Barneys CEO Mark Lee‘ continues to shake things up.
Last month Barneys fashion director Julie Gilhart and Judy Collinson, executive vice president and general merchandise manager of womenswear, were ousted.
Today, Barneys sent out a press release announcing that Dennis Freedman, formerly the creative director at W, would succeed Simon Doonan as creative director. But lest you were worried that meant Doonan, the face of Barneys, was out, fret not: he’s been “promoted” as the specialty retailer’s new “Creative Ambassador-at-Large.”
It’s a pretty funny title and sounds kind of made up, but then again fashion houses love to have brand “ambassadors” so it follows that a retailer could have one too. So what does it mean? And more importantly, will Doonan still do the windows?
Well, sort of. Doonan has been creating quirky masterworks in Barneys store windows since 1986. According to the release, “Mr. Doonan will…contribute to special window projects.” He’ll also “continue to be a key media spokesperson for the company, will host special events with customers and media, and will serve as roving ambassador with links to all creative and communication areas including social media.”
But it seems that Dennis Freedman, one of the first people to leave W after Stefano Tonchi’s appointment as EIC, will oversee the windows Doonan made famous. Freedman, who was the creative director at W for over 20 years, will take over as creative director starting January 17. According to the release, Freedman “will be responsible for the overall creative direction of Barneys New York, including the Co-Op and Barneys.com, providing leadership in the areas of all photographic and video images, graphic design, store design and image, and visual merchandising. Mr. Freedman will also serve as creative curator of the Barneys New York windows, engaging various artists, designers, and creative collaborators including Simon Doonan for a constantly evolving mix of style influencers.”