The TJ Maxx where Amber Heard was seen is a secret gem in the affluent Hamptons.
Reality star and Hamptonite Jill Zarin said “it’s literally like Saks Fifth Avenue in the Hamptons”.
One East Hampton resident said of the TJ Maxx location: “Everybody goes there.”
The biggest open secret in the Hamptons isn’t a cool new restaurant opening or celebrity sightings. It is a TJ Maxx discount chain store located in a nondescript strip mall near Montauk Highway.
While the rest of the world was stunned by Amber Heard’s purchases at the TJ Maxx store last week, the actor – whose high-profile defamation case with ex-husband Johnny Depp was dropped after a jury found both parties liable – for defamation – you know something they don’t know. t: It’s the secret hot spot of the legendary East End.
The under-the-radar 33,000-square-foot TJ Maxx outpost in the ultra-exclusive village of Bridgehampton — where the average home sale is $3.62 million — has almost become a tailoring bar for budget-conscious elites and the summer class.
Mona Sharaf, a personal shopper in New York, has a finite amount of time when she leaves Manhattan for the Hamptons during the summer months, but she makes time for TJ Maxx.
“I make a point of shopping there – it’s a big secret,” Sharaf said. “They sell these designer clothes for the neighborhood. They sell them based on who the clientele is. That’s why you’ll find better things in Bridgehampton than in Brooklyn.”
Sharaf, who says he has taken his customers to the discount chain, said a $1,000 budget will be higher at TJ Maxx than at any retail boutique. “Instead of two pieces, you can get six,” she said.
And lest anyone catch her under the store’s bright fluorescent lights, Sharaf said there’s no embarrassment on her part. “I meet friends there – there’s no shame in getting a good deal,” she said.
When contacted by phone, a TJ Maxx associate at the Bridgehampton location was hesitant when I asked about the celebrity shoppers at the store. “I think so, especially in the summer, but I don’t really know right away. I really couldn’t tell you,” said an unnamed employee.
But Hamptons experts trust the store’s “Runway” section, which includes top-notch designers like Dolce & Gabbana, Badgley Mishka, Balmain and many more. It’s also the section where Heard and his sister Whitney Henriquez were filmed shopping.
The best open secret in the Hamptons is also a favorite with local celebrities.
“It’s literally like Saks Fifth Avenue in the Hamptons”, Jill Zarin. The reality star, along with her daughter, even has a line of candles under her Jill & Ally brand, carried in the store. “My friends go there all the time,” said Zarin, who will meet them to shop there or have her boyfriend wait in the car.
Zarin explained the mystique. “They only buy a few pieces of something per store – they want it to be a treasure hunt,” she said of the TJ Maxx location. “You can find Tory Burch shoes that might still be in a store in town.”
Hamptons expert and realtor Bianca D’Alessio, a star of the Discovery + reality show “Selling the Hamptons”, called the store “a secret gem” among all East End boutiques. “I’m always on a mission there. You go on a mission,” she said.
“Everyone goes there — especially that one,” socialite and blogger Stacy Geisinger, who owns a summer home in nearby East Hampton, told Insider about the store. “It’s a secret place that no one talks about,” she added, noting that “chic people” eat the variety of Pucci, Vince and Valentino on offer. “They don’t want to share, so there’s more for them,” said Geisinger, the blogger behind Stacy Knows, noting the competition for limited pieces: “Well they can talk about it with me, a size 14 if they’re a size 2 .”
Geisinger remembers a woman on the gala circuit who gave him a clue about the store years ago. “She came up to me and said, ‘The best TJ Maxx in the whole country is here in the Hamptons,'” Geisinger said.
There’s still one gaffe that Geisinger warned about: leaving the revealing tag, which Geisinger says he once saw on someone in the Hamptons. “If you can find something and it fits, and you’re a designer, who cares if it’s from TJ Maxx? Nobody needs to know — as long as you take that big tag off,” she said. “Everyone knows your etiquette.”
Geisinger adores her printed Pucci dress that she bought for under $300. She wore the shimmering pallet dress to the Shop the Day Away Luncheon at the legendary Breakers hotel in Palm Beach, Florida, last winter with confidence. “I felt like a million dollars,” she told Insider, “but I only spent a few hundred.”
For philanthropist and influencer Jean Shafiroff, she can always find something in the Hamptons spot.
“They have almost everything you could want and more,” Shafiroff said, adding that she brought her songwriter friend Lucia Hwong Gordon to shop at the store. Shafiroff remembered to pick up a Runway dress for his daughter. “It was designer and a fraction of the price, which was great,” she said. “Let’s face it: everyone loves a bargain.”
Read the original article on Insider