By  on July 16, 2012

When he was in high school in the Seventies, Mark Lee, the chief executive officer of Barneys New York, spent weekends and holidays working in the shoe department of I. Magnin in San Francisco. “They told me if I could sell women’s shoes, I could sell anything,” he said. Now that Lee has found himself in the epicenter of the most cutthroat designer shoe business in the country — there are three major designer shoe salons within 12 blocks of Barneys’ Madison Avenue flagship — he is distinctly aware that it’s not enough to have the best merchandise, for which Barneys already has a strong reputation. The whole shebang has to be spectacular.

Thus, Barneys gleaming new floor opens today. A 22,000-square-foot expanse that runs the width of a city block, from 60th to 61st street, the fifth floor department brings men’s and women’s together, a vision Lee plans to implement throughout the store.

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