The rumors were true: Barneys has tapped man of the hour year Jay Z to collaborate on this year's Holiday Campaign as well as a limited edition fashion line that banks on Mr. Carter's inherent New Yorkness, and wide reach.
"If you close your eyes and think about who best represents New York and stands for the city, you can’t help but think about Shawn Carter," Barneys CEO Mark Lee told WWD. "Jay Z is a born-and-bred New Yorker, and one of the biggest cultural icons of our time--his reach spans across music, sports, business and fashion."
The line also sounds like it will be very #menswear.
Dubbed "A New York Holiday," the project sees Jay collaborating with a range of designers on exclusive, limited edition pieces that, unlike previous Barneys holiday collections, are mostly for men. For instance, Jack McCollough and Lazaro Hernandez made their first men's bag ever for the line; Kanye West favorite Stutterheim did a new raincoat; and Alex Wang did a Balenciaga backpack that might appeal to ladies as well. Other collaborators include The Elder Statesman, Lanvin, Acne and Rick Owens.
It's also not quite as affordable as, say, those knickknacks from the Lady Gaga collection. For instance, a watch done in collaboration with Hublot will set you back $33,900. However, 25% of proceeds with go to the Shawn Carter Scholarship Foundation, which is nice.
They're going all-out in displaying the collection as well by installing a 1,500-square-foot, self-contained gallery on the third floor of the men's store in the Madison Avenue location. Videos done or overseen by artist Joanie Lemercier will be projected 360 degrees on the walls of the space, called "BNY SCC Gallery," which stands for Barneys New York Shawn Corey Carter.
“With this project, Barneys New York and I were able to take the slickness, energy and innovation of New York City and translate that into quality, timeless pieces,” Jay Z said in a release. “Everything that encompasses ‘A New York Holiday’ — the items chosen, the amazing designers that participated, the windows, the design of the BNY SCC Gallery — represents a perfect example of a unique and groundbreaking collaboration that I hope demonstrates how inspiring New York has been to me.”
The project reminds us a little of this year's overly complex and not very successful Neiman Marcus x Target x CFDA collaboration, but seems a bit more focused (and a lot cooler), which is good. We just wish there was a little more in it for us ladies.
The collection--which will also be available in Beverly Hills, San Francisco, Boston, Chicago and online--and window displays will hit stores November 20.
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