A Glimpse At The Last Remnant Of The Old Barneys In Chelsea

Anyone who remembers the original Barneys New York store in Chelsea knows that it was actually three buildings. There is the part of the old Men's store that was the "Traditional" side, became Loehmann's and is once again a Barneys store. There was the series of apartment buildings on 17th Street that became the Women's store and is now the Rubin Museum of Art, and then there was the building between them on the corner of 17th and Seventh Avenue which was housed the "International" side of the men's store. Most of that building has also been given over to the Rubin Museum, but, oddly, the street level was never incorporated. While the museum had always covered the windows of this section, recently they have been uncovered, revealing a dusty construction site. A closer look shows that since Barneys was forced to close the Chelsea store, this particular corner has never been turned over to something else. At least for a little while longer, you can see the old store's interior relatively left as it was when it was shuttered. Though it's hard to show in the photo through a dirty window, under the rubble you can see the original floor, shelves and the staircase to the upper floors. Why the sudden activity? The building at 113 Seventh Avenue as well as the rest of the Rubin Museum at 150 West 17th Street have been sold by the Museum and are now on the rental market. We might suggest that an excellent tenant for 113 Seventh Avenue on the corner might be . . .  Barney's?
While it might be premature to suggest an expansion of the four-level store that just opened barely two months ago, There are some glaring omissions in the new Barneys where the men's offerings of what was once the most comprehensive men's stores anywhere have been reduced to less than a single floor of designer collections and luxury sneakers. The corner building would give Barneys enough room to add the missing home department as well as flesh out the store's incomplete menswear offerings on the upper floors.
We aren't holding our breath that this is somehow secretly in the works, but shouldn't it be?
Stranger things have been known to happen.


A Fully packed Shopping Week With Oscar de la Renta, Thakoon, Elie Tahari, Ports 1961 & More

If you were worried that Sample Sale Season wasn't picking up fast enough, then you should be heartened by this week's schedule which is full of promising events from major labels.

Burgeoning women's label THAKOON kicked things off yesterday in SoHo with a whopping 90% off the Thakoon and Thakoon Addition lines this FLOTUS fave is always a popular draw, but a full four days of sale through Thursday suggests that there should be a lot to go around.

Today is a big kickoff day for many labels' sales including YIGAL AZROUËL always popular sample event in the garment district. Look for 80% off the designer collection from both current and past seasons through Thursday the 14th.

ELIE TAHARI will be holding one more sample sale in its midtown store for five days featuring contemporary separates and accessories for both women and men. Look for up to 70% off through Saturday the 16th.

The Olson sisters' contemporary label ELIZABETH AND JAMES is back at 260 Fifth Avenue starting today through Sunday featuring the apparel line as well as jewelry, eyewear and other accessories at deep savings that tend to go deeper before the end of the sale.

Today's biggest opening, however is OSCAR DE LA RENTA, which is hosting a more public than ever sale in SoHo through the weekend. All of the label's luxury collections are promised including ready-to-wear apparel, accessories and shoes, but early reports have the selection very heavy on furs, with deep discounts on everything.

On Wednesday, petite shoppers can fight their way through PRABAL GURUNG's seasonal 3-day sale in the Garment District. The rising young designer is known for dramatic eveningwear which is expected to be available, but sizes can be spotty with most selections offered in smaller, sample range sizes.

Finally, on Thursday, PORTS 1961 is opening a sample sale upstairs in its Meatpacking District boutique. While the flyer is vague, this sale notice was sent to us as a Men's sample sale featuring assortments from Fall 2015. That would be the first collection for the label from Milan Vukmirovic, making it something of a hot property, so plan to fight among the stylish gentlemen for the label's luxe outerwear and deceptively sexy knits.

Keep an eye on our SALE ROLL at left for locations and hours as well as the inevitable late breaking sales.
Next week, look out for Hanro's seasonal innerwear blowout, Soulcycle, Reiss, Vivienne Westwood and more. 


Miu Miu, Tom Ford, Sergio Rossi, Alice + Olivia, Diane von Furstenberg, Piazza Sempione, Jil Sander, James Perse, Jonathan Adler & More

Here is your weekly sampling of some of the brands you can expect to find on the bigger online Flash Sale Sites this week. You should click over to the sites themselves for a full schedule of events, and be sure to check for the correct start time for each sale. Shop well!

