Some Prada Items Pulled From Barneys In Retail Stand-Off
The WSJ article goes on to say that this decision was made prior to Mr. Lee's takeover and was related to Barneys position that it doesn't lease vendor space. Lee has said that he wants Barneys to have more exclusive items that can't be found elsewhere. He's also planning a large renovation for existing stores and an overhaul of the store website. He also recently made the controversial move to appoint a new Creative Director, Dennis Freedman, who replaced the beloved Simon Doonan, who is now the Creative Ambassador-at-Large.
Barneys has 44 stores including outlets and is still owned by Dubai-based Istithmar World. The investment fund bought the luxury brand three years ago for an astounding $942 million. In 2009 it sought to sell for the same price. Barneys has had a history of ups and downs. The store was founded by Barney Pressman in 1923. The Pressman family lost control in 1998 and the company flirted with bankruptcy. Jones Apparel Group Inc. bought the store for $294.3 million in 2004.
Barneys is gearing up for New York Fashion Week and is making the bold move of changing the store's traditionally red awnings to black to match the spring catalogs which feature artsy black-and-white images from high-profile fashion photographers. They also launched a matching micro-site on Barneys.com called "The Window." it has the a similar black-and-white aesthetic and features editorial content centered around the brands and goods that Barneys sells. No longer on the website is the famous slogan: "Taste, Luxury, Humor." Lee told the WSJ that Barneys "is not a laugh riot." More proof that while Simon Doonan is still featured on the website the brand is moving aways from his glam-with-a-smile style.