Jay Bell

At least one of Barneys New York’s top merchants has found a new gig.

Jay Bell, executive vice president and general merchandise manager of women’s wear for the retailer, has joined Thom Browne as executive vice president of merchandising. This is a newly created role for the designer brand, overseeing both men’s and women’s wear, Bell said.

He will oversee product, merchandising and buying globally for the company and report to chief executive officer Rodrigo Bazan, according to a Thom Browne spokesperson.

Bell said the position is effective immediately and he is currently working for the brand in Europe.

Bell had been head of the women’s department for Barneys since August 2018. Before that, he’d spent 18 years in the men’s department: a decade as senior vice president and divisional merchandise manager of men’s designer collections, developing designer and contemporary sportswear and eight years as senior buyer of men’s collections. Before joining Barneys in 2000, he spent two years at Jil Sander America as the men’s wholesale manager and buyer of men’s and women’s wear.

He was also a buyer and store manager for Club 21 Pte Ltd. in Singapore.

Barneys, which filed for bankruptcy in August, was sold to Authentic Brands Group for $271 million at the end of October. Liquidations at the company’s remaining stores started immediately and ABG’s go-forward plan is to open Barneys New York shops inside Saks Fifth Avenue stores. The merchandising for those shops will fall under the leadership of Marc Metrick, president of Saks.

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