August 30 2014

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16 posts tagged "Amanda Brooks"

Brooks Departs From Barneys


Amanda Brooks, who joined Barneys New York early last year, has resigned from her post as the retailer’s vice president and fashion director. She has announced she will be moving to England with her family: “I have had the pleasure of working with an incredibly talented team but have resigned to temporarily relocate to England with my husband [Christopher Brooks] and children in the interest of further pursuing other opportunities. It is a personal decision and I will miss working with the Barneys team,” Brooks tells WWD.

Brooks, who was previously at William Morris Endeavor Entertainment as director of fashion, was brought onto the Barneys team as part of CEO Mark Lee’s overhaul of the creative leadership for the retailer. WWD reports that the Barneys is not planning to replace Brooks immediately.

Photo: David X. Prutting /

Amitie In America


Alexandre Mattiussi, the young French menswear designer behind Ami—that is, “friend”—launched his first collection at Barneys New York last night. The casual, affordable line, which now hangs in the retailer’s Co-Op stores, drew an appreciative crowd of editors, bloggers, and the occasional actor. (That’d be Bryan Greenberg, who was overheard to recall that the fifth-floor surroundings looked familiar…because his character on How to Make It In America had been fired from them on the show’s first season.)

Barneys is fêting its new acquisition with the pomp you’d accord to a new chum, and so before it sends Mattiussi out on a national tour—”it’s my Lady Gaga tour!” he exclaimed—it threw him a cozy dinner at Le Bilboquet on the Upper East Side. Old friends and new came to celebrate, including Barneys’ Mark Lee, Dennis Freedman, and Amanda Brooks, Matt Kliegman and Carlos Quirarte, designer couple Alexander Olch and Jennifer Murray, and Joseph Altuzarra, who’d known Mattiussi ever since the two worked at Givenchy years ago. (“He’s exactly the same,” Altuzarra reported.) The designer’s next stops: Chicago, San Francisco, and L.A., all for the first time. Before that? A surprise birthday cake, courtesy of his new pals. Five days ago, l’ami turned 31.

Photo: Neil Rasmus /

Celine Grows Fast, China Grows Faster, Barneys’ Best New Dresses, And More…


Celine’s on the expansion plan. According to CEO Marco Gobetti, the do-no-wrong minimal line is going maximalist in its U.S. push. Expect a new Madison Avenue store with 4,500 square feet of Phoebe Philo’s finery (left)—not to mention a brand-new Paris space as well. [;WWD]

Chinese consumers appetites for high-end fashion is growing, too—lightning-quick. Luxury brands are racing to open new stores in the country (“Every mall in Beijing has a Versace, and every year there’s another mall,” said one local), spending is up, and fashion magazines in the Far East have a problem their Western counterparts would give their eye teeth for: too much advertising. [The Guardian via Business of Fashion]

Barneys’ Amanda Brooks picks her top 10 dresses of Fall 2011, from Prabal to Proenza, Erdem to Balenciaga. [Vogue U.K.]

And it’s another coup for the hottest model of the moment: no, not Arizona Muse; her 2-year-old son, Nikko. Junior’s getting bookings as regular as his mom’s these days—the duo just nabbed the May J.Crew catalog, and previously were shot by Mario Sorrenti for Riccardo Tisci’s religion-themed Visionaire. [Fashionista]

Photo: Monica Feudi /

Joseph Altuzarra Meets The Bloggers At Barneys


Early this morning on the fifth floor of Barneys New York’s Madison Avenue flagship was yet another moment of high fashion pulling away the curtain of exclusivity. For the benefit of a varied group of bloggers, fashion director Amanda Brooks played interviewer to New York design darling Joseph Altuzarra. The event was the first of its kind that the luxury department store has hosted, fitting right in line with its push into capitalizing on social media.

