Barneys on the Strip: Whimsy and More

Barneys New York arrived here Thursday with its usual style and wit and another trait not commonly associated with the retailer - flamboyance.

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LAS VEGAS — Barneys New York arrived here Thursday with its usual style and wit and another trait not commonly associated with the retailer — flamboyance.

"There's more glitter here," said creative director Simon Doonan. "There was a conscious desire by us to inject a little flamboyance into the store."

And, while Barneys may be known for its affinity for the color black, the Las Vegas store is alive with brightly colored apparel and accessories.

The store will carry plenty of directional designers. "It's going to be fun to introduce Marni and Dries Van Noten to Las Vegas," Doonan said. "It's going to feel very fresh and new. The subtlety and craft of fashion really differentiates us."

The 81,000-square-foot store is Barneys' first in Vegas. "This has been a long process," said Howard Socol, chairman and chief executive officer, during an interview in one of the store's personal shopping suites. "We were invited to go to a lot of different places. We wanted the right location."

The Palazzo, a $2 billion stand-alone resort developed by the Las Vegas Sands Corp., has rolled out the welcome mat for Barneys. Signage throughout the casino directs people to the store and there are signs showing the way to Barneys at the Grand Canal Shoppes at the Venetian, the Palazzo's sister property.

Part of the appeal of the site for Barneys was the fact that the store would have its own street entrance with valet parking. "To see Barneys New York from Las Vegas Boulevard is great," Socol said, noting Barneys is the only fashion retailer with its own facade on the Strip.

The facade, sheathed in glass, has a spiral pattern made up of hearts, clubs, diamonds and spades and was designed by artist John Paul Phillippe, whose work is found elsewhere in the store, and includes the backlit line drawings that are used to decorate the cosmetics cases on the main floor.

The Foundation beauty area features two Frederic Malle scent chambers, which Doonan calls "our 'Beam me up, Scottie,' columns," noting they allow Malle's exclusive scents to be sampled in a "completely untainted environment."
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