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

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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, Barneys.com 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” »