#Barneysisdead

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

Always,

Chanel$$bunnynyc

Money vs Value

Flashback to your favorite 90s rap artists on television flashing their ice and cash flow. They were so cool. Some would make a fan out of their stash while others would “Make it Rain” to show us money wasn’t a thing. It wasn’t until recently that I realized that money was the decoy and money only has value because we give it just that. But money isn’t the end all, having equity and assets is truly where its at. The silly diamonds and fancy cars shining kept us blinded. I call them perishables because from the moment you buy a car or a nice piece of jewelry, the value decreases. Money as most of us know is a printed piece of paper. We then as humans give it value based on what society tries to influence us has the most value. This is why marketing and audience reach is more important than ever. As vain as it may sound, Instagram influencers’ are a great example. Before you judge, let me explain. Social media gives us a chance to have content and ideas shared around the world in an instant and have access to a huge audience. Instagram users who have actually taken time to understand the algorithm of the app are able to grow their following and increase their audience. The bigger the audience the more influence the person has. The more buzz created is exactly what businesses are looking for. Businesses capitalize on this so much that they even have business tools that help them to measure this “buzz”. So the value that is created is quantified and businesses partner with “influencers” for paid advertisements and marketing. Influencers are super valuable to brands that want to maximize profit, but they’re also the tastemakers that provide a relatable aspect that a lot of brands without a creative person cannot provide on their own.

Money can never be the end all. When it gets to that point, the purpose of the business gets cloudy and the audience becomes disinterested. Many fashion retailer brands are shutting down business and leaving shopping in New York City a thing of the past. Once fashion became about profit margins and less about the art, I knew there would be a shift. I just didn’t ever think some of the most iconic retailers and brands would fall victim. Where did they go wrong? What could have been done differently? Everyone wants to go straight to the numbers but let’s be honest fashion is changing. There are so many amazing new brands that believe in the art of fashion that they’re willing to sacrifice to keep the integrity of their small brand making a big impact. Sometimes big brands get comfy and forget they too have to keep their market stimulated and not just with product and a household name.

Aside from e-commerce crushing brick and mortar, what other reason is there that retailers are suffering today?