Barneys Co-Op Turns 25
When Barneys New York founded its Co-Op levels and stores in 1985, they were, as Style.com editor in chief Dirk Standen put it to the store’s Julie Gilhart, “in the vanguard of the mix-and-match approach.” “We never thought of Co-Op as a place where you find secondary collections,” Gilhart demurred. “It’s a place where you find something different.” Different as in not seen before (but almost always seen after) in other stores—and different, according to many designers whose careers Co-Op has nurtured, as in making all the difference to the fledgling businesses. “We are so happy the Co-Op exists to expose small brands,” Vena Cava’s Lisa Mayock and Sophie Buhai said recently. They’re not so small anymore. Phillip Lim agrees. Co-Op, he enthuses, “is like the A&R people of the fashion industry: They are the first to discover and support young talent.” That young talent is giving back for its 25th anniversary, offering exclusive products in stores and online. They include (left to right) a soft cowl-neck dress from Wayne, a cloud-print shirt dress from Vena Cava, and a fur-hood anorak from Theory that’s perfect for the cold weather soon to come.