92 posts tagged "Barneys"
There’s a new movement in New York. It encompasses labels like Hood by Air, Virgil Abloh’s Off-White, and the Been Trill collective; intersects with the digital platform-cum-real-world retailer VFiles; and includes someone like Telfar Clemens. These designers play in the high-fashion space, but they don’t need it because they communicate directly—in both an emotional and commercial sense—with their audience, a peer group who doesn’t so much celebrate difference as shrug it off. The performance artist Boychild, sitting front-row here, is the movement’s, well, Poster Boychild. Clemens showed his new collection—workwear tweaked in proportion and fabrication, including a cool riff on an Ugg boot in detachable leather sections—at the top of the New Museum, but the real action was downstairs in the lobby, where he was simultaneously selling his sweatshirts to a heaving sea of hipsters. Collectively, there’s an energy among this group that the city hasn’t seen since the eighties, and mainstream fashion ought to pay attention, because as VFiles’ Julie Anne Quay will tell you, this is the future.
At their best, Thom Browne’s shows walk a tightrope between horror and humor. I felt a bit of that tension was missing in yesterday’s religion-themed potboiler, but the last look, a gold dress with a train so heavy that the model looked like she could topple off the raised catwalk at any moment—a true fall from grace, as it were—had that echt Browne frisson. Was the girl a victim or a knowing co-conspirator in this act of cruelty? I doubt I’m the first to say Browne is the Hitchcock of fashion.
It seemed almost as cold inside the raw space on Wall Street that Donna Karan chose as the venue for her thirtieth anniversary collection as it was outside. To be fair, Karan’s team presumably scouted the location months ago, when the Polar Vortex was just a twinkle in Al Roker’s eye, but for a moment it seemed as if the designer might lose her audience. She won them back at the end with a series of sensuous dresses that were a fitting tribute to her unique and highly influential gifts. I got goose bumps—or maybe it was frostbite.
BARNEYS CELEBRATES ITS “BROTHERS, SISTERS, SONS & DAUGHTERS” CAMPAIGN
The highlight of the Barneys dinner in honor of the seventeen transgender models who are featured in the retailer’s new ad campaign was a film by Bruce Weber. Weber tells the campaign stars’ stories straightforwardly, movingly, and with his inimitable offhand grace. His movie ought to be compulsory viewing across America.
Call us optimistic, but we’ve seen change for the better in the Spring ’14 campaigns. Rather than opting for the expected slim, Caucasian catwalkers, major brands are taking the road that’s been historically less traveled, casting models of all shapes, sizes, colors, and beyond. Riccardo Tisci, for instance, brought Givenchy to the front of the ongoing race-in-fashion conversation by tapping neo-soul star Erykah Badu for the house’s Spring ads. Nicola Formichetti championed the beauty of a 26-year-old blogger with muscular dystrophy in his latest campaign, and now Barneys has released its Spring snaps, which star seventeen transgender models. Dubbed Brothers, Sisters, Sons, and Daughter, the Bruce Weber-lensed ads mark Barneys’ collaboration with two organizations: the National Center for Transgender Equality, and the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Community Center. Ten percent of sales made on February 11 at Barneys’ flagship stores and Web site will go to said initiatives. Barneys creative director Dennis Freedman told WWD that the choice to feature transgender models had “a lot to do with the realization that such extraordinary progress has been made in the last few years for the lesbian, gay, and bisexual community, but it’s striking how the transgender community has been left behind. It’s disturbing and upsetting to see that.” Is there a big marketing element behind brands’ decisions to stray from the norm? Probably–but who cares. It doesn’t take away from the fact that key companies are celebrating individuality in all forms. We have to mention, though, that Riccardo Tisci included transgender model Lea T in Givenchy’s ads back in 2010—that Riccardo, always ahead of the game.
Google’s not the only company that can play the tech-meets-fashion game. Last night at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, Intel’s CEO Brian Krzanich announced the corporation’s new plan to produce functional tech accessories that are both wearable and aesthetically pleasing. Impossible? Not when you have Opening Ceremony’s Humberto Leon and Carol Lim on your team. The duo will design a smart bracelet, which, currently under development, will be unveiled at a yet-to-be-revealed date.
But one bracelet does not a revolution make, so in addition to OC, Intel has tapped Barneys (who will sell the forthcoming wristband and future products) and the CFDA (who will help emerging designers get on Intel’s wearable gadget bandwagon) to assist with the project.
Earlier today, Ayse Ildeniz, Intel’s VP of Business Development and Strategy of New Devices, hosted a panel to discuss the push. She was joined by OC’s Bettina Chin (Director of Special Projects) and Su Barber (Art Director), the CFDA’s Adam Roth (Director of Strategic Partnerships), and Barneys’ Matthew Woolsey (SVP of Digital). The takeaway from their chat? While functionality is key, the products have got to look great (if you recall, one of the biggest complaints about Google Glass, pairs of which were worn on Diane von Furstenberg’s Spring ’13 runway, was that it wasn’t exactly the sleekest thing on the block). “If wearables are to take off, it has to be an industry effort, and fashion and aesthetics have to be involved,” Ildeniz told Style.com after the panel. Woolsey concurred. “The design element is paramount to the way in which our customer engages with [the product],” he said. It’s worth noting that, through this project, Barneys will become the first luxury retailer to carry wearables.
So can Leon and Lim do for wearable tech what they did for Kenzo—that is to say, make it the cool set’s new must-have? Unfortunately, some blizzard-induced flight delays prevented Lim from attending the conference and addressing that in person. However, with a little help from a smartphone, Style.com was able to catch up with Lim about why OC and Intel are a natural fit, how she plans to make wearable tech covetable, and how her collaborative device will not only allow people to plug in, but offer them the option to turn off.
Why did you and Humberto say yes to the Intel project?
Technology in all forms has been really important to us, not only in our store and our collections, but also in terms of online retail. We had been watching the wearable technology space for quite some time before Intel approached us. We’d been thinking about how to incorporate [wearables] into our collection, so when this project came along, we thought it was a great opportunity. Intel represents such a strong force in technology, so we were happy to lend our design sensibility, and it makes sense to partner with someone whom we consider to be the expert.
Do you feel confident that the end result will resonate with the Opening Ceremony customer?
Absolutely. If you look at how people operate today, they use so many devices and applications. I think [wearable technology] is the next step in terms of how people interact. Your phone’s generally by your side, but you don’t always get a chance to look at it, so I think this product is a natural progression.
As far as stereotypes go, “fashion” people and “tech” people are about as opposite as you can get. How do you hope to bridge this perceived gap? And considering you design for Kenzo as well as Opening Ceremony, do you see wearable tech translating into luxury fashion?
When Intel approached us, they basically said, “We’re experts in technology, and we would rely on you to be experts in the field of creating an item that can stand on its own—an item that is beautiful, and that people will want.” I think that marriage of two partners with different talents is going to be very interesting. And you’re right, the fashion industry has been slow to adopt wearable technology. But I think that’s because it’s usually coming only from a technology point of view, rather than a combination of tech and design aesthetic. Our focus will be to create a covetable item that someone would want to wear regardless of the tech aspect. So I think this collaboration with Intel will stand out from other devices. Continue Reading “Fashion and Function: Opening Ceremony’s Carol Lim Talks Teaming Up With Intel” »
Despite the seemingly endless controversy surrounding Jay Z’s collection for Barneys, news broke this week that the pricey range, which includes black and gold clothes and accessories created in collaboration with houses like Lanvin and Balmain, raised a whopping $1 million for charity. Who knew that Big Pimpin’ and altruism could make such lovely bedfellows?