There’s enough, but not too much, product in carefully merchandised displays — with plenty of elbow room to encourage perusal at safe distances.
Barneys at Saks has 16 labels being sold at Saks for the first time, on the selling floor or online, including Brett Johnson, Brother Vellies, BruceGlen, Busayo, Deveaux New York and Frederick Anderson Collection.
Also included in the space are also pop-up shops spotlighting emerging designers like A-Cold-Wall, Anna Mason, BruceGlen, Fear of God, Loulou Studio, Ree Projects and Reese Cooper. It’s a clear attempt at capturing a younger crowd and image for Saks.
Barneys at Saks is home to Honeybrains, a fast casual restaurant dedicated to brain health. Its offerings include raw honey-infused coffees and teas, fresh-pressed juices and shots and nutrient-based dietary supplements.
Barneys at Saks occupies the entire 54,000-square-foot fifth floor, which seems rigged for flexibility so that pop-up shops and fixtures can be readily changed. Saks executives say they intend to keep the floor feeling fresh with a steady flow of new merchandise.
The idea is to recapture a bit of the coolness and sense of discovery that was Barneys and attract the iconic destination’s loyalists, though it’s impossible to fully recreate the Barneys legacy. Barneys at Saks is more of a reinterpretation, in a smaller space.
The rebirth of Barneys by Saks, about a year in the making since the Barneys went bankrupt in August 2019 and its intellectual property was bought by Authentic Brands Group in November 2019, doesn’t stop on Fifth Avenue. Also under the licensing agreement with ABG, a 14,000-square-foot, two-level freestanding Barneys at Saks store opens in Greenwich, Conn., on Jan. 25, on the site formerly occupied by the Saks Fifth Avenue The Collective contemporary women’s fashion store. In addition, saks.com launched a Barneys shop in late December 2019.
It’s possible that one day Saks revives Barneys New York private label merchandise, which was successful in the past, though there’s no indication that’s in the cards. Beyond the Fifth Avenue and Greenwich physical locations and the Barneys shop on saks.com, Saks Fifth Avenue has no plans set for additional Barneys sites or formats. That’s to be determined based on the degree to which customers take to Barneys at Saks.