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Barneys Unveils Indie Beauty Pop-up Series

Barneys will test brands like Sio, Iiuvo and Loli Beauty in its Madison Avenue flagship in New York.

Barneys New York is hoping to gauge shopper interest in emerging brands with a new series of pop-ups in its Madison Avenue location.

Starting Oct. 8, the specialty store will rotate through a series of skin-care, makeup and hair brands during the holiday season.

According to Jennifer Miles, divisional merchandise manager of cosmetics for Barneys, the idea is to offer Barneys customers something different.

“The overall beauty strategy is always to offer our customer something unique, that’s why we’re selective about the brands we partner with. Our customer is really savvy and she is looking for something she’s not going to find in every other retailer,” Miles said.

The brand pop-ups rotate, with each brand staying for one or a few weeks. Most of them are located on the main beauty floor, where they will have counter space for testers, back wall space and room for signage, Miles said. “We will have extra tables on the floor strategically positioned around to give them better exposure than just the counter,” she added.

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The Barneys-based indies hit on a variety of beauty trends, like CBD, unisex fragrance and cosmetics for men.

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“All of them are very different from any products we currently carry,” Miles said, ticking off K-beauty and types of home fragrance as new to Barneys.

“They are really brands where we’ve sampled the products, had conversations with the vendor, and we think it might be a great brand for our customer, but we want to make sure it is a great fit for both of us,” Miles said. “We’re looking to fill white space, but making sure [the pop-up brands] don’t overlap with anything else we’re already carrying.”

Right now, the pop-up runs through the end of the year, but Miles is hopeful Barneys may extend it through spring, she said. In addition to bringing new products to Barneys’ existing customer, Miles said promotion from the brands — which already have social media followers — could also help bring new shoppers to Barneys.

On the main floor, the brands will include Sio, a line of silicone patches meant to smooth wrinkles; Iiuvo, a fragrance and candle business; Loli Beauty, a customizable skin-care line; Lab to Beauty, a CBD skin-care brand; Soohyang, which makes home fragrances; Epara, an organic and natural skin-care range, and Ded Cool, a unisex, vegan fragrance brand. The men’s floor will feature products from Sa.Al & Co., a skin, hair and grooming line; Bolin & Webb, which makes luxury razors and accessories; Menaji, a skin-care and cosmetics line, and The Grey, a skin-care brand.

Barneys is one of many retailers to experiment with indie brands as beauty shoppers look for new products. Neiman Marcus partnered with the Indie Beauty Expo to launch smaller brands in several doors, and Bloomingdales has launched two indie initiatives — Glowhaus and WellChem — aimed at Millennials and those looking for clean beauty, respectively. Amazon also has an indie beauty shop.

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