By  on October 2, 2006

DALLAS — Barneys New York christened its new flagship at NorthPark Center mall here in style.

Singer Patti LaBelle headlined the entertainment Thursday night under a huge tent here at a dinner marking the luxury retailer’s return to Dallas for the first time since closing a smaller store almost a decade ago.

“Let the cash registers start ringing,’’ said Howard Socol, chairman and chief executive officer. “We are so proud of this store and know that Dallas customers are going to really love it….Our first store in Dallas nearly 10 years ago was like an off-Broadway play. This time around we’re humble, more successful and really happy to be here. It’s bringing a whole new level of shopping excitement to Dallas.”

More than 500 guests savored the 88,000-square-foot store, sipping cocktails and shopping before heading to the tent on the parking lot for dinner and LaBelle’s performance.

“I couldn’t resist and bought several dresses from the Co-op department right after I got here,” said Jennifer Chininis, who strolled the store with her friend, Stephanie Quadri. “People in this city love to shop, and with the Barneys ambience and merchandise it’s hard to say no.”

The store resonates with typical Barneys touches, such as displays of mannequins perched atop a stack of upside-down chairs, lounging on sofas or doing handstands.

“We’ve captured the eccentricities of Barneys windows and displays and really played them in this store,’’ said Simon Doonan, creative director. “Dallas shoppers are very sophisticated. It’s a city that understands fashion.”

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