NPR’s Lulu Garcia-Navarro talks with ny circumstances Chief Fashion Critic Vanessa Friedman concerning the closing of Barneys shops

NPR’s Lulu Garcia-Navarro talks with ny circumstances Chief Fashion Critic Vanessa Friedman concerning the closing of Barneys shops


Barneys, the true luxury division string, could see its doorways closed once and for all. Since filing for bankruptcy, Barneys shops have now been shutting through the nation, and, in a further blow, its many iconic storefront can be in peril. The Barneys nyc on Madison Avenue in Manhattan had been a tourist spot and a popular when it comes to feamales in HBO’s “Intercourse And The City.”


UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR: (As character) So which region would you vote in?

SARAH JESSICA PARKER: (As Carrie Bradshaw) Whichever one is near Barneys.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: Fashion’s cool young ones and performers had been regularly showcased waiting for you occasions. It defined luxury for the generation. Vanessa Friedman is the principle fashion critic for The ny occasions, and I am joined by her now. Welcome.

VANESSA FRIEDMAN: sweet to keep in touch with you.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: Barneys is sorts of woven in to the textile of brand new York in a manner that i do believe few other stores are. We already pointed out “Intercourse therefore the City,” but there are various other films and television shows, particularly “Will Grace that is&, where in fact the character, Jack, finished up getting a work at Barneys.


SEAN HAYES: (As Jack McFarland) Where are the cashmere V-neck sweaters? Regarding the floor that is second. And just how do i understand? Because i acquired a working task at Barneys.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: the facts in regards to the shop that managed to get area of the zeitgeist by doing so?

FRIEDMAN: As soon as the Barneys on Madison Avenue exposed, it absolutely was just like the symbol that is ultimate of specific sorts of ny style during the time, that was, you realize, kind of cutting-edge, kind of elitist, type of inaccessible but in addition profoundly glamorous and incredibly aspirational to everybody else.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: Why don’t we speak about Barneys nyc on Madison Avenue for people who might not have been there since they’re afraid which they may already have to cover the values. It really is a touchstone that is cultural right? That which was it prefer to move in?

FRIEDMAN: It broke all of the guidelines of retail if they first created it. Barneys had been one of the primary malls to essentially act like a specialty boutique, to own an extremely particular perspective, to really make it sort of destination you found feel just like you had been the main crowd that is cool. And it was done by them extremely efficiently.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: Just What Exactly occurred?

FRIEDMAN: you understand, times modification. Customer tastes change. And then they start becoming – they start to feel irrelevant, you know if stores don’t keep up with that? Barneys on Madison ended up being an exceptional emporium, however it is additionally a really high priced emporium. It really forced the household into bankruptcy. And, you realize, for the reason that procedure, it destroyed great deal of their character, plus it destroyed plenty of exactly exactly exactly what managed to make it unique. And that, combined with a few really bad property discounts, led us to where we have been today.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: just just just What perform some people who would go shopping at Barneys want now?

FRIEDMAN: Well, i do believe this is the secret question for any store, you realize? Exactly exactly What Barneys did, which extremely retailers that are few do, is the fact that rather of taking a look at whatever they had offered the summer season before and saying, OK, you understand, blackjack caps had been actually popular, particularly if that they had a types of peplum at the end. So we are planning to have more of the. They stated, exactly what do we do this’s various? They thought in leading in place of after the consumer. Plus it intended you were constantly astonished, that one couldn’t second-guess them, that you mightn’t anticipate that which you had been planning to get. And that managed to make it exciting. Additionally managed to get high-risk.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: So rest in comfort, Barneys.

FRIEDMAN: i am hoping perhaps not.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: Did you want it?

FRIEDMAN: we familiar with almost go to Barneys as research, you understand? I would personally head to Barneys to see just what these were purchasing, to see just what developers they’d found, to observe they place things together, you realize? One of several actually interesting things once they first started on Madison ended up being which they had precious jewelry by – i do believe it absolutely was Kazuko right in front, you know? at that time but still now, many retail wisdom claims you place small leather-based items right in front because that could be the types of entry way to many buying, you understand? They place this type of strange, esoteric jewelry that is expensive. And it also ended up being just as much a statement of whom these were as something to purchase. Also it ended up being like if you receive this, you are unique. You are smart. You realize one thing. You’ve got a various sort of visual value system. Therefore, you realize, we head to learn, like, what that value system meant. And I also will miss that.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: that has been ny instances chief fashion critic Vanessa Friedman. Many thanks plenty.

FRIEDMAN: sweet to speak with you.

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