Brooks—wearing a white satin trench and a python appliquéd jersey dress from the Spring collection currently on the floor—ably guided Altuzarra through how he decided on the label’s ethos and where he sources inspiration. The designer talked about his original founding principle of clothes for the sexy older woman, but newly referencing the recent successes of Meryl Streep, Diane Lane, and Diane Keaton in addition to his perennial muse Carine Roitfeld. “There’s a myth that you’re designing for a 25-year-old model,” he said. “And we know that’s not true.” As for seeking the creative spark, his response was refreshingly unpretentious. “I do have to seek it out; otherwise, I’d be watching Glee all day,” he said. “I’m not the designer who walks around thinking I have to do something on the French Revolution.”

To the high-low collab question that’s now become standard asking, particularly for the bloggerati, Altuzarra didn’t pander. “For the moment, I don’t think so,” he said. “I think what’s special about the brand right now is that it’s so small and exclusive.” Instead, he mentioned his recent partnership with denim brand Current/Elliott and a strategic move to lower his entry price point. And on the subject of strategic business moves, the designer also announced he’ll be joining that ever-growing group of young designers putting out resort collections.

As for what’s selling well for Spring, it’s those great no-brainer chic silk knits as well as some of the more directional pieces, the latter of which Altuzarra found logical. “To be honest, if I have to spend $700 on a black cashmere sweater, I don’t know if I’d do it.” (By comparison, the Comme des Garçons Play V-neck he was sporting rings in around $260.) And while he rarely talks about it, the intel he picks up from talking to retailers—particularly Barneys, which has carried the label since its first season—is something he admits factors heavily into his vision. “Our buyer Mia [Kinney] knows the evolution of our brand and our relationship with her is like family,” he said. “I seem to recall thinking about linen for Spring and she was like, ‘Umm, that doesn’t do well.’ ” He added, “Those conversations can be really helpful. I probably should have brought the conical boobs before.”

Photo: David X. Prutting /

Barneys Goes “Backstage” For Its Ads,
And Big For Its Renovations


Barneys New York’s Spring ad campaign, the first under CEO Mark Lee’s tenure, breaks in The New York Times this Sunday. Dubbed “Backstage,” it was shot at the Spring fashion shows in New York, Milan, and Paris by the likes of Nan Goldin (who shot at the Balmain show, above), William Klein (who shot at the Lanvin show, below), and Juergen Teller. “We were seeing tons of black and white in the collections, and we thought, let’s build on that,” Lee said of the black-and-white imagery at a breakfast this morning. (The ads will also feature QR codes, which, when scanned by camera phones, will take users directly to the pictured looks on the stores Web site.) Also on the agenda at Fred’s: the changes he’s implemented since he started September 1 and his plans for the retailer’s future. The goal, said Lee, “is to ensure that Barneys remains the greatest specialty store in the world: special, surprising, different, dynamic. We’re never going to say, ‘It’s done.’ “

Sharp observers will have noticed that the awnings on Madison Avenue are now black to match the store’s iconic shopping bags. And speaking of windows, is getting a new microsite: “The Window” launches next week and will update daily with editorial content like designer interviews; Olivier Theyskens, Carven’s Guillaume Henry, and Frédéric Malle are among the talents up first. Eventually the site will get a complete redesign. There are changes in the works inside the store, as well. Prada clothes and handbags have left the building. (Gasping Miuccia-philes, take note: You’ll still be able to get the label’s women’s shoes and menswear.) The spaces that they occupied are currently being renovated for Azzedine Alaïa (it’ll be his biggest space in the U.S.) and Valextra, respectively. By November of this year, Lee said, the men’s Co-Op will move from the fifth floor to the eighth, and the men’s and women’s Co-Ops will be connected. Eventually, every floor that can be structurally connected will be. Lee was joined at Fred’s by his staff: chief merchant Daniella Vitale, creative director Dennis Freedman, and executive vice president and general merchandise manager Tom Kalendarian. Amanda Brooks, who was named women’s fashion director last week, starts Monday. Asked if the store would retain its “taste, luxury, humor” tagline, Lee said, “taste, yes; luxury, yes; humor? I prefer wit. Barneys was at its best when it was witty.” Continue Reading “Barneys Goes “Backstage” For Its Ads,
And Big For Its Renovations” »