The Outnet’s $2 Birthday Sale

outnet sale
Photo courtesy of The Outnet
This black dress by Adam will be available to select shoppers for just $2 on TheOutnet.

When The Outnet, the budget-friendly little sister to beloved e-commerce site Net-a-Porter, celebrated its first birthday last April with a $1 sale, virtual pandemonium broke out. Burberry, McQueen, Calvin Klein—for $1? Let’s just say the servers (which crashed in the U.K.) had it coming.

This year, the team at the site isn’t giving up on outrageous birthday deals, but it has streamlined the operation a bit: Instead of a Web-wide free-for-all, only 2,000 customers (selected by a random drawing) will get to shop major designers for just two bucks when the sale goes live April 15.

FashionEtc checked in with Stephanie Phair, The Outnet’s director, to wish her site a happy birthday and find out how this year’s extravaganza will stay a controlled chaos.

Congrats on turning 2! Where did the idea for the $2 sale come from?

It came from our $1 sale, which we held last year to mark our first birthday. It created the most amazing level of buzz about The Outnet, and our customers have been requesting it ever since. We thought, Let’s do it again. But we HAD to increase the price to $2—it only makes sense.

How are you avoiding the meltdown that happened last year?

outnet sale
Photo courtesy of The Outnet
Tibi's yellow skirt will be part of The Outnet's $2 celebration.

The meltdown, as you say, happened in the U.K. only. In the U.S., our West Coast customers thought our sale launched too early, and rightly so. We have an engaged and passionate audience so the reverberations were felt worldwide on social media. This year we’re changing things a little bit. The birthday sale is limited to 2,000 lucky winners, and it will launch at a West Coast–friendly time just like our other flash sales.

Is your IT team preparing?

We’ve limited access to the sale to 2,000, which should help, and we’re preparing IT as much as possible. This is a draw so a lot of it is down to luck, and there will still be a fight for the best product. We’ve warned people that there will be tears and not everyone will get exactly what they want because this is limited product—but it’s such an amazing gift that it will definitely be worth it. Who else gives away a gift on their own birthday?

What are your favorite pieces on The Outnet?

I’ve got my eye on a pleated leather blazer by Marni—a classic style that will never date. This yellow skirt by Tibi is perfect for spring’s colorblock trend. I also love this embellished cutout dress by Adam for glitzy nights out.

If you could buy any item of clothing for $2 right now, what would it be?

I don’t even allow myself to think about it. Staff can’t shop any of our fabulous sales!