A lot of veteran New York shoppers were delighted last year when it was revealed that Barneys New York would take over part of the original store on Seventh Avenue in Chelsea where it became a retailing legend. Anyone who thought that the old store (pictured below in a 1989 archival photo) would somehow be recreated, however, is in for a surprise. The new Barneys in Chelsea will be doing more extensive remodeling on the space than the intervening tenant, Loehmann's, ever did before moving in.
Were you hoping that those display windows would once again hold some whimsical Holiday displays? Those windows have been blown out along with the rest of the entire street level façade of the building, which we noted a few weeks ago. Yesterday, we spied a flat rendering of the new store's front elevation (pictured above) posted on the plywood covering the construction site which indicates that the dramatic entrance to the previous store is being completely removed in favor of a more innocuous set of glass doors. A stone wall will bear the store's signage, and it appears that most of the rest of the front will be glass. We are guessing that it will offer a view directly into the store rather than serve as display windows, more like the smaller, former Co-op stores in Brooklyn and on the Upper West Side. This will be a disappointment for anyone who had held out hope that Barneys would give a nod to the old Chelsea store by reproducing or at least restoring part of what remained there. Of course, we should know by now that the current executive team has no interest in nostalgia for classic Barneys. In fact, given the opportunity to preserve or tear down anything that would remind shoppers of the original store, they almost always go with tearing down and replacing with slabs of marble and glass. We have become accustomed to this by now, but shopping nostalgists in New York should be prepared for the likelihood that Barneys' grand return to Chelseas may not be quite as grand as they might have been hoping for.
We were all pretty excited to hear that Barneys New York will soon be re-inhabiting the location on Seventh Avenue in Chelsea where it became a world-renowned retailer during the 1980s. If you think, however that the new store will simply slide into its old home with minor renovations, then you don't know Barneys these days. While the exterior of the store has remained relatively intact while construction crews ripped out any trace of the former Lehmann's flagship that took over what was the larger part Barneys' original Men's Store, plywood scaffolding went up a few weeks ago to obscure what looks like a major redesign of the store's façade. The Shophound got a peek inside yesterday afternoon through door left carelessly ajar that shows that the entire ground floor of the store's frontage has been demolished including the grand entrance and the windows that once housed Simon Doonan's infamous Holiday displays. Rumors have the second floor exterior blown out as well, but, so far, that remains to be seen?
What will the new Barneys look like?
Chances are it will have a lot of glass, steel and slabs of marble like its Madison Avenue counterpart, so anyone hoping for a nostalgic feeling when the store finally reopens may have to adjust their expectations.
And about that opening date . . .
About a year ago we heard that the store was pushing it's projected opening forward to January of 2016, and while that was promising news at the time, it seems hard to believe that a new façade could be completed in three months, not to mention that the store's interior space still looks completely gutted.
We may have to cool our heels for just a little bit longer before Barneys once again graces Chelsea with its presence.
Does it feel like there's something missing?
Have the relatively few still fairly decent sample sales going on right now felt like not much of a satisfying offering?
That's because, as far as we can tell, this will be the first the first Labor Day Weekend that there is no Barneys Warehouse Sale somewhere in Chelsea since they started having them.
Yes, we know.
The Shophound has been bitching and moaning about how bad the Warehouse Sale has gotten over the years for quite some time now, and it had become but a shadow of the former basement full of bargains that it was in its heyday. Yet, somehow, we almost always found something there worth our journey downtown. Some shiny bargain, undiscovered by others always managed to get into our hot little hands to complete even a marginally satisfying shopping trip. We have vague memories of walking out of there just a year ago with some once pricey shirts from Michael Bastian and Brioni that ultimately totaled less than $100 —nothing to complain about.
But yes, we had complained repeatedly that the sale had gotten so pathetic that Barneys should just cancel the whole brand-sullying event once and for all and focus on its Warehouse website, and it looks like that is exactly what they have done. While the Warehouse online experience often presents merchandise that is less discounted than what you'll find on the main luxury website's own final end-of-season sales, it still offers some good deals, especially on holiday weekends, like the one that is upon us. That's when extra discounts are applied to certain categories as well as clearance items bringing them close to the best deals that one might once have found in the Chelsea store's basement. Still, online browsing can't compare to intently rummaging through the bins under the original Co-op store on 18th Street (now a Room & Board), and we can't help but miss the late summer routine of deliberately finding a reason to walk down 17th or 18th street to see if any additional markdowns had been posted. Well, things will change. It's the nature of the universe, and at times over the past few years, it has looked like Barneys was ready to cancel the Warehouse Sale, so it shouldn't be too surprising to discover that it may actually have happened.
