Why New York women are secretly shopping at Walmart

Celebrity stylist Amanda Sanders, who has worked with the likes of Gwyneth Paltrow, Chris Rock and Jennifer Coolidge, is chic for a living, with a closet full of Chanel and Balenciaga bags, Gucci belts and six-inch Christian Louboutin heels.

But the Upper East Side shopaholic has a confession: She also buys clothes from a store that also sells lawn mowers, fertilizer, tires and tampons. 

“I’ll whisper, ‘I got it from Walmart,’” Sanders, 50, told The Post of being asked where some of her most show-stopping looks come from. 

“I always find something that’s my little secret,” Sanders said of her occasional online shopping at Walmart where she recently gawked over an 18-carat gold, emerald face Rolex decked in diamonds that she found on its website for $33,000.


New York City-based celebrity stylist and image consultant Amanda Sanders sporting her red maxi dress from Walmart styled with her signature Chanel bag.
New York City-based celebrity stylist and image consultant Amanda Sanders sporting her red maxi dress from Walmart styled with her signature Chanel bag.
Tamara Beckwith/NY POST

The women's clothing section at Walmart.
More New York women are secretly shopping at Walmart, some inspired by the chic new collections from designer Brandon Maxwell.
REUTERS

Sanders, who typically swears against fast fashion, started dabbling in looks from the big box store last summer when dropping her teenage daughter off to summer camp in West Chester, Penn. She stopped in for toothpaste and bug spray and left with two maxi dresses for around $19.99 a piece. 

“High-low is in,” Sanders said.

She paired one of the dresses — a sheer red cotton frock with embroidered details — with YSL wedges while vacationing in Tuscany last summer. 

New York women like Sanders have been quietly leaning into clothing styles from Walmart in the last year. Some fashionistas say it’s thanks to luxury designer and Texas native Brandon Maxwell — whose designs under his eponymous label have been worn by Michelle Obama, Gwyneth Paltrow and Lady Gaga — who took the reins as creative director in 2021. Bringing in Maxwell, known for his figure-flattering dresses, sleek suits and elegant monochrome dresses, was an attempt to boost profit margins outside of groceries aiming to rival Amazon.


Mary Orton Scudellari
Mary Orton Scudellari, 35, an investor and mom of two who works as as social media influencer, told The Post, “I’m all about mixing high and low. I genuinely never knew Walmart was even serious about its apparel.”
Courtesy Orton Scudellari

Scudellari trying on a look from Walmart, each piece priced under $50.
Scudellari trying on a look from Walmart, each piece priced under $50.
Courtesy Orton Scudellari

An overcoat Scudellari recently purchased from the big-box store online.
An overcoat Scudellari recently purchased from the big-box store online.
Courtesy Orton Scudellari

Maxwell debuted his first collection in spring 2022 for Walmart’s two in-house brands: Free Assembly, with more than 500 pieces across men’s, women’s and kid’s fashion priced between $8 and $48; and Scoop, its higher-end trend brand with denim priced between $18 and $75.

This spring, he dropped a Scoop collaboration filled with bright tangerines, hot pinks and floral prints.

Mary Orton Scudellari, 35, an investor and mom of two who works as as social media influencer, recently posted a video to her 405,000 Instagram followers sharing a “shocking fashion revelation.”

She told of how a friend showed up to a posh brunch at Soho’s La Mercerie last year in a black and white polka dot dress. When her friend, Caroline, dished it was from Walmart, she nearly spit out her almond milk latte. 


Brandon Maxwell for Walmart dress in red and pink.
Brandon Maxwell’s spring collection for Walmart.
WALMART

“It totally had Wes Gordon for Carolina Herrera Spring 2018 written all over it,” Scudellari told The Post, noting she initially thought her friend, who works in fintech and is typically dripping in Theory, was joking.

It inspired her to shop the look. 

“That was my gateway drug to the brand. I’m all about mixing high and low. I genuinely never knew Walmart was even serious about its apparel,” she said. 


New York City celebrity stylist Amanda Sanders wearing a red maxi dress from Walmart.
Sanders shows The Post her latest finds from Walmart, styling them with designer shoes and bags.
Tamara Beckwith/NY POST

Scudellari filled up her online shopping cart earlier this month with a pink polo dress punctuated with a tangerine collar for $30; $27 orange knit sweater paired and matching $24 gingham print skirt; and an olive green over-coat trimmed with blue pinstripes for $22.

Scudellari said she was not compensated for the post and paid for her purchases herself, though she did do a separate paid social media post for the company earlier this year.

“When she said Brandon Maxwell I thought, okay cool, you spent the GDP of a small country on that dress, but then when she said ‘for Walmart’ like this exciting secret,” Scudellari said of her friend’s frock. “She told me it was $35!”


Designer Brandon Maxwell on the red carpet.
Brandon Maxwell.
Getty Images for Vanity Fair

Model sporting a printed coral dress from Brandon Maxwell for Walmart.
A Walmart dress designed by Brandon Maxwell.
WALMART

Some fashionista say Walmart’s new chic apparel allow them to stay stylish while living outside of the city

Ali Greenfield, 44, used to work in wholesale fashion and and live on the Upper East Side.

Now, she’s living in Wilton, Conn. — a far cry from Madison Avenue. Last November, she went to a Walmart in nearby Norwalk, Conn., and was thrilled to find cute bathing suit tops, dresses and jean shorts. She walked away with several items for $80. Now, she jokes to her friends that she’s wearing couture and when they ask which designer it is — she says Walmart.

“I probably never leave there with less than $80 worth of clothing and footwear,” said Greenfield, whose closet also houses AGolde and Mother denim, Golden Goose sneakers, shoes by Valentino and Chloe with YSL and vintage Gucci handbags.


Ali Greenfield wearing jean shorts from Walmart.
Greenfield, who typical wears designer denim by Mother and AGolde, is sporting a pair of jean shorts from Walmart.

Jean shorts.
The jean shorts cost Greenfield under $40, she said.

Rhinestone sandals from Walmart.
Greenfield also purchased a pair of rhinestone Teva sandal knockoffs from her local Walmart store.

Once a week, she heads to Walmart.

“There’s a select few of my New York City transplant mom friends who would have paid $500 for an outfit, now, you live here and you’re not changing your style, but your options are kind of limited,” Greenfield told The Post of pairing a $20 Walmart maxi dress with a pair of rose pink Valentino heels. “No one is questioning me with my YSL bag and those shoes.”

None of her friends can even tell the difference between Walmart and couture.

When she purchased a pair of rhinestone Teva sandal knockoffs she snapped a photo, sent to it a her friend and pretended they were $1,200 Christian Louboutins.

“I was like, ‘they’re Loobs [Louboutins]. I think I’m going to return them.’ She was like, ‘They’re kind of chic,’” Greenfield said of the prank.

I said, ‘well good because they’re literally $20 on Walmart.”

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