Barneys Returns to Downtown N.Y.C. with a Gorgeous New Flagship
It feels like forever since we first heard talk of Barneys New York's re-opening a version of its original downtown New York location, and now, the luxury retailer's brand-new store is officially open.
Nestled on a stretch of city block on 7th Avenue between 16th and 17th Streets—the same locale where the company was founded in 1923—the 55,000-square-foot space designed by New York-based architectural firm Steven Harris Architects, spans five floors, and, in addition to an array of ready-to-wear, footwear, accessories, and cosmetics offerings, boasts a Blind Barber barbershop and a Freds restaurant. While Barneys New York's Madison Avenue location will remain the retailer's largest N.Y.C. store, the downtown outfit "is all about sensuality—it's a place to see and be seen," says founder Steven Harris.
Click through to take a closer look inside and check out the luxury retailer's Chelsea homecoming.
101 7th Avenue, New York, N.Y. 10011; 646.264.6400; barneys.com.
THE GROUND FLOOR
The large stainless steel columns on the main floor, made of straito marble, are inspired by the work of John McCracken, a contemporary artist who was fond of making installations using irregular spacing. The avante-garde polished brass tables are "reminiscent of Hans Arp and '40s cubist architecture," Harris says.
The heroic staircase, made of steel and plastered fiberglass, pays homage to the one at the original 1923 location in Chelsea. "It's very theatrical," Harris says. "Everybody sees you when you're walking down that stair, and you see everyone else. There's a notion of performance and spectacle." It also functions as a landmark within the space. "You always know exactly where you are by referencing it," Harris adds.
SECOND FLOOR, WOMEN'S SHOES
If you look closely, you'll notice reflections on the ceiling, which was a happy accident in Harris's design process. "Every time you rearrange the shoes on the tables, the patterns of the light on the ceiling shift," he says.
SECOND FLOOR, WOMEN'S READY-TO-WEAR
The amoeba shapes on the ceiling help feign height and define lighting. "There are very few walls on these floors, so they etch out a space," Harris says. Similar to the staircase, they also act as a map. "Each of the shapes is different, so they define one area from another," he adds.
A vibrant 36-foot mural by L.A. painter Conor Thompson is the main attraction in the restaurant, which will serve a modern Italian menu helmed by executive chef Mark Strausman. The sprawling oil painting features figurative and abstract motifs of a dinner table and a painter's palette.
THE FIFTH FLOOR
From the top floor, walls made of laminated glass feature gray, matte, and mirrored lines, enabling shoppers to see all the way across the store. "If you look closely, you can also see yourself in the mirrored slivers on the glass," Harris says.