Barneys New York has big plans for FiveSeventyFive, its new proprietary women’s collection, named for the address of the retailer’s Manhattan headquarters, where the design staff is housed. FiveSeventyFive now includes apparel and footwear, with accessories, including leather handbags, costume jewelry and belts, to be offered in the fall. The ultimate goal is developing FiveSeventyFive into a full lifestyle brand, with a similar offering for the opposite sex.
“We’re also strategizing for a potential men’s launch in the first quarter of next year,” said Jennifer Sunwoo, chief merchant. “With the launch of FiveSeventyFive, we’ve expanded our portfolio of proprietary brands as we continue to build the exclusive edit that further differentiates Barneys New York.”
Sunwoo said about 25 percent of Barneys merchandise across all categories is exclusive to the retailer, including capsule collections and exclusives within other brands. “We know that exclusive [products] really resonate with the Barneys customer. It’s most profitable because we’re not competitively pressured to mark down merchandise.”
FiveSeventyFive targets a broader base of younger consumers than the more established namesake in-house brand. Its feminine silhouettes and exclusive prints are meant to encourage individuality. Prices are more gentle than the Barneys New York collection, ranging from $125 to $450. A long V-neck charmeuse dress is $295; floral crinkled georgette blouse, $295; embroidered crepe romper, $375, and leather combat boots, $325.
“The Barneys New York brand is more about the core items that can fill a void in your wardrobe, season after season, like a perfect white button-down shirt. FiveSeventyFive has more of a fashion point of view,” Sunwoo said, adding, “For the moment the collection is available is sizes XS to XL, which is comparable to BNY, which goes to size 12 to 14. We’d love to offer extended sizes, and plan to do that later, once we see some traction.”
The collection is being developed by an in-house merchandising team with a technical designer on staff who helps with the product development. FiveSeventyFive is housed in the developing designer space at the retailer’s 13 full-price stores. “The space will grow as the business continues to develop and grow,” Sunwoo said. “I anticipate it will be a meaningful space in next six months.
“A full lifestyle brand is what we’re planning on within the next year to two years,” Sunwoo said. “Right now, having launched in Q2 of spring, the collection consisted of dresses and seasonal items. Entering fall, we’ll add knitwear, sweaters and light outerwear pieces.
“We definitely saw an opportunity in the market based on trends and what the customer was responding to,” Sunwoo continued. “Our customers respond to a more exclusive edit with this type of aesthetic — very modern and fresh. We saw an opportunity to curate something that was completely exclusively to us.”
Sunwoo’s early read of the FiveSeventyFive business after just a few days? “It’s actually off to a very strong start,” she said. “Not only is off to a strong start, but we’ve already placed the orders based on the strong silhouettes, giving us an indication of what we should be planning for future seasons. We’re very excited and really believe in this strategy because the customer wants exclusives.”