“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.”
EXCLUSIVE: Two and half months after John Targon, cofounder and codesigner of Baja East, was hired as creative director of the contemporary division at Marc Jacobs, he has left the company, WWD has learned. Marc Jacobs International, which is owned by LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton, confirmed Targon’s departure in a statement: “John Targon is a talented designer and we appreciate the work he has done here. Ultimately working together did not make sense for the brand and we wish him the best.” Read the story by @jessiredale, link in bio. #wwdnews
@theluxurycollection is officially launching a collection, tapping Sofia Sanchez de Betak for the capsule. Over 30 styles will be featured in the Chufy x The Luxury Collection, debuting next month at Bergdorf Goodman, The Webster, FiveStory and more. De Betak, known as “@chufy,” drew inspiration for the collection from her trips to Japan in the past year #wwdfashion
@lhd, founder and CEO of @thewebster, has teamed up with @lebonmarcherivegauche for the European launch of her ready-to-wear line, LHD. The launch will come with an exclusive pop-up opening today that’s set to run through May 20. Located on the second floor, it carries her debut Miami-themed resort collection, launched in November as see-now-buy-now. #wwdfashion
@longchamp, which marks its 70th anniversary this year, just opened its biggest U.S. store on Manhattan’s Fifth Avenue. On the lower level there’s a floor-to-ceiling display of the brand’s iconic Le Pliage bag – in all of its different colors, shapes and sizes. Customers can also have their product personalized in-store by imprinting names, initials or emblems. #wwdfashion (📷: @ericmtownsend)
“Whenever I’m in that place of sound and music, I don’t have fear or nervousness…This album has a lot of themes of courage and boldness and I want to be the soundtrack for people’s lives. I’ll be so happy if [my songs] evoke strength in people, which I know music has done for me,” says @kimbramusic of her newest album “Primal Heart.” The New Zealand-born singer sat down with WWD to talk about her music, newest tour and connecting with hear fans — read more on WWD.com #wwdeye (📷: @jilliansollazzo)
Luxury handbag resale company @rebagofficial is planning to sell a rare collectible for $70,000: the @hermes White Crocodile Himalayan Birkin. The exclusive Birkin sold for about $100,000 in 2008, when @davidbeckham bought one for his wife @victoriabeckham to add to her collection. Read more about the rare Birkin on WWD.com #wwdaccessories
With her costume pearl necklace and what-you-see-is-what-you-get style, Barbara Bush, who died Tuesday at age 92, was a straight-shooter from start to finish.
Born Barbara Pierce in New York City, Bush served as the 37th first lady, as well as the country’s second lady from 1981 to 1989. In addition to being part of the longest presidential marriage — 73 years — Bush also had the unlikely distinction of having one son, George W., become the 43rd president and another son, Jeb, run unsuccessfully in 2016. Having served as second lady during the Reagan administration’s two terms and lived all over the world during her own husband’s ascending political career, Barbara Bush made it clear that literacy — not fashion — was her priority. Read more from Rosemary Feitelberg’s obituary on the late First Lady in WWD.com, link in bio. #barbarabush #wwdnews
Western and ’90s trends have influenced denim for fall 2018. Think raw, dark and coated jeans mixed with bold prints and tough leather. #trendtuesdays #wwdfashion (Styled by @thealexbadia;📷: @ryanplett)