Barneys New York: A Leader in Cutting-Edge Fashion
Sarah Jessica Parker once said, "If you're a nice person and you work hard, you get to go shopping at Barneys." It's not just Parker and her Sex and the City contemporaries in New York that frequent this Luxist-nominated department store -- flagship locations are sprinkled throughout the country from Boston to San Francisco.
According to legend, Barney Pressman opened his first store with the $500 he received for pawning his wife's engagement ring. He packed the 500-square-foot location at Seventh Avenue and West 17th Street in Manhattan with brand-name suits sold at discount prices. To get good deals on his merchandise, Pressman raided showroom sample sales and even a few bankruptcy auctions. He lured customers by offering free alterations and free parking.
Barneys expanded and focused on the high-end lifestlye during the middle of the 20th Century, emerging as a major purveyor of luxury goods. Barneys also expanded geographically, opening its first store beyond the Big Apple in 1988 and opened its first international location in Tokyo in 1990.
Today, the flagship Barneys in New York is located in midtown. Like the store's other locations, it peddles goods produced by hard-to-find international designers. Products from the likes of Manolo Blahnik, Diane von Furstenberg and Ermenegildo Zegna dot the displays. Though the Pressman family sold its stake in the company in 2004, free parking is still available -- if you can find it on the street.
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Gallery: More from Barneys New York