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Beauty Inc issue 12/13/2013


This story first appeared in the December 13, 2013 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

Since becoming chief executive officer of Barneys New York, Mark Lee has wasted little time in reimagining the retailer, upping the luxe quotient, emphasizing exclusivity and infusing the store with a sleek, contemporary vibe. This year, he and his team turned to the beauty floor, called The Foundation, with makeovers in the New York and Beverley Hills flagships. The results were as polished as the gleaming terrazzo floors. The firm Steven Harris Architects created a modernist oasis of white with display cases resembling chic medicine cabinets. The New York floor was enlarged by 1,000 square feet, while in Beverly Hills, the department’s size almost doubled. Exclusive brands abound, including Frédéric Malle, Byredo and a makeup line from artist Troy Surratt. At the unveiling, Lee spoke of the importance of beauty, said to generate about 7 percent of Barneys’ overall business. “It’s not only the Foundation of our store, but it’s the foundation of our customer’s wardrobe,” he said. “It’s the foundation of giving you the fresh start every day, and the confidence. So it’s a huge complementary part of the total lifestyle.”