“If there is a great opportunity, take it,” Daniella Vitale, Barneys New York chief operating officer and senior executive vice president, urged the 16 interns who came to Barneys headquarters last week for a Breakfast With the Boss.
“Take the promotion. Take the opportunity and later decide what you want to do,” even if it’s not your ideal job, Vitale advised.
Barneys was the latest installment of the Breakfast With the Boss program. It’s organized by the YMA Fashion Scholarship Fund, so college and graduate students from around the country can meet retail and fashion leaders. YMA FSF sponsors the students in New York City for the summer, funding their room and board, arranging the internships and assigning them mentors, along with an array of educational programs about the fashion industry. The internships are at a variety of companies, from Kenneth Cole to Calvin Klein to Morgan Stanley.
Aside from sharing the wisdom of her career experience, Vitale spoke about Barneys’ future. She also said Barneys is converting all of its freestanding Co-op stores to Barneys New York; that online growth will continue to accelerate and that Barneys’ online business has “quadrupled” since she joined Barneys in December 2010; that Barneys will continue to renovate stores, and will upgrade servers and systems for point-of-sale, CRM and planning.
Vitale gave an honest overview of her job path, explaining that she always wanted to work with product, but not necessarily the product she got assigned to, like men’s shoes at Salvatore Ferragamo. Not her first choice. But her point was that the experience paid off and led to better jobs. At Giorgio Armani, she said the designer had his hands in just about everything, from the marketing to licensing to window displays. “It taught me a very valuable lesson: that everything we do is ultimately retail. If it doesn’t sell, it doesn’t matter. If your margins aren’t great, it doesn’t matter. We looked at everything in terms of the performance at retail.”
It wasn’t until she landed a job at Gucci as director of wholesale in 1999 that she had the “all-encompassing” product opportunity that she dreamed about. “We looked at all categories as an equal opportunity.”
She called Barneys “the culmination of all the things I did in my career,” which included stints at Montaldo’s and Frederick Atkins early on, and she suggested how relevant her brand experience is to her now, working on the retail side. While Barneys carries 700 brands, “Everyone is important,” Vitale said. “It’s very much about relationships. They trust us because we have been there.”
Breaking News: @louisvuitton's men's artistic director @mrkimjones is leaving the French fashion house after nearly 7 years. Jones joined Louis Vuitton in 2011, following a three year tenure as creative director of British luxury goods brand Alfred Dunhill. Jones is to exit Louis Vuitton after showing his fall 2018 collection for the brand in Paris on Thursday. Read the full exclusive story on WWD.com. Link in bio. #wwdnews #wwdfashion
For men’s fall 2018, @giuseppezanotti drew on elements from streetwear, sport, biker, combat and rock ‘n’ roll. Pictured here are a pair of shoes from the collection, featuring zippers, rhinestones, and silver hardware. Head to WWD.com to see a roundup of the accessories from Milan’s men’s fall 2018 shows. #wwdfashion (📷: Andrea Delb)
To celebrate the 25th anniversary of @ralphlauren’s snowboarding collection, the brand is mining its archives. The iconic brand is reintroducing vintage styles and dropping new designs for a color capsule that will be available in Ralph Lauren stores and @openingceremony on January 25. The capsule will consist of 10 pieces, including the Snow Beach Pullover, pictured here, which is a collector’s item that rapper Raekwon wore in Wu-Tang Clan’s “Can It Be All So Simple” video. #wwdfashion (📷: Tom Gould)
For @rochasofficial’s pre-fall 2018 collection, creative director Alessandro Dell’Acqua channeled the sophisticated and intriguing Catherine Denevue in the film “Belle de Jour.” Polished collarless coats, midi skirts, suits and ’60s graphic motifs were all featured in the collection, adding a sense of discreet luxury. See the rest of the photos on WWD.com #wwdfashion
“We tried to produce clothing of that couture quality, but the most daunting part was that we only had a matter of days [to do it],” said costume designer Lou Eyrich, who recreated Gianni Versace’s iconic looks for @americancrimestoryfx. Eyrich searched online retailers and vintage shops for original pieces from the design house and for @penelopecruzoficial, who plays Donatella Versace. Head to WWD.com to read how she created the Versace world. #wwdfashion
Only three months after her stellar debut catwalk season, @kaiagerber has inked her first big design collaboration –– with @karllagerfeld. The collection blends Lagerfeld’s Parisian chic aesthetic and the model’s signature West Coast casual style via RTW, accessories, footwear and more. The #KarlLagerfeldxKaia collection will launch in September with a series of events. Get all the details on WWD.com. #wwdnews #wwdfashion
Harrods plans to remove the famous statue of Princess Diana and Dodi Al Fayed from the bottom of the Egyptian escalators and hand it back to Mohamed Al-Fayed. “We are very proud to have played our role in celebrating the lives of Diana, Princess of Wales and Dodi Al Fayed at Harrods and to have welcomed people from around the world to visit the memorial for the past 20 years,” said Michael Ward, Harrods managing director. “With the announcement of the new official memorial statue to Diana, Princess of Wales at Kensington Palace, we feel that the time is right to return this memorial to Mr. Al Fayed and for the public to be invited to pay their respects at the palace.” More on the news, with reporting by @loreleimarfil, at WWD.com. #wwdnews