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

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


Barneys, the blissful luxury division string, could see its doors closed once and for all. Since filing for bankruptcy, Barneys shops have now been closing through the country, and, in an additional blow, its many iconic storefront can also be in peril. The Barneys ny on Madison Avenue in Manhattan had been a tourist spot and a favorite when it comes to feamales in HBO’s “Intercourse And the town.”


UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR: (As character) So which region can 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 frequently featured waiting for you occasions. It defined luxury for a generation. Vanessa Friedman is the main fashion critic for The nyc instances, and I am joined by her now. Welcome.

VANESSA FRIEDMAN: sweet to speak with you.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: Barneys is sort of woven in to the textile of the latest York in a manner that i do believe few other outlets that are retail. We already talked about “Intercourse and also the City,” but there are some other films and television shows, particularly “Will & Grace,” where in fact the character, Jack, ended up finding a task at Barneys.


SEAN HAYES: (As Jack McFarland) Where are the cashmere V-neck sweaters? In the 2nd flooring. And exactly how do i understand? Because i obtained work at Barneys.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: what exactly is it in regards to the store that managed to make it an element of the zeitgeist by doing so?

FRIEDMAN: once the Barneys on Madison Avenue started, it had been just like the ultimate sign of the particular sorts of ny design during the time, that has been, you realize, kind of cutting-edge, type of elitist, type of inaccessible but in addition profoundly glamorous and incredibly aspirational to everyone.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: let us speak about Barneys nyc on Madison Avenue for individuals who might not have been here since they’re afraid which they might have to cover the costs. It really is a social touchstone, right? That which was it prefer to move in?

FRIEDMAN: It broke all of the guidelines of retail once they first created it. Barneys had been among the first shops to essentially act such as a specialty boutique, to own a really particular standpoint, making it sort of destination you found feel just like you’re area of the crowd that is cool. And it was done by them extremely effortlessly.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: Just What Exactly occurred?

FRIEDMAN: you understand, times modification. Customer tastes change. And if shops do not carry on with with that, chances are they begin becoming – they begin to feel unimportant, you understand? Barneys on Madison ended up being a fantastic emporium, however it is additionally a tremendously department store that is expensive. It actually forced the grouped household into bankruptcy. And, you understand, for the reason that procedure, it lost great deal of its character, plus it destroyed plenty of exactly what managed to make it special. And that, combined with a few really bad estate that is real, led us to where we have been today.

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

FRIEDMAN: Well, i do believe that’s the secret question for any merchant, you understand? Just exactly exactly What Barneys did, which extremely few stores now do, is the fact that rather of evaluating whatever they had offered the summer season before and saying, OK, you understand, blackjack hats had been actually popular, particularly if that they had a type of peplum at the end. So we are likely to have more of the. They stated, so what can we do this’s various? They thought in leading in the place of after the customer. Also it designed which you had been constantly surprised, that you mightn’t second-guess them, that one couldn’t predict that which you had been planning to get. And that managed to make it exciting. It caused it to be risky.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: So rest in comfort, Barneys.

FRIEDMAN: i am hoping perhaps perhaps not.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: Did you want it?

FRIEDMAN: we accustomed almost go to Barneys as research, you understand? I might head to Barneys to see just what these were purchasing, to see just what developers that they had found, to observe how they place things together, you understand? One of many actually interesting things once they first launched on Madison ended up being I think it was Kazuko in the front, you know that they had jewelry by? When this occurs whilst still being now, many retail wisdom states you place small leather-based items right in front because that could be the style of access point to many buying, you realize? They place this sort of strange, esoteric jewelry that is expensive. Also it ended up being just as much a statement of whom they certainly were as one thing to get. Plus it had been like if you can get this, you are unique. You are smart. You recognize one thing. You have got a kind that is different of value system. Therefore, you realize, we visit discover, like, what that value system meant. And I also shall miss that.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: that has been ny instances chief fashion critic Vanessa Friedman. Thank you a great deal.

FRIEDMAN: sweet to speak with you.

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