News has been trickling in all week about confusion around the strategic direction being taken by Barneys and today, the New York Times is reporting that its highly respected CEO Howard Socol will resign next week. This is an abrupt change of tone in the buzz around Barneys, which is arguably the most influential and forward thinking luxury and fashion department store chain in America today.
Bergdorf Goodman, of course is a venerable store in its own right, but it only has one location in New York and its sister company, Neiman Marcus, based in Dallas, is far removed from the New York fashion hub. Yes, Neimans serves an unequaled luxury customer, but it just does not have the fashion cred that Barneys has managed to build in recent years. Barneys' affable Fashion Director, Julie Gilhart, has been a champion of emerging talent and amongst others, is credited with recognising the talent of the Proenza Schouler boys, buying their graduate collection from Parsons.
But, is Barneys about to become a basket case?