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April 17 2014

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Barneys’ Foundation Level Gets A Facelift

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Barneys Foundation Level

The word I would use to describe the cosmetics and fragrance floors of most department stores: bedlam. Not only are salespeople aiming atomizers at you and threatening to spritz, but you feel pressured to purchase if you so much as take a glance at the latest offerings. Not to mention, the counters are usually crammed together and the competition for your attention is fierce. (OK, at this point, I’m ready to hashtag myself: #firstworldproblems.)

If you’re looking for a more serene shopping experience, however, Barneys New York just revamped their Foundation level (of which I got a tour last night). Not only does the space boast a modern and clean aesthetic, featuring a sculptural fragrance bar in front of a great glass wall of perfumes, but you can walk the wide, white aisles undisturbed. There are also boutiquelike alcoves dedicated to one brand (such as Frédéric Malle, which includes a “scent chamber” that allows you to experience an eau without any outside interference).

In addition to perusing the luxe goods that line the shelves, you can get a blowout at Valery Joseph’s in-house salon, your brows shaped by Robert Sweet William, makeup touchups by Jason Ascher, and treatments like a massage after an exhausting day of shopping (cue the aforementioned hashtag) at the Mila Moursi Skin Care Institute. Architect Steven Harris, working with Lucian Rees Roberts, the founding partner of interiors at the firm, said he aimed to design something “different than your standard retail boilerplate.” Mission accomplished.

Photos: Courtesy of Barneys New York

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