I think that might've contributed to this sad episode in its life--- I thought Barney's--tried to be all things to all customers. That's an impossible business model unless your Amazon.The funny thing about Barney's is - in men's anyway - it covered a wide spectrum from the avant garde - like those boots - to many items that could have come out of Brooks in its day or Paul Stuart today.
On sale (that store had insane retail prices, but also, great markdowns), I bought shirts, ties, shoes, sweaters and, even, suits from it over the years that all fit nicely in my trad wardrobe. But to emphasize, I had to pick and choose carefully as plenty of outré stuff lined the shelves too.
I think that might've contributed to this sad episode in its life--- I thought Barney's--tried to be all things to all customers. That's an impossible business model unless your Amazon.
I hope Barney's can get it together and get a grip on reality. I loved going there when I was a young man in Jersey; couldn't afford the merch, but it fed my dreams.
Identical to Husker fans and their fearless red neck leader, Scott Frost.I’d wear them every day for a month before I wore a Gators hoodie for a day. And Gators wear jorts, not shorts. Just Google “Gator jorts” and you’ll get the picture.
My recollection is different. I never went there until the late 70's--the Carter years. Manhattan was definitely a cesspool at the time--Times Square was more like Sodom and Gommorah then. A few years ago my kids went on their respective 8th grade class trips there! Giuliani really scrubbed the place.When I was a kid growing up in New Jersey in the '70s, NYC seemed very far away in spirit if not miles. I remember Barney's advertising as a discount chain. When I started working in '80s, it was still, primarily a discount / warehouse type of store (that I frequented), but - in my memory - that changed in the '90s sometime when it went from discount to high end in a flash.
This short article pretty much aligns with my memory:
Like Saks and Henri Bendel, Barneys New York has long been the epitome of a high-end fashion retailer. Which makes these unabashedly low-end ads, found on a matchbook from the 1930s or 1940s, all t…ephemeralnewyork.wordpress.com
Not unlike you, I grew up in New Brunswick, NJ - a beat up town if ever - and while, back then, I recognized that NYC was crime, drug and sex-for-sale ridden, as you couldn't not see those things, it still had an Oz-like attraction to me as it was so much more alive - so much more everything - than the sad, broken town I came from.My recollection is different. I never went there until the late 70's--the Carter years. Manhattan was definitely a cesspool at the time--Times Square was more like Sodom and Gommorah then. A few years ago my kids went on their respective 8th grade class trips there! Giuliani really scrubbed the place.
I recall Barneys as being pretty high end, but then again, maybe it just appeared so glitzy to a blue-collar kid; I'm from Garfield--a factory town back then. I thought the open air malls in Paramus were amazing--especially at Christmas. Didn't one of those have a talking Santa, or something to that effect? It's also possible I'm thinking of Berdorf-Goodman, too. I know I went there, too.
Yepper. Manhattan just had that panache to it--or at least it appeared that way to kids such as ourselves.Not unlike you, I grew up in New Brunswick, NJ - a beat up town if ever - and while, back then, I recognized that NYC was crime, drug and sex-for-sale ridden, as you couldn't not see those things, it still had an Oz-like attraction to me as it was so much more alive - so much more everything - than the sad, broken town I came from.
My entire focus as a kid was getting an education, getting the hell out and getting to NYC and I did that as fast as was humanly possible. As to Barney's, I have a '80s' memory of going a few times with some work buddies to a huge old warehouse store in the, then, ramshackle Chelsea area of NYC and going through racks and racks of suits jammed together to find a good value.
That's it; that's my memory until, somewhere in the '90s, Barney's opened up a fancy Madison area store that was way beyond my budget. A store called Moe Ginsburg tried a similar transition - from warehouse to upscale - but flamed out quickly in its upscale effort. Prior, though, it - like the old Barney's - was an outstanding warehouse store.
I don't think these are the one you are thinking of, but the two that come to mind are Les Halles (which closed recently) and L'Express (which I think is too new). I have a vague recollection of the one I think you mean, but can't get the name in my head.No, it really did have that panache, oodles and oodles of that panache, and many, many other things I have been advised not to go into on family-friendly forums such as this.
Then killjoy Rudy finished it all off...
Lucky to have caught the last gasps of it in the 1990s on week-enders up from DC or down from Providence - the difference in just the few years from '94-'97 was palpable - much less the difference from 1990 which was an entirely different city IMHO.
I knew it was gone for good when in May of 2000, I saw fleets of tour buses disgorging wave after wave of tourists from the corn-belt come to The Big Apple to storm Disney and Pizza-Hut with grim determination.
Well and poignantly stated.
Do you by any chance happen to recall the name of that 24 hr French-ish bistro near Flatiron where you could have an O.K. steak au poivre at 3 AM served by some aspiring model-actress-dancer or other?
Sort of like what the old Au Pied du Cochon in Georgetown was only better - not that that was hard or anything.
Been trying to remeber the name for some time now...