Tom Ford, Honeydew Intimates, Alexis, Dries Van Noten Eyewear, Sergio Rossi, Michael Stars, Miu Miu, L'Space, Thakoon/Thakoon Addition, SHAPE Activewear, Giorgio Fedon 1919 Watches, J Shoes, J.Lindeberg, 2(X)IST Swim & Underwear, Maison Margiela, Hublot Watches, Jonathan Adler, Ann Gish Linens, Yamazaki —join HERE
Diane von Furstenberg, Laundry by Shelli Segal, Lole, Sophie Catalou, Lucky Brand, Miu Miu, French Connection, Sparkling Sage, Tom Ford Eyewear & Fragrance, Bertha, Piazza Sempione, Waterford, Sisley/Shiseido join HERE
Joe's Jeans, Guess, Religion, Gucci Jewelry & Watches, Zachary Prell, Psycho Bunny, Alice + Olivia, Phillip Gavriel Jewelry, BLVD, Onia Swim, Report Collection, MUK LUKS, James Perse, Akribos XXIV, Samsonite, Pikolinos Men, Clearwater Men —join HERE
Loeffler Randall, Azzedine Alaïa Footwear, Donald J Pliner, Saachi Jewelry, Lafayette 148, All-Clad, Reyn Spooner, Tom Ford Accessories, Clarins, Seychelles & BC Footwear, Phat Buddha, Jil Sander, Zanzara Footwear, Miu Miu Eyewear, Corneliani, James Campbell, TADD by Thaddeus, La Perla —join HERE


Chelsea Homecoming Edition

Photo: Stefania Curto for The New York Times

There isn't exactly a Critical Shopper column in this week's Thursday Styles, but Jon Caramanica wrote about going to Barneys in Chelsea, so it seems to be one in all but name only. As per usual, the review begins with a little nostalgia. This time its our quasi shopper's memories of a Brooklyn childhood where the thought of Barney's (It had an apostrophe once) seemed too fantastical to be real (except that Mom had been quietly shopping there for herself all along). But that was a different Barneys than the one that currently sits on Seventh Avenue between 16th and 17th Streets. Even Caramanica notes that this new flagship store seems to be missing something, or a lot of things. "It’s like the airport version of the Madison Avenue store, perhaps more a suggestion of actual Barneys than the thing itself," and then, "It’s the MP3 to the FLAC file of the main store," —remember, he's a music writer too. Well put, although, to us it's more the the remix that bears almost no resemblance to the original track. 
After all, Barneys in Chelsea is essentially a women's store now. The store that built itself on men's suits now devotes only a fraction of its space to any kind of men's apparel, and there is neither a traditional tailored suit nor a necktie to be found in the entire place. Caramanica calls the merchandising scheme "ruthless" allowing for only the most reliably profitable items, which is why, like in any other department store the main floor is an "ocean of handbags", and Chelsea Passage, the home department named after the neighborhood where it was born, has been neglected altogether. In the end, our shopper finally finds satisfaction in the basement in the chair of the Blind Barber, which tells us that maybe the inevitable comparisons to other versions of the store miss the point at the new Chelsea Barneys.

Living the Barneys Life By Jon Caramanica (NYTimes)
Barneys New York 101 Seventh Avenue at 16th Street, Chelsea


