. We expect the Miami customer to be willing to take a lot more risks with their purchases: lots of colors, power looks, items for the beaches and for the drinks after. Swimwear and resort will definitely be emphasized during our pop-up.

260 SamplePhoto Credit: 260 Sample Sale

HL: Do you plan on continuing in Miami past the planned duration if it proves successful?

AA: Absolutely. We’ve entered every new market as a pop-up. And it has helped us understand our audience and their needs. We have no intention of leaving the Miami market; however, tweaks are always necessary to survive the retail landscape along the way.

HL: What is it like running a family business?

AA: It isn’t easy. And statistically speaking, the odds are certainly against us. But working together, we’ve allowed ourselves to challenge each other, becoming a stronger business as a result. As ambitious as we are, we have never allowed the development of our concept to come at the detriment of our family or its employees.

HL: Where do you see 260 Sample Sale five years from now—will you move to an online format or continue with the brick & mortar format?

AA: To overlook going online would be a terrible mistake for any business operating in the 21st Century. But we’ve also created a name for ourselves, by adding an experiential element to our ephemeral, physical sales. I think the border between online and brick and mortar retail is becoming blurred. We already see e-comm companies backtracking into brick and mortar retail. It shouldn’t be one or the other. As omnichannel systems become more advanced, brands will utilize an ecosystem of vehicles to drive sales, both digitally and in person. This opens the possibilities for e-comm platforms, live streaming sales, virtual stylists and purchasing through social media. We have other cities in our sights, but not if it means compromising the caliber of brands or the discount we can offer our customers.