GILHART KNOWS: Barneys New York fashion director Julie Gilhart believes in Rodarte’s Laura and Kate Mulleavy. “They are two of the best designers right now.…I really do know. I don’t brag that often, but I really do know.” Gilhart was in her hometown of Dallas with the Mulleavy sisters on Wednesday to present a runway show of the designers’ spring collection at NorthPark Center during Fashion at the Park. Rodarte’s ethereal dresses are stocked in 42 stores this fall and will probably expand to another 10 for spring, the Mulleavys said.
“While it’s a very volatile time, our business is a special type of business and clientele,” Kate Mulleavy said. “There are ups and downs. It’s definitely hard for everyone, but every year we are growing.”
As for Barneys, the chain’s business “is all tied to the economy,” Gilhart said. The two-year-old flagship at NorthPark has been challenged in Dallas’ competitive retail landscape, including Neiman Marcus. “Things just take time,” Gilhart said. “We have a great store and beautiful merchandise. Dallas is a city of tradition and culture, and people are loyal.”