Barneys New York, the enduring division retailer that filed for Chapter 11 chapter in August, has lastly launched a press release on its monetary struggles, and has executed it as solely Barneys may: with a cheeky new window marketing campaign, “Pricey Shopper.” It options mantras “impressed by sensational headlines,” per a press launch, comparable to “BARNEYS TIL I DIE,” “NOT CLOSED,” and “THE EMPEROR HAS CLOTHES.”
The marketing campaign was spearheaded by the shop’s inventive director, Matthew Mazzucca, in partnership with Excessive Snobiety editor-in-chief Thom Bettrigde and Interview editorial director and Wieden + Kennedy world inventive director Richard Turley. (Bettridge was the manager editor at Interview till he decamped for Excessive Snobiety in July. Turley can be a co-creator of Civilization, the avant-garde newspaper that discovered its strategy to a Junya Watanabe menswear assortment earlier this summer time.) “The lens we went into it with,” mentioned Bettridge in a cellphone interview, “was that Barneys has by no means been extra relatable than it’s proper now,” explaining that “monetary misery is a typical American trope.” Turley added that they wished “to encourage them to be somewhat bit extra susceptible and out entrance.”
“It’s been actually laborious to navigate,” Mazzucca mentioned in a cellphone interview, of the fracas round Barneys’s monetary woes. “We haven’t actually had a possibility to talk for ourselves.” Not solely about Barneys’ struggles particularly, he mentioned, however the bigger retail surroundings in New York: “Actually we’re not the one ones,” he mentioned, who’re feeling the pressures of sky-high lease and the dominance of e-commerce. They wished to discover “what it means for true New Yorkers” that these elements have pushed a lot change within the metropolis. The marketing campaign got here collectively in about two weeks, arriving simply in time for a New York Vogue Week launch.
The Barneys crew determined to make use of the home windows slightly than a information story as a result of it felt extra cohesive. “Placing one thing within the press, placing [together] one thing that may be damaged aside, doesn’t really feel proper,” Mazzucca mentioned. “That is one thing that like, you possibly can’t disassemble and make a special factor out of.”
The company massive weapons, together with CEO Daniela Vitale, didn’t want any convincing: “She’s daring,” Mazzucca mentioned, “and thank God for that!”
Plus, it’s, ya know, on model. Window witticisms have been a Barneys New York signature for many years, a tone lengthy set by creative-ambassador-at-large Simon Doonan. Extra typically, acerbic however trendy promoting is a part of Barneys’ DNA, because it reworked from a reduction menswear retailer right into a temple to forward-thinking style within the late ’70s. The corporate put Andy Warhol in commercials within the ’80s, and within the ’90s, inventive director Glenn O’Brien (himself an Interview alum) put the season’s greatest style into painted commercials by Jean-Philippe Delhomme, full with dry inventive upper-class ripostes: “Ruth had a number of personalities. All of them had bank cards.”