Barneys is returning home. The New York luxury retailer has opened a new downtown flagship location on 7th Avenue, between 16th Street and 17th Street – the very block in Chelsea where the company started in 1923, and kept a presence until the late 1990s.
Barneys tapped New York firm Steven Harris Architects to oversee the design, continuing a partnership founded in 2012 when the company was tasked with renovating the store's Madison Avenue and Beverly Hills locations. Lalire March Architects serve as the project’s executive architecture practice.
Outside the store, a 170-ft stainless steel marquee runs along the 7th Avenue façade and around the corner onto the 16th Street side, with two feature windows that will serve as prime staging opportunities for Barneys’ renowned window displays.
Shifting inside, and a stunning white spiral staircase in the atrium serves as the space's centrepiece, connecting the foundation level to the third floor. The lauded, late American abstract and minimalist artists (respectively) Agnes Martin and Fred Sandback serve as inspiration for the mirrored vertical, horizontal and diagonal lines that make up the atrium's abstract design.
'The store is completely unique compared to any other store downtown. It is subtle but inordinately luxurious,' explains architect Steven Harris. 'We wanted to create a calm and tranquil environment with a neutral, but richly varied, colour palette that truly highlights the merchandise.'
The store will carry labels like Acne Studios, Saint Laurent and Givenchy, and will feature capsule collections by Valentino, Alexander Wang, Elder Statesman and Sidney Garber in the coming months (as well as factoring state-of-the-art technology throughout, that will allow customers to source product recommendations and corresponding multimedia content). Blind Barber will have a dedicated alcove space for providing men’s shaves and haircuts; while Freds, an iconic power lunch destination at Barneys' Madison Avenue location, will open its first downtown eatery on the third floor.