I was ecstatic to join the Barneys flagship team. I even posted the news to my Insta. If you didn’t post it to Instagram, did it really happen? (So cliche and update I’m learning that I don’t need to post everything on social media) So as I relished in my new found glory getting the job as women’s private label brand ambassador, poor Barney’s was slowly falling to its fate. I just didn’t want to believe it to be true. As a fashion graduate, I had a special place in my heart for Barney’s. I read an amazing book about the Pressmans who were entrepreneurs just like a lot of us today. They started their business on selling men’s discounted suiting around to building it up to one of the worlds top luxury retailers. Many notable fashion events happened at Barney’s and we all know Barney’s was known for inclusivity, and supporting new fashion talent. If that isn’t an impressive, inspiring , commendable entrepreneur story then I don’t know what is.
I didn’t aspire to work in retail, but I did feel it was a vital part of gaining the skills I needed to be able to eventually start my own business. I was happy to take ownership and do whatever I could strategically, creatively and beyond to drive business and profit. Not to mention we had a fantastic team on the women’s designer fourth floor. I felt like my skills were valued and directly effective in driving a vital part of the Barney’s business as a whole. About 6 months in, my world turned upside down. Barneys was sold to the earliest and highest bidder after all, ABG Group, who actually have a strong portfolio. Those who followed along, know this is not who we the people wanted to win because ultimately, ABG group would close all Barney’s stores and then go to license out the Barney’s name with their first venture a shop in shop inside of Saks Fifth Avenue flagship store.
Fast forward! The remaining flagship store on Madison Avenue is going through liquidation currently at 90% off. There isn’t much Barney’s inventory left but the liquidators hired by ABG group have brought in a number of brands that they work with to drive sales as much as possible. The situation is pretty bad at this point.
I am grateful for the experience to have worked at Barney’s with amazing and talented people, some who even opened the flagship store on Madison Avenue some 20 odd years ago, still working today until the end. The last day is set to be the 23rd. It will be bittersweet. Barney’s is an iconic fashion institution and also a representation to the end of an era.
Everyone is waiting to see if ABG group will have the abilities to revive such a landmark name. We will just have to wait and watch since the liquidation process hasn’t been pretty at all.
Love Barney’s New York