When requested whether or not Ben-Avraham reached out throughout his marketing campaign, Pressman had no remark. He mentioned he was unmoved by @SaveBarneys. “If he was critical about placing in a bid, he would have put in $280 [million].” ABG bid barely over $270 million. Ben-Avraham bid $260 million, hoping that the help of the shop’s workers and petition would make up the distinction. “I don’t must beat [ABG], however I feel I’ve a greater proposal,” Ben-Avraham advised GQ in October.
Pressman added, “Barneys has at all times been this shiny object, that for no matter motive, individuals suppose that in the event that they purchased it, they might co-opt it and it’ll robotically make them cool. And it didn’t.” (Pressman has an obsession with cool: in 2007, he wrote the guide Chasing Cool, which outlines how companies attempt to construct cool merchandise as a substitute of constructing relevance that results in the ephemeral idea.)
In modern New York, the @SaveBarneys marketing campaign appeared to underscore, a fairytale nostalgia, that mixes shade palettes, concepts, and moods from earlier generations, is now shorthand for cool. Most of the individuals mourning Barneys’ demise on-line are literally attending a funeral for one thing that died way back—a lot of the photos on the Instagram web page have been over 20 years outdated—however due to the nostalgia porn prevalent in all the pieces from music to TV to vogue to Instagram typically, it’s simpler than ever to seek out your self lacking one thing you by no means had, or possibly by no means even existed in any respect. Even ABG’s deal traffics in Barneys’ misplaced cool: because the press launch states, “the preliminary focus can be on high-fashion collaborations, branded namesake merchandise, and increasing worldwide retail in each brick and mortar and eCommerce.”
However the decline of Barneys can also be the newest story—and never the one one this week—a couple of capitalist who pushes the soul of a corporation to the brink in pursuit of revenue. (Financier Richard Perry was the newest proprietor of Barneys, buying a controlling stake in 2012 that salvaged it from a doable chapter submitting underneath Dubai-based fairness fund Istithmar World, which bought the shop from Jones Attire Group in 2007.) Over the previous decade, Barneys has modified palms 4 instances, present process an virtually relentless growth and a lack of its specialty retailer id because it sought to recoup its debt alongside the way in which. By the point Perry got here on the scene, it was decidedly a division retailer, with a floor flooring that then-New York Instances vogue critic Cathy Horyn known as “a sea of baggage.”
It’s particularly dangerous poetry that this occurred the identical week that the web site Deadspin’s editorial workers staged a mass exodus after its new administration handed down a wood decree to “persist with sports activities,” and Dean & Deluca auctioned off the tools and perishables from its shuttered Soho flagship. Barneys appears to be one other chapter within the story of traders pushing exhaustively for income, even when it means the dropping the id that made a enterprise successful within the first place.
To complain that capitalism introduced down a luxurious retailer could appear ridiculous. However with the overwhelming pro-sustainability message throughout the newest slate of vogue weeks, and a quixotic assertion that designers need us to need us much less, the world of purchasing has been tasked with addressing this delicate actuality: how do you acknowledge that folks need issues, and designers and retailers wish to promote them, with out wanting an excessive amount of?
As Pressman put it, “If I used to be one of many bidders, I might by no means make a promise to deliver again Barneys to the way in which it was. I wouldn’t wish to—I’d wish to transfer into the long run. The best way it was was nice, however it couldn’t survive.”