R.I.P. Warehouse Sale.
Even though we complained all the time —and you were far from perfect— it turns out we really loved you all along. You are already missed.
It seems like we have an inordinate amount of Sample Sale news for the last weeks of summer, but any seasoned sale shopper knows that you have to take these things when they come. The Shophound breezed through the big BILLY REID sale at Chelsea Market (pictured above) this morning and we are delighted to report that the discounts are even better than we were told to expect, with 80% off retail being the benchmark for most categories —even for Reid's more exclusive Heirloom line. In addition, there's a lot of stuff there, and we are told that there is also plenty of goods in the back for restocking. One caveat is that there is a good amount of fall-season merchandise, so while it's a little warm to be looking at sweaters (only $79 —even for cashmere!), consider it a good opportunity to stock up for whatever insane winter El Niño has in store for us.
Like most of the Privé-Run sales at Chelsea Market, it is all racks with signs, and tables around the side piled with shoeboxes. There is a small selection of women's apparel, but the bulk of the sale consists of men's merchandise, and there is so much that the organizers pushed their pipe-and-drape back to allow for more selling space. After the jump, see a price list we have compiled from the signs so you can calculate for yourself.
See the SALE ROLL sidebar at left for details.
For those of you tired of scrounging around sample sales for menswear inspiration, mark your calendars for next weekend when the now bi-annual favorite, The Pop-Up Flea makes it's spring appearance at the Metropolitan Pavilion in Chelsea. The collection of heritage, artisanal and just plain great quality brands will include some of the old favorites we have become accustomed to rediscovering like Alexander Olch, Fred Perry Laurel Wreath, Ernest Alexander, Leather Head Sports, Rancourt & Co, Freemans Sporting Club and TUDOR along with some fresh entrants to add some new blood to the proceedings just in case you have enough handmade raw leather belts. look for Dom Vetro, Corridor, Canvas Bag Machine, Martenero and Accompany to liven up the place. A full roster of participants will be published soon, but in the meantime, be sure to pick a time next weekend, after you have taken care of any Mothers' Day obligations to do some more shopping for yourself. See all the current details below.
After a worldwide sojourn taking it from Tokyo to Detroit to London, a favorite New York shopping event, the Pop-Up Flea, returns home this afternoon. This season, the event has grown enough to take over the easily accessible Metropolitan Pavilion in Chelsea with what looks to be more vendors than ever including, for the first time, some which will offer items for women such as Clare V., Steven Alan and Nova fragrances. Now lady shopping companions will have something for themselves, and guys can take the opportunity to pick up some more Holiday gifts to support the pretense that they are not just shopping for themselves. As usual, there will be lots of vintage items as well as newly manufactured merchandise that meets the particular quality standards of promoters Randy Goldberg and Michael Williams. Regular Fleagoers will recognize popular vendors like Isaora, Red Wing, Tanner Goods and Lotuff as well as some intriguing new additions. The market opens today at 3 and runs through 6 Pm on Sunday, so get you best flannel shirt out and your most carefully weathered artisanal denim jeans and make time for some tasty shopping.
Have a look at the full vendor list and a preview video after the jump
The Pop-up Flea Today through December 14 at the Metropolitan Pavilion 125 West 18th Street between Sixth & Seventh Avenues, Chelsea
We always tell our readers to stay tuned for late breaking sales and this is why. OPENING CEREMONY's huge Sample Sale/Clearance will happen on Friday, but regulars should adjust their direction because after years of happening in the store's native SoHo neighborhood, the sale is moving to 545 West 22nd Street near 11th Avenue in Chelsea. We don't know how big this space is, but we are guessing that it is large, perhaps big enough to mitigate the constant line of anxious customers outside. Novices should know that this sale causes a guaranteed wait outside at its opening, so shoppers should plan on leaving themselves lots of time to get in and hope for good weather. Heavy helpings of the store's popular house label (which is also wholesaled to other retailers) are to be expected along with a generous selection of Kenzo which is designed by the stores founders Carol Lim and Humberto Leon. Beyond that, there is plenty of clearance merchandise from previous seasons of other labels carried at the store's various locations. This sale is often where some of the best bargains are found, and patient shoppers will know that on Sunday, prices are traditionally deeply slashed again on whatever is left. Mark your calendars, and know that with Capsule Market Square offering its own bargains across the street at Center 548 on the same three days, the far western end of 22nd street is clearly the place to be shopping this weekend.
