Everlane Brings Its ‘Choose What You Pay’ Sale to Brooklyn

The company known for its sustainable style and cult following is staging a three-day event benefiting charity

At Everlane's sale at the William Vale Hotel, more than 200 styles are up for grabs (Photo by Everlane via Twitter)

Williamsburg’s year-old William Vale Hotel–named for the original owner of the land upon which the building sits–has hosted its share of interesting events (from Shamanic Breath and Meditation to Prank You, a prank-call comedy show). But perhaps the biggest draw of all began today: a three-day Everlane sale.

Known for its $100 cashmere sweaters and radical transparency about its manufacturing costs and locations, the popular web-based retailer bills this as a Choose What You Pay sale. Online, Everlane’s Choose What You Pay concept is meant to move excess inventory: the site lists three different prices for certain items, explaining how the proceeds from the higher prices would be spent (on research and development, for example), and you choose one.

By contrast, the Choose What You Pay, IRL sale lists just one discounted price per item; at checkout, you decide how much to pay over and above that amount. The “extra” goes to Housing Works, the nonprofit fighting AIDS and homelessness, with the company matching your donation.

How good are the deals inside the vast space? Pretty much the equivalent of those you’d find at a typical sample sale: for example, thick cashmere knit hats for $50; heeled shoes for $120; canvas totes for $10; cotton tees for $10. 


In the online version of the Choose What You Pay sale, this cashmere crew can be had for $70, $80 or $90, marked down from $100 (Photo courtesy of Everlane, via website)

Sadly, Everlane’s classic cashmere sweaters aren’t on sale, though you can still buy them for their usual $100 retail price. (An employee explained that the company is making them available at the sale because Everlane’s retail store in Nolita is closed for renovations until Jan. 24.) But there’s tons of outerwear, wool sweaters, shoes and canvas bags. Mostly womenswear, but plenty of menswear and some children’s items too. 

Best of all, here you may be able to score some items you’d been coveting but that had sold out online in your size before you managed to pull the trigger. (Such as the midnight-velvet block heels I snagged.)

Despite the block-wrapping queue of hardy souls awaiting today’s 9 a.m. opening, by midmorning there was no line. If you’re interested, you’d be wise to get here before the weekend. While the retailer will be restocking over the three days, the few chunky cashmere items are bound to be snapped up fast.

Details: 55 Wyeth Ave. (William Vale Hotel), Brooklyn. Hours: today until 8 p.m.; Saturday, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.; Sunday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Elizabeth Fenner is a Brooklyn-based journalist who has served as editor-in-chief of Chicago magazine as well as a top editor at Fortune, People and Money. She has spent the better part of three decades shopping her way through New York City