Barneys New York is approaching its Chapter 11 bankruptcy proceedings with tongue firmly planted in cheek. Wit, drollery and irony are much more in the retailer’s wheelhouse, and on display in a new national campaign, “Dear Shopper,” featured in the window displays and interiors of its flagships.
The concept, which was launched to coincide with New York Fashion Week, was created in partnership with Thom Bettridge and Richard Turley to communicate directly to customers that it’s business-as-usual while Barneys wends its way through the Chapter 11 bankruptcy process.
“In the nearly 100 years that we’ve been in business, Barneys New York has always been vocal, using its witty and provocative spirit to define the cultural significance of fashion,” said Matthew Mazzucca, creative director of Barneys New York. “This campaign shows our customers that the Barneys New York they know and love is here to stay, along with the fashion they expect in all of our stores.”
The campaign is dominated by windows featuring sayings such as “Not Closed,” “The Emperor Has Clothes,” “Give Me Some” and “Attention Shoppers,” in fonts inspired by sensational headlines. Fall styles are pressed in glass slides “to signify transparency and radical honesty,” the retailer said.
Shadow boxes inside the flagships contain a letter to customers with the admission, “We’ve had our share of financial struggles. But, despite what you may have heard, Barneys is here to stay…. To buy, to behold, to splurge, to strut, to indulge, to look fabulous, are basic human instincts – and sometimes they can get us in trouble. Nevertheless, we are open for you. And this is not our last season. Forever Yours, Barneys.”
Barneys last week won final approval for its debtor-in-possession package, which includes $217 million in financing and a newly increased $40 million consignment facility. Passing the hurdle now frees the retailer to pursue its ambitious goal of securing a buyer by late October.
Bettridge, editor in chief of Highsnobiety, was previously executive editor of Interview. Turley, a global executive creative director of Wieden+Kennedy and editorial director of Interview, also runs his own newspaper, Civilization, which recently collaborated with Junya Watanabe.
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