Barneys New York, seeking to inject a heavy dose of entertainment and exclusivity into luxury retailing, will stage “thedrop @barneys,” a two-day event with 30 brands providing either capsule collections or single products, as well as with designer appearances, activations and programming.
Thedrop@barneys, being organized in partnership with Highsnobiety, the lifestyle news site, will be at the Barneys flagship on Madison Avenue in New York on Oct. 28 and 29, and on Barneys.com.
“With thedrop@barneys, we are introducing a whole new concept – blending exclusive launches from the best new designers, one-of-a-kind experiences, compelling content, food and music, giving our customer a new and innovative way to explore and experience Barneys,” said Daniella Vitale, the retailer’s president and chief executive officer. She said Barneys has always been known as a place of “convergence for entertainment, exclusive designer collaborations and unique experiences.”
“Today’s fashion culture revolves around newness, exclusivity and experience,” said Jeff Carvalho, managing director of Highsnobiety. Thedrop@barneys gives fashion enthusiasts “a fresh way to interact with the brands and designers they follow,” he said.
The first day, Barneys will release nine “major” collections through the day via various “drops” coordinated with appearances by designers Virgil Abloh of Off-White, Mike Amiri of Amiri, Heron Preston, Faith Connexion, Marcelo Burlon, Greg Lauren, Francesco Ragazzi of Palm Angels, Ben Taverniti of Unravel Project and Jerry Lorenzo of Fear of God. For the most part, Barneys launched these labels, some as recently as this fall, either exclusively or in tandem with a few other retailers around the world.
Gucci, Alpha Industries, Alexander Wang, A-Cold Wall, 424, Ambush and Visitor on Earth are also providing exclusives, among others.
On day two, there will be panel discussions with designers, influencers and fashion industry insiders.
Among the activations, an old-style Italian New York pastry cafe with Fila; designer Heron Preston, who gained notoriety with a collection that paid tribute to New York’s Department of Sanitation, DJ-ing for a set; custom hat orders from Nick Fouquet; Converse chain-stitching customization, and tattoos by celebrity tattoo artist Jonboy.
“Beyond our holiday initiatives, this is probably our biggest event in a couple of years,” said Drew Caldwell, Barneys senior buyer, developing designers. “This not a holiday-focused thing. It’s purely a celebration of a younger generation of customers and a younger generation of up-and-coming designers, breaking the mold from the old European houses. Every product for the event is exclusive to Barneys.”
While the event is contained to the flagship and barneys.com, there could be some items that show up at other Barneys locations in the aftermath of the event, Caldwell said.
Without giving away too much of how the concept takes form, Caldwell said, “This will be a very unique experience for the customer, very different from the more traditional, static retail environment which we normally do. It will be a different presentation and a very focused happening, with things happening on almost every single floor of the store.”
Throughout the Oct. 28 to 29 weekend, Barneys will host 80 vendors with over 40 activations across men’s, women’s, kids, home, beauty and jewelry areas.
According to Caldwell, the concept “kind of evolved” out of Barneys’ Artisan Day in the men’s store. “This is a new version of that for a new customer,” said Caldwell. “People are looking for very special things and for designers speaking to their generation.”