Latest Rumors Have Niketown Moving To The FAO Schwarz Space In The GM Building

Some retail spaces in New York are expensive and large, but only appropriate for a select few retailers. One of those is on the southern side of the GM Building where FAO Schwarz used to live. Across the street from The Plaza Hotel and overlooking the famous "glass cube" entryway of the underground Apple Store, there are few higher profile locations in the city, if not the world. The latest rumors have Nike sniffing around the site in its search for a new home for Niketown to move into when its Trump Tower lease expires next year. Rumors of a Niketown move have been making the rounds for a while, with the strongest one centering around a Fifth Avenue site that was H&M's first U.S. store but is now in the process of being converted into a Victoria's Secret brand palace.
In moving to the GM Building space, Niketown would be condensing its store from 95,000 to about 61,000 square feet, or possibly less if they choose not to take the entire FAO Schwarz space, which is reportedly an option. That would be the main incentive, because it's hard to believe that the GM building would be any cheaper per square foot than the current location on West 57th Street right next to Tiffany. It sounds like a matter of maximizing space efficiency, along with a simple update of the format. The current NikeTown has several floors, but a good portion of it is devoted to atrium space that is dramatic but expensive. The multi-level space made more sense for its original tenant, Bonwit Teller, which was moved there in the early 1980s after its original building was demolished in a storm of controversy to build Trump Tower. The next inhabitant, French department store Galeries Lafayette made few changes to the space in its short-lived stab at an American expansion, but Nike gutted the structure and gave it an entirely new façade and interior reminiscent of a vintage stadium or gymnasium. Nike wouldn't have that signature exterior if it moved to the GM building, but it would have an opportunity to present a new shopping format that would require less traveling from floor to floor.
As far as the GM Building management goes, having Nike on it's Fifth Avenue frontage would give it the rare privilege of housing two of America's most prominent brands —three if you count the General Motors of its name, and a fourth international icon if Cartier maintains its current temporary store and makes it a permanent fixture.
Whether Nike will in fact move at all when its lease is up is unclear, but the next tenant for FAO Schwarz's old space has been confirmed. It is currently being prepared for Apple who will move in temporarily while its 24-hour underground store undergoes its own extensive renovations.

Nike in late-stage talks for FAO Schwarz space at GM Building: sources (The Real Deal)


Have A Look At The Long Overdue Renovation For Macy's Brooklyn Store

Rendering: FRCH Design Worldwide

A few renderings have appeared for the radical $100 million renovation currently underway at the long neglected Fulton Street Macy's store in Brooklyn.
The former A&S flagship had been essentially left to languish in creeping decrepitude until on-and-off plans for a refurbishment were announced around the same time that dramatic renovations were fully unveiled at the mammoth Macy's Herald Square store. Finally, a scheme was revealed to shrink the Brooklyn store to a still sizable five selling floors including the basement and to turn the upper floors into office space. A glimpse of what this will look like is now out there. The renovation is being undertaken by FRCH Design Worldwide and includes new steel and glass awnings over the entrances on Fulton Street outside (pictured above) and a more extensive redesign on the inside. As at Herald Square, old, dingy ecru-colored walls will be transformed to sleek optic white, presumably with modernized lighting to create a brighter interior with HD video screens lining a refreshed escalator atrium (below). It's hard to tell which floor we are looking at in the rendering or how much, if any, of the remaining historic art-deco detailing of the main floor will be preserved, including a lavish elevator bay in the center of the main floor that may just hold more elevators than the newly reconfigured store will need. Last time we passed through, renovations were well underway, and however it turns out, it can only be an improvement for the store which in recent years has found itself in the backyard of some of Brooklyn's increasingly affluent neighborhoods. Eventually, it will be in a position to better serve those potential customers, and help continue to upgrade the Fulton Street shopping corridor.

Details, renderings of Macy’s DoBro overhaul unveiled (The Real Deal)

Rendering: FRCH Design Worldwide


Spring Sample Shopping From Nanette Lepore, Maiyet, Gilt City, Loro Piana & More

It's turning out to be a varied and busy week in Sample Sale shopping as we get closer and closer to the peak season. Here are the latest highlights:

An old favorite for luxury bedding fanatics, SFERRA started its seasonal sale yesterday at Soiffer Haskin. Look for the Italian brand's famously lavish bed linens in the spotlight along with high quality bath linens, pillows, home furnishings and table linens starting at 70% off. Even with a deep discount, the sumptuous bedding can still be pricey, but there is typically a selection of basic sheet sets at more approachable prices. Shop through Thursday.

Starting today, the popular fashion rental website RENT THE RUNWAY is clearing out of "gently used" designer dresses and accessories at 260 Fifth Avenue. Typically, the selection can range from affordable contemporary labels to luxury Prêt-à-Porter designers now at 90% Off for anyone who doesn't mind a party dress that has been around the block a few times. Shop through Sunday

Tomorrow, NANETTE LEPORE will once again open her Garment District showroom for her seasonal Sample Sale. This one is billed as a Spring sale featuring her New York made contemporary sportswear and accessories through Friday.

