August 23 2014

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7 posts tagged "Dennis Freedman"

Barneys Features Transgender Models In Spring Campaign


Barneys Spring '14 CampaignCall 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.

Photo: Bruce Weber, via WWD

Barneys Takes A Walk on the Wild Side


Animation, designer duds and the power of instant purchasing come together in Barneys’ latest endeavor—a shoppable spring film called Wild Things. Created by filmmaker and photographer Barnaby Roper under the direction of Barneys creative director Dennis Freedman, the film stars Kinga Rajzak and follows her through a black-and-white cartoon land while she wears looks by Isabel Marant, Acne, Carven, Rag & Bone, and beyond. And when it goes live on Barneys’ Web site tomorrow, viewers will be able to point, click, and buy as they watch the short, thanks to Liveclicker technology. “The movement, special effects, and graphic treatments Barnaby created work because there is also a sense of humor and wit, which make them Barneys,” said Freedman of the project. Naturally, in addition to being practical (and pretty persuasive), the film has that classic Barneys quirk (think playful, primitive drawings with a vintage Pop art edge).

According to Barneys, the video, which debuts exclusively above, is part of the retailer’s ongoing push to expand its presence in the digital space. For instance, the department store has launched the Barneys Warehouse website—its first permanent off-price e-commerce destination (not unlike the famed Warehouse Sale, the site features past-season items at up to 75 percent off). Other digital milestones include the recent website redesign, a focus on The Window—Barneys’ editorial site, and, of course, last year’s holiday Disney film and corresponding scavenger hunt, which was conducted via Twitter. To accompany the spring film, Barneys will be launching mini videos, designer interviews, and more as a part of its increased focus on digital content creation.

Barneys Steps Up Its Shoe Game


Barneys unveiled the latest piece of its multi-year renovation today—a new 22,000-square-foot floor that is sure to have footwear fans pulling out their credit cards upon arrival. The bright, minimalist fifth-floor space, which has been under way since Gaga’s Workshop packed up back in the winter, houses both men’s and women’s designer shoes (a first for the Madison Avenue flagship), as well as travel accessories from the likes of Givenchy, Balenciaga, and Rimowa.

The new edition (58 percent bigger than the old shoe floor), done under the direction of Dennis Freedman and interior design firm Yabu Pushelberg, features white marble walls, brass fixtures, limestone flooring, iPad stations throughout (conveniently located next to the cushioned seats), and brass-mesh glass cases to highlight specific labels. In the women’s area, those two spaces are designated for two of the store’s major brands, Christian Louboutin and Manolo Blahnik. You’ll find Barneys-exclusive (denoted with the XO signs) styles from Blahnik, Sergio Rossi, and Maison Martin Margiela for women, and for men, shoes from the likes of Battistoni, Endless, and Harris. Co-Op shoes will remain on the eighth floor for men and on the seventh floor for women. In celebration of its newest renovation completion, Barneys has launched Perfect Pairs, a campaign to support the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) and its Americans for Marriage Equality Program, with 10 percent of sales from the new shoe floor between today and Sunday going to the HRC. Next to be finished on the retailer’s flagship makeover project is the women’s ground floor, set to be completed in September. Here, a first look at the new fifth level.

Photos: Courtesy of Barneys

The Many Shoes Of Lady Gaga


After a ribbon cutting with the Lady herself and the requisite party, Lady Gaga’s 5,500-square-foot winter wonderland at Barneys opens at 11:59 p.m. tonight. The space has been designed and curated by the pop star, along with collaborators Nicola Formichetti, Assume Vivid Astro Focus, and the retailer’s creative director, Dennis Freedman, and features a wide array of exclusive products for the occasion. There are all of the oddities you might expect (including a click-to-hatch toy version of La Gaga in her famous Hussein Chalayan egg from the Grammy Awards), and Gaga being Gaga, shoes of all kinds. There are shoe cookies by the New York bakery Eleni’s, shaped like McQueen’s famous 12″ armadillo platforms, and Noritaka Tatehana’s heelless towers, a giant chocolate McQueen shoe, several varieties of shoe stockings, and a pair of shoe earrings by Yottoi. And for those in the market for an actual shoe, there’s one centerpiece version on display: A $4,100 Tatehana in black or white.

Plus, check back tomorrow for our complete coverage of the opening party.


Dennis Freedman: “The Longer I’ve Worked In Fashion, The More I’ve Realized It’s Really Not Just About Clothes”


One year ago, it was announced that Dennis Freedman, the longtime creative director of W, would be leaving the magazine. Freedman didn’t waste any time before embarking on a new chapter of his storied career: In short order, he accepted the role of creative director at a rebooted Barneys New York and revealed that he would be partnering with Damiani on a new book imprint, Freedman Damiani. This month, Freedman Damiani publishes its first title, Philip-Lorca diCorcia: ELEVEN, a retrospective of the photographer’s editorials for W. “I was talking to Philip-Lorca,” Freedman recalls, “and he brought up the idea of doing a book about the work we did together at W, and it happened that I had just made this deal with Damiani. The whole thing was serendipitous.” Freedman goes on to note that his life has been shaped by that kind of luck. “Most of the best things that happened in my career, I never planned or expected,” he says. “But what I’ve learned is that, as long as you’re curious and as long as you’re committed to working with people you care about, the path will create itself.” Here, Freedman talks to about art versus commerce, the value of commitment, and what fashion, at the end of the day, is really all about.

Was launching a book imprint something you knew you wanted to do when you left W?
It wasn’t, no. Damiani approached me, and of course, it struck me as an amazing opportunity. I’ve been really lucky in my career to have been able to work with a lot of people I admire, whose work I believe in, and the imprint is a way of continuing to do that. The idea is, basically, we publish two books a year, and they reflect my tastes and interests. And it’s incredibly gratifying—and fitting—that the very first title is with Philip-Lorca, with whom I had one of the most meaningful collaborations of my career.

How did that collaboration come about?
I was very familiar with his work, after he did this one-man show at MoMA, I was looking at the book from the show, and it struck me that the nature of his work could be applied to fashion, and interesting in the context of a quote-unquote “fashion” shoot. I mean, as a fashion magazine, we could use our tools—fashion, hair, makeup—to define the characters in his pictures. I didn’t want it to be a straight-ahead fashion editorial, and I didn’t want it to be a Philip-Lorca diCorcia work, either; the minute you, as an artist, are incorporating someone else’s objectives into your work, it’s not your art, it’s something else. I wanted to see what that something else could be.

Do you look at these photographs now, and see more fashion, or more art?
I see both. There are credits in those stories, and clothes that were for sale, but that doesn’t mean the photographs don’t have their own validity or integrity. They’re no less interesting because Philip-Lorca had to incorporate other people’s commercial needs, and they have the characteristics of great art, in that you can return to them, they don’t reveal themselves immediately, they require attention. That’s very different than most commercial photography. Continue Reading “Dennis Freedman: “The Longer I’ve Worked In Fashion, The More I’ve Realized It’s Really Not Just About Clothes”” »