Before you step into this store, know a few things:
|I wonder why we need the word "real"?|
Be ready for some high pressure sales techniques.
Be ready to haggle, and know that it is REQUIRED. The price of anything in there is WHATEVER you will pay. The prices are really whatever the goods are worth to you, as information on fiber content and quality is fairly muddy.
Know that it is a bit less clean than many garment district stores, and has a bit of a musty smell in places...
Know that it has a strongly international feel, and you will find a pretty wild rainbow of colors and textures you may find inspirational and interesting.
This Saturday, I walked in to this store and overheard a very heated debate between a potential customer and a salesman, with many threats to walk away, met by many aggressively friendly requests to return and attempt to meet somewhere in the middle. It seems the customer wanted to buy fabric and lining, and was offered the lining as a "gift" if she chose to buy significant yardage of this pricey fabric, but the customer then chose to use a far more expensive fabric as lining, which was not being offered. References to past purchases and future promises were made (very loudly), terms like "friend" and "just for you" were thrown in, and the conversation continued as long as I spent there, and I'm sure continued long after I left...
This store has been here a long time, I've purchased a few things for special occasion garments here over the years, and I hadn't really found much of a reason to celebrate this store yet... but I do have a new appreciation for the possibilities of bold wax prints, and they have a fun, eclectic pile of them near the store's entrance.
So, my advice to anyone who shops here, is to not go when pressed for time, or when on a tight budget. Be open to intense browsing/foraging, and, above ALL, remain silent unless you actually want to buy something.