On Thursday, Up and coming women's designer MAIYET will share 150 Greene Street in SoHo with home fragrance brand D.L. & CO, known for its elegant candle containers. Look for Maiyet's globally sources, sustainable luxury collection including apparel, handbags and shoes through Sunday.

If you are lucky, you managed to snag a ticket for Friday's opening evening shopping sessions at the GILT CITY WAREHOUSE SALE at the Altman Building. If not, then tickets are still available as we type this for times on Saturday and Sunday. Look for discounts above and beyond the already reduced prices of items from Gilt's vast warehouses of designer apparel for men, women and children. Extra treats and beverages are also offered depending on which session you attend. If you don't already have a Gilt membership, then sign up HERE.

Finally, on Sunday, Soiffer Haskin will continue with the Italian Luxury theme when it opens the seasonal LORO PIANA sale. Famous for its unparalleled cashmere knits, the legendary Italian brand will also have apparel, accessories and bolts of raw wool and cashmere fabrics for custom tailoring. Even at a discount, Loro Piana can be pricey, but it is always a classic investment. Shop through Thursday the 14th

Keep an eye on our SALE ROLL sidebar at left for location and time details as well as more sales from CINZIA ROCCASATYA TWENATUSKRACHEL ZOE and the inevitable late-breaking sales. Next week, look for Thakoon, Oscar de la Renta, Yigal Azrouël and more as the schedule heats up even more.


Anthony Vacarello To Take Charge At Saint Laurent Starting Now

Looks from Anthony Vaccarello's Spring 2016 Collection. Image: Michael Marson via

As has been widely expected, Italian-Belgian designer Anthony Vaccarello was officially named to replace Hedi Slimane today as creative director of Saint Laurent starting immediately. The rumors were essentially confirmed when, hours earlier, it was announced that he had left his position as the designer for the Versus Versace label. His first collection will be shown in October for the Spring 2017 season. As was also expected, Vaccarello will suspend his own signature label to focus all of his attention on Saint Laurent. It is not known whether or not he will be continuing the invitation-only haute couture line that Hedi Slimane launched last year under the original Yves Saint Laurent label, though parent company Kering has invested in new couture workrooms and a lavishly restored maison which was shown off at Slimane's final prêt-à-porter show in February.
Vaccarello is known for a sexy, sharply tailored aesthetic which should easily follow dovetail with the style that Slimane established during his four years at Saint Laurent. While Slimane spearheaded a top-to-bottom revamping of the company including extensive renovation boutiques and other points of sale, it is unlikely that Vaccarello will be instituting a new retail format or drastically changing things in a similar manner anytime soon. Unlike his colleague at Gucci, Alessandro Michele, whose new retail concept is slowly being rolled out to boutiques and in-store-shops, Vaccarello is not being brought in to inject new excitement into a fading brand. In fact, like Bouchra Jarrar who is soon to begin design duties at Lanvin, he is tasked with keeping things humming after the departure of a designer for whom things had been otherwise going extremely well. A new direction is not exactly what Kering is looking for at Saint Laurent, so Vaccarello will be closely watched this Fall to see if he can continue the momentum that Slimane has created at Saint Laurent while establishing his own identity as a designer.

Saint Laurent Confirms Anthony Vaccarello Hire (WWD)



Dolce & Gabbana, Stella McCartney, Versace, Mara Hoffmann, Illesteva, Valentino, Timberland, Max Mara, Etro, The Kooples & More

Here is your weekly sampling of some of the brands you can expect to find on the bigger online Flash Sale Sites this week. You should click over to the sites themselves for a full schedule of events, and be sure to check for the correct start time for each sale. Shop well!