OPENING CEREMONY SAMPLE SALE December 5-7 at 545 West 22nd Street between 10th & 11th Avenues, Chelsea
The Shophound's favorite Holiday Shopping event of last year has announced its return, so mark your calendars. Capsule Market Square, a special three-day shopping event organized by the Capsule trade shows, will be held from December 5 - 8. This time it has moved from SoHo to Chelsea at Center 548, which will be familiar as a former location for the show in its earlier, smaller days. Once again, instead of a wholesale trade show, Capsule Market Square will feature 100 vendors with goods ready to buy and open to the general public including men’s and women’s apparel, accessories, home goods, art and furniture. The offerings are expected to include one-of-a-kind pieces, overstock, samples, current merchandise and special products made just for the event. This would normally be enough of an attraction, but the big surprise last year was that many of the vendors were offering great discounts, so it turned out to be something of a very well-appointed sample sale including labels like Mark McNairy and Naked & Famous and many more who aren't often found on the regular sale circuit.
Okay, so we really only wound up buying gifts for ourself, but still, it was one of the best shopping opportunities of the season.
The vendor list is yet to be posted, but if it is anything like last year's, it should be quite an impressive collection, discounted or not. Friday night's session is a ticket VIP-only event with tickets available HERE. Saturday and Sunday will be open to all comers, but if the sale offers are repeated, the $50 VIP ticket will be more than covered by the savings on great items that might be gone before public shopping starts. We'll have more information as it is released, but this one is definitely worth a mark on your calendars and a return visit this year.
Capsule Market Square December 5 - 7 at Center 548, 548 West 22nd Street, Chelsea
The last time Target partnered with another retailer for the Holidays, things didn't go so well. The Target x Neiman Marcus team up of Holiday 2012 didn't quite click with customers of either chain, but this time the mass market crowd pleaser might have gotten things right by thinking smaller. Chelsea's revolving concept store STORY has just opened its latest incarnation for next couple of months, and "Home for the Holidays" will feature about 300 items with a familiar bullseye logo in addition to more the more rarefied the store typically offers. The collaboration came about when new Target CEO Brian Cornell visited the store and met its owner Rachel Shechtman, a longtime Target fan, and invited her to Minneapolis to choose from the chain's special offerings to add to her Holiday season assortments. The result is combination of Story's typical curated stock and a select sampling of Target's exclusive product lines including items from Nate Berkus, Merona, Archer Farms and limited collaborations with TOMS shoes and Faribault Woolen Mills that will be available before they are released at Target's regular stores. The whole presentation is appearing now in a brand new environment by interior designer Jason Bell.
Don't expect this to happen in specialty stores everywhere. It works well in Manhattan in part because the nearest Target stores to Story are 100 blocks uptown in East Harlem or in Brooklyn, Queens or The Bronx. A visit to the mothership is still something of a trek for many New Yorkers who have to schlepp their purchases on the subway or bus instead of tossing them in the trunk or driving home. It's an extra convenience for Story shoppers as well as an opportunity for Target's merchants to incorporate new specialty ideas into their City Target or Target Express stores. Story's latest concept opens this week and will run through the beginning of January, which give everyone plenty of time to make it a stop on the Holiday shopping tour.
As happy as everyone was to hear that Barneys New York was reclaiming part of its original Men's Store on Seventh Avenue in Chelsea, the disappointment was having to wait until 2017 for the store to open. Now, it appears that the schedule has been accelerated. Quietly dropped into a WWD article about the chain's renovation of its Beverly Hills store is the news that the new Chelsea store is set to open in January of 2016, which is less than a year and a half away.
Why the new date?
Perhaps renovations are less extensive than was expected, or are simply going faster. At one point The Shophound came across a proposed redesign of the store's façade that was quite extensive and would have dramatically changed the look of the building. We aren't sure if it was ever fully in the plans, but perhaps scrapping it has moved up the finish date, as the building currently does not appear to be undergoing much in the way of exterior revision to accommodate the upcoming store.
At any rate, more Barneys coming faster is a good thing.
No word yet on the possibly unlikely but very exciting notion that the store would take over the rest of its original Chelsea store now that the Rubin Museum has sold the building, but they haven't said that they aren't doing that, so we will continue to maintain that probably delusional possibility.