Today’s Fashion Headlines: Thursday, December 19, 2013

December 19, 2013 • Fashion Blog, Fashion News

Barneys New York 1982

Barneys Returning to 17th Street

Welcome home Barneys New York! The specialty retailer is having a full-circle moment. After nearly 20 years, the iconic retailer is returning to its Chelsea roots.

In 2017, Barneys plans to open a 57,000-square-foot flagship at Seventh Avenue and 16th Street, its old stomping ground. The five-story unit will have 200 feet of frontage along the majority of Seventh Avenue between 16th Street and 17th Street and wrapping the corner of 16th Street. It’s the same building where Barney Pressman started his discount menswear business in 1923.

The new downtown unit will be about half the size of the original Barneys flagship, which at the height of its prowess measured 120,000 square feet and encompassed the entire Seventh Avenue frontage from 16th to 17th Streets. “This is the right moment to do something like this,” said Mark Lee, chief executive officer of Barneys New York. “We think there’s a void in the market. There are smaller boutiques and some mono brands along with the Internet, but nobody has yet to come along since we left, to completely capture and create a real destination.

The downtown flagship will feature men’s and women’s designer clothing, shoes and accessories, and also a Foundation level for cosmetics, skin care and fragrance, and a Freds restaurant on the top floor. Ultimately, the breakdown of men’s and women’s will be consistent with the Madison Avenue unit.

Saks Exec Team Welcomes New CMO Mark Briggs

Mark Briggs former executive of Harrods in London is coming aboard as chief marketing officer for Saks. The Saks executive team is ecstatic to have him. Briggs spent 20 years at Harrods as director of store image, setting the strategic brand vision for the company overseeing marketing, communications and visual.

Briggs has a reputation for drama. In one of his biggest productions, he closed the streets of London to celebrate the Queen’s 60th year on the throne, brought dozens of employees outside to sing a rendition of “God Save the Queen” and had world-famous jewelers including Tiffany and De Beers create versions of the regal headpiece.

Marigay McKee, the new president of Saks Fifth Avenue and former colleague of the new CMO states that, “Briggs is one of the most creative people I have ever met,” “He’s exceptionally visual. He has great taste, and more importantly he is a visionary. He puts together amazing collaborations, fantastic visual schemes for the windows, scenes throughout the store, monthly plasma screen strategies, monthly mannequin strategies and promotional sites. The creative strategy, the marketing strategy, it all came from Mark. He made the fantasy happen.”

Briggs new position will give him a broad responsibility for creative, visual merchandising and marketing of the company. He takes over duties previously held by Denise Incandela, former CMO, and Terron Schaefer, former chief creative officer.

Swiss Watch Exports Fall 0.5% in November

The Federation of the Swiss Watch Industry reported that Swiss watch exports eased 0.5% in November as a sharp downturn in China was offset by gains in European countries including France, Germany and Italy. Foreign sales of Swiss timepieces totaled 2.1 billion Swiss francs or $2.35 billion at average exchange rates for the period, according to the federation.

With watch exports having attained a particularly high level in November 2012, it was difficult to do better in November 2013, especially with one fewer working day, however the monthly result was practically identical. Once again, watch exports have confirmed their consolidation at a high level.

Armani Group to Develop Residential Project in China

The Armani Group has teamed with the Mind Group to develop a luxury residential project in Chengdu in southwest China. Just image, a brand new artistic world icon will be created that combines both the profound sense of Chinese culture represented by Mind Group, and the world class avant-garde fashion philosophy of the Armani Group.

The project will be named “Art Residence”, and will consist of two 65-story towers, located in the heart of Chengdu, next to the Jinjiang fashionable district. The project is scheduled for completion by the end of 2016.

The Armani/Casa Interior Design Studio will design the common areas and apartments within the towers, which are to feature a heated rooftop swimming pool. The residential units, which will be for sale starting the second half of 2014, are to be equipped with a high-end Armani/Dada kitchen and Armani/Roca bathrooms.

-Keyera Simmons

Source & Photo: WWD

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