Dolce & Gabbana, The Kooples, Alex + Alex, L'Agence, Seychelles, Jason Wu, Banjanan,  For Love And Lemons, Stella McCartney, Elizabeth Arden, Heritor Watches, Façonnable, Engineered for Motion, Gordon Rush, Life After Denim, Prada, Etro, Rawlings Leather Goods, Steiner Sports, Unsimply Stitched  —join HERE
Bruno Magli, Velvet by Graham & Spencer, Versace, Lilla P, Ciao Bella, Vince, Freckles & Kitty Girls, Taylor/Alexia Admor, Issey Miyake, David Yurman Eyewear, Sulu Collection, BRIO Toys,    —join HERE
Michele Watches, Level 99, Alexia Admor, Mara Hoffman Swim, CHARLES by Charles David, Robert Graham, Dooney & Bourke, Max Mara, Oliver Peoples, Meghan LA, L.K.Bennett, Kappa Active, We Are Massiv, Mossmann Australia, Adolfo, Calypso St. Barth, Laura Geller NY, Donald J Pliner, McGuire Denim, The Kooples, RonTomson, Stuhrling Watches, King Baby, Børn —join HERE
Illesteva, Prada, Balenciaga Handbags, Johnny Was, Dittos, Steve Madden, Valentino, Just Cavalli, Timberland, MARC by Marc Jacobs, Natori Sleepwear, Guerlain, Vivienne Westwood, Hugo Boss, Ben Sherman, John Varvatos, Original Penguin, Frye, Alara  —join HERE


Hedi Slimane Officially Flies The Saint Laurent Coop

Courtesy Photo

As has been widely rumored since the beginning of the year, Hedi Slimane has officially exited his position as creative director of Yves Saint Laurent.
He ends a four-year tenure characterized by anticipation and controversy as he was given rare authority to rebuild the renowned couture house from the bottom up starting with the feather ruffling rebranding of the ready-to wear as "Saint Laurent" and ending with a restoration of the dormant haute couture collection as an invitation-only venture under the original "Yves Saint Laurent" label. Though he never actually showed a full haute couture show, his final runway collection for Fall 2016, shown in Paris in February, was presented as if it were one, in silence with each look's number announced by Bénédicte de Ginestous who served the same role at Yves Saint Laurent's own haute couture shows. The collection was actually made in the house's couture workrooms, though it is in fact ready-to-wear, and its ad campaign, starring Cara Delevingne photographed by Slimane, was revealed by the designer himself only a few days ago.
Executives from Kering, which owns the business, have been open about the fact that Slimane's contract would end on March 31st, and that they would be negotiating until that point. It is difficult to understand how they couldn't come to terms with the designer to continue, since it appears that they bent over backwards to get him to come to the job in the first place, and the collaboration has been mutually beneficial to say the least. He was allowed to move the design studio to Los Angeles where he lives, and was given the authority to change just about everything about the brand from renaming the prêt-à-porter collections to redesigning the boutiques and in-store shops which were renovated at great expense. The amount of attention and funds lavished on Slimane was so notable that it reportedly rankled Kering's other star designer at Balenciaga, Nicolas Ghesquiere, enough for him to walk away from the brand he had already reconceived to great acclaim.
Ghesquiere is now comfortably ensconced at the Kering arch-rival LVMH-owned Louis Vuitton, while Balenciaga has just debuted the first collection by his second successor in four years. Now Kering is faced with replacing Slimane. Though not beloved by critics due to both his high-handed treatment of the press and collections that many of them found derivative and repetitive, he is adored by celebrity acolytes, and he managed to catapult Saint Laurent to over $1 billion in sales last year. Rumors have swirled around Belgian born designer Anthony Vaccarello as his replacement. He has his own collection and is also the designer for Versus by Versace. An announcement is expected soon enough for him to start work on Saint Laurent's Spring 2015 collections.
In the meantime, speculation continues about what Slimane's next move will be. It is unlikely that he will fill the most prominent open position in Paris available the moment, creative director at Christian Dior, as it is known to come with far less authority over branding than his now previous job. Slimane had been vocal about the fact that he had no influence over the Yves Saint Laurent cosmetics and fragrance business which is controlled by L'Oréal. Rumors had that as a sticking point in his re-negotiations with Kering, but the conglomerate was not in a position deal on that front. The most likely scenario has Slimane finally starting his own fashion house, presumably based in Los Angeles, but he is expected to take his time. He let a long five years lapse between leaving Dior Homme in 2007 and starting at Saint Laurent in 2012 and, though he now has the experience as a women's designer that would make it much easier to finance a new fashion brand, it is not known if he is in any hurry to jump back into the fray. Until that happens, however, his future moves are likely to be fashion's biggest unanswered questions.

Saint Laurent Confirms Hedi Slimane Exit (WWD)