Devotees of Brahmin, the handbags made practically next door in Fairhaven, tend to stick together. We can spot a fellow lover of the label, which manages to be both contemporary chic and classic New England at the same time, from across a room. We nod, compliment each other’s handbags, sometimes strike up a conversation. But there’s one thing we never, ever do: admit we got our bags at the Brahmin Tent Sale.
But really, it’s no secret. The sale, which happens annually in May and September, is all over billboards on I-195 in the weeks preceding each one. Brahmin sets up a huge tent outside its headquarters and fills it with gorgeous bags at insane discounts: bags that normally cost in the $300–$500 range are priced at more like $80–$150, with additional finds like luggage, wallets and travel accessories as low as $10 and $20. Lovers of good handbags know that the prices are lower than you’ll find anywhere else, and smart shoppers stock up on holiday gifts while they’re lining their arms with bags for themselves. If you have a keen eye, you’ll be able to spot the one-of-a-kind samples among the rows of bags.
Here’s a pro tip from someone who’s been going every season for a decade: after you’ve bought in the tent, don’t skip the factory store inside the building. The newest styles and most on-trend colors are in there, and when you make a purchase in the tent, they give you a coupon for a hefty discount inside, good for that weekend only. Consider it a fashionista life hack. Just don’t tell anyone I told you.