NPR’s Lulu Garcia-Navarro talks with nyc occasions Chief Fashion Critic Vanessa Friedman in regards to the closing of Barneys shops


Barneys, the blissful luxury division string, could see its doorways closed once and for all. Since filing for bankruptcy, Barneys shops have now been shutting through the nation, and, in a further blow, its many iconic storefront can also be in peril. The Barneys ny on Madison Avenue in Manhattan had been a tourist spot and a popular when it comes to feamales in HBO’s “Intercourse And the town.”


UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR: (As character) So which region do you realy vote in?

SARAH JESSICA PARKER: (As Carrie Bradshaw) Whichever a person is near Barneys.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: Fashion’s cool young ones and musicians had been frequently featured waiting for you activities. It defined luxury for the generation. Vanessa Friedman is the main fashion critic for The nyc instances, and I am joined by her now. Welcome.

VANESSA FRIEDMAN: sweet to communicate with you.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: Barneys is sorts of woven in to the material of the latest York in a fashion that i do believe few other outlets that are retail. We already pointed out “Intercourse additionally the City,” but there are more films and television shows, particularly “Will & Grace,” where in actuality the character, Jack, finished up getting a work at Barneys.


SEAN HAYES: (As Jack McFarland) Where are the cashmere V-neck sweaters? In the 2nd flooring. And how do I’m sure? Because i obtained work at Barneys.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: the facts in regards to the store that managed to make it area of the zeitgeist by doing so?

FRIEDMAN: if the Barneys on Madison Avenue exposed, it had been just like the symbol that is ultimate of specific style of New York style during the time, that has been, you realize, kind of cutting-edge, type of elitist, kind of inaccessible but in addition profoundly glamorous and incredibly aspirational to everybody else.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: let us speak about Barneys nyc on Madison Avenue for folks who might not have been here simply because they’re afraid they may have to pay for the values. It really is a touchstone that is cultural right? That which was it want to step in?

FRIEDMAN: It broke all of the guidelines of retail once they first created it. Barneys ended up being among the first malls to workually act such as for instance a specialty boutique, to own a rather particular viewpoint, to make it sort of destination you found feel like you had been the main cool crowd. And they achieved it extremely efficiently.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: Just What Exactly occurred?

FRIEDMAN: you understand, times change. Customer tastes change. And if shops do not carry on with with that, chances are they begin becoming – they begin to feel unimportant, you understand? Barneys on Madison had been a fantastic emporium, however it is also an extremely costly emporium. It really forced the household into bankruptcy. And, you realize, for the reason that procedure, it destroyed a complete great deal of their character, and it also destroyed plenty of just just exactly what managed to make it unique. And that, combined with a few extremely bad real-estate discounts, led us to where our company is today.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: just What perform some those who would go shopping at Barneys want now?

FRIEDMAN: Well, i do believe this is the question that is magic any merchant, you understand? What Barneys did, which extremely few merchants now do, is the fact that rather of taking a look at what they had offered the growing season before and saying, OK, you understand, blackjack caps had been actually popular, particularly when that they had some sort of peplum in the bottom. Therefore we are planning to have more of the. They stated, exactly what do we do this’s various? They thought in leading in place of after the consumer. And it suggested which you were constantly surprised, that one couldn’t second-guess them, you couldn’t anticipate everything you had been likely to get. And that managed to make it exciting. In addition it managed to make it dangerous.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: So rest in comfort, Barneys.

FRIEDMAN: i am hoping perhaps perhaps not.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: Do you enjoy it?

FRIEDMAN: I familiar with head to Barneys nearly as research, you understand? I would personally head to Barneys to see just what these were purchasing, to see just what developers that they had discovered, to observe how they place things together, you understand? One of several actually interesting things if they first exposed on Madison had been I think it was Kazuko in the front, you know that they had jewelry by? at that time but still now, many wisdom that is retail you add small leather-based items right in front for the reason that it could be the type of entry way to the majority of buying, you understand? They put this sort of strange, esoteric costly precious jewelry there. Also it had been the maximum amount of a statement of whom these were as one thing to get. Plus it ended up being like if you receive this, you are unique. You are smart. You recognize one thing. You have got a various sort of visual value system. Therefore, you understand, we head to learn, like, what that value system meant. And I shall miss that.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: which was ny days chief fashion critic Vanessa Friedman. Many thanks plenty.

FRIEDMAN: Nice to speak to you.

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