Barneys New York returns to 17th and 7th

barneys-warehouse-downtown-store-nyc-chic-of-the-old-block-04Barney Pressman opened his first store in 1923 with the $500 he got from hocking his wife’s engagement ring.  He sold mens suits at discounted prices.  His son, Fred saw the future of luxury and in 1973 told his father we need to shift into something else.  His father agreed.

The store was redesigned and became a luxury destination store.  When I moved to NYC in 1983 it took me awhile to actually walk into Barney’s  It was so exquisitely New York.  It was intimidating.  I eventually made my way in shopping mostly in the Co-op.  Yet on occasion I’d walk down those Andree Putman stunning spiral staircase in the middle of the main area of the store.  I felt exquisite walking down those stairs.  They were aspirational.

Fast forward, Fred passed on and the sons took over the business.  They were not as savvy as their father and grand-father.  It was utterly depressing to watch Barney’s close downtown, move to Madison and 61st and then attempt to expand their unique brand around the globe.  They filed for bankruptcy.  After that the company went through several hands.  Fred Pressman was probably rolling in his grave.

There are so many layers to this story but I am thrilled that Barney’s is returning to it’s original spot.  The Madison Avenue store will remain.  It changes the game for my uptown Barney’s fix.  My passport can remain in the drawer for those now rarer than ever journey’s that would bring me uptown.