The Truth about Barney's


On Wednesday, I dropped into Barney's on Madison Ave and was I in for a major retail shock. You could hear a rat piss on cotton it was so quiet. You can see the boredom and dread on the sale associates' faces and it hurt my gut. I avoided eye contact and headed straight to Co-OP. Now, this is where it gets tragic. Not a single person greeted me and I counted 10 people on the floor, including a manager. I started to wonder whether I smelled because no one was coming towards me. Instead, I witnessed an impromptu performance of the Nutcracker or Swan Lake as one sales associate pirouetted his little tailfeather off. Arabesque 1 and 2 and first position Plie, Brava, Brava.


Sorry, I digress. What I also noticed in Barney's was what is affecting retailers and designers everywhere- cost of goods. Very simply, is this piece worth it? Should I pay $789 for a cotton shirt dress or could I go to H&M and get a cotton sundress for $40 bucks? I am not talking about an Alia or Lanvin sundress. I am talking about a new designer with maybe 10 national accounts and very little press. Even more odd was the fact these prices where in Co-OP which is suppose to be the more price friendly floor drawn to a fashion forward but younger lower income customer. Hell, even the shoes are grandiose in CO-OP. Wrap your head around a faux Louboutin for $415-Egad! It would be a sin to pay $415 for a pair of knockoffs- a sin! Despite my retail rigor, I visited the Designer shoe section and got a little misty eyed. Lanvin- mon cherie where have you been all of my life? But at $880 I will hold off- I have a passion for fashion not homelessness.
Did you know Barney's is a comedy show? I loved hearing the stunning rattled voice of a walking Mummy ask about Loobootin- ooh post op speech issues, even better loved how she whisked away to the section far far from daylight. I'm melting, I'm melting. Shoe salesmen are a trip and a half with their working class snobbery. Love it! Unlike all of my other retail trips, I was far from happy when I walked out. I actually coined a term, post retail stress disorder. Hold your head up Madison Ave because, Barney's I hope will not fall to the winds like Gimbles, I.Magnin and Alexander's. Hopefully, they will get afloat soon. In the meantime, I made my mental list of what to look out for at the Warehouse Sale!