Barneys New York, the luxury specialty retailer, announced the completion of its new downtown flagship. The opening, earler this week, in Chelsea on 7th Avenue between 16th Street and 17th Street marks the return of the store to the same block that the company was founded on in 1923, and where it maintained an iconic presence through the late 1990’s. The store will occupy almost an entire city block giving a new presence to the 7th Avenue streetscape, and offering a unique and timeless luxury shopping experience for downtown customers.
Designed by award-winning New York-based architectural firm Steven Harris Architects, the new 55,000 square foot flagship, spanning five floors, will include men’s and women’s RTW, footwear, accessories, cosmetics, a Blind Barber barbershop, and a Freds restaurant, with a luxurious and modern aesthetic consistent with the Barneys New York brand.
While Barneys New York returns to its original roots, the architecture, technology, services and overall experience reflect the ever-evolving modern store it has become today. State of the art technology and mobile applications enhance the selling experience; beauty and shopping services will cater to those who value time as a luxury; and the restaurant is a nod to Freds on Madison Avenue, but with a menu all its own that emphasizes drinks and small plates. The Downtown flagship will carry the curated and discerning edit of merchandise for which Barneys New York is known, and will reflect a neighborhood luxury shopping experience. Top designers such as Dries Van Noten, Givenchy, and Saint Laurent will be available, as well as XO “Exclusively Ours” brands such as Baraboux handbags, and fragrances from Douglas Little. The Downtown flagship will also launch exclusive capsule collections from Valentino, Alexander Wang, Elder Statesman, and Sidney Garber, among others.
“The opening of our new Downtown flagship is a unique homecoming for Barneys New York,” said Barneys New York CEO Mark Lee. “Born as a single brick and mortar location over 90 years ago, Barneys New York returns to the same New York City block as a modern 21st century retail force that will offer the downtown customer a unique and unprecedented customer experience.”
The thriving Madison Avenue flagship will maintain its presence as the largest Barneys New York store and, coupled with the smaller neighborhood stores in Brooklyn and the Upper West Side, further pays homage to the deep-routed relationship between Barneys and New York City. To celebrate this longstanding bond, Barneys’ Spring 2016 campaign entitled “Our Town,” shot by Bruce Weber, aims to honor the way that New York City continues to inspire the brand as a whole.
The campaign features both portraits and short films highlighting iconic New Yorkers spanning from notable faces such as Bobby Cannavale, Cyndi Lauper, Lady Gaga, Yoko Ono, and Patti Smith, to local characters like iconic Italian restaurant Rao’s owner, Frank Pellegrino, and nightlife icon Ladyfag. The images and films of “Our Town” depict New York through Weber’s eyes, and find the humanity, individuality, and soul of each eccentric character and location, truly showcasing the diversity and beauty of the city.
The Barneys New York team collaborated with award-winning New York-based architectural firm Steven Harris Architects on the Downtown flagship store, a continuation of the partnership with that began in early 2012 with renovations at the Madison Avenue and Beverly Hills locations. Under the direction of founding architect Steven Harris and designer Lucien Rees Roberts, the Barneys New York flagships serve as a unique example of retail design for the residential visionaries. Lalire March Architects serve as the Executive Architect on the project.
“The store is completely unique compared to any other store downtown. It is subtle but inordinately luxurious,”said Steven Harris. “We wanted to create a calm and tranquil environment with a neutral, but richly varied color palate that truly highlights the merchandise.”
The exterior of the Downtown flagship store is defined by the 170 foot stainless steel marquee running along the 7th Avenue façade and wrapping the corner of 16th Street. The striking store front provides ample space for Barneys’ world-renowned window displays, with two feature windows on 7th Avenue, and three additional windows providing views into the store.
A central atrium with an exquisite spiral staircase provides views of the adjoining floors and encourages shoppers to discover the space. The vast sculptural stair connects the lower Foundation level to the third floor, and serves as an ode to the store design of the original Barneys. The atrium features glass with a custom abstract design of mirrored vertical, horizontal and diagonal lines inspired by Agnes Martin and Fred Sandback.
The new flagship’s ground level will highlight men’s and women’s leather goods and accessories, as well as women’s fine jewelry. A volume of black nero marble, carefully placed between the exterior and interior, marks the entry and becomes a dramatic display wall for jewelry. Mirror polished stainless steel clad columns, evocative of John McCracken‘s work, further open up the space, while hand rubbed brass accents add a level of warmth. Biomorphic shaped tables made from granite and marble display a curated selection of leather goods and accessories. Continue reading