By  on June 8, 1994

NEW YORK -- Issey Miyake and Barneys New York have decided to call it quits after nearly 20 years of doing business together.

Consequently, Miyake's fall/winter women's and men's collections won't be carried in any of the 18 Barneys stores.

Nancy Knox, press officer for Issey Miyake here, said Tuesday, "It was a mutual decision. It doesn't mean we won't be selling them in the future."

"It was not a mutual decision; it was our decision," countered Gene Pressman, co-president of Barneys. "We decided not to buy them anymore."

Both parties, however, left the door open to resume their relationship.

Pressman said the Miyake executives had "gone back on their word in terms of distribution," and wanted to sell to a competitor in Chicago, and didn't want to sell Barneys anymore.

"We were selling [the collections] very well in Chicago," continued Pressman. "We had it for two weeks, and they said we weren't selling it well, which is absurd, and they decided they didn't want to sell us."

As a result, Pressman said, he decided not to buy the collection for any of the Barneys stores.

Knox responded: "Miyake did not go back on its word."

Sources said several factors contributed to the decision for Barneys and Miyake to part company -- namely distribution issues in Los Angeles as well as Chicago, and late payments on Barneys' part.

In Los Angeles, sources said Miyake already had an established presence in several stores before Barneys opened its West Coast flagship in Beverly Hills last April. Reportedly, Miyake didn't want to sell to Barneys.

As for late payments, Knox said: "At the time of the decision [after presenting the collection in March], they did owe us a substantial amount of money. But today [Tuesday] they sent us a huge check.

"That was one of the reasons for not selling them the fall/winter collection, but not the only one. As two companies, we're growing and moving in different directions. It's just a process you go through," said Knox.

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